Sponsors: The Antarctic Circle and The California Contingent
Co-Sponsors: The Northern California Chapter of The Explorers Club

Launched: 6 November 2019.         Last updated: 8 September 2021

Accessed at least many times since 6 November 2019.

Contact: Robert Stephenson, Coordinator, The Antarctic Circle.
    Library Tel: 603-532-POLE (7653).
    Cell/Mobile Tel: 603-933-2471.
    E-mail: antarctic-circle@comcast.net
    Alternative E-address: 5327653@gmail.com
    Download a printable one-page flyer.

Principles of the SouthPole-sium
Registration information and Form
Those who have registered
Those who are planning to attend, have expressed interest in doing so or are unable to
Subjects of talks proposed to be presented so far
Subject ideas for talks that might be presented
San Francisco Bay Area
Our venues
Accommodation options
Saturday or Sunday Excursion
Updates & E-mails


When: June 22nd-24th, 2022.

San Francisco Bay Area California

Organizers/Sponsors: The Antarctic Circle (Robert Stephenson, Coordinator) and the California Contingent (Joan Boothe, Alice Cochran, Rick Dehmel, David Hirzel and Michael Rosove).

We welcome co-sponsors (individuals, organizations, businesses). Their donations will allow the SouthPole-sium to break even! Contact antarctic-circle@comcast.net if you are interested in helping out.

Inspiration: The annual (October) Shackleton Autumn School in Athy, Ireland. Inspiration but not duplication. See www.antarctic-circle.org/athy.htm)
• And, of course, the first SouthPole-sium held 15-17 June 2012 in Jaffrey, New Hampshire (see www.antarctic-circle.org/gathering.htm);
• The second SouthPole-sium held 1-4 May 2015 in Craobh Haven, Scotland (see www.antarctic-circle.org/gathering2.htm);
• The third SouthPole-sium held 12-14 May 2017 in Oslo, Norway (see www.antarctic-circle.org/gathering3.htm) and
• The fourth SouthPole-sium held 7-9 June 2019 in Dublin, Ireland (see www.antarctic-circle.org/gathering4.htm)
• The fifth (v.4.5) SouthPole-sium held 26 June 2021 Virtually (see www.antarctic-circle.org/gathering4.5.htm)

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, cartography, poetry, music, et al.
     95% 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 v.5, 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 (see above) 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 (15-20 minute) presentations on their subject(s) of interest or by actively participating in the discussions or by generally helping out in the running of the event. Although a bit unstructured this seemed to work well in Jaffrey, Craobh Haven, Oslo and Dublin. Any attendee reading a paper may be sent packing!
     Those wishing to make presentations should contact the Coordinator (Rob Stephenson) who will forward the information on to the California Contingent. This time around we will ask several attendees to organize ahead of time some talks around some common subject thread and to moderate the resulting sessions (see below 'Volunteer Opportunities').

Venues: The main venue for Thursday will be the Maritime Research Center (Maritime Library) at the Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture; for Friday, the David Rumsey Map Center at Stanford University, 37 miles south of San Francisco. For more on the David Rumsey Map Center see https://www.davidrumsey.com
And have a look at some of the Center's holdings on the Antarctic.

Likely Attendees: Bookcollectors, booksellers, librarians, archivists, writers & publishers, historians. Amateurs more than academics. Attendance will be limited to the number that the venues can accommodate, a maximum of 60. (At the previous SouthPole-siums the attendance ranged between 43 and 66.)
     To see the names of those who have said they're coming or who have expressed interest (or not), click here.

Cost: There will be two registration options. The prices have yet to be set but full registration is unlikely to exceed $350.

A) "The Full Monty" This covers all materials and all events on all days (Reception on Wednesday, all Sessions, Lunches & Breaks on Thursday and Friday, Banquet on Thursday, Bus tour on Friday to and from Stanford).

B) "Social" This covers the Wednesday reception, the Thursday banquet and the Friday bus excursion to Stanford. Not included: Thursday sessions, breaks and lunch on Thursday. This option is mainly for spouses. The cost is yet to be set but will be less than option A.

The cost of registration may go up in all categories after May 1st, 2022.

     Not included in the registration is accommodation.
     (One of the principles of the SouthPole-sium is that everyone attending pays the registration and no one attending gets paid to do so.) Two exceptions were made at the first SouthPole-sium to persons who contributed much in kind. One person fell into this category in Scotland in return for services rendered.
     Cancellation: In the past, full refunds were given up to a week before the start of the SouthPole-sium and partial refunds after that. The same will hold true this time.
     No sponsorships, grants, donations, etc., were solicited for the first SouthPole-sium. Several co-sponsors came forward in Scotland, some in the sense of having to cancel but not asking to have their registration fees returned. Co-sponsors are welcomed and are are invited to donate the equivalent of $100 or more.

Currency Conversion: The costs associated with the SouthPole-sium will be stated in US Dollars. If you are not paying in dollars you should make certain that your payment equals the dollar amount.

Registration: Registration will commence on January 31, 2022. In earlier SouthPole-siums the maximum number was set at 100. In no instance did we approach that number (Jaffrey, 59; Craobh Haven 63, Oslo 66, Dublin 43). The total attendance for SouthPole-sium v.5 will be limited to 60. Registration will be on a 'first come, first served' basis with past SouthPole-sium attendees being given priority. If you're not on the list, and the number reaches the maximum, you'll probably be out-of-luck.

         • Registration fees may be paid in US dollars or UK sterling. ($ checks should be made out to 'The Antarctic Circle.' £ cheques should be made out to 'Robert B. Stephenson.') Direct deposits in sterling may be made to a Royal Bank of Scotland account. One may also use PayPal.
Information on these options will be included on the Registration Form.

