[Various places, including Labrador, Baffin Island, Ellesmere Island, and Greenland. 1921-1925]. Eighty-three silver gelatin photographs, plus four photo postcards, most approximately 3 x 5 inches. Oblong quarto. Contemporary black faux leather, cord-tied photo album. Edges and hinges worn. Photos in corner mounts on black paper supports. Manuscript captions on supports in white pencil throughout. Very good. Item #WRCAM51914
A collection of eighty-seven images from three different Arctic voyages commanded or co-commanded by Donald Baxter MacMillan in the early 1920s. MacMillan made over thirty voyages to the Arctic during a nearly fifty year career that spanned the first half of the 20th century. After World War I, he designed and commissioned his own schooner, named the Bowdoin, specifically for Arctic exploration. The photos in this album document the first two expeditions made by the craft to Baffin Island in 1921-22, and to North Greenland, Ellesmere Island, and several other locations in 1923-24, as well as a third exploration, also to Greenland, made jointly with another ship called the Peary in 1925.
The present images depict many views of the Bowdoin and the Peary, as well as sea planes transported into the Arctic by the Peary for testing, detail features of the passing landscape, seascape, and document local wildlife. Further photos show the activities of the men in camp and in the course of their duties, such as building, dog sledding, hiking, and ship loading. Finally, a number of pictures record the lives of the native Eskimo populations and show the ruins of building left by early Norse explorers.
A varied and lively collection of photographs that document an important set of 20th-century Arctic voyages.