The Arctic Institute of North America : the origin of the Institute   /   Parkin, R.
Arctic, v. 19, no. 1, Mar. 1966, p. 5-18, ill.
ASTIS record 9976

On 8 December 1953, the Rt. Hon. Louis St. Laurent, Prime Minister of Canada, while moving the second reading of the bill to create the Department of Northern Affairs and National Resources, said in the Canadian House of Commons: "Apparently we have administered these vast territories of the north in an almost continuing state of absence of mind." Some ten years earlier, a few Canadians, concerned over the wholly inadequate attention being paid by both Canadian government and people to the rising importance of the northern regions of the world and the significance for Canada of her own huge northern territories, were discussing among themselves what might be done to remedy this state of affairs. Could a group of Canadians, as private citizens, take action that would focus attention on the North? If so, what would be of the most worth? The group, many of them friends, living within easy reach of each other, increased from some three or so in 1942-43 to about half a dozen by early 1944. Their discussions, at that time solely concerned with a Canadian problem, led to a sequence of events that, by 1945, had culminated in the creation and finally the legal incorporation of the Arctic Institute of North America. The object of this article is to tell the story of how this came to pass. It is an attempt by a Canadian founder of the Institute to describe the atmosphere in which it was founded, and to provide some historical documentation. ...

The Arctic Institute of North America : yesterday and today   /   Reed, J.C.
Arctic, v. 19, no. 1, Mar. 1966, p. 19-31, ill.
ASTIS record 9977

... This chapter begins in 1945 when the Institute's first full-time Executive Director, A. Lincoln Washburn, climbed the stairs to the first quarters in a couple of rooms in the administration wing of McGill University's Arts Building in Montreal. Washburn, as mentioned in Parkin's chapter, was largely responsible for the new organization becoming well-oriented on a course of broad and imaginative service to the cause of northern research in both the natural and the social sciences. It was found difficult to replace him when he resigned in 1950 and the post of Executive Director was left vacant until 1952 when R. C. Wallace, who had recently retired as Principal of Queen's University, became the Executive Director and served until his untimely death in 1954. Wallace was followed by T. H. Manning, who occupied the position until the end of 1955, after which the post was left unfilled until April 1957 when A. T. Belcher, formerly of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, assumed the office. Belcher directed the Institute until the spring of 1960 when the author of this article became the Executive Director. After running quickly over the first few years, this chapter will deal mainly with what the Institute is doing in the environment in which it now finds itself at the dawn of the space age, when research appreciation is blossoming and the scientist is a man of stature. In 1945, the first year of actual operation, the Institute carried on its business on an income of about $10,000. By 1950 the level of activity had risen to approximately $156,000 and, in the next five years, to around $400,000 a year. Since 1958 the yearly revenues have fluctuated between about $1,000,000 and $1,500,000; the total revenue for 1965 was $1,167,000. This gives a fair idea of the level of activity through the years. Most of the funding of the Arctic Institute has been, and continues to be, from government sources through a variety of grants and contracts, mostly for specified purposes. Nevertheless continuing and significant support has come from other sources, including some foundations, industry, and private individuals. In respect to the non-governmental category, the Institute owes a great deal indeed to Walter A. Wood, a Governor of the Institute through many of its twenty years and currently the President of the American Geographical Society. Since the late 1940's Dr. Wood has given generously of his time, his thought, and his substance to the Institute, especially in the New York area, in assisting the organization to develop and improve its public image among foundations, industry, and individuals, and in enlisting financial support from those sources. For years he sparked the efforts of a formally designated committee in New York. The Montreal Office and headquarters of the Institute which was first in the McGill Arts Building was next housed in the University's Ethnological Museum in the Medical Building. Subsequently the Office occupied the Bishop Mountain House on University Street where it remained until, in December 1961, it moved into its present quarters, also a McGill University Building. The Office has been headed by a Director since 1948, except for a period between 1957 and 1960. The sequence of Office Directors has been P. D. Baird, Svenn Orvig, George Watson, M. Marsden, K. de la Barre (Acting) and, since February 1965, H. W. Love. The New York Office pf the Institute has been headed by Walter A. Wood continuously since its establishment in 1948. It was first in the building of the American Geographical Society, then at the New York Academy of Sciences, and is now in the recently acquired building of the Explorers Club. In 1949 and 1950 the Institute maintained an office in The Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore through the courtesy of the University. It was headed by M. C. Shelesnyak, formerly of the U.S. Office of Naval Research. Subsequently, at the generous invitation of the Carnegie Institution of Washington, an office was opened in its building in Washington where it remained for twelve years until, in 1963, it moved into the present building purchased by the Institute. Successive Office Directors have been A. L. Washburn; L. O. Colbert, formerly Director of the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey; and, since 1959, Robert C. Faylor. A small office headed by J. Cantley was occupied in Ottawa in 1956 and 1957, and other project offices have been maintained from time to time. ... Of all the organizations that have markedly influenced the Arctic Institute perhaps four should be singled out for special brief mention because of their effect on the Arctic Institute of North America during the period covered by this article. These are: the Office of Naval Research of the United States Department of the Navy, the U.S. National Science Foundation, the National Research Council of Canada, and McGill University. Many others could and should be mentioned and would be if space permitted. ...

