Evelyn Baldwin collection

Scope and Content

The collection comprises of material relating to the United States Exploring Expedition, 1898-1899 (leader Walter Wellman) to Zemlya Frantsa-Iosifa.

Administrative / Biographical History

Evelyn Briggs Baldwin was born in 1862 in Springfield, Missouri. After graduating in 1885 from Northwestern College, Illinois, he travelled around Europe until 1886. In 1887, he was appointed high school principal and superintendent of city schools in Kansas, a post he held until 1891. He joined the United States North Greenland Expedition (second), 1893-1895 (leader Robert Edwin Peary), serving as meteorologist between 1893 and 1894. This was a privately sponsored expedition to extend the discoveries around Independence Fjord, northeast Greenland, made by Peary's previous expedition of 1891-1892.

In 1898, Baldwin was appointed meteorologist on the U.S. Exploring Expedition (Wellman Polar Expedition, second), 1898-1899 (leader Walter Wellman), financed by the National Geographic Society and by private subscribers to complete the exploration of Zemlya Frantsa-Iosifa, and from there to attempt to reach the North Pole. The polar party failed to reach the North Pole after Wellman broke his leg in March 1899. From 26 April to 30 May 1899, Baldwin sledged to the east of Zemlya Vil'cheka, where he discovered and mapped the large island Graham Bell Land [Ostrov Greem-Bell], the most easterly member of the archipelago. He returned around the northern coast of Zemlya Vil'cheka to discover that the region that had been named La Roncire Peninsula was, in fact, an island [Ostrov Lya-Ransiyer].

Baldwin returned to Zemlya Frantsa-Iosifa when he was appointed to lead the United States Exploring Expedition (Baldwin-Ziegler Polar Expedition), 1901-1902, sponsored by the New York millionaire William Ziegler to attempt to reach the North Pole. The main expedition ship America set up winter quarters on Ostrov Aldzher, returning to Tromsø in August 1902 after the planned journey toward the North Pole did not occur.

After the expedition, Baldwin worked in various capacities in government departments, serving as historian at the Office of Naval Records and Library of the Navy Department at Washington DC between 1926 and 1932. He died in 1933 in Washington DC


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 Library of Congress and A&E biography

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