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    Capelotti, P.J. and Forsberg, Magnus 2015. The place names of Zemlya Frantsa-Iosifa: Leigh Smith's Eira expeditions, 1880 and 1881–1882. Polar Record, Vol. 51, Issue. 01, p. 16.

    Kjær, Kjell-G. 2015. Sealers in the service of science. Polar Record, Vol. 51, Issue. 05, p. 475.

    McEvoy, Chris 2015. Shipwreck at cape flora: the expeditions of Benjamin Leigh Smith, England's forgotten arctic explorer. Polar Geography, Vol. 38, Issue. 2, p. 171.

    Higdon, Jeff W. Westdal, Kristin H. and Ferguson, Steven H. 2014. Distribution and abundance of killer whales (Orcinus orca) in Nunavut, Canada—an Inuit knowledge survey. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom, Vol. 94, Issue. 06, p. 1293.

    Capelotti, P.J. 2010. Benjamin Leigh Smith's third Arctic expedition: Svalbard, 1873. Polar Record, Vol. 46, Issue. 04, p. 359.

    Ford, James D. 2009. Vulnerability of Inuit food systems to food insecurity as a consequence of climate change: a case study from Igloolik, Nunavut. Regional Environmental Change, Vol. 9, Issue. 2, p. 83.

    Laidler, Gita J. Ford, James D. Gough, William A. Ikummaq, Theo Gagnon, Alexandre S. Kowal, Slawomir Qrunnut, Kevin and Irngaut, Celina 2009. Travelling and hunting in a changing Arctic: assessing Inuit vulnerability to sea ice change in Igloolik, Nunavut. Climatic Change, Vol. 94, Issue. 3-4, p. 363.

    Capelotti, P.J. 2008. Benjamin Leigh Smith's second Arctic expedition: Svalbard and Jan Mayen, 1872. Polar Record, Vol. 44, Issue. 03,


Benjamin Leigh Smith's first Arctic expedition: Svalbard, 1871

  • P. J. Capelotti (a1)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 18 January 2006

Despite five difficult and distinguished scientific expeditions to Svalbard and Franz Josef Land between 1871 and 1882, the British yachtsman and explorer Benjamin Leigh Smith published no detailed account of his expeditions. Best known for a dramatic shipwreck at Cape Flora in Franz Josef Land in 1881, his early work in Svalbard — particularly his first effort when he developed the Arctic voyaging and scientific techniques he would employ on his subsequent expeditions — has received scant attention. In the summer of 1871, Leigh Smith launched the first of three consecutive annual geographic and oceanographic explorations of Svalbard. His unpublished 1871 journal details his growing appreciation of and expertise in the European high Arctic; corrects misstatements in later accounts of this first effort; details his exploration of Hinlopenstretet and the discovery and naming of Brochøya, Foynøya, and 31 other points in northeast Svalbard; and offers glimpses of an explorer who kept his personality well-hidden behind pioneering oceanographic and geographic observations of Svalbard and its surrounding seas.

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Polar Record
  • ISSN: 0032-2474
  • EISSN: 1475-3057
  • URL: /core/journals/polar-record
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