From the University of Calgary:
It’s one thing to read about 18th century explorer Sir John Franklin in the history books. It’s another thing altogether to read a letter written and signed by him personally.
A newly digitized collection is bringing history to life through tales of adventure and discovery in the Arctic in the 1800s and early 1900s. There are 24 letters written by Franklin in the collection that belongs to the Arctic Institute of North America (AINA) at the University of Calgary. It has now been digitized and made available online as part of the Arctic and Northern Studies digital collection hosted by Libraries and Cultural Resources.
Along with Franklin’s letters, the collection contains materials such as maps, manuscripts, photographs, sketches, and lithographs that relate to Arctic exploration in the 1800s and early 1900s. One map dates as far back as 1595.
Shannon Vossepoel, AINA’s manager of research data and information services, says this recently digitized collection gives Arctic researchers and enthusiasts the opportunity to explore materials previously inaccessible outside the university.
“With a lot of these rare, unique and fragile items people would have to travel to the University of Calgary specifically to look at them,” says Vossepoel. “It’s too difficult for us to send them out, whereas now that they are digitized, it means people from all over the world can benefit from the items we have in this collection and use it for scholarship and educational purposes.”
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