Included here are notices of exhibits, lectures, conferences and other gatherings or events of Antarctic interest. Current and closest to the present usually listed first. Go to PAST EVENTS for those that have already happened.

The best polar gathering of the year is the Shackleton Autumn School, held each October in Athy, Co. Kildare, Ireland. Have a look at photos and commentary on the past ten gatherings excerpted from trip reports on my personal webpage.

Last updated: 6 October 2016.

Accessed at least many times since 17 April 2007.

Events associated with the centenary of Shackleton's Endurance expedition 2014-2016
Current & Continuing Antarctic Events
Upcoming Antarctic Events

Events associated with the centenary of Shackleton's Endurance expedition 2014-2016:

[Numerous events, mostly in the UK, are being proposed and planned during 2014-2016 to commemorate Shackleton's Endurance Expedition. The
Shackleton 100 website has now been launched that will act as a central information clearinghouse for these events and once up, much of the information will be duplicated here or possibly just a link will be included.]

Current & Continuing Antarctic Events:

Upcoming Antarctic Events:


Wednesday, 5 October, 2016, 6:30-8pm. Royal Geographical Society, London. Dr Fernando Wilson.
"On the centenary of the rescue of Sir Ernest Shackleton's crew, an expert on Chilean Navy history will explore in depth the successful operation led by Captain Luis Pardo."
Organised by the Embassy of Chile. Tickets: free, advance booking required. E-mail: Tel: 020 72222 2362, ext 282.


Monday, 24 October 2016, 2:30-4pm. Foyle Reading Room, Royal Geographical Society, London. Eugene Rae.
"Scott, Shackleton, Amundsen, Mawson and more, come and view the treasures from the Society's collection of Antarctic material. Shackleton's balaclava, Scott's matchbox and Mawson's sextant are just a few of the items on display."
Booking essential. £5, RGS-IBG members and educational users free. Tickets: free. E-mail: Tel: 020 7591 3044.


Friday-Monday, 28-31 October 2016, Athy, Co. Kildare, Ireland

Click here to download the brochure.

Friday, 28th October

7.30pm - Official Opening of the Shackleton Autumn School by the Norwegian Ambassador to Ireland, Her Excellency …

8.00pm - Book Launch in Athy Heritage Centre - Museum. In association with Thames & Hudson, London, the school is delighted to host the launch of Explorers' Sketchbooks: The Art of Discovery and Adventure, published by Thames & Hudson, also released in several foreign languages. Rare journals, sketchbooks, art and more from the great exploratory journeys in history, and much here that has never previously been seen. Authors Huw and Kari are long standing supporters of the Athy School and we welcome them back this year.

9.00pm - Book Launch in O'Briens Public House, Emily Square, Athy. A first for the social heart of the Shackleton weekend when O'Briens will host the launch of Finding Franklin: The Untold Story of a 165-Year Search published by McGill-Queens University Press. In compelling prose Russell Potter details his decades of work in tracing the more than fifty searches for traces of Franklin's ships and his men.

Exhibition: "By Endurance We Conquer: Shackleton and his men"
Daily at the Athy Heritage Centre - Museum
    Saturday & Sunday 10am - 5pm.
    Bank Holiday Monday 10am - 2pm.
The exhibition is about Sir Ernest Shackleton's 1914-1917 Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition 1914-1917. It tells the story of the loss of the Endurance in the ice and how Shackleton and his men overcame the challenges they faced. The exhibition text was developed by the Polar Museum, Cambridge and is complemented by artefacts from the Museum's own and private collections.

Saturday, 29th October Lecture Series, Athy Library
10.00am - Explorers' Sketchbooks: The Art of Discovery and Adventure. Dr Huw Lewis-Jones. Admission €10

10.50am - TEA/COFFEE

11.20 - Triumph from Disaster: Shackleton and the Endurance Expedition. Meredith Hooper. Admission €10

12.10 - White and Green Warfare in 1916: the story of Tom Crean & Thomas Ashe. - Frank Nugent. Admission €10

1pm - LUNCH

2.30pm - Finding Franklin - The untold story of a 165 year search. Dr Russell Potter. Admission €10

3.30pm - What makes a successful explorer? Mick Conefrey. Admission €10

4.30pm - 'Icebreakers.' A series of short presentations on topics relevant to the Shackleton Autumn School, presented by those with a passion for their subject. Admission Free.

