In August 2013 the Canadian government launched its largest search for the ships, relics, and records of the John Franklin expedition, which disappeared with all 129 hands lost searching for the Northwest Passage in 1845. Canada's latest search was its fifth in six years, one of dozens of search expeditions launched since 1848, in a well-known story of imperial hubris elevated to an international cause célèbre. Recent work in nineteenth-century literary and visual culture has shown the significant role that Franklin played in the Victorian popular imagination of the Arctic (see Spufford, Potter, David, Hill, Cavell, Williams, Savours, MacLaren). In panoramas, stereographs, paintings, plays, music, lantern shows, exhibitions, and popular and elite printed texts, record numbers of Britons could enjoy at their leisure the Arctic sublime in which Franklin's men perished. Alongside this work on how Europeans represented Arctic peoples and places, we also have a growing body of Inuit oral histories describing their encounters with nineteenth-century Arctic explorers. Drawing on these traditional histories of British exploration, visual culture, and literary imagination, and on postcolonial, anthropological and indigenous accounts that shift our attention away from the Eurocentrism of exploration historiography, and toward the “hidden histories of exploration,” this essay uncovers an unexamined material dimension of these encounters – the “Franklin Relics” collected by voyagers searching for Franklin.