Dijmphna Expedition Photographsin the Dartmouth College LibraryWMST Mss-202

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Dijmphna Expedition
Title Remainder: Records. 1883
Dates: 1883
Identification: Mss-202


This collection comprises ten photographs taken by the Dijmphna Expedition (the Danish expedition of the First International Polar Year, 1882-83) on the frozen Kara Sea in 1883. It includes pictures of the Varna, the steamship of the Dutch expedition, as it sinks in July, 1883. The photographs have been professionally mounted, dated, and annotated in Danish.

The following brief description of the Danish and Dutch expeditions is from A. W. Greely's Handbook of Arctic Discoveries:

The primary object of Lieutenant A. P. Hovgaard, Danish steamer Dijmphna, was the discovery of new lands, but his secondary aim -- co-operation with the international stations -- dominated from his besement in the Sea of Kara, 71°N., 64°E., 18th September 1882. She wintered in company with the Varna, supplementing the ordinary observations by others on the action of chlorides and salts in the ice, salinity and temperature of different layers of the sea and the action of the pack, which moved with the prevailing wind. The Dijmphna drifted here and there, and after losing her screw fortunately escaped without shipwreck, westward through Waigat Strait, 25th September 1883....Holland agreed to establish a station at Dicksonhavn, 73° 30′N., 81°E., on the north coast of Asia. To this end Dr. M. Snellen sailed in the Norwegian steamer Varna from Amsterdam, 5th July 1882. The ice-conditions to the westward of Nova Zembla were so unfavorable that the Varna entered the Kara Sea with great difficulty, and somewhat later, after an attempt to land on the west coast of Nova Zembla, was beset, 22nd September 1882, in company with the Danish exploring steamer Dijmphna. From time to time ice threatened the destruction of the Varna, but she escaped serious injury until the end of December 1882, when the Dutch expedition sought shelter on the Dijmphna. Every effort to relieve the dangerous situation of the Varna failed, and 24th June [July] 1883, she sank. Notwithstanding their unfortunate condition, Dr. Snellen displayed the true scientific spirit by continuing regular observations from besetment to 1st August 1883, when the party started with boat and sledge to make the coast of Nova Zembla. They reached the south point of Waigat Island, 25th August, where they met the Nordenskiöld and were landed in Hammerfest, 1st September 1883 -- all in health.

More information on the Danish and Dutch expeditions can be found in the Stefansson Collection in works by Andreas P. Hovgaard, L. A. H. Lamie, Maurits Snellen, and William Barr.

1. Dijmphna party on ice with cabin and boat, February 27, 1883.

2. Crew of Dijmphna hoisting a load out of or into the icebound vessel, June 4, 1883.

3. Stern of Dijmphna in ice, three crew members, boats, and facilities on ice, June 5, 1883.

4. Crew of Varna(?) ready for travel on ice, June 5, 1883.

5. Dijmphna in ice, July 23, 1883.

6. Varna half-sunk in ice, July 23, 1883.

7. Varna sinking, July 24, 1883.

8. “Varna's grave,” July 29, 1883.

9. Hummocked ice, August 18, 1883.

10. Hummocked ice, another view, August 18, 1883.

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