Launched: 1 March 2011.         Last updated: 3 July 2012.

Accessed at least many times since 1 March 2011.

Contact: Robert Stephenson, Coordinator, The Antarctic Circle.
    Library Tel: 603-532-POLE (7653).
    Home Tel: 603-532-6066.
    Cell Tel: 603-562-0521 (only during the SouthPole-sium)
    Alternative E-mail:     Download a printable one-page flyer.


The SouthPole-sium has come and gone. We had a great time and dodged some bullets: It rained a lot leading up to Thursday when the first registrants rolled in. It was lovely and mild into Monday when the last left. Due in a day or so: steamy weather in the 95-100 degree range.

For a recap of the weekend see the Blog.

Here's the group photograph taken on Saturday by Sally Larsen.

You can see some more photos at:
taken by Sally Larsen, Paul Davies, Richard Gutman, Jeff Clark, Damien Gildea and Rob Stephenson.

Schedule/Agenda and SouthPole-sium Odds & Ends.
Registration information and Form
Those who have registered
Those who are planning to attend
Those who have expressed interest in attending
Subjects of talks proposed to be presented so far
Subject ideas for talks that might be presented
Jaffrey Civic Center, our main venue
Accommodation options
Links relative to Jaffrey and the region
Download a flyer
Updates & E-mails
Comments during preliminary planning from those who might attend


When: Friday - Sunday, 15-17 June 2012. (The Polar Libraries Colloquy is scheduled to meet in Boulder, Colorado, 11-14 June, so those who would like to attend both will be able to do so, theoretically at least.) There will be some informal activity happening on Thursday for early arrivals.

Registration information and Form

Organizer/Sponsor: The Antarctic Circle (Robert Stephenson, Coordinator)

Inspiration: The annual (October) Shackleton Autumn School in Athy, Ireland. (Inspiration but not duplication.)

Subject Focus: In approximately descending order: Books, Bookcollecting, Bibliography, Writing & Publishing, Expedition publications, Diaries & Journals, in addition to related subjects within the areas of history, art, photography, poetry, music.
     90% Antarctic (pressure from bi-polar bibliophiles has led to the insertion of a minuscule window for Arcticana, preferably tied-in somehow with the Antarctic).
     To see some comments on the early planning of the SouthPole-sium, click here.

Non-focus: Science, political issues, Arctic (except as above).

Concept: The SouthPole-sium is being organized as an informal and enjoyable opportunity for those interested or involved in the Subject Focus to come together, meet one another, trade ideas and pursue common interests. In other words, the SouthPole-sium will be something of an extended "bull session," social hour, and networking opportunity.

Approach: All attendees will be encouraged to participate, either by giving short (15 minute) presentations on their subject(s) of interest or by actively participating in the discussions. Any attendee reading a paper will be sent packing!
     It is expected that the final form that the SouthPole-sium will take will develop over time. Comments and suggestions are encouraged. Those wishing to make presentations should contact the Coordinator.

Where: Jaffrey, New Hampshire. (You can find out more about Jaffrey here including a map. Also, see Access to Jaffrey below.)

Venue: Jaffrey Civic Center. This community facility (a non-profit organization) is located in downtown Jaffrey. The Civic Center is a two-story building with a large meeting room on the ground floor, in addition to a small meeting room, a library and a kitchen. There are display cases in the foyer in which an Antarctic exhibit will be mounted (see below). On the second floor is a large gallery space off of which is a workroom which is the same size as the large downstairs meeting room. This space can be used for break-away sessions if it becomes clear that these are called for. In the basement are restrooms and the archives and display cases of the Jaffrey Historical Society. Only the ground floor is handicapped accessible.
     Next door is the Jaffrey Library which has handicapped accessible restrooms (Friday 10-4:30 and Saturday 10-2). There is a small meeting room on the lower floor and a board room in the top floor which can be made available to us if needed. Both the Library and the Civic Center have free wi-fi.
     Across the street is the Jaffrey Woman's [sic] Club, a former church, which has a large meeting room. This will be the venue for the Saturday night short excerpt by Project Shakespeare of Ted Tally's Terra Nova, a short performance by Lawrence Howard of the Portland Story Theatre and the showing of an Antarctic film.
     A tent will be erected in the side yard of the Civic Center to be used for refreshment breaks, lunch, discussion groups, etc.

