Launched: 1 February 2014.         Last updated: 23 February 2015.

Accessed at least many times since 1 February 2014.

Contact: Robert Stephenson, Coordinator, The Antarctic Circle.
    Library Tel: 603-532-POLE (7653).
    Home Tel: 603-532-6066.
    Alternative E-mail:     Download a printable one-page flyer.

link Yes, against my better judgment, we're now on Facebook.

NEW     Logistics & Sharing

Principles of the SouthPole-sium
Registration information and Form
Those who have registered
Those who are planning to attend
Those who have expressed interest in attending
Subjects of talks proposed to be presented so far
Subject ideas for talks that might be presented
Craobh Haven
Lunga House, our venue
Accommodation options
Links relative to Scotland
Wardroom Dinners on board the Discovery in Dundee
Updates & E-mails
Comments from those contacted


When: Friday - Monday, 1-4 May 2015.

Craobh Haven, Argyll, Scotland.

Organizers/Sponsors: The Antarctic Circle (Robert Stephenson, Coordinator) and Falcon Scott. The following are kindly co-sponsoring the SouthPole-sium through donations: Don Webster (New Zealand), Janice Tipping (England), Maggs Bros. Booksellers (England).

Inspiration: The annual (October) Shackleton Autumn School in Athy, Ireland. (Inspiration but not duplication.) And, of course, the first SouthPole-sium held 15-17 June 2012 in Jaffrey, New Hampshire. See

Subject Focus: In approximately descending order: Books, Bookcollecting, Bibliography, Writing & Publishing, Expedition publications, Diaries & Journals, in addition to related subjects within the areas of history, art, photography, poetry, music.
     95% Antarctic (pressure from bi-polar bibliophiles has led to the insertion of a minuscule window for Arcticana, preferably tied-in somehow with the Antarctic).
     To see some comments on the early planning of the SouthPole-sium, click here.

Non-focus: Science, political issues, Arctic (except as above).

Concept: The SouthPole-sium is being organized as an informal and enjoyable opportunity for those interested or involved in the Subject Focus to come together, meet one another, trade ideas and pursue common interests. In other words, the SouthPole-sium will be something of an extended "bull session," social hour, and networking opportunity.

Approach: All attendees will be encouraged to participate, either by giving short (15 minute) presentations on their subject(s) of interest or by actively participating in the discussions. This seemed to work reasonably well in Jaffrey. Any attendee reading a paper will be sent packing!
     Those wishing to make presentations should contact the Coordinator. This time around we will ask several attendees to organize ahead of time some talks around some common subject thread and to moderate the resulting sessions.

Venue: "Lunga House is a fine old Scottish Country House, originally a 16th century Tower House. Castellated, turreted and set on green lawns amidst tangled woodland. The house benefits from stunning views of the sea stretching from the Corryvreckan to Loch Melford encompassing the islands of Jura, Scarba, Luing, Shuna and beyond to the mountains of Mull." It overlooks Craobh Haven which is within reasonable walking distance. The Ballroom will be the scene of most sessions and the Saturday night banquet. There is a large dining room, two lounges and thirteen en suite bedrooms. We will have exclusive use of the entire facility during the SouthPole-sium.
Because of size constraints the gathering will be limited to 100 attendees.
For much more on Lunga click here.
Also, have a look at Lunga's website.

Likely Attendees: Bookcollectors, booksellers, librarians, archivists, writers & publishers, historians. Amateurs more than academics. To see the names of those who have said they're coming or who have expressed interest, click here.

To see who has registered, click here.

Cost: £110. It's possible that a surcharge of up to £25 may be added if the numbers registered fail to reach 75, the approximate break-even point. The goal is to just cover logistical expenses, rentals, lunches, receptions, Saturday banquet, refreshments at breaks, etc. Companions/spouses only interested in the social and evening events may register for £75. (If it happens that the number of registrants begins to approach the ceiling of 100, additional companions/spouses may be turned away in order to accommodate those who wish to attend all the events.)
(One of the principles of the SouthPole-sium is that everyone attending pays the registration and no one attending gets paid to do so.) Two exceptions were made at the first SouthPole-sium to persons who contributed much in kind. The same may be the case in Scotland but only in return for services rendered. Both organizers/sponsors intend to pay the full fee.
Full refunds will be given up to a week before the start of the SouthPole-sium; partial refunds—perhaps—after that.
No sponsorships, grants, donations, etc., were solicited for the first SouthPole-sium. This possibility might be looked at as a way to keep the cost from exceeding £100. Any potential donors out there?

