The collection comprises of correspondence by Grant to Benjamin Leigh Smith regarding the British Exploring Expedition, 1880 (led by Smith) to Svalbard and the Russian Arctic
William Grant collection
- This material is held at
- ReferenceGB 15 William Grant
- Dates of Creation1880-1881
- Name of Creator
- Language of MaterialEnglish.
- Physical DescriptionCorrespondence (3 leaves)
- Direct Link
Scope and Content
Administrative / Biographical History
William John Alexander Grant was born on 1 May 1851. He was educated at Harrow and at Merton College, Oxford, where he learned the art of photography. In 1876, he was appointed photographer on the British Relief Expedition (leader Allen Young), instructed by the Admiralty to land dispatches in the region of Baffin Bay for George Strong Nares of the British Arctic Expedition, 1875-1876. Between 1878 and 1883, Grant made a further four voyages to the Arctic in the Dutch schooner Willem Barents, and sailed in the British yachts Eira and Kara. During this period, he photographed much of the Arctic between the west coast of Greenland and Novaya Zemlya, later exhibiting his photographs at the Royal Photographic Society in London, of which he was a fellow. He made no further voyages to the Arctic but visited Egypt in 1894 and made a thousand-mile voyage up the Amazon River shortly before his death. He died on 10 March 1935 at Cullompton, Devon.
The correspondence is arranged chronologically
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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 'Photography in the Arctic, 1876-1884 the work of W J A Grant' by Willem F J Morzer Bruyns in Polar Record volume 39 number 209 April 2003 p123-130
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.
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