Desk calendar, 1928

Object reference: RA 0187

Height: 9.5 cm

Length : 21.0 cm

Width: 14.0 cm

Materials: wood, metal, paper

Style / Maker: Bloc Shannon / Unis Shannon France

In the Uranienborg study is a French desk calendar on which some of Roald Amundsen’s last notes are written. It has been there on his desk since he left home for the final time on 16 June 1928. Only thirteen pages bear his notes, with the last made on 11 June, but there is also a note written on the back of the page for 9 July, apparently by Roald’s nephew, Gustav “Goggen” Amundsen.

Foto: Follo museum, MiA
B. 28/3
The fjord ice breaks up at 2 pm
First butterfly
White wagtail today
Has been seen in the “village” Easter Eve [Easter Saturday] — 7th
First hepatica
— bumblebee
Excavation of basement begun
Lovely warm summer day
W. sets outs Byrd’s sledges
The first birch comes out
Sowed vegetables
The cuckoo
The swallows are building
Hassel died 5.15 pm
Prentice. 12 noon
Jugcord N4.
Italias crew needs immediate assistance. Stop. Can get suitable plane & best possible pilot & fly there in very short time. Stop. I need $ 60,000. Will your friends finance this.
On the reverse of the page for 9.7.1928 is what looks like a draft of a telegram that Gustav “Goggen” Amundsen sent to Fritz Gottlieb Zapffe on 20.7.1928. The telegram itself is now kept at the National Library of Norway. Photo: Follo museum, MiA.

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Photograph, unidentified woman

Object reference: RA 0679

Height:  19.3 cm

Width: 11.5 cm

Materials: glass, wood, paper

Portrait photograph in gold coloured frame. The mount is embossed with a medallion bearing a Gothic letter L.
Pictured is a young woman in a dark walking suit, with hat and muff. We still don’t know her identity or why her photograph is in Roald Amundsen’s home.


Photograph, unidentified woman

Object reference: RA 0672

Height:  10.7 cm

Width: 7.3 cm

Materials: glass, wood, paper

Despite what appears to be a signature below this photograph, we still don’t know who this woman is or why her photograph is in Roald Amundsen’s home.


Photograph, Benito Mussolini, signed

Object reference: RA 0662

Height:  22 cm

Width: 16 cm

Materials: glass, wood, paper

Portrait photograph of Benito Mussolini with a signed personal greeting to Roald Amundsen.

In April 1924, Amundsen was in Italy in connection with the planned expedition to cross the Arctic Ocean with two Dornier-Wal flying boats, which were being built under licence in Pisa. Amundsen met Mussolini in Milan, where he was presented with this photograph.

Amundsen and Mussolini also met in connection with the 1926 Norge expedition, but their relationship deteriorated markedly following Amundsen’s criticisms of Umberto Nobile and the other Italian crew members after the expedition.

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Mussolini’s portrait on display in Amundsen’s home. The date of this photograph is unknown, but the model of the Dornier flying boat still hangs from the living room ceiling. Photo: Follo museum, MiA.
Roald Amundsen born July 16
Starts at Otto Andersen’s School
Jens Engebreth Amundsen dies
1887 – 1889
Polar interest aroused
Starting university
Gustava Amundsen (née. Sahlqvist) dies
Mountain ski tour with Urdahl and Holst
Hunting in Arctic waters with the Magdalena
Ship’s Officer’s exam
Hardangervidda with Leon
1897 – 1899
Belgica expedition
Cycling from Christiania to Paris
Studying geomagnetism in Hamburg
1903 – 1906
Gjøa expedition
Polar bears as draft animals
Amundsen buys Uranienborg
The North Pole reached?
1910 – 1912
Fram expedition
Amundsen becomes a pilot
1916 – 1917
The polar ship Maud is being built
Maud expedition
Nita and Camilla move in
Uranienborg for sale
Amundsen goes bankrupt
Photograph, Benito Mussolini, signed
To 88 degrees north
Norge expedition
Lecture tour in Japan
Latham flight
1934 – 1935
Uranienborg becomes a museum
Betty’s house burns down
A chest full of photographs is discovered
Roald Amundsen’s home goes digital

Bowler hat

Object reference: RA 0680

Height: 12 cm

Length: 32 cm

Width: 25.5 cm

Material: Felt

Maker / Retailer: John B. Stetson Co. / Colman’s, San Francisco

“A very Gallant Gentleman”

Object reference: RA 0010

Materials: paper, glass, wood

Lawrence Oates was one of the four Britons who reached the South Pole with Robert Falcon Scott in January 1912, only to discover that Roald Amundsen had been there before them. On the way back, everyone died. According to Scott’s diary, Oates died March 16, 1912. Supposedly, he said this to the others in the tent: “I am just going outside and may be some time.” Then he left the tent and went out into the storm, never to be seen again.

This is a reproduction of John Charles Dollman’s painting from 1913, and shows Oates as he leaves the tent. Under the motif is written “he walked willingly to his death in a blizzard, to try and save his comrades, possessed by hardships”. It used to hang in the living room at Amundsen’s home, but has been moved to the blue living room, sometime around 1928.

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Portrait photograph. Adolphus Washington Greely

Object reference: RA 0674

Height: 13.5 cm

Width: 10.5 cm

Materials: paper, glass, wood

Date: unknown

Adolphus Washington Greely (1844-1935) was an American polar explorer, best known for the Lady Franklin Bay Expedition (1881-84).

We don’t know when Amundsen acquired this photograph, but we do know that he and Greely were in contact, because Amundsen’s book collection includes a signed copy of Greely’s book, “Handbook of Alaska, its resources, products and attractions” (1909). The greeting on the book’s inside cover reads, “To my friend Captain Roald Amundsen, A W Greely.”
In the private archive left by Roald Amundsen and now kept at the National Library, there are three letters and a telegram from Greely to Amundsen, written in the years 1906, 1924 and 1926.


Photograph. Gustav “Busken” Amundsen

Object reference: RA 0670

Height: 13 cm

Width: 8,5 cm

Materials: paper, glass, wood

Framed photograph of Roald Amundsen’s brother, Gustav “Busken” Amundsen.


Photograph. Malfred Amundsen

Object reference: RA 0671

Height: 13 cm

Width: 8.5 cm

Materials: paper, glass, wood

Framed photograph of a young Malfred Amundsen.


Photograph. Raymond Lee Newcomb

Object reference: RA 0678

Height: 14 cm

Width: 10 cm

Materials: paper, glass, twood

Framed photograph of a man seated in a chair. Dedication: “To Capt. Roald Amundsen, with the friendship of Raymond Lee Newcomb. Nov 10/07.”

Raymond Lee Newcomb was an American scientist and one of only ten survivors from the American Jeannette expedition, officially known as the U.S. Arctic Expedition (1879-81). Led by George Washington De Long, the expedition aimed to reach the North Pole, but suffered heavy losses when their ship, the Jeannette, was crushed by the ice. Of the crew of thirty-three, twenty men died.

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