Registration: Registration will commence at the end of June 2014. (Check this website for the exact date as it approaches.) However, those likely to attend are encouraged to send an e-mail to that effect, without obligation. Registration will be on a 'first come, first served' basis. If you're not on the list, and the number reaches 100, you'll probably be out-of-luck.
Registration fees may be paid by US dollar and Sterling checks.
Registration information and Form

Registration Packet: Each attendee will receive a packet to include an agenda/schedule, a list of expected attendees with contact details (for those who wish to make them known), one or more specially produced keepsakes, and any catalogues, papers, etc., that attendees might wish to make available beforehand.

Expected numbers: A minimum of 50, and up to but not exceeding 100. The smaller the number, the easier it will be to have meaningful discussion with a maximum involvement on the part of the participants. This will also simplify logistics, meals, etc. The preliminary budget with a contingency suggests that 75 attendees represents the break-even point and the goal is to break even. The organizers/sponsors will not profit from this.

Honoraria, etc.: None. Registration, transportation and accommodation will be paid for by all participants. The only exception is one or two attendees who may have their registration waived in return for services rendered.

Group Photograph: At some point during the weekend we'll set up a group photograph which will be placed on the website and will be downloadable. Any volunteer photographers?

Proposed Schedule: (All events at Lunga House unless otherwise indicated. This is very preliminary and subject to changes, additions and deletions.)
For a more detailed schedule click here.

FRIDAY (1 May 2015)
Registration, informal discussions, socializing during morning and afternoon, for early arrivals.
Opening reception. Probably 6pm. Either at Lunga House or down on the shore (somewhat weather dependent). The reception will morph into a barbecue or other type of light supper.
Possibly some sort of entertainment; perhaps by one or more of the attendees; perhaps some traditional Scottish music. Show & Tell

SATURDAY (2 May 2015)
Welcome by the sponsors. 'Housekeeping' items. Some words on Lunga House & Craobh Haven. Attendees introduce themselves and their interests (morning). Followed if time by short presentations, book launch(es).
Lunch. Sandwiches, etc.
Afternoon. Expanded talk (40 minutes) on Scotland in the Antarctic by Bob Headland. Followed by short presentations (up to 15 minutes) through the end of the day.
Evening. Reception followed by the Banquet, concluding with a ceilidh and/or other entertainment. Short after-dinner talk on Scurvy by Bob Burton.

SUNDAY (3 May 2015)
Continuation of Saturday's short presentations and discussions including one or more moderated sessions. Book launch(es).
Perhaps a short excursion of some sort near the end of the day.
Drinks and something to eat at The Lord of the Isles pub down in the village (cost not included in registration).

MONDAY (4 May 2015, Bank Holiday)
Continuation of Sunday's presentations and discussions.
Lunch. Sandwiches, etc., followed by wrap-up discussions and farewells. Book launch(es). The SouthPole-sium will formally adjourn by 3pm, though many attendees will still be present and can do as they please.

NOTE: We will strive to keep talks to 15 minutes. This was a challenge at the first SouthPole-sium. There will be one longer talk by Bob Headland as noted above.

Displays/Exhibits: Some of the booksellers and publishers attending the SouthPole-sium may wish to set up modest stalls of books for sale. And attendees are invited to bring duplicates for sale or trade. Tables will be provided if needed. A separate lockable room at Lunga House will be made available for this.
Those wishing to bring art, photographs, etc., (theirs or others) for display and/or sale are encouraged to do so. But let us know ahead of time so that space can be made available.

Dress: The SouthPole-sium will be informal so no need to pack jackets or party dresses, unless you want to. That said, some may wish to be a little dressier for the Banquet. Of course, if you have a kilt or other Scottish apparel, bring it along!

AV, etc.: Computers and projectors will be available. If you have a computer projector and are travelling to the SouthPole-sium by car, you might consider bring it along as a backup. Parts of the SouthPole-sium may be recorded (both audio and video). An excellent two-disc video of the first SouthPole-sium was produced by Tom Henderson (who says he's coming to v.2) and is still available for purchase at a very attractive price. Go to

WiFi: Lunga House—our venue—has WiFi in the public areas.

