Andrée’s final diary in the laboratory

The Academy of Sciences is responsible for a deposition from SSAG – the Andrée expedition’s diaries and photographs, while other material found is to be found at the Andrée Museum in Gränna. Now, a few pages in Andrée’s second and last diary have been examined at the National Heritage Board’s Cultural Heritage Laboratory in Visby with exciting results.

The researcher Bea Uusma (KI Hagströmerbiblioteket) has for several years researched the Andrée expedition which failed in its attempt to fly over the North Pole with a hydrogen balloon in 1897 and during difficult times walked back South over the ice until ultimately dying on Vitön just north of Svalbard. The remains of the expedition were found during a varm summer in 1930 and were taken care of and could tell the tale of their fate. At that time, the diaries were examined by e.g. The Svedberg and the film could be developed analoguely. The photographs were later digitized then without being cropped, which gave good results. Now the time had come for Uusma’s initiative to use available techniques at the Cultural Heritage Laboratory to investigate whether more of the text in the last of Andrée’s diaries (text on 5 very damaged pages) could be obtained. The preliminary results point to that and we look forward to what the research can come up with the help of this. Several techniques were tested, including XRF, technical photography and X-ray. Above all, it is the possibility of digital image processing to produce more readable results now than was possble in 1930.

Investigation with XRF