The British Arctic Expedition (May 29 1875 - November 2, 1876) was sent by the Admiralty to attempt to reach the North Pole by way of Smith Sound. The two ships H.M.S. Alert and H.M.S. Discovery reached Discovery Harbour, on the northern side of Lady Franklin Bay, Ellesmere Island, on 25 August. While this site was chosen as Discovery's winter quarters, Alert continued up Robeson Channel to Floeberg Beach, Ellesmere Island, to 82°28'N, the highest latitude reached by any ship up to that date. In early April, three major sledging parties, which are the main subject of the above report, set out to explore the North Pole, and the north coasts of Ellesmere Island and Greenland. The Pole party, led by Commander A.H. Markham, achieved a record latitude of 83°20'26''N (on May 12) but covered no more than 50km over the ice before turning back on account of worsening scurvy, which also badly affected the other sledge parties. The expedition was nevertheless able to return 'with a large quantity of zoological, geological, botanical, ethnographical, and other scientific observations' (see Holland Arctic Exploration, New York, 1994, pp.297-98). The photographs in Hart's album perfectly complement the official government report on the expedition. Showing views of the Discovery and Alert on their outward journey among ice floes and 'floebergs', groups of eskimos, the two ships frozen in their respective winter quarters and the theatre of ice built by the Discovery's crew, sledging teams, and huddled groups of men, they are among the earliest known Arctic photographs.