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.

[115] nur noch Rillen in die Fußplatten zu feilen, damit der Theodolit immer wieder auf dieselbe Stelle kommt, im übrigen bin ich fertig zum Beobachten. Ich will aber noch nicht damit beginnen, weil ich erst in der Meteorologie und Aeronautik zu Resultaten kommen muß. – gegen Abend habe ich noch einige Farbaufnahmen gemacht, darunter eine Probe (Objkt. weißes Papier).

7. Sept. (Fr.) [1906] heute Früh habe ich den Thermographen mit Strahlungsschutz, der bis jetzt im Thermometerschrank stand, in der Tonne angebracht, und statt dessen einen der neuen Fueßschen Thermographen in die Hütte gesetzt. Die Nacht hindurch hatten sie beide sehr übereinstimmend geschrieben. – Dann war ich in Land und habe mit Koch Himmelsrichtungen festgelegt nach einer Azimutbeobachtung, die Koch gestern Abend ausrechnete. Ich brauchte diese Richtungen, um das

[115] to file grooves into the base plates so that the theodolite keeps coming back to the same place, otherwise I am ready to commence observations. However, I don’t want to begin yet, because I have to obtain meteorological and aeronautical results first. – In the evening I also made several color images, including a sample (object, white paper).

7 Sept. (Fri.) [1906] This morning I installed the thermograph with radiation protection, which had been in the thermometer cabinet until then, into the lookout barrel, and placed one of the Fuess thermographs in the hut instead. Their recordings had been very consistent throughout the night. – Then I went onto the land and determined compass directions with Koch according to an azimuth observation which Koch had calculated last night. I needed these compass points to

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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