The Arctic Institute of North America : the future   /   Nutt, D.C.
Arctic, v. 19, no. 1, Mar. 1966, p. 32-38
ASTIS record 9978

Two fundamental premises I think can be accepted at the outset. First, if the Institute fulfils a useful and needed role in contributing to man's knowledge and understanding of the polar regions, and does it through bold, perceptive, and imaginative leadership, its future is secure. The second premise is that the future of the Institute itself is indisputably locked to the future of the polar regions. With these in mind let us consider briefly, by way of introduction, the founding of the Institute and the circumstances surrounding it. A question may be posed. Would the same kind of Institute be founded today as was founded in 1944. I think the answer would be no. In 1944 the Institute was founded to meet specific needs that were very real and pressing at that time. It is important to note that, as outlined in a previous chapter, the needs in Canada were quite different from those in the United States. In the United States there was in simple terms a desire to preserve for future use the knowledge and information that had been assembled by the U.S. Army Air Force's Arctic, Desert and Tropic Information Center, since it was almost taken for granted that this activity would just fade away in the rapid demobilization which could be expected at the end of World War II. In Canada, however, action stemmed from a comparatively small group of dedicated citizens who recognized the importance of the North to Canada and desired to cultivate more broadly a national concern and awareness of this. Curiously enough the common cause of World War II brought together those individuals from the United States and Canada who were then more intimately concerned with these needs and many of whom shared a common background of experience and interest in the North. Thus, at War's end a binational organization was founded to meet the differing needs of the two countries with responsibilities vested in the Board of Governors with joint Canadian and United States membership. The fundamental basis was a common desire to continue and foster this existing interest in the North, which had been brought into focus by wartime circumstances. To meet these differing needs the Institute was constituted to provide for two general areas of endeavour. The normal mission of a scientific organization to acquire and preserve knowledge was provided for and implemented initially through a grant-in-aid program, the scientific journal Arctic, the establishment of the Institute's library, and the publication of Arctic Bibliography. But in order to create a more general interest and awareness of the North and its emerging significance, an Institute Associate program was also established. This was later extended by the establishment of a class of Fellows, who are elected by the Institute's Board of Governors in recognition of their contributions to polar research and who participate in Institute affairs through election of a portion of the Institute's governing body. One must note that at this time, reflecting the need first for basic scientific knowledge of the North which had been emphasized by the military requirements of World War II, the early interest and concern of the Institute was almost exclusively within the natural sciences. As a result the people called upon in the early days of the Institute because of their experience were drawn largely from the ranks of the natural scientists. In perspective it must also be noted that at the time there were few social scientists with any interest or experience in the North except for a small group of archeologists and anthropologists. Now, twenty years later, circumstances are far different from those at the time the Institute was founded. The immediate needs which the Institute was intended to fill are now being met. The over-all importance of the polar regions to the modern world is recognized. A broad national effort in northern study has emerged in Canada with an increased recognition of the economic, social, and political significance of Canada's northern territories and a responsibility therefor. Prima facie evidence of the very basic concern for the future is demonstrated in the proposed Centennial Fund for Northern Research in Canada, in which the Arctic Institute can be said to have had the guiding hand. The United States now recognizes equally the significance of the North and additionally has mounted a vast national program of scientific endeavour in the Antarctic. Through these efforts there has been a manifold increase in polar research during the last twenty years, and a whole new generation of "polar scientists" has been trained in the process. The appropriate government agencies have recognized their mission and responsibility through the establishment and support of active programs. A number of universities in both Canada and the United States have developed programs of polar, boreal, or northern research through the interest of individual faculty members or in some cases through the establishment of special institutes. And of perhaps greatest practical importance, new funds and resources have become available to create and support these programs. Thus there would in fact be far less need today for the type of institute that was conceived in 1944. Correspondingly the Institute of today bears little resemblance to the Institute of twenty years ago. In response to the changing environment it has altered and expanded its scope of activities in directions which never could have been foreseen twenty years ago. The multiplicity of present Institute activities, all of which contribute effectively to a primary objective of increasing man's knowledge and understanding of the polar regions, has been amply covered in a previous chapter, thus little need be said here, but I do think it is important to consider the principal environmental changes that have affected the over-all field of polar research. ...

