1869 Murray Map of Spitsbergen Island, Svalbard Archipelago, Norway

Map of Spitzbergen to illustrate the Paper by Professor Nordenskiöld and Captain Von Otter. - Main View

1869 Murray Map of Spitsbergen Island, Svalbard Archipelago, Norway


Farthest north...


Map of Spitzbergen to illustrate the Paper by Professor Nordenskiöld and Captain Von Otter.
  1869 (dated)     10.25 x 8 in (26.035 x 20.32 cm)     1 : 2600000


This is an 1868 John Murry Map of Spitsbergen in the Svalbard Archipelago, Norway, drawn to illustrate the 1868 Arctic expedition led by Adolf Erik Nordenskiöld and Frederick Wilhelm von Otter. Situated off the northern coast of Norway, Spitsbergen is the only permanently inhabited island in the archipelago. Numerous bays, points, coastal islands, fjords, and other important coastal locations are identified. Red lines trace the expedition's route. Its goals were to study the region's fauna, flora, geography, and geology. Its most notable achievement is that Nordenskiöld and Von Otter reached the highest latitude ever visited by humans in the Eastern Hemisphere up until that time, 81°40' North Latitude. Nordenskiöld and Von Otter both contended that if their ship, the Sofia had not been damaged by ice at that latitude, they would have been able to travel significantly further north, perhaps even to 83°N.
Publication History and Census
This map was engraved by Edward Weller and published by John Murray and accompanied Nordenskiöld and Von Otter's article 'Account of the Swedish North-Polar Expedition of 1868, under the command of A. E. Nordenskiöld and Fr. W. von Otter' in Volume 39 of The Journal of the Royal Geographical Society. An example is part of the institutional collection at Princeton University.


John Murray I (1737 - 1793) founded the British publishing firm John Murray (1768 - present) in London. Born in Edinburgh, Murray served as an officer in the Royal Marines and built a list of authors that included Isaac D’Israeli and published the English Review. Murray the elder also was one of the founding sponsors of the London evening newspaper The Star in 1788. John Murray II (November 27 1778 - June 27, 1843) continued the family publishing business and developed it into one of the most important and influential publishing houses in Britain. The list of authors published by the firm grew to include Jane Austen, Sir Walter Scott, Washington Irving, George Crabbe, and Lord Byron under his tenure. Murray II also moved the business to 50 Albermarle Street in Mayfair, which became famous for Murray’s tradition of ‘four o’clock friends’, which was afternoon tea with his writers. John Murray III (1808 - 1892) continued to grow the business, and the firm published the first English translation of Goethe’s Theory of Colours, David Livingstone’s Missionary Travels and Charles Darwin’s Origin of Species during his tenure. Murray also published Herman Melville’s first two books. The firm began publishing Murray Handbooks in 1836, an ancestor of all modern travel guides. Sir John Murray IV (1851 - 1928) was publisher to Queen Victoria. Three successive Murray’s after Murray IV led the business until it was purchased by Hodder Headline in 2002, which was acquired by the French conglomerate Lagardère Group in 2004. Today, Murray is an imprint of Lagardère under the imprint Hachette UK. More by this mapmaker...

Edward Weller (July 1, 1819 - 1884) was a cartographer and engraver based in London. Weller was a nephew of another well-known map publisher Sidney Hall (1788 - 1831), who gave him 50 Pounds to pay his apprenticeship fees. He engraved for many prominent mapmakers and was active enough in the community to be recommended for membership to the Royal Geographical Society in 1851 on the recommendation of John Arrowsmith, among others. He eventually inherited the Sidney Hall map business which led him to follow Arrowsmith as the unofficial geographer to the Royal Geographical Society. Weller was among the first map printers in London to embrace lithography. His best known work appears in Cassell's Weekly Dispatch Atlas, published in monthly segments for subscribers of the 'Weekly Dispatch' newspaper. This collection of maps eventually grew to include much of the known world. Published in various editions from 1855 through the early 1880s. Weller died in May of 1884, leaving behind a successful business and an unhappy widow. His son, Francis Sidney Weller (1849 - 1910), followed in his father's footsteps and continued the family map business. The atlas Mackenzie's Comprehensive Gazetteer of England and Wales was published in 1894 and bore F. S. Weller's signature on the maps. Learn More...

Royal Geographical Society (fl. 1830 - present) is a British Society established in 1830 to promote geographical science and exploration. Originally titled the "Geographical Society of London", the RGS received its royal charter from Queen Victoria in 1859 shortly after absorbing several similar but more regional societies including the African Association, the Raleigh Club and the Palestine Association. The RGS sponsored many of the most important and exciting voyages of exploration ever undertaken, including the exploration of Charles Darwin, David Livingstone, Robert Falcon Scott, Richard F. Burton, John Speke, George Hayward, H. M Stanley, Ernest Shackleton and Sir Edmond Hillary. Today, the RGS remains a leading global sponsor of geographical and scientific studies. The Society is based in Lowther Lodge, South Kensington, London. Learn More...


Nordenskiöld, A. E. and Fr. W. von Otter, 'Account of the Swedish North-Polar Expedition of 1868, under the command of A. E. Nordenskiöld and Fr. W. von Otter', The Journal of the Royal Geographical Society Vol. 39 (London: John Murray) 1869.    


Very good. Exhibits light wear along original fold lines. Exhibits light offsetting. Right margin extended. Blank on verso.


Princeton University Library G9791.C1 1869 .R6.