Likely Attendees: Bookcollectors, booksellers, librarians, archivists, writers & publishers, historians. Amateurs more than academics. To see the names of those who have said they're coming or who have expressed interest, click here.

To see who has registered, click here.

Cost: $95, which will just cover logistical expenses, rentals, lunches, receptions, Saturday dinner, refreshments at breaks, etc. (This is more than originally announced but it's all-inclusive.) Companions/spouses only interested in the social and evening events, may register for $50.

Registration: Registration will commence on 17 January 2012 (the 100th anniversary of Scott and his companions reaching the South Pole). However, those likely to attend are encouraged to send an e-mail to that effect, without obligation. Registration up to but not exceeding 100 will be on a 'first come, first served' basis. If you're not on the list, and the number get's to 100, you'll probably be out-of-luck.

Registration Packet: Each attendee will receive a packet of local information, a list of expected attendees with contact details (for those who wish to make them known), one or more specially produced keepsakes, and any catalogues, papers, etc., that attendees might wish to make available.

Expected numbers: 30, up to but not exceeding 100. The smaller the number, the easier it will be to have meaningful discussion with a maximum involvement on the part of the participants. This will also simplify logistics, meals, accommodation, etc. Around 50-60 attendees would seem ideal.

Honoraria, etc.: None. Registration, transportation and accommodation paid for by all participants.

Proposed Schedule (all events at the Civic Center unless otherwise indicated)
For a more detailed schedule click here.

Registration, informal discussions, socializing during morning and afternoon, for early arrivals.
Opening reception 5pm.
Book Launch by Richard Pierce, author of Dead Men, an Antarctic novel.
Lawrence Howard reading selections from his The Armchair Adventurer series.
Show & Tell

Attendees introduce themselves and their interests; short presentations and round-robin discussions, morning and afternoon.
Lunch. Sandwiches, etc.
Evening. Reception with the "Tropical Sensations" followed by a chicken barbecue at the United Church, followed by two Antarctic theatrical performances and an Antarctic movie at the Woman's Club.

Continuation of Saturday's presentations and discussions.
Lunch. Sandwiches, etc., followed by wrap-up discussions.
To the Fitchburg Art Museum to view David Abbey Paige exhibit; reception following.
Fitchburg Museum The Fitchburg Museum is intending to mount a show of the work of David Abbey Paige, the artist on Byrd's second expedition (1933-35), who lived in Fitchburg as a boy. His Antarctic work is owned by The Ohio State University. Some of you may have seen it on display in Columbus back in 2005. An excellent book on Paige was written by Reinhard Krause and Lars Scholl. Also there is quite a bit on Paige and all his Antarctic works in the show on an OSU website.] Fitchburg, Massachusetts, is 25 miles from Jaffrey.
The Museum has just issued a press release on the show. I shot a not-very-good video tour of the show

Displays/Exhibits: Some of the booksellers and publishers attending the SouthPole-sium will set up modest stalls of books for sale. And attendees are invited to bring duplicates for sale or trade. Tables will be provided if needed.
     An exhibit of books, art and artifacts will be in place for several weeks before, during and after the SouthPole-sium, and attendees are encouraged to bring a special item or two for inclusion during the weekend. (Also, photos. See below.)
     The Peterborough Historical Society will be lending to the exhibit some of the material it has about the cows that went south on Byrd's 2nd expedition.

Dress The SouthPole-sium will be informal so no need to pack jackets or party dresses, unless you want to.

AV, etc. Computer and slide projectors will be available. Parts of the SouthPole-sium will be recorded (both audio and video).

Accommodation: Options include local inns, motels, and bed and breakfasts; the campgrounds at Monadnock State Park; the townhouses at nearby Franklin Pierce University; even Rudyard Kipling's old house across the border in Vermont. We will also do our best to arrange accommodation in local homes. (A charge of a total of $50 will be made to cover the cost of attendance by hosts at the two Receptions, the Saturday dinner and Antarctic Film Fest following.)
     Links to local accommodation may be found here.

Website: A portion of the antarctic-circle website is devoted to the SouthPole-sium, the schedule, the names of the registrants, details on accommodation, etc. If you are reading this now, you're probably on the website.

Book Launch(es) If possible, one or more books will be launched (or otherwise presented) at the SouthPole-sium with the author(s) talking briefly about their work and selling/signing copies. Let us know if you have a book to launch or highlight.