Scientific research in the Arctic : Alaska   /   Rae, K.M.
Arctic, v. 19, no. 1, Mar. 1966, p. 39-47, ill.
ASTIS record 9979

In a short report on the U. S. National Arctic Research Program, prepared about a year ago by the Department of State, Office of International Scientific Affairs, it was stated: "Over sixteen U. S. agencies, including five departments and two autonomous agencies, are engaged in Arctic research. In F.Y. 1964 their total budget, including administrative support, was about $17 million. 400 to 500 civilians were employed in this work plus a large number of contracted scientists and technicians from 33 U. S. and foreign universities, foundations, and institutions." Although mention was made of cooperative programs with the Government of Canada in the Queen Elizabeth Islands and with the Government of Denmark in Greenland, it was pointed out that this effort was almost entirely within Alaska and the surrounding seas. Figures of this sort may, of course, be misleading when taken out of context and given without definition. Much depends on the criteria of research, on the arbitrary division between investigation and application, on where the distinction is drawn between the acquisition and interpretation of information and its application in terms of technology, management, and regulation. But, nevertheless, they give some sense of proportion. How does such effort compare with the situation elsewhere? Despite significant growth in available funds and manpower during the past two years, it must still seem small when compared with the multi-billion research and development bill met annually by the United States, possibly not so small when laid against the Alaskan population of less than a quarter of a million people, but again very small in light of the vast area encompassed and the backlog of scientific ignorance of the northern latitudes and the phenomena therein. In peoples' minds, Alaska is commonly associated with the Arctic and arctic problems and here, indeed, lies much of the challenge to the scientist. But many do not realize the diversity of the geography within the State, the environmental extremes that offer singular opportunities for study and call for variety in approach and a degree of effort not yet realized. ... Notwithstanding the legitimate plea that research effort in Alaska is still sadly lacking in view of the variety of problems, any attempt to cover all the projects currently under way - even by title - within the scope of this short statement would be impracticable. ...

Scientific research in the Arctic : Canada   /   Van Steenburgh, W.E.   Giroux, M.J.
Arctic, v. 19, no. 1, Mar. 1966, p. 48-61, ill.
ASTIS record 9980

A new chapter is being written in the history of Canada's polar regions. The past two decades have seen a marked acceleration in research activity, as opposed to exploration. The resultant knowledge is gradually bringing the Canadian Arctic into focus against the backdrop of the Canadian economy. Basic research is essential for the proper assessment and development of the tremendous resource potential of this vast region of Canada. Already, geophysical and geological research have revealed an oil and gas storehouse of great promise, estimated at one million cubic miles of oil and gas-bearing sedimentary rocks in Canada's northern territories, the bulk of which in the Arctic Islands. It has been calculated that this could amount to much as 13 billion barrels of oil beneath the permafrost of the Northwest Territories, another 3 billion in the Yukon, and 33 billion in the Arctic Islands. Other mineral wealth brought to light includes gold, silver, pitchblende, iron ore, lead, zinc, asbestos, and tungsten. On the purely scientific side of the ledger, there have been a number of interesting discoveries. Two unusual geophysical anomalies have come to light, for instance, and palaeomagnetic investigations on Ellef Ringnes Island have disclosed that, in Mesozoic time, the apparent magnetic pole was in a quite different part of North America. Knowledge of the Canadian Arctic is not easily won. Research in these regions is costly, and the logistic problems involved demand careful planning and efficient use of facilities and equipment. These factors have influenced the character of the research undertaken and, indirectly, the source of funds available for the work. The basic source of such funds has been, and still is, the government - whether the moneys are spent directly by the interested departments of government or are dispersed through independent research institutes, such as The Arctic Institute of North America, or through university-oriented arctic research. Research in the Canadian Arctic falls into three main categories: government, special projects under independent direction, and university research. ...

Scientific research in the Arctic : Greenland   /   Brun, E.
Arctic, v. 19, no. 1, Mar. 1966, p. 62-69, ill.
ASTIS record 9981

