An Account of a Voyage for the Discovery of a North-West Passage by Hudson’s Streights, to the Western and Southern Ocean of America. Performed in the Year 1746 and 1747, in the Ship California, Capt. Francis Smith , Commander. By the Clerk of the California.

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The little found in these volumes concerning reading and writing has to do with the documents of the expedition itself, as well as the account of earlier voyages.

The Real Story of the Whaler: Whaling, Past and Present.

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A general history of New Bedford and its whalers. The book is both a useful compendium of knowledge about New Bedford, and a sentimental threnody for its whalers and whalemen.

Typescript of Orde Lees diary prepared by him for Shackleton.

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Apparently Lees edited his diary, eliminating the first person, as grist for Shackleton’s book on the expedition—refers to himself in third person (Lees is our mess man) and Shackleton as Sir Ernest. Always seems excessively deferential to Shackleton, particularly in this typescript which Lees prepared for Sir Ernest.

The Press-Gang Afloat and Ashore.

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p. 42-3, description of life of impressed seaman: With books he was for many years ‘very scantily supplied.’ It was not till 1812, indeed, that the Admiralty, shocked by the discovery that he had practically nothing to elevate his mind but daily association with the quarter-deck, began to pour into the fleet copious supplies of literature for his use. Thereafter the sailor could beguile his leisure with such books as the Old Chaplain’s Farewell Letter, Wilson’s Maxims, The Whole Duty of Man, Secker’s Duties of the Sick, and, lest returning health should dissipate the piety begotten of his ailments, Gibson’s Advice after Sickness. Thousands of pounds were spent upon this improving literature, which was distributed to the fleet in strict accordance with the amount of storage room available at the various dockyards. [Footnote: Ad. Accountant-General, Misc. (Various), No. 106—Accounts of the Rev. Archdeacon Owen, Chaplain-General to the Fleet, 1812-7.]

Annual Report of the Chief Signal-Officer [Albert J. Myer] to the Secretary of War for the Year 1872.

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p. 87: The library of the Office has been increased from six hundred volumes to one thousand three hundred and forty. These books have been catalogued and arranged conveniently for reference, and form the nucleus of a valuable meteorological library, to which additions may be made from time to time.

At the Mountains of Madness,

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First published in 1931, this phantasmagoric combination of science fiction and horror novel is located on the high plateau of Antarctic, reached by airplane, but discovering the world’s highest mountains and remains of an ancient ‘civilization’ come back to life and destructive of the expedition.

Incidents of a Whaling Voyage. To which are Added Observations on the…Sandwich and Society Islands.

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Olmsted was a passenger aboard the whaler North American [a temperance ship] in 1839, a trip taken as a kind of rest cure for his chronic nervous debility. He returned to Yale for medical school and in fact graduated but died in 1844 after a second voyage.

Last Places: A Journey in the North

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p. 132-4, on Johann Petursson, keeper of the lighthouse at Hornbjarg: Johann took the Hornbjarg job in 1961 because he figured it would buy time for, and even fuel, the novel he was writing. It was unheard of, he said, for an Icelandic writer to combine teaching with the labor of his pen…. His literary colleagues tended lighthouses, from which they still managed to carry on a lively dialogue with their public, like the Skálavik keeper Oscar Adalstein Gudjónsson, who read sections of his works in progress over shortwave to the fishing fleet. Yet between navigating boats around icebergs, gathering errant fishing floats, and enduring assistants who couldn’t read the cloud charts…, he, Jóhann, had scarcely written a single word in twenty-six years.

Arctic Searching Expedition: A Journal of a Boat-Voyage through Rupert’s Land and the Arctic Sea, in Search of the Discovery Ships under Command of Sir John Franklin.

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Volume I: p. 49-50: the equipment which Richardson and John Rae landed in New York on April 10, 1848 included astronomical and meteorological instruments and: An ample supply of paper for botanical purposes, a quantity of paper, a small selection of books, a medicine chest, a canteen, a compendious cooking apparatus, and a few tines of pemican, completed our baggage, which weighed in the aggregate, above 4000 pounds.

Thin Edge of the World.

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A double expedition for something of a French loner with an Antarctic obsession. After a varied exploratory career, primarily in Tibet, Migot began this journey with a French expedition spending one year on the Kerguélen Islands as doctor to a 50-man contingent, as well as a biological researcher. As he was preparing to return he learned of a subsequent Australian expedition to Antarctica itself, intended to set up the Mawson base in the Australian sector of Antarctica. He applied, was accepted, and a month after the French left the Australians picked him up to go directly to the Australian bases on the continent where he again served as doctor and naturalist, although the trip only lasted three months.

The Cruise of her Majesty’s Ship “Challenger.” Voyages over Many Seas, Scenes in Many Lands.

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This round the world voyage was epochal including a visit to the Kerguelen Islands in Jan. 1874. It experienced some polar conditions but not many. It never wintered over, the best time for library use.

Life and Letters of Sir Joseph Dalton Hooker. Based on Materials Collected and Arranged by Lady Hooker.

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Naturalist (and assistant surgeon) on James Clark Ross’s Erebus and Terror expedition in 1839. As erudite a traveler as one can imagine, his passion was botany and he was a considerable bookman in that field and well beyond, as illustrated in these volumes which cover Hooker’s entire life, including many reflections on reading throughout his life.

Obituary.

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Throughout most of the expedition, James regularly kept a diary, and his account of the time spent on Elephant Island gives perhaps the best insight into what conditions were really like for the 22 men left stranded there. Paper being scarce, he was forced to write some of his diary on spare pages in the copy of Lang’s Translation of the “Iliad”, which was one of the few books the men rescued from the sinking Endurance. The book is still in the safe keeping of the James family. His diary includes a number of maps and sketches.

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This is the diary apparently doctored by Harold Noice with long sections missing and some lines erased, some having to do with Ada Blackjack (cf. p. 15, Jan 14): I am sure she is the most stubborn creature I have ever known. [That comment follows 3 erased lines.]