Eduard Dallmann collection

Scope and Content

The collection comprises of material relating to the German Sealing and Whaling Reconnaissance (from Hamburg), 1873-1874 (Captain Eduard Dallmann).

Administrative / Biographical History

Eduard Dallmann was born on 11 March 1830 in Flethe, near Blumenthal. He went to sea at the age of fifteen, gaining experience in whaling ships and freighters. In 1866, he led the German/Hawaiian trading and exploring expedition (from Honolulu) to the Russian Arctic, during which he claimed to have discovered Ostrov Vrangelya [Wrangell Island].

An experienced whaling master, Dallmann was selected to lead the German sealing and whaling reconnaissance, 1873-1874, sponsored by the Deutsche Polarschiffahrts-Gesellschaft and funded by its director, Albert Rosenthal, to investigate the commercial possibilities of southern sealing and whaling. Setting out from Hamburg in the steamship Grnland, he arrived at the South Shetland Islands in November 1873 only to find sealing gangs already in operation. Sailing further south, Grnland became the first steamship to reach the coast of Antarctica and Dallmann discovered a wide strait that he named Bismarck Strait after the German Chancellor. Proceeding northward, he charted a network of lesser channels within an archipelago now called the Palmer Archipelago. Although important geographical discoveries were made, the voyage brought little commercial profit.

Between 1877 and 1883, Dallmann made a series of pioneering voyages along the Northeast Passage, which he sought to open up for shipping. In 1884, he entered the service of the New Guinea Company, exploring the coastlines of New Guinea. Retiring in 1894, he died on 23 December 1896 at Blumenthal.


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 Robert Keith Headland Antarctic Chronology, unpublished corrected revision of Chronological list of Antarctic expeditions and related historical events, (1 December 2001) Cambridge University Press (1989) ISBN 0521309034 and Bremerhaven and Encyclopaedia of Antarctica and the Southern Oceans ed. Bernard Stonehouse, John Wiley & Sons, Chichester (2002) ISBN 0471986658 SPRI Library (7)

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.

Geographical Names