Greenland lies northeast of the North American continent and, with its eight to nine hundred thousand square miles, is the world's large island. Although the entire country is arctic in nature, conditions vary widely because, from north to south, almost 25 of latitude are covered. The most striking feature of the island is the ice-cap - Indlandsisen - that covers about five-sixths of the total area and is more than ten thousand feet thick, leaving only a marginal zone around the coastline free of ice. This marginal zone is mountainous, and in some places rises to more than twelve thousand feet, so that Greenland actually is one big bowl of ice. There are cracks in the edge of that bowl through which glaciers flow all the way down to the sea, depositing icebergs in the ocean. Besides the icebergs there is a great deal of ocean ice around the coastlines of the island, especially on the east coast where the East Greenland Current brings the pack ice down from the northern polar basin, hampering navigation to a great extent. Greenland was discovered about four thousand years ago by people coming across the narrow straits from the Canadian archipelago. Ruins of their homes have been found, but no remains of the people themselves. It is believed that they must have been the forefathers of the present-day Eskimos. We know that since then many waves of Eskimos have moved back and forth across Greenland, so that even the thousands of miles of uninhabited coastline, some of which is the most northerly land in the world, have been inhabited at one time or another. About a thousand years ago Greenland was first sighted from the East by an Icelander by the name of Gunnbjorn, but the first European to set foot on the land was Erik the Red from Iceland. He had been expelled from Iceland for three years on account of a small incident of killing his neighbours, and he used those three years to investigate Greenland. He found out that this was a nice country to live in; that was why he call it Greenland. When the three years were up he went back to Iceland but soon returned to Greenland bringing with him people who settled on the southwest coast and established a farming community that existed for five hundred years. Erik's son, Leif, was actually the man who discovered America, in the year 1000, five hundred years before Christopher Columbus discovered the Bahama Islands. From those days originate the ties between Denmark and Greenland, and it is very important to note that Greenland as a part of Denmark is not an eighteenth-century colonial venture but a thousand-year-old historical fact. Even though the old Norsemen in Greenland died out around the year 1500 and even though connection was interrupted for a couple of hundred years, the Kings of Denmark never forgot that Greenland was part of their realm; and in 1721 a missionary, Hans Egede, was dispatched. From that year we date the modern history. The modern history of Greenland is about two hundred years of Danish endeavours to cope with the responsibilities this possession has put upon Denmark: above all, the social responsibilities, responsibilities of governing and supporting the 40,000 people who now live there, the descendants of the old Eskimos and the Danish settlers. But the Danish people also keenly feel their scientific responsibilities in Greenland, for although only one per cent of them live on this island that constitutes 98 per cent of the whole of Denmark, within that 98 per cent there are scientific problems of greater moment than in the European part of the nation. ...

Scientific research in the Arctic : Norway   /   Gjelsvik, T.
Arctic, v. 19, no. 1, Mar. 1966, p. 70-75, ill.
ASTIS record 9982

Norway has a special situation among the nations that are carrying out scientific research in the Arctic, since nearly half of the mainland is located north of the Arctic circle. Thanks to the warming effects of ocean currents, however, Norway is not an arctic country in the climatic sense of the word. Her fjords and harbours are open all year around even in the northernmost part of the mainland. The extreme northern location has given Norwegians great economic and scientific interests in the Arctic. The maximum zone of the auroral belt runs across northern Norway, thus making it possible to carry out polar geophysical research from stations on the mainland. This may be one of the reasons why Norway's scientific activity in the arctic area north of the mainland has included relatively little activity in cosmic physics and related sciences. Norway's first national effort in the exploration of the arctic seas took place in Viking times (A.D. 800-1000) when Iceland was settled, and Greenland and the American mainland (Vinland) were discovered. In the east, the arctic coast of Russia to the White Sea (Bjarmeland) was explored. The first reports of the Svalbard (Spitsbergen) island date from this period, when it was considered to be a part of Greenland. Interest in the Arctic by the Norwegians was renewed in the early part of the nineteenth century, when Norwegian seal- and walrus-hunting vessels explored the arctic seas from Greenland to Novaya Zemlya, discovering, for example, Franz Josef Land. At the same time, Norwegian trappers began exploiting the Svalbard area. In the summer seasons 1876-78 the government of Norway sent an oceanographic and biologic expedition to Iceland, Jan Mayen, and Spitsbergen. At the end of the century, Fridtjof Nansen accomplishing the first crossing of the inland ice of Greenland and by drifting with the specially constructed ship Fram across the polar basin (1893-96), opened a new and great era of Norwegian contribution to the knowledge of the Arctic. ...

Bibliography of books printed before 1800   /   Corley, N.T. [Editor]
Arctic, v. 19, no. 1, Mar. 1966, p. 77-98
ASTIS record 9983

The library of the Arctic Institute of North America, in Montreal, includes in its collection 87 books published 1599 to 1798. They are here fully described and listed alphabetically by author.

The Franklin letter
Arctic, v. 19, no. 1, Mar. 1966, p. 99-101
ASTIS record 55193

Recently the AINA Library was fortunate in procuring a letter signed by Sir John Franklin. It is addressed to Commissioner Robert Barrie and was written from Fort Franklin on Great Bear Lake in the fall of 1825, during Franklin's second expedition to the Canadian Arctic. The text of the long and closely written letter is given below in its entirety, except for a few illegible words which have been indicated in each case by three points. ...

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