Antarctic Heritage Trust conservators recently made a stunning discovery: a box of 22 exposed but unprocessed negatives, frozen in a block of ice for nearly one hundred years.
The negatives were recovered from a corner of a supply hut that British explorer Robert Falcon Scott established to support his doomed expedition to the South Pole from 1910-1913. Scott and his men reached the South Pole but died on the trip home.
The hut was next used by the Ross Sea Party of Sir Ernest Shackleton's 1914-1917 Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition after they were stranded on Ross Island when their ship, the Aurora, blew out to sea. This party is believed to have left behind the undeveloped negatives.
The cellulose nitrate negatives are seen here as they were found -- frozen in ice.
The Antarctic Heritage Trust tapped conservator Mark Strange to painstakingly separate, clean (including removing mold) and consolidate the 22 layers of film.
This recovered image shows Alexander Stevens, the chief scientist and geologist of the Ross Sea Party, on the deck of the Aurora in McMurdo Sound, Antarctica.
A view of Tent Island in McMurdo Sound. There is mold damage evident around the edges of the image.
This damaged photo shows Big Razorback Island in McMurdo Sound.
Alexander Stevens again poses on board the deck of the Aurora.
It was not until January 1917 that the Aurora returned to rescue the Ross Sea Party. By then three men had died, including Arnold Patrick Spencer-Smith, the team's photographer.
To see more images from the recovered negatives, visit the Antarctic Heritage Trust's website.