Guide to the William Hillman Collection, 1897-1930Stefansson Mss-241

Introduction to the Collection

The William Hillman Collection contains twelve silver print photographs; 9 telegrams; 16 newspapers articles and 1 broadside related to S. A. Andrée's ill fated balloon expedition to the North Pole in 1897.

The photographs are copies of those printed from the negatives shot by Andrée and his men during the expedition and then recovered by Norwegian reporters in 1930. They document the downed balloon, scenes of camp life, a dead polar bear, the Expedition's boat, and a dead bird. The telegrams are from "Stansbury", "Ranck", and "Ritchie" and were sent to Hillman discussing the Andrée story. The telegrams allude to Andrée's diary, Hillman's interview with Gunnar Horn, and the Strindberg and "Frænkel" diaries. The 16 newspaper segments are from The Boston Advertiser, The Los Angeles Examiner, The New York American, and the Chicago Herald and Examiner. One article, dated September 20 and appearing in The New York American, carries Hillman's byline. In addition to covering the discovery of the Expedition, the newspapers printed excerpts from the diaries of Andrée and Strindberg. The broadside was distributed by the Swedish government to native tribes along Andrée's suspected route appealing to them to offer aide to the balloonists if discovered.

Finding Aids