THE NATIONAL ANTARCTIC EXPEDITION LIBRARY
[Catalogue of Books of the "Discovery" 1901] London: William Clowes & Sons Ltd., 1901. 8° (22.3 x 15cm). Collation: B-D8 (p. National Antarctic Expedition Library. List of Cabins and of Pressmarks, p. blank, pp.-33 List of Books, p. imprint, 14pp. blank). (Appreciable creasing and light soiling to upper outer corners of first four leaves.) Original blue/grey paper wrappers, letterpress title on upper cover (light soiling and discolouration, small tears to extremities).
AN UNRECORDED PRINTED ITEM FROM SCOTT'S FIRST EXPEDITION. The nature of the pamphlet suggests that it was printed for use on board the Discovery, and would therefore have been produced in very small numbers. If a copy was placed in each of the cabins, the mess deck and the ward room, with perhaps a handful for administrative purposes then a total no more than 20 seems likely. The list of books is ordered by subject ('Biographical', 'Travel', etc.), under these sub-headings the books are listed alphabetically by author, in three columns ('Title', 'Author', 'Press-mark'). In addition there is a final 2pp. section of expedition reports listed alphabetically by country, in two columns ('Title', 'Press-mark'). The choice of titles and their placing on the ship gives an interesting insight into both the interests of the occupants of the various cabins and the officer classes view of what would be suitable reading on the mess deck. A 49 volume group of Challenger reports (distributed amongst 5 of the scientific staff), a 48 volume set of Sir Walter Scott's works (all in Scott's cabin), 35 volumes of Punch (all on the mess deck) and many (if not all) of Sir Clements Markham's works (distributed throughout the ship) would perhaps have been the most visible titles.