[ARCTIC BLUE BOOKS]. An extensive collection of 19th-century British Parliamentary papers relating to the exploration of the arctic.
1. Arctic Expeditions. Report of the Committee Appointed by the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty to inquire into and report on the Recent Arctic Expeditions in Search of Sir John Franklin, together with Minutes of Evidence... London, 1852. 2 folding lithographic maps and 2 illustrations in text. Original blue paper wrapper bound in. Arctic Bibliography 45227; NMM 887; Sabin 1920; Staton & Tremaine/TPL 3255.
2. Additional Papers Relative to the Arctic Expedition under the Orders of Captain Austin and Mr. William Penny. London, 1852. 28 maps, some in text, some folding, some colored by hand in outline, and 66 illustrations in text. Original blue paper wrapper bound in. Arctic Bibliography 45228; NMM 889; Sabin 1920; Staton & Tremaine/TPL 3256.
3. Arctic Expedition. Further Correspondence and Proceedings Connected with the Arctic Expedition. London, 1852. 3 maps (of 4) including large folding lithographic map of the North Polar Region colored by hand, and illustrations in text. Original blue paper wrapper bound in. Arctic Bibliography 45229 ("Major document."); NMM 890; Sabin 1920; Staton & Tremaine/TPL 3257.
4. RAE, John. Arctic Expedition... Copy "Of the Report of Dr. Rae, of the Proceedings of the Arctic Searching Expedition under his Command ... with a sketch of his route. [London], 6 April 1852. Folding lithographic map, colored by hand in outline. Arctic Bibliography 45233; Sabin 67429; Staton & Tremaine/TPL 3250.
5. Arctic Expeditions... "Copies of any Correspondence received at the Admiralty from Sir Edward Belcher's Squadron... and from any other of the arctic expeditions since the dates of the last returns." [London], 16 December 1852. 3 folding lithographic maps. Arctic Bibliography 45238; Staton & Tremaine/TPL 3254.
6. Papers Relative to the Recent Arctic Expeditions in Search of Sir John Franklin. London, 1854. 5 folding maps and illustrations in text after R. M'Cormick. Original blue paper wrapper bound in. Provenance: R. M'Cormick, MEMBER OF THE EXPEDITION AND ILLUSTRATOR OF THE BOOK (ownership signature on title-page). Arctic Bibliography 45241; NMM 893; Sabin 25633 (ref); Staton & Tremaine/TPL 3441.
7. Further Papers Relative to the Recent Arctic Expeditions in Search of Sir John Franklin. London, 1855. 37 maps, some folding, some colored by hand in outline, and illustrations in text. Original blue paper wrapper bound in. Arctic Bibliography 45245; NMM 894; Sabin 25633 (ref); Staton & Tremaine/TPL 3549.
8. Further Papers Relative to the Recent Arctic Expeditions in Search of Sir J. Franklin... Including the Reports of Dr. Kane and Messrs. Anderson and Stewart. London, 1856. Lithographic plate and map (not folding as called for in Arctic Bibliography). Arctic Bibliography 45249; Staton & Tremaine/TPL 3659.
9. Correspondence Respecting H.M.S. "Resolute" and the Arctic Expedition. London, 21 May 1858. Arctic Bibliography 45250; NMM 898; Staton & Tremaine/TPL 3812.
10. Arctic Expedition. Papers and Correspondence Relating to the Equipment and Fitting Out of the Arctic Expedition of 1875. London, 1875. Provenance: Scott Polar Research Institute (stamp on title-page). Arctic Bibliography 45251.
11. Arctic Expedition. Report of the Proceedings ... by G.S. Nares. [London], 27 October 1876. Provenance: R.N. Rudmose-Brown (stamp on half-title). Not in Arctic Bibliography.
12. Arctic Expedition. Results derived from the Arctic Expedition, 1875-76. London, 1878. 8 folding color-lithographic plates of solar and lunar phenomena and 7 graphs. Original blue wrappers bound in. Arctic Bibliography 45257.
Together 12 volumes. (Some occasional soiling and wear, a few marginal repairs to plates and text.) Near uniform quarter red morocco, marbled or cloth boards, original blue wrappers bound in where noted.
FIRST EDITIONS OF THESE SCARCE REPORTS. The British Parliament issued these papers on the activities in the north under the various imprints of Harrison & Son and George Edward Eyre and William Spottiswoode. The core of the collection concerns the numerous expeditions, and most particularly the Grinnell Expedition, in search of John Franklin in 1852. The first three reports form volume I of Parliamentary Accounts and Papers for 1852. Of these, the third is particularly notable for the report of the murder of Lt. John Barnard by natives at Darabin, Alaska during Capt. Pullen's Bering Strait expedition. Most revelatory is the release of information about the discovery of remains of the Franklin party. Capt. William Penny and six of his officers detail observations made on Franklin's winter quarters at Beechey Island and the discovery of wood fragments and cairns. A list of articles found at Beechey Island is provided. Capts. James Clark Ross, John Romme and John Shillinglaw speculate about the activities of the Franklin party from 1849-51 and one entry prints translations of statements made by the interpreter Adam Beck regarding the reported murder of Franklin expedition personnel by natives in northwest Greenland. The later reports detail Capt. George Strong Nares's Challenger expedition of 1872-1876, a landmark in the history of undersea exploration. Included throughout are numerous maps, charts and plates illustrating the subjects encountered and the various routes followed.
These reports are extremely scarce: RLIN lists only 5 of the 12 titles as being in more than one library and the 11th, Report of the Proceedings, does not appear at all. (12)