Joseph Bernier collection

Scope and Content

The collection comprises of correspondence by Bernier

Administrative / Biographical History

Joseph Elzer Bernier was born in January 1852 at L'Islet on the southern shore of the St Lawrence river. At the age of 14 he made his first voyages clocking up over a hundred before becoming governor in a Quebec jail. He spent his time on shore reading about Arctic exploration and formed a desire to be the first to reach the North Pole and sail the Northwest Passage. In the end he achieved neither feat but he did conduct a series of voyages around the Canadian Eastern Arctic in Arctic the onetime expedition ship of the German South Polar Expedition, 1901-1903 (then named Gauss. Bernier died in December 1934


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 'Joseph Elzer Bernier' by Richard Finnie in Arctic 1986 volume 39 p272-273

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