Accommodation: There are many options for places to stay. The obvious one is Lunga House itself which has 13 bedrooms, all en suite. Some of the rooms have more than one bed. The charge per night for B&B is £40, based on a minimum of two sharing a room. Single occupancy is £70. There are also three cottages on the estate accommodating 6, 4 and 2 persons, respectively. Lunga House also has a cottage in the village that accommodates six. (All the rooms on the estate will be held for those attending the SouthPole-sium so be sure to mention that you are attending when you make your booking.) There is no reason you can't make a booking now; I've made mine! To book, ring 01294 279597 or e-mail
NOTE: The rooms and cottages at Lunga House and at the pub in Craobh Haven are now fully booked by those attending the SouthPole-sium. You still might check, though, as cancellations may have occurred.
     Links to other local accommodation may be found here.

Website: A portion of the antarctic-circle website is devoted to the SouthPole-sium, the schedule, the names of the registrants, details on accommodation, etc. If you are reading this now, you're probably on the website.

Facebook: Yes, we've succumbed. We have a Facebook page on which we'll be posting news from time-to-time.

Book Launch(es): If possible, one or more books will be launched (or otherwise presented) at the SouthPole-sium with the author(s) talking briefly about their work and selling/signing copies. Let us know if you have a book to launch or highlight.

Proceedings: A summary of the weekend will be put on the antarctic-circle website, including the names of attendees, photographs, video. Individual participants will be encouraged to submit summaries of their remarks on appropriate subjects, whether presented or not, which will be put on the site as well. There will be no printed proceedings.

Haiku Contest: Have you ever come upon an Antarctic haiku? We'll have a contest with some valuable prize for the winning entry. All entries will go on the website. Those submitted at the first SouthPole-sium were pretty dreadful. I hope they're better this time around. Start sending them in anytime. Entries Received.
What the heck. Let's have a …

Limerick Contest: too. Bawdy or otherwise.

Fiction Contest: Write up to 600 words beginning with this: "It was Scott's 43rd birthday which called for a celebration. The Cape Evans hut was festooned with sledge flags and the table was spread with enticing food and drink. Ted Wilson leaned over to Scott and whispered in his ear…"

Favorite Photos: Pick up to three of your favorite or most interesting Antarctic and/or book photos and we'll project them for your explanation and comment. E-mail the images ahead of time.

Access to Craobh Haven: Lunga House is on the outskirts of Craobh Haven which is in Argyll in western Scotland. Here are some distances and driving times:
Glasgow Airport to Craobh Haven: 97 miles, 2 hours 13 minutes.
Edinburgh to Craobh Haven: 136 miles, 3 hour 19 minutes.
Craobh Haven to Dundee: 132 miles, 3 hours 16 minutes.
There is rail service from Glasgow Queen Street to Oban which is about 20 miles north of Craobh Haven, from where you can take a taxi (estimated cost £45), bus or arrange a pick up. By bus, most long distance services terminate at Lochgilphead or Oban. The local Oban to Lochgilphead service runs 3-4 times a day on the main road, and only one daily service extends to Craobh Haven village itself (the school bus!).
With some foreknowledge, though, some car pooling might be arranged for those driving from the south or for those flying into Glasgow or Edinburgh. A section of the website could easily be created to post "ride wanted" or "ride available" information.

Things to do Before, During & After: Craobh Haven is in a lovely part of Scotland and there are plenty of sites, sights and attractions to visit before, during or after the SouthPole-sium: Museums, Castles, Canals, Antiquities, Boat trips, Fishing, Gardens, Walks, Riding, Clay pigeon shooting, et al.
For some ideas, click here. (Twelve of us are chartering a boat to take us around the Outer Hebrides for the week following the SouthPole-sium. You could arrange something similar.)

We have bookings for catered dinners in the Wardroom of Scott's Discovery in Dundee. The dates are: Monday 4 May and/or Tuesday 5 May. The Tuesday option is now filled but there still is space on Monday night. Click here for further details.

Questions or Comments Call us at 603-532-POLE (7653) or e-mail