8 pm - Autumn School Dinner at the Clanard Court Hotel, Athy. Tickets €40

Sunday, 30th October Lecture Series, Athy Library
10.00am - The Last Husky Dog Journey on the Antarctic Continent - John Killingbeck. Admission €10

10.50am - TEA/COFFEE

11.20am - Life after Shackleton: The Conservation and Travels of the James Caird. Simon Stephens. Admission €10

12.10pm - The 9,000 mile museum: Caring for our Antarctic Heritage Camilla Nicholl. Admission €10

1pm - LUNCH

2.30pm - Ernest Shackleton and Adrien de Gerlache - A Belgian Connection. Dr Jozef Verlinden

3.30pm - Film: Towards the Coldest Place on Earth.

Once a year Russian Polarnics set out in tracked vehicles fit for scrap to reach the Cold Pole of the Earth. The convoy takes fuel, provisions and spare parts to the station Vostok at the heart of the Antarctic—if they arrive. The veteran vehicles from the Brezhnev era and temperatures below minus 50 degree Celsius make the 1410 kilometres a nail-biting affair. It is the most extreme operation in the Antarctic. The trek from Mirny to Vostok lives from the spirit of the men who undertake it and whose souls are deeply bound to this extreme landscape and its challenges. Join Leonid and his brigade on their way into the unknown. As the only non-Russian Andreas Sanders was an official member of this Russian Antarctic Expedition. He succeeded in what no one had dared for decades: The documentation of The Convoy. He is presenting his documentary with live narration.
Admission €10
5.00pm - Open Forum - Chaired by Bob Headland.

8.30pm - Cultural Evening at the Athy Arts Centre. TBC
'Polar Bites' - A literary smorgasbord of prose and poetry inspired by the polar regions. Admission Free

Monday, 31st October 2016
10.00am - Field Trip. Assemble at The Heritage Centre - Museum
Bus tour through Shackleton country. A Visit to Ballitore and the home of Mary Leadbeater, writer and ancestor of Ernest Shackleton and Quaker Meeting House. Fare €10.
Information on Contributors
Dr Huw Lewis-Jones
Huw is a historian of exploration. He was curator at the Scott Polar Research Institute and the National Maritime Museum in London. He is an award winning author who travels in the Arctic and Antarctic each year working as a polar guide and he has a fascination with wilderness environments and remote islands. His books include Ocean Portraits, The Crossing of Antarctica, The Conquest of Everest, which won the History award at the Banff Mountain Festival, and most recently Across the Arctic Ocean.

Kari Herbert
Kari is an author and publisher whose work has featured widely in newspapers and magazines including The Sunday Times, the Guardian, Geographical and Traveller. Her late father was the polar explorer Sir Wally Herbert and her first book, The Explorer's Daughter described her childhood growing up in an isloated community in the north of Greenland. Her latest book, Heart of the Hero, drew attention to the remarkable achievements of the wives of celebrated explorers.

Meredith Hooper TBC

Frank Nugent
Frank Nugent is an alpinist with many visits to the Alps and four expeditions to the Himalayas. He was the deputy leader of the first and successful Irish Everest Expedition (Stelfox 1993); joint leader of South Aris Antarctic Expedition 1997; sailed the Northwest Passage with the Northabout Expedition 2001; and climbed many first ascents during the Irish Lemon Mountains Expedition to Greenland in 2003. He has since climbed and trekked in the Andes, Iceland, Norway and in Colorado and Wyoming in the USA. A member of the Alpine Club, Frank is author of Seek the Frozen Lands - Irish Polar Explorers 1740-1922 and In Search of Peaks, Passes & Glaciers-Irish Alpine Pioneers. A former Chairman of Mountaineering Ireland, he is currently Chair of the Irish Uplands Forum, a voluntary body that promotes the sustainable management of the Irish Uplands.

