Guide to the Papers of Charles Culmer, 1941 - 1944Stefansson Mss-253

Full Finding Aid


Guide to the Papers of Charles Culmer, 1941 - 1944

Call Number:

Stefansson Mss-253

Collection Dates:

1941 - 1944

Size of Collection:

1 box (.25 linear ft.)


The papers of Charles Culmer contains a report, correspondence, notes, telegrams and maps relating to the Crystal Three weather outpost base operated by the U.S. Army Air Force on Padloping Island, Canada.

Access to Collection:


Use & Access

The materials represented in this guide may be accessed through the Rauner Special Collections Library at Dartmouth College. Rauner Library is located in Webster Hall. The materials must be used on-site and may not leave Rauner Library.

Rauner Special Collections Library is open to the public and in most cases no appointment is necessary. The exception is in the case of materials stored off site for which there may be a delay of up to 48 hours in retrieval. Please consult the Access to Collection statement below or contact Rauner Reference.

Access to Collection


Use Restrictions

Permission from Dartmouth College required for publication or reproduction.

Introduction to the Collection

The papers of Charles U. Culmer contains letters, telegrams, reports, notes, photographs, and a map of the Northern Territories kept by Culmer when based on Padloping Island at Post Base Crystal Three, off of Baffin Island, during World War II. The documents contain details about the arctic, Native peoples and life on the base. Of note is a history of the base begun by Culmer and carried on by subsequent officers.


Major Charles U. Culmer, Base Surgeon, U.S. Medical Corps. Born July 3, 1911. Died April 19, 1993.

Series, Box & Folder List

Series 1, Reports on U.S.A.A.F. Base and the Arctic Region, 1941-1944, undated

Reports include: official reports on U.S.A.A.F. Base Crystal Three and Arctic explorations; manuscripts about the Arctic region, its location, topography, climate, transportation, fauna and flora, history and inhabitants (information included in the official reports); report outlines; and research materials for the reports and manuscripts such as weather charts and a bibliography list (referred to in a manuscript)

Box: 1, Dates: 1941-1944

Access Restrictions


Box Contents

  • Folder: 1, Official Post-diary Report of Crystal Three U.S.A.A.F Base, 1941-1943
  • Folder: 2, Manuscript for first part of Post-diary Report, 1941-1942
  • Folder: 3, Official Report on Trip to Pangnirtung referred to in Post-diary Report (includes duplicate with cover letter and receipt acknowledgment), 1943
  • Folder: 4, Official Report on General Medical Information of the Region (includes cover letter for sick and wounded records), 1943
  • Folder: 5, Manuscripts for report on the Cumberland Peninsula and Baffin Island (two versions), Undated
  • Folder: 6, Incomplete manuscripts for reports on Baffin Island and Davis Strait, and report outlines, Undated
  • Folder: 7, Crystal Three Base Charts with Summary Weather Conditions, 1941-1943
  • Folder: 8, List of Bibliography on the Arctic, Undated

Series 2, Communications on U.S.S.A.F. Base activities and affairs, 1942-1943

Communications on U.S.A.A.F. Base Crystal Three activities and affairs include: official letters and telegrams on issues referred to in the Official Post-diary Report of Crystal Three Base; official commendation letters by Maj. Culmer; and telegrams on activities at the Base and affairs of Maj. Culmer

Box: 1

Box Contents

  • Folder: 9, Communication on ice runways for airplanes, 1943
  • Folder: 10, Communication on toxic quality of polar bear liver, 1943
  • Folder: 11, Official commendation letters (includes duplicates), 1943
  • Folder: 12, Telegrams on activities at the Base and affairs of Maj. Culmer, 1943, undated

Series 3, Personal Correspondence, 1944

Personal Correspondence includes a Christmas card sent to Maj. Culmer in Minnesota from Maj. Hassell in Presque Island (mentioned in the Post-diary Report as the pilot who brought supplies and mail to the base)

Box: 1

Box Contents

  • Folder: 13, Christmas card, 1944

Series 4, Map, Vocabulary list and Notes, Undated

Map, Vocabulary list and Notes include a map of the Arctic, a list of words in English translated into Eskimo, and notes on activities at the U.S.A.A.F. Base (polar bear liver intake experiment and goods supplies)

Box: 1

Box Contents

  • Folder: 14, Map of The Northwest Territories, Department of the Interior, Canada, Undated
  • Folder: 15, Eskimo vocabulary list, Undated
  • Folder: 16, Notes on polar bear liver intake experiment and on goods and supplies, Undated

Series 5, Photographs, 1942, undated

Photographs include pictures of Maj. Culmer in his quarters, a plane flying over the Base, Maj. Culmer in winter clothes, a dog and sled expedition, and a killed white whale

Box: 1

Box Contents

  • Folder: 17, Photographs, 1942, undated

Finding Aids