         • Registration information and Form. [Will be available on January 31, 2022.]

         • To see who has registered, click here. [ Will be activated after January 31, 2022.]

Conference Packet: Each attendee will receive a packet to include an agenda/schedule, a list of expected attendees with contact details (for those who wish to make them known), a name badge, one or more specially produced keepsakes and any catalogues, papers, etc., that attendees might wish to make available beforehand.

Expected numbers: A minimum of 40, and up to 60. The smaller the number, the easier it will be to have meaningful discussions with a maximum involvement on the part of the participants. This will also simplify logistics, meals, etc. The preliminary budget with a contingency suggests that 50 attendees represents the break-even point and the goal is to break even. The organizers/sponsors will not profit from this.

Honoraria, etc.: None. Registration, transportation and accommodation will be paid for by all participants. The only exception in Scotland was that one attendee who had the registration waived in return for services rendered.

Group Photograph: At some point during the gathering (tentatively 2pm on Thursday) we'll set up a group photograph which will be placed on the website and will be downloadable. Also, it would be nice to have someone who is willing to take photographs throughout the SouthPole-sium. These will be placed on the website as well. Any volunteer photographers? (In Scotland, Oslo and Dublin, Cathy Cooper did a great job!).

Volunteer Opportunities: Organizing and managing the SouthPole-sium is a largely volunteer undertaking. It will be pretty much under control up to the point that it actually happens. That's when some volunteer help will be very much appreciated. Among the tasks:
• Assisting at the Wednesday reception which will be at Joan Boothe's house.

• A variety of setting-up tasks first thing Thursday morning.

Registration and greeting attendees Wednesday evening and Thursday morning.


Organizing and Moderating a multi-presenter session. We expect 'The California Contingent' (The Organizing Committee) to handle this.

Photography (as indicated above).

Auctioneer and Assistant Auctioneer (to keep track of the lots and collect the money) We may hold an auction sometime on Thursday. This will depend on attendees and organizations donating books, Antarctic related items and ephemera. The Auctions in Scotland, Oslo and Dublin were enjoyed by all.

Quizmaster (present the answers and the prizes). We're hoping to have at least one quiz.

Master of ceremonies at the Thursday evening banquet. Rick Dehmel was terrific in Scotland and Oslo and Joe O'Farrell was superb in Dublin.

After Dinner Speakers.

Music. Will we have any musicians amongst us?

Agenda / Schedule:
To see the tentative version go to gathering5-agenda.pdf.

Saturday or Sunday Excursion: If there is sufficient interest and the costs are reasonable a bus excursion may be planned for either Saturday or Sunday. This could be to wine country, up the coast, around Silicon Valley, over to the East Bay, etc. The California Contingent will look into some of the possibilities.

Displays/Exhibits: Some of the booksellers and publishers attending the first four SouthPole-siums set up modest stalls of books for sale. And attendees were invited to bring duplicates for sale or trade. The California Contingent will investigate whether there is appropriate space at the Maritime Library (Maritime Research Center) to do this.

Auction: An Antarctic book and artifact auction may be held—probably at the Thursday banquet if the logistics can be worked out—but it will depend on attendees and others bringing things to add to the sale. It was great fun in Scotland, Oslo and Dublin. Items may be donated by attendees with the proceeds going to support the costs of the SouthPole-sium.
         Some of those items that will be auctioned are shown here.

Dress: The SouthPole-siums in the past have been informal dress-wise. Some may wish to dress up a bit for the Wednesday reception and the Thursday evening banquet.

AV, etc.: Computers, projectors and a sound system will be available during the day-time sessions and at the banquet.

Presentation Files: Any attendee who plans to project anything on a screen (PowerPoint, Keynote, images, etc.) should, if possible, get the file(s) to Rob Stephenson prior to the gathering. This should minimize glitches. If you are bringing your own laptop be certain that you have the correct connectors and dongles. If you bring files on a CD, DVD, or thumbdrive, make certain that they can be accessed and shown on a Macintosh Air with the most up-to-date system. We will have a Windows laptop available as well.

WiFi: We expect that the venues will have WiFi available.

Accommodation: A list of suggested hotels in the area of Fisherman's Wharf and the Maritime Research Center will be developed. Ideally one hotel might be found that could serve as the "unofficial offical" SouthPole-sium hotel. And we will try to come up with some "homestay" options.

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.

Moderated Sessions: At the first SouthPole-sium, a moderated session kind of materialized on its own. David Stam was the one who got it going. The focus: "What to do with your collection when you're on the way out?" Give it to an institution? Sell it? Consign it to auction? And so on. We had some spirited discussion.
         What moderated sessions might work this time around? The state of Antarctic book collecting today? Books yet to be written? Works-in-progress? Have a look at Subject Ideas for Talks that might be Presented and Subjects of Talks proposed to be Presented so Far. What do you think?

Book Launch(es): 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 may be put on the antarctic-circle website, including the names of attendees, photographs, etc. Individual participants may 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.

Keepsakes: As in the past one or more Keepsakes will be prepared which attendees will receive in their conference packets.

Contests: Past SouthPole-siums have featured a variety of contests. Participation has been spotty at best. Stay tuned.

Things to do Before, During & After: There are many things to do and see in the Bay Area but not a great many with Antarctic connections.

Questions or Comments Call Rob Stephenson at 603-532-POLE (7653). This is a landline. Or ring 603-933-2471 which is a cell/mobile line.
Rob can also take international calls via WhatsApp or Apple's Facetime using +1 603-933-2471.
E-mail: antarctic-circle@comcast.net
Alternative e-address: 5327653@gmail.com