Archive Finding Aids

Here are detailed file-by-file descriptions of the contents of specific fonds and/or links to scanned documents.


Part of label of ox-cheek soup can,
from McClintock expedition cache on Dealy Island, 1850s
M 3302

Franklin Expedition and Arctic Exploration collection

To view brief history and summary of contents click here.

Inventory

Scanned Document indicates the presence of scanned documents.

Microfilm Franklin (Allan) Allan, James W. - Microfilmed 1963. - 1 microfilm reel. - Consists of manuscript (nd), "On Board the Aurora in '93, the Record of a Sailing and Whaling Voyage." The original is held by the University of Glasgow Library, Scotland.
M-4733 Arctic Explorer Autographs. - 1839-1856. - 10 pages. - Consists of autograph letters from Sir John Richardson (1856), Sir John Ommanney (1851), Sir Edward Belcher (nd), Sir William Parry (1839-1844), and Sir John Ross (nd). Purchased, 1962.
M-39 Back, George. - 1833. - Photocopied 1971. - 5 pages. - Consists of letters written from Byetown and Great Slave Lake regarding overland expedition in northern Canada. The originals are held by Codrington Library, All Souls College, Oxford , England. The contents of the records may not be published without permission from the Library. See also M 245 for other letters by George Back.
M-3297 Belcher, Sir Edward. - 1852. - Photographed 1960. - 5 pages. - Consists of photographs of documents left in cairns in the Arctic by Sir Edward Belcher while searching for Sir John Franklin. They were discovered by George de Mille and R. A. Rudkin of Calgary in 1960, while on geological reconnaissance in the Arctic. The originals are now held by the National Archives of Canada. Scanned Document View now.
M-141 Brown, George. - 1876. - Photocopied 1968. - 27 pages. - George Brown was in the British Navy and volunteered on an expedition in search of Sir John Franklin, under the command of Captain R. M'Clure, on the "Investigator"(1850-1854). It was on this journey that the Northwest passage was navigated. The file consists of manuscript written in Kent, England, about his naval career (1841-1876), including the trip in search of Sir John Franklin. The original is held by Mr. Clark, Edmonton. Reginald Brown of Calgary arranged for Glenbow to obtain this copy. Scanned Document View now.
M-1800 Canada. Department of National Defence. - 1967. - Copied 1969. - 30 pages. - Consists of part of the final report of "Project Franklin", a centennial project undertaken by Canadian Forces, with the aim of locating Sir John Franklin's grave and records of the missing expedition. Includes photographs of some relics found. The project was unsuccessful. The complete 108 page final report is held by the Department of National Defence.
M-4843-123 Colles, M. - 1897. - Letter from Robert Peary concerning potential literary projects. Transferred from the Riveredge Foundation, 1979.
M-256 Cook, J. A. - 1905-1906. - 2 volumes. - Consists of whaler's log book kept by ship master J. A. Cook on the S. S. Bowhead, which travelled from San Francisco to the Arctic regions. Includes descriptions of daily weather conditions and duties. The originals are restricted due to their fragile condition. A photocopy is available for research purposes. Purchased, 1974.
M-388 Forsyth-Grant, O. C. - 1904-1912. - Photocopied 1965. - 36 pages. - Consists of letters regarding Forsyth-Grant's Arctic trading operations in the "Snowdrop"; and regarding loss of the scooner, "Seduisante", which was under his command. See also Microfilm Franklin (Forsyth-Grant). The originals are held by Michael Forsyth-Grant, Scotland.
Microfilm Franklin
(Forsyth-Grant)
Forsyth-Grant, Osbert C. - 1903. - Microfilmed 1965. - 1 microfilm reel. - Consists of log of the schooner "Snowdrop", during a whaling voyage to Davis Strait. Includes references to mutiny among the sailors. See also M 388. The original is held by Michael Forsyth-Grant, Scotland.
M-245 Franklin and Arctic letters. - 1818-1840, nd. - 1 cm of textual records. - Consists of copies of letters to and from Sir John Franklin, Sir John Richardson, Robert McVicar, and George Back, regarding exploration of northern Canada [Nunavut and Northwest Territories] (1818-1840); original letter by John Ross about search for Franklin (nd); and other miscellaneous papers unrelated to Franklin and the Arctic. Collected by Glenbow staff (1965). Scanned Document View letters.
