If you think it’s cold out, be glad you aren’t a member of the Franklin Expedition. In 1845, Captain Sir John Franklin departed England with two ships and 128 men. His aim was to chart and navigate a section of the Northwest Passage. The expedition never returned and there were no survivors. The lost Franklin expedition caught the imagination of the public and was a subject of Victorian era stories, songs, and novels, as well as more recent television documentaries. The most recent Arctic search for the lost ships HMS Erebus and HMS Terror was mounted in August 2013 by Parks Canada. The search found over 200 small artifacts and human bones, but no trace of the ships.
Learn more about nineteenth century polar expeditions brimming with tales bravery and discovery (even murder and cannabalism!) in the Special Collections.