Virtual Exhibitions 2013, no. 2

The Wegener Diaries: Scientific Expeditions into the Eternal Ice

by Christian Kehrt

This virtual exhibition sheds light on Alfred Wegener's expeditions to Greenland between 1906 and 1931. Its main focus is on the diaries Wegener wrote during his explorations, which offer unique insights into the manifold challenges man and material faced in Greenland's extreme environments. You may choose to read the diaries in their original state, or browse the expeditions individually and read transcribed and translated excerpts by clicking on the tabs below.

Source: Alfred Wegener, Tagebücher, June 1906 – August 1908. DMA NL 001/005.

[114] angenehme Wirkung hat.

7. Sept. (Fr.) [1906] Gestern hatte ich folgende Arbeit: Früh Aufstellen von 2 Drachen, in der Hoffnung, dass das bischen Wind auffrischen würde. Statt dessen wurde es still und die beiden Dr. stehen nun gebrauchsfertig im Haus – leider nur ein sehr vorübergehender Zustand. Die Tage mit Drachenwind, die wir hier haben werden, werden leicht zu zählen sein. – So benutzte ich den Vormittag, um meine phot. Platten zu entwickeln, 12 schwarz- und 6 Farbplatten. – Leidlich gut.- Kurz nach dem Essen war ich fertig. Nachmittags untersuchte ich die Umgebung des magnet. Theodoliten mit einer der Kochschen Theodolit –Bussole auf größerer magnetische Störungen. Wie zu erwarten war, zeigte sich keine Störung, und ich kann also den Platz behalten. Nun habe ich

[114] physical well-being.

7 Sept. (Fri.) [1906] Yesterday I completed the following work: setting up two kites early in the day in the hope that the little wind that there was would pick up. Instead it died down and the two kites are now lying fully prepared in the house—unfortunately a very temporary condition. The days which we will have here with suitable kite winds will be very few in number. – I used the morning to develop my photographic plates instead, 12 black-and-white and 6 color plates. – Reasonably good. I was finished shortly after lunch. In the afternoon, I examined the surroundings of the magnetic theodolite with one of Koch’s theodolite compasses for significant magnetic disturbances. As expected, no disturbance was apparent, and I can thus keep the location. Now I only have

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Scanned diary: Used by permission of the Archives of the Deutsches Museum
Diary translation: Creative Commons License 2013 Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society