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The Papers of Richard Evelyn Byrd at Dartmouth CollegeWMST Mss-181

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Byrd, Richard Evelyn
Title Remainder: Papers. 1928-1949
Dates: 1928-1949
Identification: Mss-181


1888 Born 25 October, in Winchester, Virginia, to Richard Evelyn and Eleanor Bolling (Flood) Byrd.
1912 Graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy.
1915 Married Marie D. Ames.
1925 Commanded the aviation unit of the Navy-MacMillan Polar Expedition.
1926 Claimed flight over the North Pole with Floyd Bennett.
1927 Made trans-Atlantic flight, New York to France.
1928 Skyward published.
1928-1930 Commanded expedition to Antarctic.
1929 Flew over the South Pole.
1933-1935 Commanded second expedition to Antarctic.
1935 Discovery published.
1937 Exploring with Byrd published.
1938 Alone published.
1939-1941 Commanded U.S. Antarctic Service, which made many discoveries in Antarctica.
1942-1945 Served with Admirals King and Nimitz in Washington and the Pacific.
1946-1947 Commanded U.S. Navy Operation Highjump in Antarctic.
1957 Died 11 March, in Boston, Massachusetts.


Richard Evelyn Byrd (1888-1957) was one of the pioneers of polar-region flying. After graduating from the United States Naval Academy and flying with the Aviation Service in World War I, he flew in the Arctic and later commanded four expeditions to the Antarctic. He attained the rank of rear-admiral, served in World War II, won many honors and decorations, both naval and civilian, and wrote five books about his explorations.

Much of the material in this collection is from a scrapbook (a large photograph album) put together by Byrd and other members of the 1928-1930 expedition to the Antarctic and presented by Byrd to Arthur Treadwell Walden in 1930. Walden, of Wonalancet, New Hampshire, was the author of A Dog-Puncher on the Yukon and Harness and Pack; and he and the dogs he raised were apparently very popular members of Byrd's first Antarctic expedition. The scrapbook contained 542 photographs (of the 615 in this collection), and Walden added to it five letters from Byrd, two other letters and some miscellaneous papers and clippings, which are all included here. A corner of the scrapbook was, at some time, damaged by fire, and there was further damage that made it necessary to remove everything and store it more securely.

The other photographs and papers here were acquired by gift and purchase at various times. There are no restrictions on the use of the collection.




Byrd to Dorothy Bickum, 2 August 1930. Includes a silk American flag “carried to the South Polar regions.”


Byrd to James B. Pond (Pond Lecture Bureau), 1931 and 1932 (4).


Byrd to Arthur T. Walden, 1939-1939 (5). Removed from scrapbook. Letter of 1 August 1930 tells about the scrapbook sent to Walden by Byrd.


Byrd to: Mr. Branch (Oliver W.?), 15 July 1932;

Arthur Lofgren, 27 June 1936;

Paul Rowley, 13 April 1931;

James A. Sullivan, 19 December 1949;

Elton Weyland, 28 September 1928.


Braathen, Christoffer, to Arthur T. Walden, 24 April 1937.


Jahncke, Ernest Lee, Acting Secretary of the Navy, to Arthur T. Walden, 29 July 1931.



“History of `The Lucky Penny' while in the care of Arthur T. Walden, Byrd Antarctic Expedition.” Typescript, one page, ca. 1930. Includes a certificate stating that Walden crossed the Equator, 3 October 1928. Removed from scrapbook.


List of officers of the whaler Sir James Clark Ross. Holograph, 29 October 1928, on one sheet with burned curner. Removed from scrapbook.


Invitation to testimonial dinner in honor of Byrd, New York, 5 June 1936.

FOLDER : 10.

“Little America Aviation and Exploration Club Map.” Map distributed by the Tidewater Oil Company to be used for plotting the explorations of Byrd's second Antarctic expedition, 1933-1935.

FOLDER : 11.

Pond Lecture Bureau announcements, press releases, notes, etc.

FOLDER : 12.

“With Byrd in the Antarctic,” Special Number of the New York Times Mid-Week Pictorial, 10 May 1930.

FOLDER : 13.

Magazine clipping, 1931; and newspaper clippings, 1935-1974 and undated.


FOLDER : 14.

Byrd in uniform.

FOLDER : 15.

Byrd in Hanover, N.H., for reception and lecture, October 1930. Six photographs, including one of dogs. Includes form letter of invitation.

FOLDER : 16.

