Skip to main content

"Polar diaries" and slides documenting David Sugden's research expeditions, 1962-2022

Identifier: Coll-2044/2

Scope and Contents

This series contains six original travel and research notebooks, seven printed and edited diaries, and four boxes of slides, all documenting David Sugden's field work and research expeditions throughout his career, mainly to Antarctica and the South Shetland Islands, the Falkland Islands, East Greenland, and the Pindus Mountains, Greece.

There are six original diaries, in notebooks:

  1. "South Shetlands, 1965-66. I"
  2. "South Shetlands, 1965-66. II"
  3. "31/2 months in Antarctica 1978/79. Diary"
  4. "Diary. Assard M[oun]t[ains]. Antarctica 1989-90."
  5. "Sarnokk M[oun]t[ain]s. Marie Byrd Land. 2001"
  6. "Ellsworth M[oun]t[ains (Fieldnotes). 2012/13"

The printed copies are edited diaries, entitled "Polar Diaries" by the author. Created in 2020/22.

  1. Antarctic Adventure, South Shetland Islands, 1965-1966. This was a nine-month trip by Brian John and David Sugden, and is an insight into how remote camping based of ship movements was carried out at the time. Edited diary.
  2. Three and a half months in Antarctica, 1978-79. This was a trip to the Antarctic Peninsula with professor Chalmers Clapperton, and tells of the limited contact with home. Edited diary.
  3. Three visits to South Georgia and the Falkland Islands, 1965-66, 1975, and 1985. This spans the conflict with Argentina and my involvement and those of Sugden's research students before and during the invasion. An account.
  4. Three research visits to Antarctica, 2001, 2007/8, and 2012-13. Diary to Marie Byrd Land, a season with a broken leg, and a blog describing three months' work in the Ellsworth Mountains.
  5. Research in the McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica, 1989-1999. Four trips with the USARP [United States Antarctic Program]. Diary of the first trip, account of the others.
  6. In the Arctic, Oxford University Expedition to East Greenland, 1962. David Sugden's diary.
  7. Traverse of the Pindus Mountains, Greece, 1963. A hard walk and village survey with Sir John Hunt and Duke of Edinburgh Award holders.

The slides, some of which were used to illustrate the diaries, are well organised and labelled in their four custom boxes:

  1. “Antarctic, 1965-1966”. Slides divided in the following sections: “wild life”, “Antarctic Peninsula”, “South Shetlands King George I[sland] (inc. Fildes Pen[insula])”, “Antarctic. South Shetlands. Central Islands”, “South Shetlands. Livingston I[sland] (mainly Byers Peninsula)”, “Livingston I[sland]”, “Antarctic Adventure. Slides used in diary record”, and “Antarctic Adventure. Slides from diary”.
  2. “South Georgia / Falklands. 1965/6. 1975. 1985”. Slides divided in the following sections: “South Georgia Scenery”, “South Georgia Camps / War relics”, “South Georgia Science work”, “South Georgia wildlife”, and “Falklands Gen[eral]”.
  3. “Dry Valleys 1990s. Antarctic 1989-1999”. Slides divided in the following sections: “Camps, Historical Huts”, “Helos [Helicopters]”, “Gen[eral] views”, “wildlife”, “Camps”, and “Gen[eral]”.
  4. “31/2 months in Antarctica. 1978-1979”. Slides divided in the following sections: “Ablation Valley 1978-79 Alexander I[slands]”, “Journey out Rothera 1978 Fossil Blutt 1978”, “Ablation point Geomorph[ology] and general, 1978-1979 season”, “2-step Cliffs 1979”, “Batterbee M[oun]t[ains]. 1979”, “Ablation P[oin]t General, 1978-79”, “Rothera 1979 Feb”, “Maps. Images”, and “HMS Endurance. 1979. Ant. Penin[sula] Low I[sland]s”.


  • Creation: 1962-2022


13 notebooks

4 boxes

Repository Details

Part of the University of Edinburgh Library Heritage Collections Repository

Centre for Research Collections
University of Edinburgh Main Library
George Square
Edinburgh EH8 9LJ Scotland
+44(0)131 650 8379