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Sealers in the service of science

  • Kjell-G. Kjær (a1)

Abstract

This paper describes the co-operation, for the purpose of data collection, that was established between scientific institutions in Scandinavia and the sealing trade in northern Norway in the period 1865–1875. The paper describes the cartographic work carried out by sealing masters, notably the making of new charts of Nordaustlandet, Kong Karls Land and Novaya Zemlya. It also describes how a scientific network in Norway and Sweden saw the potential in the masters’ knowledge of the Arctic and encouraged them to record their observations and to gather scientific data. The reasons why sealing masters engaged in Arctic research are described. The paper includes charts of parts of Svalbard and of Novaya Zemlya based on sealers’ sketches, notes and ship's journals.

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