M-4726 Franklin, Jane. - [ca. mid-1800s]. - 1 item. - Consists of a signature of Jane Franklin, (1792-1875), wife of Arctic explorer, Sir John Franklin. Gift of T. R. H. Hicks (1977).
M-4727 Franklin, Sir John. - 1832. - 1 item. - Consists of ship's parole warrant, signed by Captain John Franklin, Brest, France. Purchased, 1966.
M-4843-89 Halkett, John. - [ca. 1829-1845]. - 1 item of textual records. - Letter from Sir John Franklin to J[ohn] Halkett thanking him for his hospitality and mentioning the naval careers of mutual friends. Transferred from the Riveredge Foundation, 1979.
M-9514 Hennoch, W.E.S. - [ca. 1963]. - 15 pages. - Account by a geologist of discoveries of sites of Sir Edward Sabine (1820) and Sir Edward Belcher (1852). -- Included in records of Arctic Petroleum Operators' Association, donated 2005.
M-523 Hilliard, Surgeon R. H. - 1859. - 1 volume (6cm). - Consists of manuscript, "Pen and Pencil Sketches of the Whale and Seal Fisheries in the Arctic Regions", being his journal of the voyage of the S. S. Narwhal of Dundee, Scotland to the whale and seal fisheries of the eastern Canadian Arctic [Nunavut] and Greenland. Includes maps, water colours, and pencil sketches. Note: Hilliard's page numbering is inconsistent. Purchased, 1960. There is a transcript of the text for research purposes. (Related photographs are at NA-4839.) Scanned Document View pages 1-100. Scanned Document View pages 101-202.
Microfilm Franklin (Hood) Hood, Lieutenant Robert. - 1819-1820. - Microfilmed 1958. - 1 microfilm reel. - Consists of diary kept during the Franklin Expedition. The original is held by R. G. Birch. For photographs of his water colours see NA-132 and NA-221.
NA-132-(1-8) Photographs of paintings done by Robert Hood in 1820, while part of the Franklin Expedition. - 8 photographs Scanned Document View now.
NA-221-(1-15) Photographs of paintings done by Robert Hood in 1819 and 1820, while part of the Franklin Expedition. - 15 photographs Scanned Document View now.
M-4843-128 Hooker, Prof. - 1826. - Letter from William Edward Parry concerning the possible existence of sea-serpents. Transferred from the Riveredge Foundation, 1979.
Microfilm Franklin (Hooper)Hooper, Lieutenant W. H. - 1818- 1825. - Microfilmed 1966. - 2 microfilm reels. - Consists of journals of the search for the Franklin Expedition. The originals are held by the Royal Geographical Society.
Microfilm Franklin (McClintock)McClintock, Admiral Sir F. L. - 1848-1959. - Microfilmed 1969. - 3 microfilm reels. - Consists of report and journals of the McClintock expeditions to search for the missing Sir John Franklin. Includes accounts of sledge journeys, and the diary of R. C. Scott, surgeon on H. M. S. Intrepid. The originals are held by the National Library of Ireland and the Public Record Office.
M-3302 McClintock Expedition. - 1852. - 1 item. - Consists of label from can of ox-cheek soup, from a Dealy Island cache of Sir Francis mcClintock, who headed the 1852-1853 expedition to Melville Island to search for the missing Arctic explorer, Sir John Franklin. Collected by Hugh Dempsey, a member of the Glenbow salvage team (1968). NA-1813 is a photograph of the label. Scanned Document View now.
M-925 Ommanney, Sir Erasmus. - 1850-1949. - 13 cm of textual records. - Consists of journals kept by Sir Erasmus Ommaney during his voyage in search of Franklin on H.M.S. Assistance and H.M. Sledge Reliance (1850-1851), travels in Ireland (1852), and a voyage in the Mediterranean (1858-1860); a letter and invoice for provisions (1850); and newsclippings and a letter collected by his family concerning his voyage and the search for Franklin (1850-1949).  Volume 1 consists of the Ommaney’s journal of his overland search for Franklin on H.M. Sledge Reliance; his travels in Ireland; and his Mediterranean voyage.  Volume 2 consists of Ommanney’s journal of his voyage on H.M.S. Assistance.  The related newsclippings and other items are in a separate file. - Purchased from Mrs. D. C. Coleman, Montreal, 1957.