Photo-montage of the Eleanor Bolling and the City of New York in ice, with a cameo portrait and signature of Elbert Thawley, an assistant engineer on Byrd's 1928-1930 expedition. Includes an envelope postmarked 19 March 1930 on the Eleanor Bolling. Both the photograph and the envelope bear the cachet of the Byrd Antarctic Expedition.

FOLDER : 17.

The City of New York, near shoreline, possibly U.S.A. or New Zealand. The bark has two stacks in this photograph.

FOLDER : 18.

The City of New York, near shoreline, possibly U.S.A. or New Zealand. She has only one stack and different paint in this photograph.

FOLDER : 19.

The City of New York, stern view by pier.

FOLDER : 20.

Exhibit featuring Kohler generator used by the Byrd Antarctic Expedition, 1928-1930.

FOLDER : 21.

Byrd and dog at the entrance of the hole leading to the administration building, Little America. Published in Little America. This and the following eight photographs from the 1928-1930 expedition were used for publicity by the Pond Lecture Bureau.

FOLDER : 22.

Little America during winter night. Published in Little America.

FOLDER : 23.

“The Aviation Pilots in Conference in the Library. Left to right: Dean C. Smith, Alton N. Parker, Commander Byrd, Bernt Balchen, and Harold June.” Published in Little America.

FOLDER : 24.

Aerial photograph taken enroute to the South Pole, showing Mt. Nansen. Published in Little America.

FOLDER : 25.

Little America.

FOLDER : 26.

Men digging the Ford tri-motor out of snow.

FOLDER : 27.

Byrd and dog in quarters.

FOLDER : 28.

Two men with puppies and toy sled.

FOLDER : 29.

Group of men around the American flag.

Photographs of the 1928-1930 expedition from the Walden scrapbook

FOLDER : 30.

Byrd and another officer (McKinley?) on shipboard. Photograph torn and dirty, with surface denting.

FOLDER : 31.

Gould, Laurence M. (Larry). Portrait inscribed to Walden, 1931.

FOLDER : 32.

McKinley, Ashley C. Portrait inscribed to Walden.

FOLDER : 33.

Walden and others in New Zealand.

FOLDER : 34.

Port Chalmers, New Zealand.

FOLDER : 35.

Crowd watching dog team and sled, New Zealand, 1928.

FOLDER : 36.

Aerial view of the City of New York berthed in the Bay of Whales (?).

FOLDER : 37.

The Eleanor Bolling loading at dock. Large fragment of burned photograph.

FOLDER : 38.

The Floyd Bennett, Ford tri-motor, in flight. Large fragment of burned photograph.

FOLDER : 39.

Little America, three views.

FOLDER : 40.

Men moving construction materials, probably at Little America. Photograph torn, with surface denting.

FOLDER : 41.

Aerial views of mountains. Three photographs.

FOLDER : 42.

Natural scenery. Three photographs, somewhat stained.

FOLDER : 43.

Natural scenery. Three aerial views. There are small figures of men and seals (?) in one.

FOLDER : 44.

Natural scenery. Three photographs, somewhat stained. Two also have scorched corners.

FOLDER : 45.

The City of New York at sea.

FOLDER : 46.

The Eleanor Bolling at sea.


Small photographs from the Walden scrapbook, 1928-1930

FOLDER : 1-60.

Portraits of members of the expedition. No. 1 is Walden.

FOLDER : 61-139.

Boats, ships, and shipboard scenes (See also: “Whalers and Whaling.”)

FOLDER : 140-179.

Whalers and whaling.

FOLDER : 180-217.


FOLDER : 218-278.

Men of the expedition, outdoor scenes.


FOLDER : 279-309.

Men of the expedition, in quarters.

FOLDER : 310-353.

Dogs. 334-353 are of dogs in New Zealand and on board ship, mostly caged. (See also: “Sleds and Sledging.”)

FOLDER : 354-389.

Sleds and sledging, including dogs

FOLDER : 390-416.

Camps, buildings, and other structures.

FOLDER : 417-445.


FOLDER : 446-487.

Natural scenery.

FOLDER : 488-515.

Miscellany, including people and scenes in New Zealand.

Small photographs from the 1933-1935 expedition

FOLDER : 516-567.

Men, ships, airplanes, other equipment, various activities, etc.


Byrd, Richard Evelyn. “Aviation Flights,” one-page memorandum, Little America, 6 November 1934, stating purpose and mode of exploratory flights in Antarctica.

Manuscript 934606

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