Ada Blackjack papers, 1923-1983Rauner Stefansson Manuscript Mss-8

Full Finding Aid


Ada Blackjack papers

Call Number:

Rauner Stefansson Manuscript Mss-8

Collection Dates:


Size of Collection:

.25 linear ft., 1 box


Ada Blackjack (1898-1983), Alaskan native seamstress and sole survivor of Stefansson's Wrangel Island Expedition of 1921. The collections contains her diary, with transcript, a historical account of the expedition, newspaper clippings, as well as biographical information

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.

Conditions Governing Access


Conditions Governing Use

Permission from Dartmouth College required for publication or reproduction.

Introduction to the Collection

The papers of Ada Blackjack contain her diary with transcript and historical account of the 1921 Wrangel Island Expedition, of which she was sole survivor. Newspaper accounts as well as an agreement with and letter from Viljalmur Stefansson are also included.


Ada Blackjack was born on May 10, 1898 in Solomon, Alaska. She moved to Nome, Alaska where she married and had three children of which only one survived. Left destitute by her husband, she joined the Wrangle Island Expedition of 1921 which was financed by Vilhjalmur Stefansson. After a grueling two years on the island she was the only survivor of the expedition when she was rescued in 1923. She eventually returned to the Arctic where she lived until her death in 1983 at the age of 85.

Box & Folder List

Box: 1, 1923-1983

Access Restrictions



Box Contents

  • Folder: 1, Diary, March 14 - June 9, 1923
  • Folder: 2, Diary, March 10 - August 20, 1923
  • Folder: 3, Typescript of diary, undated
  • Folder: 4, Agreement with Vilhjalmur Stefansson concerning diary with letter from E.R. Jordan, Notary Public, 1924-1929
  • Folder: 5, Story of Stefansson Expedition, undated
  • Folder: 6, Letter to Vilhjalmur Stefansson, February 17, 1924
  • Folder: 7, Biographic Information, newsclippings, photographs, 1923-1983

Finding Aids