Transcripts of the journals are available for research purposes, and have been digitized:

Scanned Document View Volume 1 transcript part 1.
Scanned Document View Volume 1 transcript part 2.
Scanned Document View Volume 1 transcript part 3.
Scanned Document View Volume 1 transcript part 4.
Scanned Document View Volume 1 transcript part 5.

Scanned Document View Volume 2 transcript part 1.
Scanned Document View Volume 2 transcript part 2.
Scanned Document View Volume 2 transcript part 3.
Scanned Document View Volume 2 transcript part 4.
M-4843-162 Parry, Sir William Edward. - 1826-1845. - Consists of three letters, news clipping concerning his marriage, and 2 copies of engraved portrait.
M-4843-199 Parry, Sir William Edward. - 1826. - Letter to "Napier" concerning his Remark Book and commenting in Franklin's 1825-1827 expedition. Scanned Document View now.
M-1016 Rae, John. - 1851. - 3 pages. - Consists of lists of supplies for an expedition, under the command of Sir John Richardson, to search for Sir John Franklin and party. The list is dated April 1, 1851, Fort Confidence, [Great] Bear Lake, Northwest Territories, and signed by John Rae, second in command. Purchased, 1972. Scanned Document View now.
M-3447 Rasmussen, Knud. - 1922. - 1 item. - Consists of a letter from Knud Rasmussen of the Fifth Thule Expedition, a Danish expedition to the Canadian Arctic, declining social invitation. (The file also contains two unrelated letters.) Purchased, 1965.
M-1041 Richardson, Sir John. - 1825-1864. - Photocopied 1963. - 3 cm of textual records. - Consists of personal letters, and letters regarding the Franklin Expedition. Includes a letter from Sir John Franklin, written from Great Bear Lake (1826). The originals are held by the Dumphries Burgh Museum, Dumfries, Scotland.
M-885 Ross, Captain John. - 1833. - Photocopied 1963. - 4 pages. - Consists of a letter from Lord Melville to Captain John Ross, October 25, 1833, expressing congratulations on his return from the Arctic. (Includes two unrelated letters about the Red River Settlement.) The original is held by the National Library of Scotland.
M-4843-15 Ross, Sir John. - 1810-1843. - 2 cm of textual records. - Letters of Sir John Ross, his brother George Ross, his nephew James Clark Ross, and other family members, concerning Sir John's 1829-1833 Arctic expedition, family matters, and business matters; broadsides and list of subscribers concerning the proposed 1833 expedition to search for Ross. An inventory of items is enclosed with the file. Transferred from the Riveredge Foundation, 1979.
M-4507 Royal Geographical Society. - 1825, 1921, 1928. - Photocopied 1974. - 2 cm of textual records. - Consists of these articles regarding travel in Canada's north. Includes articles F. H. Kitto entitled "The Edmonton- Prince George- Peace River Triangle", "The Fort McPherson- Fort Yukon Canoe route", mackenzie River Oil Fields", and "Mackenzie River District" (1921); and Fenley Hunter's article "A Trip to the Western Arctic" (1928). Also consists of a letter from Dr. John Richardson to Sir John Franklin, dated September 6, 1825 from Fort Norman, describing events during Richardson's overland expedition. The originals are held by the Royal Geographical Society.
M-4721 Royal Geographical Society. - 1835-1925. - Photocopied 1974. - 5 cm of textual records. - Consists of manuscripts and letters from the Royal Geographical Society relationg to the exploration in Oregon Territory, Vancouver Island and the Arctic. The originals are held by the Royal Geographical Society.
Microfilm Franklin (Royal) Royal Geographical Society. - 1824-1876. - Microfilmed 1966. - 1 microfilm reel. - Consists of journal and logs of Arctic exploration voyages including log of the H.M.S. Herald (1848-1851), Bering Straits; Henry W. Fielden's journal on H. M. S. Alert (1875-1876), Arctic Exploration; Lt. E.N. Kendall's journal (1826-1827), search for Franklin; and B. Westropp's journal (1824-1825), polar expedition under Captain Parry. The originals are held by the Royal Geographical Society.
M-4843-(16-17) Sabine, Sir Edward. - 1758-1930. - 4 cm of textual records. - Consists of correspondence concerning personal and scientific matters, news clippings concerning Arctic exploration (1907-1930), map of Arctic regions ([ca.1852]), miscellaneous documents concerning Newfoundland and Prince Edward Island (1758-1879). Sir Edward Sabine was a scientist accompanying the Ross and Parry expeditions of 1818-1820. Inventories of the items are enclosed with the files. Transferred from the Riveredge Foundation, 1979. Select Franklin-related documents have been scanned:

Scanned Document View newspaper clipping re Franklin Expedition.
Scanned Document View Lady Franklin map of Arctic regions.
Scanned Document View Lady Franklin letter to Sabine.
Scanned Document View John Franklin letter to Sabine.
Scanned Document View Sabine letter to John Shewell.
M-4843-131 Sabine, Edward. - 1865. - Letter concerning election of members of the Council of the Institute of Civil Engineers. Accompanied by news clipping describing annual dinner of the Institute. Transferred from the Riveredge Foundation, 1979.
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