Proceedings: A summary of the weekend will be put on the antarctic-circle website, including the names of attendees, photographs, video. Individual participants will be encouraged to submit summaries of their remarks on appropriate subjects, whether presented or not, which will be put on the site as well. There will be no printed proceedings.

Haiku Contest: Have you ever come upon an Antarctic haiku? I haven't, so we'll have a contest with some valuable prize for the winning entry which will be chosen by those assembled. All entries will go on the website. Start sending them in.
What the heck. Let's have a …

Limerick Contest too. Bawdy or otherwise.

Fiction Contest: Write up to 600 words beginning with this: "It was Scott's 43rd birthday which called for a celebration. The Cape Evans hut was festooned with sledge flags and the table was spread with enticing food and drink. Ted Wilson leaned over to Scott and whispered in his ear…"

Terra Nova: Deborah Thurber, a Jaffrey theatrical impresario—her middle name is actually Shakespeare—hopes to have her troupe of young performers present some portions of Tad Tally's Scott-Amundsen play Terra Nova.

Favorite Photos: Pick up to three of your favorite or most interesting Antarctic and/or book photos and we'll project them for your explanation and comment. E-mail the images or, if slides, bring them along.

Access to Jaffrey: Some have asked "How do I get to Jaffrey?" Well, if you have a car it's not difficult at all. It's about 70 miles northwest of Boston and takes a bit more than an hour and a half to get there. For those with corporate jets, you're in luck! Just fly into the Jaffrey Airport about a mile east of downtown. For the rest of us, if you're flying you will probably go to either Manchester Boston Regional Airport in Manchester, NH (44 miles, 70 minutes) or to the larger Logan International Airport in Boston (73 miles, 105 minutes).
     So what to do if you don't have a car and don't want to rent one? There are options but none are very good. There's bus service from Logan to Nashua, NH ( which is very good, but then you have to get from Nashua to Jaffrey (33 miles, 57 minutes). Attendees without cars arriving on 15 June could be picked up in Nashua by volunteers or by other attendees if some logistical coordination took place. If those interested get in touch with us, we can see what we can do. There is train service from Boston's North Station to Fitchburg, MA, but the challenge is to get to Jaffrey from Fitchburg (25 miles, 35 minutes). Taxis are available; the fare ca. $60 per trip. There is an office of City Cab Co. in the rail station (977-345-4381).
     There is also train service on Amtrak from New York City. The closest stop to Jaffrey is Brattleboro, Vermont. (This is a very slow train, particularly north of Springfield, MA.) The distance between Jaffrey and Brattleboro is 35 miles. Brattleboro Taxi (802-254-6446) charges about $80 for the trip.

A new shuttle service has launched on 15 April. Thomas Transportation of Swanzey, NH, now has five shuttles a day to and from Boston's Logan Airport and four a day to and from Hartford's Bradley International Airport. The cost is $59 per person. The closest drop-off/pick-up to Jaffrey is Rindge, only six miles away. Times and full details are given at
For those not having a car but flying into Boston, this is the best option for getting closest to Jaffrey.

Before & After: Jaffrey is in the Monadnock Region of New Hampshire—the lower left corner of the state.
     For those who would like a nice climb you can spend a few hours going up and down Mt Monadnock, the summit of which is in Jaffrey. It's the second most climbed mountain in the world—so it's said—after Mt Fuji.
     Among the towns and villages worth visiting for a variety of reasons are Peterborough (restaurants and shops, an excellent bookshop), Keene (county seat, Keene State College, restaurants), Fitzwilliam (antiques), Dublin (famous summer colony in 1900s), Hancock (architecture, Hancock Inn), Harrisville (mill village, a National Historic Landmark). There are antiquarian bookshops in Fitzwilliam, Keene, Marlborough, Peterborough and Troy. See the NH Antiquarian Booksellers Association website.
     For those who wish to extend their stay, either before or after, there are a number of places worthy of a visit: Dartmouth College in Hanover (with its famous Stefansson polar collection), the Currier Museum in Manchester, the White Mountains, a variety of country inns and villages within an hour or so of Jaffrey offering picturesque drives. Boston, of course, offers many important cultural, sports and architectural attractions. Cape Cod and the Coast of Maine are not far away, either.

Questions or Comments Call us at 603-532-POLE (7653) or e-mail