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Franklin Expedition and Arctic Exploration collection


Physical Description:
70 cm of textual records. -- 23 photographs. -- 9 microfilm reels

These records were gathered together from a wide variety of sources by the Glenbow-Alberta Institute, which has had an ongoing interest in the Franklin Expedition and Arctic exploration. In 1968 Glenbow salvaged the contents of a cache on Dealy Island, near Melville Island, which had been discovered during petroleum seismic work in the area. The cache had been left by British naval officer, Sir Francis McClintock, during his 1851 search for the missing Sir John Franklin. Artifacts from the cache are now held by the Glenbow Museum. This collection, which consists of both original documents and copies of records held elsewhere, provides detailed information about searches for Franklin and Arctic exploration.

Scope and Content:
The collection consists of diaries, letters, memoirs, reports and other records created by these individuals involved in searches for the missing Franklin Expedition, as well as other explorers who were comtemporaries of Franklin: Sir Edward Belcher, George Brown, E.N. Kendall, W.H. Hooper, Sir Francis McClintock, Sir Erasmus Ommanney, Sir William Edward Parry, Robert Peary, John Rae, Sir John Richardson, Sir John Ross, Sir Edward Sabine, R.C. Scott, and the Canadian Department of National Defence. Also consists of Robert Hood's diaries of the 1819-1820 Franklin Expedition and photographs of original watercolours painted by Lt. Hood on this Expedition; Robert McVicar's letters; Jane Franklin's signature; and miscellaneous correspondence of Sir John Franklin. Includes Royal Geographical Society articles and documents about Franklin and the Arctic (1825-1928); and records related to the following Arctic visits: M'Clure's navigation of the Northwest Passage (1876); George Back's northern Canada overland expeditions letters (1833); J.A. Cook's whaler's log, San Francisco to Arctic (1905-1906); James W. Allan's manuscript of a whaling voyage (1893); Henry W. Fielden's Arctic voyage diary (1875-1876); O.C. Forsyth-Grant's Davis Strait whaler's log (1903); Surgeon R.H. Hilliard's diary and sketches of a voyage to the eastern Arctic and Greenland (1859); log of the HMS Herald's Bering Strait voyage (1848-1851); Knud Rasmussen's Fifth Thule Expedition letter (1922); and B Westropp's journal while on the Parry polar expedition (1824-1825).

Source of Acquisition:
Jane Franklin's signature was a gift of T.H.R. Hicks, 1977. The remainder of the original records were purchased, 1957-1974.

The material is in English.

Originals and Reproductions:
The originals of copied records are held by the Codrington Library, Mr. Clark, Michael Forsyth-Grant, National Library of Scotland, Dumfries Burgh Museum, Canadian Department of National Defence, Library and Archives Canada, Royal Geographical Society, R.G. Birch, University of Glasgow Library, National Library of Ireland, and the Public Records Office.

Access to some materials is restricted due to their fragile condition. Transcripts or photocopies are available for research use.

Finding Aids:
Inventory available. Please consult before requesting material.

View finding aid / scanned documents:

Call Numbers:
(M=manuscript; N&P=photos; R=sound recordings; S=slides; F=films)
M-39, M-141, M-245, M-256, M-388, M-523, M-885, M-925, M-1016, M-1041, M-1800, M-3297, M-3302, M-3447, M-4507, M-4721, M-4726, M-4727, M-4733, M-4843-(15-17), M-4843-89, M-4843-123, M-4843-128, M-4843-131, M-4843-162, M-4843-199, Microfilm - Franklin & Arctic - Allan, Microfilm - Franklin & Arctic - Hilliard, Microfilm - Franklin & Arctic - Hood, Microfilm - Franklin & Arctic - Hooper, Microfilm - Franklin & Arctic - McClintock, Microfilm - Franklin & Arctic - Royal, Microfilm - Franklin & Arctic - Forsyth, NA-132, NA-221, NA-1813, NA-4839

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