Dr Russell Potter
Russell Potter is Professor of English and Media Studies at Rhode Island College. He's written about Hip-hop (Spectacular Vernaculars, 1995) and the history of polar exploration (Arctic Spectacles, 2007), as well as a novel, PYG: The Memoirs of Toby, the Learned Pig. His newest book, Finding Franklin: The Untold Story of a 165-Year Search, has just been published by McGill-Queen's University Press.

Mick Conefrey
Mick for the last twenty years has worked mainly in television, principally for the BBC and most of the major British broadcasters and US channels, including Discovery and the History Channel. He has made made a variety of films, ranging from experimental documentaries such as Small Objects of Desire to the landmark series Icemen and Mountain Men. More recently he worked with the Harvard philosopher Michael Sandel on Justice and has just made a biography of Lionel Bart. Several of his films have won international and British awards, at festivals such as Trento, Telluride, Banff and Kendal. He is currently working on History Connections, a new series for Discovery. As a writer, Mick has co-authored Icemen and Mountain Men and has written three further books: The Adventurer's Handbook, How to Climb Mont Blanc in a Skirt and Everest 1953, The Epic Story of the First Ascent.

John Killingbeck
John worked with the Falkland Islands Dependency Survey,the forerunners of BAS, from 1960-63. During this period, large areas of the Antarctic Peninsula were being surveyed using dog sled teams for transport into the field. Survey trips would last for two to three months. The surveyors worked in teams of two men—each man with a sled and nine dogs. John's work is acknowledged by Killingbeck Island (67°32'S 68°7'W), a small island east of Rothera Point, off the south-east coast of Adelaide Island. John has continued his connection with the Antarctic, lecturing on Polar cruise ships and to school and adult groups. He is also an active member of the Devon and Cornwall Polar Society.

Simon Stephens
Simon Stephens, Curator of the Ship Model and Boat Collections at the Royal Museums Greenwich (NMM) was behind the preservation and restoration of the James Caird at the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, and more recently oversaw the successful transfer of the Caird to its fresh home in the newly built Laboratory at Dulwich College, and supervised the stepping of the mast and re-erection of the sails as they would have been in 1916.

Camilla Nicholl
Camilla Nichol is the Chief Executive of UKAHT having joined the Trust in 2014 from a career to date in museums and heritage. Camilla studied Geology at the University of Edinburgh followed by Museum Studies at the University of Leicester. She has had a varied museum career working with collections as diverse as geology, scientific and medical instrument, anatomy and pathology, Scottish football and the early oil industry. Previously she was Head of collections for Leeds Museums and Galleries, led the science team at York Museums Trust as Keeper of Geology, worked at the Hunterian Museum at Glasgow University—where she was fortunate to curate the Antarctic rock collections including specimens collected from Elephant Island by the marooned men from Endurance and the first rocks collected from the Antarctic mainland by Carsten Borchgrevink in 1895.

Dr Jozef Verlinden
Jozef Verlinden was born and educated in Belgium. He studied sciences at the universities of Louvain and Antwerp and holds a PhD in Chemistry. After his studies he worked in the pharmaceutical industry and became director of a pharmaceutical company. He has long had an interest in polar history. He wrote several books, in Dutch, about Belgian and Dutch polar exploration, including a biography of Belgian explorer Adrien de Gerlache. Jozef visited all the regions discovered by Adrien de Gerlache. As guide and lecturer on cruise ships, he went seven times to Antarctica and two times to Northeast Greenland and Spitsbergen.

Andreas Sanders. TBC

Bob Headland
Bob is a senior research associate of the Scott Polar Research Institute of the University of Cambridge. He specialises in the history and geography of both polar regions. His work with the Antarctic Heritage Trust involves the preservation of the historical huts and other aspects associated with the exploration of the discovery of the Antarctic. His most recent publication is A Chronology of Antarctic Exploration.

