In presenting with great pleasure Roald Amundsen´s personal diaries in English from the Gjøa expedition this is not just a big moment for the Fram Museum, but also an important contribution to the dissemination of Norwegian and international polar history.
Roald Amundsen writes with great enthusiasm about the enormous efforts he and his crew are making in dealing with scientific research and Amundsen´s own studies of the Inuit and their way of life around Gjoa Haven, Nunavut. After reading the diaries we know so much about the expedition, about life aboard Gjøa and among the Inuit that it feels as if we have partaken in the expedition ourselves.
Amundsen is generous in his descriptions of his comrades and treats all contact with, and all the information from, the inuit with great respect. In addition, he emerges as an unprecedented planner of an expedition through the Northwest Passage. After four hundred years of attempts to solve the puzzle of the Passage, his expedition took place exactly as he presented in his plan to the Norwegian Geographical Society in 1901, more than 18 months before the departure with Gjøa.
These volumes are far more than a diary from Gjøa´s journey through the Northwest Passage. The books cover a large portion of Roald Amundsen´s life from 1900 to 1907. From Amundsen´s own hand, we have included his unabridged personal diaries from his studies on the Earth´s magnetism in Hamburg in 1900, the takeover of Gjøa in Tromsø and the following hunting and research expedition in the Arctic in 1901. Furthermore, his personal letters to his brother Leon and his correspondence with his mentor Fridtjof Nansen are included, as are the letters to and from other people with whom Amundsen and contact during and after the expedition. Also included are letters, newspaper clippings, and other documents related to the expedition, the celebration of the homecoming in 1906, and Amundsen´s lecture tours at home and abroad.
Not least, the diary is enhanced with more than 700 illustrations, including the largest collection of photos related to the Gjøa expedition ever assembled.
Roald Amundsen´s diaries from the Northwest Passage 1900-1907
Roald Amundsen, Geir O. Kløver (red.)
The Fram Museum