ORPHANED BOOKS

Many years ago I bought a copy of The Antarctic Book. This was issued with the Edition de Luxe of Shackleton's The Heart of the Antarctic and contained some of the contents of the Aurora Australis as well as a leaf with the signatures of the shore party. Because Volumes I and II were not included, the price wasn't unreasonable (£95 in 1971). So I ended up with an orphan. Since then I kept my eye open for the missing two volumes which I finally found in 1988 and purchased for $1,550. I then "married" the three and ended up with a complete set. A second marriage, yes, but a marriage nonetheless.

Recently I received an e-mail from a correspondent who said:
"I recently ran into a situation in which The Antarctic Circle might be of assistance to the community. I happened to have acquired, years ago, an orphaned Volume 2 of Douglas Mawson's Home of the Blizzard, the Lippincott 1st edition, in near-fine condition. I was seeking to sell it recently to free up some shelf space. While I did eventually find a buyer, it was very much a long, lucky shot, and it made me aware that ABE and Biblio don't really cater to the sellers of orphaned volumes. Book dealers don't want them either. This probably leads to orphaned volumes of multi-book sets being discarded or broken up for the maps and illustrations—a sad fate. This is where The Antarctic Circle comes in. As a non-commercial, widely respected site, perhaps The Antarctic Circle could add a small subsection where owners of broken sets could list what they have, and what they are seeking—and whether they are trying to buy, sell, or either. Their posting could be left up for six months, a year, or indefinitely. The list could be pruned by date if it begins to get long."

It seems like a useful idea, so let's give it a go. I have no orphans left but perhaps you do. Send me the relevant information and I'll include it here. People can leave their listings in this way:

1) List the volume you have, with edition (US, UK or whatever), condition (good, very good, near fine) and other attributes (1st edition, signed, etc).

2) Do you want to buy to complete a set, or sell your volume?

3) Leave an email where you can be contacted, which will allow you and a correspondent to swap photos of volumes.

4) Date your request.
• A recent e-mail asked about vol II of The South Polar Times. "… would very much appreciate it if you would send us any leads you might have to the South Polar Times. We purchased Volumes I and III at a Christie's auction, and are missing Vol. II. We might have to auction off our two and acquire a full set, but whatever is possible, do let us know."