p. xvii, re IPY cruise on Golden Fleece to Point Barrow, Aug 8, 1881, Murdoch to Richard Rathbun at Smithsonian: The hold and the deck are filled with our stuff, while we are so crowded in the cabin that we are only able to keep out the simple necessary articles and a few books. … I had hoped to have things so that I might do some work on the voyage up, but the vessel is so small and we have so much material that it is entirely out of the question…. They feed us well and by reading, writing, eating and sleeping we manage to fill up the time.
Introduction goes on to describe tensions between the military leadership of Ray and the scientists; the tension of both with the natives and Ray’s control over what ethnological specimens could be acquired, and the lack of time for the scientists to do much beyond the obligatory observations. Their expertise was not used to collect items of social or religious import.
p. xxiv, Murdoch to Rathbun, March 28, towards end of winter: Time has been very dull here because we have so few amusements. Nothing at all has been done in the way of systematic amusement. Ray doesn’t even consider it necessary to try to make things pleasant for people, doesn’t even consider it necessary to try make [sic] things pleasant for people, in fact goes out of his way to be disagreeable to Dark and Cassidy, to whom he has taken a dislike. Consequently we are all thrown on books, especially light-reading as our only relaxation.
Goes on to criticize Ray for making things unpleasant and Gen. Hazen (Signal Corps.) for special orders to postpone all zoological work: By the way, if you know of any convenient book for identifying sea anemones, down to genera at least, I wish you’d have it sent up to me in ’83.
Murdoch later served as librarian of the Smithsonian (1887 to 1892) and then as a cataloguer at the Boston Public Library.