John Craig collection

Scope and Content

The collection comprises of material relating to the Canadian Arctic Expedition, 1923 (led by Craig) to Ellesmere Island

Administrative / Biographical History

John [Jack] Davidson Craig was born in 1876 in Canada. In 1900, he entered the office of the Surveyor General, spending five years as a dominion land surveyor in Western Canada. In 1905, he was transferred to the staff of the International Boundary Commission, serving between 1909 and 1913 as Canadian leader of seven US Canadian boundary survey expeditions, which were organized by the Commission to trace and mark the boundary between Alaska and Canada along the meridian 141° west. He returned to the northwest in 1920, travelling with a party of surveyors to more clearly define and mark the boundary in the area of the Portland Canal. In 1922, Craig led the Canadian Arctic Expedition, sent by the Canadian government to establish police posts at Craig Harbour on Ellesmere Island and at Pond Inlet on Baffin Island. He returned as leader of the Canadian Arctic expedition in 1923, sailing with a stipendiary magistrate and court officials to Ellesmere Island and Baffin Island where a murder trial was held in August. He died in 1936.


The collection is arranged chronologically

Access Information

By appointment.

Some materials deposited at the Institute are NOT owned by the Institute. In such cases the archivist will advise about any requirements imposed by the owner. These may include seeking permission to read, extended closure, or other specific conditions.


Anyone wishing to consult material should ensure they note the entire MS reference and the name of the originator.

The term holograph is used when the item is wholly in the handwriting of the author. The term autograph is used when the author has signed the item.

Descriptions compiled by N. Boneham, Assistant Archivist with assistance from R. Stancombe and reference to Arctic, exploration and development c500 BC to 1915, an encyclopaedia by Clive Holland, Garland Publishing, London (1994) and Exploring Polar Frontiers, a historical encyclopaedia by William Mills, San Diego and Oxford, 2003 and 'Jack Craig and the Alaska Boundary Survey' by Christine Billman in The Beaver volume 302 number 2 Autumn 1971 p44-49 and Canada's Arctic islands. Canadian expedition 1922-23-24-25-26 by J D Craig, F D Henderson and George Mackenzie, Department of the Interior Ottawa (1927) SPRI Library Shelf Pam (41)91(091)

Other Finding Aids

Clive Holland Manuscripts in the Scott Polar Research Institute, Cambridge, England - a catalogue, Garland Publishing New York and London (1982) ISBN 0824093941.

Additional finding aids are available at the Institute.

Conditions Governing Use

Copying material by photography, electrostat, or scanning device by readers is prohibited. The Institute may be able to provide copies of some documents on request for lodgement in publicly available repositories. This is subject to conservation requirements, copyright law, and payment of fees.

Copyright restrictions apply to most material. The copyright may lie outside the Institute and, if so, it is necessary for the reader to seek appropriate permission to consult, copy, or publish any such material. (The Institute does not seek this permission on behalf of readers). Written permission to publish material subject to the Institute's copyright must be obtained from the Director. Details of conditions and fees may be had from the Archivist.


Further accessions possible