London, 1875. 40,pp. plus folding map. Folio. 20th-century three-quarter calf and marbled paper boards, gilt lined, spine gilt. Stefansson Library stamp on titlepage (deaccessioned). Toned, minor chipping at edges of some leaves. Final leaf repaired with archival paper with no loss to text; small tears in margin of map. Very good. This scarce document describes the plans for the 1875 Nares Expedition, includes specifications for the H.M.S. Discovery, data on supplies needed, estimations of costs, and a hydrographer's report, as well as a color chart of the North Polar Sea. The chart is a Polar projection map showing the seas navigated by British expeditions, as well as coasts discovered by British, American, German, Swedish, and Austrian explorers through 1874. The Nares expedition, which sailed from 1875-76, strove to be the first to reach the North Pole, and to explore its coasts and region. Though unsuccessful in this venture, the expedition was the first to sail ships through the channel between Greenland and Ellesmere Island and as far north as the Lincoln Sea, recording valuable information about the mysterious region. A sledging party under Capt. Albert Hastings Markham also set a new record on land, reaching as far north as 83° 20'. The British Parliament printed occasional reports of the various expeditions and related Arctic subjects which became known as the Arctic "blue books," named after the distinctive blue wrappers in which they were originally issued. This copy has the stamp of the Stefansson collection at the Dartmouth library, but was deaccessioned as a duplicate to his widow. ARCTIC BIBLIOGRAPHY 45251. (Inventory #: WRCAM50678)
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