A Selection of Papers on Arctic Geography and Ethnology
In 1873 the Admiralty began planning an expedition to find a route to the North Pole through Smith Sound, the passage between Greenland and Canada. This collection of papers was published in 1875, with the aim of being 'useful to the officers of the [British Arctic] expedition' leaving later that year. The book is divided into two sections: geographical observations by the likes of Admiral Collinson, who led the 1850 expedition in search of John Franklin, and ethnographic observations, including accounts of the Inuit and their language. Unfortunately, it does not include the one piece of information that might have most helped the expedition: they took concentrated lime juice to combat scurvy, but the concentrating process removed the essential Vitamin C. The expedition was ultimately a failure in its aim of reaching the Pole, but this collection is a unique record of the sum of the knowledge accumulated by that time.