Library and Archives Canada
Symbol of the Government of Canada

Institutional links

ARCHIVED - Arctic Quest: The Northwest Passage

Archived Content

This archived Web page remains online for reference, research or recordkeeping purposes. This page will not be altered or updated. Web pages that are archived on the Internet are not subject to the Government of Canada Web Standards. As per the Communications Policy of the Government of Canada, you can request alternate formats of this page on the Contact Us page.

The Search for Franklin and Franklin Relics 1847-1880

A guide to primary sources held at Library and Archives Canada

Government documents (chronological order)

Published as part of the sessional papers

Great Britain. Parliament. House of Commons. Sessional papers : accounts and papers. London, 1847-.
National Library FIOP collection, on microcards only : J301 K6 Stacks

Some papers were also published separately, and this is noted below. Others were issued only within the Sessional papers. Based on the Arctic bibliography, returns dealing with the Arctic will be found in:

1847/48
v. 41 no. 264, 386

1849
v. 31 no. 152
v. 32 no. 188, 188-II, 387, 497

1850
v. 35 no. 107 (also published separately), 368, 397

1851
v. 33 no. 97

1852
v. 50 no. 1435, 1436, 1449 (all 3 also published separately)
v. 30 no. 14, 59
v. 50 no. 115, 248, 317, 390, 501

1852/53
v. 60 no. 82 (also published separately), 444, 1013

1854
v. 42 no. 1725 (also published separately), 129, 171, 200

1854/55
v. 35 no. 1898 (also published separately)
v. 31 no. 140-VII items 43-44
v. 44 no. 181
v. 07 no. 409

1856
v. 41 no. 2124

1857/58
v. 60 no. 2416

The contents of each of the above papers is given in detail in v. 8 of the Arctic bibliography (Z6005 P7 A7 Ref./Stacks) and in somewhat less detail in v. 8, no. 3 of the Arctic circular (L-133-6 Serials or FC3959 G68 A7 1955 fol. ReserveRef.). Alan Cooke's The exploration of northern Canada (FC3956 C66 Ref./ReserveRef./Stacks) lists the Franklin-search voyages in chronological order, noting in which volume of the Sessional papers each voyage is discussed.

Published separately

Arctic expedition : return to an order of the Honourable the House of Commons, dated 5 February 1850, for copies "of any reports or statements from the officers employed in the Arctic expeditions, or from any other persons, which have been laid before the lords commissioners of the Admiralty, in respect to the resumption of the search for Sir John Franklin's expedition". [London : s.n., 1850] (Sessional papers, Accounts and papers (1850), v. 35, no. 107)
FC3961 .3 A78 1850 fol. Reserve

Papers and despatches relating to the Arctic searching expeditions of 1850-51 together with a few brief remarks as to the probable course pursued by Sir John Franklin. London : Rivington, 1851.
FC3961 .3 P36 Reserve

-- 2nd ed. with copious additions. London : Rivington, 1852.
FC3961 .3 P36 1852 Reserve

Arctic expeditions : return to an address of the Honourable the House of Commons, dated 19 November 1852, for "copies of any correspondence received at the Admiralty from Sir Edward Belcher's squadron, detailing the proceedings thereof since leaving Greenhithe, and from any other Arctic expeditions since the dates of the last returns from the same respectively" ... [London, 1852] (Sessional papers, Accounts and papers (1852/53), v. 60, no. 82)
FC3961 .3 A78 1850 fol. Reserve

Arctic expeditions : report of the committee appointed by the lords commissioners of the Admiralty to inquire into and report on the recent Arctic expeditions in search of Sir John Franklin : together with the minutes of evidence taken before the committee and papers connected with the subject. London : Printed by Eyre and Spottiswoode for HMSO, 1852. (Sessional papers, Accounts and papers (1852), v. 50, no. 1435)
FC3961 .3 R46 fol. Reserve

Arctic expedition : further correspondence and proceedings connected with the Arctic expedition, presented to both Houses of Parliament by command of Her Majesty. London : Printed by Eyre and Spottiswoode for HMSO, 1852. (Sessional papers, Accounts and papers (1852), v. 50, no. 1449)
FC3961 .3 A77 1852 fol. Reserve

Additional papers relative to the Arctic expeditions under the orders of Captain Austin and Mr. William Penny. London : Eyre and Spottiswoode, 1852. (Sessional papers, Accounts and papers (1852), v. 50, no. 1436)
Indian and Northern Affairs Library; Queen's University, Kingston

Arctic expeditions : copy of extracts from any correspondence or proceedings of the Board of Admiralty in relation to the Arctic expeditions, including those more recently sent forth in resumption of the search for that under the command of Sir John Franklin : copies if any instruction from the Admiralty to any officers in Her Majesty's service engaged in the Arctic expeditions since the date of the last parliamentary return on the said subject (in continuation of Parliamentary papers no. 107 and no. 397 of session 1850) : and copy or extracts from any correspondence or communications from the government of the United States or from Her Majesty's minister at Washington in relation to any search made on the part of the United States. [London : s.n., 1851].
Simon Fraser University Library

Papers relative to the recent Arctic expeditions in search of Sir John Franklin and the crews of HMS Erebus and Terror. London : Eyre and Spottiswoode, 1854. (Sessional papers, Accounts and papers (1854), v. 42, no. 1725)
FC3961 .3 P37 fol. Reserve

Further papers relative to the recent Arctic expeditions in search of Sir John Franklin and the crews of HMS Erebus and Terror. London : Eyre and Spottiswoode, 1855. (Sessional papers, Accounts and papers (1854/55), v. 35, no. 1898)
FC3961 .3 P372 fol. Reserve

Great Britain. Select Committee on Arctic Expedition. Report from the Select Committee on Arctic Expedition : together with the proceedings of the Committee, minutes of evidence, and appendix. [London : s.n., 1855] (Sessional papers, Accounts and papers (1854/55), v. 7, no. 409)
FC3961 .3 A78 1850 fol. Reserve

Further papers relative to the recent Arctic expeditions in search of Sir J. Franklin, and the crews of ... Erebus and Terror : including the reports of Dr. Kane and Messrs. Anderson and Stewart ... : in continuation of papers presented in September 1854-5 : presented to the House of Commons, 1856. London : Harrison and Sons, [1856?] (Sessional papers, Accounts and papers (1856), v. 41, no. 2124)
Library of Congress

Correspondence respecting HMS Resolute, and the Arctic expedition. London : Harrison, [1858] (Sessional papers, Accounts and papers (1857/58), v. 60, no. 2416)
FC3961 .3 C677 1858 fol. Reserve


Other useful reference works

Cooke, Alan. The exploration of northern Canada, 500-1920 : a chronology. Toronto : Arctic History Press, 1978. (Includes an extensive list of officers and crewmen involved in the Franklin search)
FC3956 C66 Ref./ReserveRef/Stacks

Great Britain. Admiralty. The new Navy list and general record of the services of officers of the Royal Navy and Royal Marines. London : Parker, Furnivall, and Parker, 1840-
National Library FIOP collection holds 1853-

Markham, Clements Robert. The Arctic navy list, or, A century of Arctic & Antarctic officers, 1773-1873 : together with a list of officers of the 1875 expedition, and their services. Portsmouth : Royal Naval Museum, 1992. Reprint. Originally published: London : Griffin, 1875.
G584 M37 1992 ReserveRef

Poulsom, Neville Wright. The white ribbon : a medallic record of British polar expeditions. London : Seaby, 1968.
National Archives of Canada (CJ6107 P6 P6 1968)

Return to Table of Contents