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Race to the South Pole: Topics in Chronicling America

In 1912, newspapers reported two rival expeditions in a race to the South Pole-- only one would survive. This guide provides access to material related to the "Race to the South Pole" in the Chronicling America digital collection of historic newspapers.


Robert F. Scott (left) and Roald Amundsen (right). April 18, 1912. The Hope Pioneer (Hope, ND), Image 12. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers.

Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen and British explorer Robert F. Scott compete for the last great geographical discovery prize of the world- the South Pole. However, treacherous conditions quickly make the journey dangerous. Read more about it!

The information in this guide focuses on primary source materials found in the digitized historic newspapers from the digital collection Chronicling America.

The timeline below highlights important dates related to this topic and a section of this guide provides some suggested search strategies for further research in the collection.


September 1909 The North Pole is discovered, and Robert F. Scott announces his South Pole expedition on the Terra Nova.
March 7, 1912 Roald Amundsen reports by telegram that is expedition successfully reached the South Pole in December 1911.
April 1912-February 1913 Reports indicate that Scott did not reach the Pole before Amundsen.
February 13, 1913 Robert Scott and members of his party perish.