• 1,200 Photographs

    Vilhjalmur Stefansson was an Arctic explorer, promoter, and teacher who made expeditions above the Arctic Circle between 1906 and 1918. Documentation from these explorations including diaries, notes, scientific experiments, letters, and photographs.

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    copper girls

    The Stefansson collection of photographs consists of over 1,200 black and white images primarily from the Canadian Arctic Expedition (1913-1918). Images dating between 1913 and 1916 were taken by Canadian Arctic Expedition photographer Sir George Hubert Wilkins.

  • 700 Lantern Slides

    Stefansson also lectured internationally on the subject of Arctic exploration and culture, using this collection of over 700 lantern slides to illustrate his lectures. Included are images of flora and fauna, landscapes, ice formations, boats, indigenous housing,

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    clothing, hunting and fishing practices, as well as many individuals. In addition, there are some slides from Stefansson's 1923 trip to Australia and French Polynesia, and images of Stefansson teaching in Dartmouth College's Northern Studies Program.
  • Arctic Images: Portraying a "Friendly Arctic"

    By Josh Hilliard
    MALS 2009
    Dartmouth College

    Vilhjalmur Stefansson’s "Arctic Images" were an integral part of his lecture tour carefully chosen to project an image of the "Friendly Arctic." Beginning in the 1920s and continuing into the 1950s, Stefansson’s popular lecture series rejected the Arctic he called "preeminently the land of imagination," that of a wasteland of snow and ice that dominated the discourse of the North. Stefansson sought to replace that harsh mythic North with his concept of a hospitable land of abundant resources. To eliminate these myths, Stefansson showed audiences glass lanternslides of scenes they may not initially have expected: green pastures, abundant flora and fauna, and everyday scenes from the life of the native people. Stefansson’s words and images advanced the idea of the friendly North that was new to his audiences and contrary to the popular image of the time. Read More