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Bryn Mawr, PA 19010

The Arctic Regions, Illustrated with Photographs Taken on an Art Expedition to Greenland

William Bradford. London, S. Low, Marston, Low, and Searle, 1873

Restoration sponsored by the generous contribution of Elizabeth de Sabato Swinton, Class of 1958.

From July to September 1869, American painter William Bradford mounted an Arctic expedition from Newfoundland up the west coast of Greenland past Upernavik, the northernmost settlement, and down the east coast of Baffin Island.  His goal was to accumulate images he could use as inspiration for his large paintings.  Although Bradford sketched on the trip, he was also accompanied by two professional photographers, John L. Dunmore and George Critcherson, who documented the voyage in more than three hundred glass negatives.  These photographs were used to produce one of the earliest photographically illustrated books – one of the most successful and arguably the best of the pioneering works. The book was illustrated with 141 photographs, printed individually, and then mounted on the printed pages.  Three hundred copies of the book were produced.  The photos are exquisite: fairly small, but displaying a wonderful range of dark and light, and beautifully printed.

Our copy of the book is in poor condition overall, although the photos are in good shape.  The early pages are water-damaged  and slightly buckled , and there are stains where mold grew on the damp pages.  The covers are detached, as are the first and last pages.  Conservation work would reduce the staining, clean the book in general, strengthen and reattach the loose pages, and reattach the covers.




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