Antarctic Geological Field Notebooks

Geoscience Australia and its predecessor organisations, including the Bureau of Mineral Resources (B.M.R.), have a long and rich history of contributing to the geological discovery and mapping of Antarctica.

Geoscience Australia field notebook
Ian McLeod, David Trail and Graham Wallis working in the Taylor Glacier, Antarctica in 1965.
Source: Geoscience Australia

View the Notebooks

As part of the standard issue equipment for a trip to Antarctica, each geologist took with them a distinctive red field notebook. The field notebooks were filled with the initial geological observations of the continent, observations that were often made by the first person in history to set foot on that part of Antarctica.

Some of the early notebooks also contain information about the living conditions in Antarctica, including the food and equipment rations and examples of messages to and from home sent using the unique telegraphic codes affectionately known as WYSSAs.

The notebooks in this collection are located in Geoscience Australia’s N.H. (Doc) Fisher Geoscience Library in Canberra and are a valuable source of scientific and historical data to researchers. 

Find out more about Geoscience Australia's Antarctic Heroes and explore the interactive map, or see Dr Chris Carson talk about Geoheritage in the Larsemann Hills.

Explore Geoscience Australia's current role in Antarctica.