Item 77 is a touching letter from Mrs. Emily Shackleton to Adolphus Greely from 1922. Her husband, Ernest Shackleton, was perhaps the greatest of Antarctic explorers, though his name may not be as well known today as some others for want of achieving notable “firsts.” Greely was an American military officer who led an Arctic expedition many years earlier. Shackleton had first traveled to Antarctica on one of Robert Falcon Scott's expeditions, and followed by leading three of his own. On his second, in 1909, he reached farther south than anyone before, though not making it to the pole. Shackleton was knighted for this accomplishment. After Amundsen did reach the pole two years later, Shackleton set out to achieve something still not accomplished, a journey through the pole across the continent. This expedition ran from 1914-1917 but did not achieve its objective. Nonetheless, it made Shackleton even more of a hero as they were able to survive terrible hardships without loss of life. Shackleton led one more trip to Antarctica, a 1921 expedition without clear goals. Unfortunately, he suffered a heart attack and died shortly after arrival while moored off of South Georgia Island. Emily Shackleton chose to have her husband buried there as it was near the site of his greatest triumphs. This letter is a thank you from Emily to Greely for the sympathies he expressed in a letter to her. She writes that his sympathy “touches me more than I can express,” and “I am glad you approved of him being buried at South Georgia. I thought he would have liked it best.” Mrs Shackleton continues, “It is just over a year since we said 'goodbye' to each other. I had no thought of any possible illness for him he seemed to bear a charmed life. I would have given anything to have been with him to the last. He seemed to have been swept away from me and it is so hard to be brave. I feel utterly lost and 'lonely,' as you say with such understanding sympathy.” Undoubtedly, Emily Shackleton understood the risks her husband faced, but dying from a heart attack at the age of 47 was not likely one she contemplated. $1,850.
Item 34 is a share certificate for the Trans-Antarctic Expedition of 1955-1958. It was headed by Edmund Hillary, who had recently been the first to scale Mt. Everest, and George Lowe. They have each signed the certificate. It was given to patrons who donated at least 5 shillings to the cause. A photo of Hillary, a map of Antarctica, and other features are depicted on it. This expedition achieved the first trans-Antarctica crossing through the South Pole, and was the first to reach that pole in 45 years, the last previous being Scott's arrival at the pole only a few weeks after Amundsen. $500.