Henry Larsen collection

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

The collection comprises of material relating to Larsen's voyages including the North West passage and correspondence

Administrative / Biographical History

Henry Asbjorn Larsen was born on 30 September 1899 in Fredrikstad, Norway. After graduating from nautical school in Oslo and serving in the Norwegian Navy and Merchant Navy, he emigrated to Canada in 1923, later becoming a naturalized Canadian in 1928. After making two voyages to the Arctic as mate and navigator in the Maid of Orleans, he enlisted in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in 1928. Shortly afterwards, he was appointed to the newly commissioned patrol vessel St. Roch, commanding all her voyages until 1949 when he was appointed officer commanding northern G division of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. During his command, St. Roch made the first west to east voyage through the Northwest Passage from Vancouver to Halifax between 23 June 1940 and 11 October 1942. Two years later, he made the return voyage. He was awarded the Polar Medal and the Patron's Medal of the Royal Geographical Society in recognition of his achievements and was the first recipient of the Massey Medal of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society in 1959. Retiring from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police with the rank of superintendent in 1961, he died on 29 October 1964 in Vancouver, Canada.

Published work The big ship; an autobiography by Henry A. Larsen in co-operation with Frank R. Sheer and Edvard Omholt-Jensen, McClelland and Stewart Toronto (1967) SPRI Library Shelf 92[Larsen, H.A.]

Arrangement

The collection is split into two sub-fonds comprising of expedition material and correspondence respectively

Conditions Governing Access

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.

Note

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.

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 Polar Record volume 12 number 80 May 1965 p632 and 'Henry Asbjorn Larsen' by Alf Erling Porsild in Arctic volume 18 number 1 March 1965 p67-68

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

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.

Accruals

Further accessions possible

Related Material

The Scott Polar Research Institute holds a number of photographs, film and other illustrative material in the Picture Library, some of which covers Larsen's voyages. The catalogue can be searched on line by going to the Picture Library Database and selecting the Enter Polar Pictures link.