The data frozen for 100 years was recovered

[The text was translated automatically by Google Translate] When 100 years ago photographer Ernest Shackleton crew hid the box negatives, did not think that he would have to leave them forever in Antarctica. Locked in a small, wooden box, they froze and came to light only recently, after many hours of hard work maintenance.



Reading various examples of losing data one can come in amazement at the variety of ways in which data can be destroyed - and the fact that even though the data can be recovered - regardless of whether the media was lying months under water, he fell from the height of the upper limit of the atmosphere, suffered fire, was crushed thousands of tons of weight, or has been damaged by gastric fluids. The case of negatives from Shackleton expedition shows that the extreme cold, for 100 years operating in the media, does not necessarily mean that the data can not be recovered.


At the beginning of the twentieth century, Antarctica was the target of one of the last great race of explorers and travelers. The two greatest heroes of the era of Sir Ernest Shackleton were Captain Robert Falcon and Scott. Databases have built during the exploration of the Ross Sea region have survived to this day and are currently under the care of Antarctic Heritage Trust.

Ernest ShackletonIn the years 1914-1917, when the world was raging World War I, Shackleton and his crew he went just to the Antarctic, with a view to overcoming foot the entire width of Antarctica from the Weddell Sea to the Ross Sea, past the South Pole. He went on two ships: "Endurance" and "Aurora" - the main part of the expedition was to attack the pole from the Wendell Sea, while the slave, including Captain Aeneas Mackintosh, was supposed to throw a to the other end of the continent and go kind of "end", making storage of food and fuel that would help the main expedition to go 2900 km through the inhospitable icy wastelands. Unfortunately, because of the great piles of ice floes of the main heroes of the expedition never reached their destination and had to fight for survival. Their ship "Endurance" stuck among the first ice cream (February 1915), which skuły water, and then, in October of 1915 years sank, crushed by becoming thicker ice cover. The crew barely defeated 346 miles and got to the Isle d'Ivoire. Leaving there , most of the crew, Ernest Shackleton, along with five companions went for help. After many hardships they managed to reach the whaling station in Stromness, including being forced to leave three people before entering the last stage of the mountainous South Georgia.

British explorer Duncan Carse, who 40 years later he repeated crossing almost the same route as the last section of the route Shackleton, wrote: "I do not know how they have done it, except that they had to do it - three people from the heroic era of Antarctic exploration with 50-ma feet of rope between them and carpentry axes. "Thanks to this effort managed to save all 22 members of the main expedition.

In the meantime, the second part of the expedition under the command of Captain Aeneas Mackintosh, also survived the horror - although they were able to make these stores with food for the main expedition, but their ship, Aurora, jumped up anchor and sailed out to sea, and they themselves have to survive in a hut built by Scott's expedition earlier. After many months of drifting ship, the ship returned to New Zealand, it was probably soon after when he was rescued Shackleton - realizing what happened, Aurora sailed to save a member of the second expedition - unfortunately, in the meantime, three of its members, including captain Mackintosh, died.


It was one of the second part of the trip took pictures and then left on the island. Perhaps the confusion caused by the joy of saving, and perhaps because the photographer was one of the dead and told his companions about the pictures?

After so long nitrocellulose negatives were matted together into a block of ice.

Nitrocellulose negatives left by Shackleton's expedition in Scott's hut

Due to the clumping of the negatives in the body and the associated destruction was necessary special maintenance work. Antarctic Heritage Trust hired for the conservator Mark Strange, who undertook the task exhaustive separation, purification (including the mold) and merge layers of nitrocellulose images.

Separation of negatives

During operation discovered 22 sheets, which were renovated, and then sent to New Zealand Micrographic Services lab to scan them using a professional scanner before-printing Lanovia. Made scans of negatives, then converted to digital positives and thus the data has been recovered. After 100 years, we can see the unique Antarctic as if we were part of the expedition.

Since even so unique, extreme conditions in which the destruction of negatives, did not prevent skilled in recovering valuable data, the data on which they depend, the more you should think about how they can effectively destroy the data that should remain secret. One of the methods is to ensure that the chemical dissolving them with the help of technology LiquiDATA. Thanks to your data can remain safe.


  1. www.joemonster.org
  2. www.nzaht.org
  3. wikipedia.org

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