Geologist David Ferguson was employed by Christian Salvesen of Leith to make a geological survey of the region of worked by the company’s Antarctic whaling fleet. The object was to search for economic deposits of minerals. Ferguson first visited South Georgia from 7 January to 19 April 1912, and went south again a year later to visit the South Shetlands and Graham Land in the 1913-14 whaling season. A whalecatcher was put at his disposal.
Boxes containing glass negatives of his photographs were deposited with Salvesens in 1919 and eventually were transferred to the archives of the library of the University of Edinburgh. They are accompanied by a letter to Theodore Salvesen giving a very brief description of each photograph. Unfortunately the numbering of the negatives was based on their position in the box rather than by marking them. They are now out of order. Conservation and scanning of the negatives, funded by the South Georgia Association, has allowed most photographs to be identified by people familiar with South Georgia, the South Shetlands and the Antarctic Peninsula region.
If you can add to anything we know about the photographs, please do let us know.
All photos courtesy of the Centre for Research Collections, University of Edinburgh University, where you can find the digitised collection online HERE (opens in a new tab)