Ed O'Loughlin
Ed O'Loughlin grew up in Kildare town, Ireland, where he moved from his native Toronto, Canada, aged six. After completing his studies at Trinity College Dublin and Dublin City University, he reported from Dublin and Africa for The Irish Times, and was Middle East correspondent for the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age of Melbourne. His first novel, Not Unrue and Not Unkind was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2009 and shortlisted for the Kerry Group Irish Fiction Award. His second novel, Toploader a darkly comic vision of the "war against terror", was published by Quercus in 2011. All you can Eat a novella satirising the Irish economic crash, appeared in 2013. His third novel, Minds of Winter, was published by Riverrun in August 2016.


Friday, 4 November 2016, 6pm, AGM at James Caird Hall, followed by drinks around the boat. Followed by a lecture in the Great Hall by Tim Jarvis entitled "An Explorer's Life." Followed by dinner. Dulwich College, London. Cost: £50. Contact: Pippa Hare, Fig Tree Cottage, High Strteet, Cranbrook, Kent TN17 3EN, UK.


Wednesday, 23 November 2016, 7pm, Room TC001, School of Natural & Social Sciences, University of Gloucestershire, Francis Close Hall Campus, Cheltenham. Free and open to all. Lectures by Michael Smith.
"This lecture captures the incredible, yet overlooked, exploits of Tom Crean, a key figure in Antarctic explorations led by Captain Scott and Sir Ernest Shackleton."


Friday and Saturday, 2 & 3 December 2016, Fram Museum, Oslo, Norway.
There will be lecture sessions during the day and a dinner on the deck of the Fram in the evening.

Friday 2 December
     17:30 Registration
     18:00 Exhibition opening Captain C.A. Larsen – Explorer, Whaler & Family Man
              Launch of C.A. Larsen's diaries from Jason (1891-94) and Antarctic (1901-04)
     20:30 Film: Trapped at the End of the World. Argentinian documentary from 2004 about the Swedish Antarctic Expedition 1901-04. English subtitles. 83 min.
     22:00 End

Saturday 3 December
     10:00 Geir O. Kløver—Welcome. Launch of Gustav Juel Wiik's and Peder Ristvedt's diaries from the Gjøa Expedition (1903-06)
     10:30 Joe O'Farrell—The Ross Sea Party 1914-17: Tragedy or Triumph?
     11:30 Break
     11:40 Robert Stephenson—A Low-Latitude Antarctic Gazetteer (Antarctic Sites outside the Antarctic—memorials, statues, houses, graves and the occasional pub)
     12:00 Lunch in the Gjøa Building
     13:00 Aant Elzinga—Otto Nordenskjöld and the Swedish Antarctic Expedition 1901-1903 in scientific context
     14:00 Break
     14:10 Robert Burton—Captain C.A. Larsen at South Georgia: Launching the Antarctic whaling industry
     15:10 Coffee break
     14:40 PJ Capelotti—Polar Opposites: American and Norwegian voices in the exploration of Franz Josef Land
     16:40 Break
     16:50 The Polar Exploration Game ©The Fram Museum
              Reception in the C.A. Larsen exhibition
     19:45 Recreation of the City of Kristiania's dinner 10 September 1896 for Fridtjof Nansen and his men to welcome them home
              from Fram's drift across the Polar Sea. The same 9-course menu and similar wine will be served, the same speeches will be held and the same music played.

For this and more information go to: eventsfram2016.pdf


Friday, 5 May 2017, 6pm, Great Hall, Dulwich College, London.

SOUTHPOLE-sium v.3

Friday-Sunday, 12-14 May 2017, Oslo, Norway. See the webpage on this site.


Friday, 10 November 2017, 6pm, Great Hall, Dulwich College, London. Preceded by the AGM at 5:30pm in the South Cloister. Dinner will be served at 7pm in the Great Hall.