A lantern slide from the Collections depicting the crew of the ‘Fram’ during Fridtjof Nansen’s ‘Farthest North’ expedition between 1893-96 © RGS-IBG, used as part of Dr Martin's research
Congratulations to Dr Peter Martin who has successfully completed his PhD research as part of the AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Awards. Peter’s research explored the Society’s involvement in the exploration and scientific recording of the Arctic in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Focusing particularly on the expeditions undertaken by Fridtjof Nansen, Ejnar Mikkelsen and Robert Peary, Dr Martin studied the production and circulation of geographical knowledge about the Arctic regions and the role the RGS played in this process. He said: “The Society was instrumental in organising lectures, publishing journal articles, producing maps, communicating with newspaper journalists and liaising with literary publishers, all of which allowed its Fellows to exert a powerful influence over how the North was understood and imagined by the British public.”
Dr Martin drew on a range of key resources for his project from our Collections including maps, artefacts, photographs, lantern slides, manuscripts and correspondence. He added: “Communications at the time were not always equal and therefore certain perspectives on the Arctic were given precedence at the expense of others. This has meant that some voices have become hidden or obscured within dominant histories of the region. In summary, my thesis showed that the RGS was fundamental in establishing particular ways of thinking about the Arctic and that these ideas continue to have important implications for how the complex challenges facing the region today have been framed and approached.”
We have supported 12 projects to date involving collaborations between university-based PhD students, academic researchers and our Collections team. Find out more about the Collaborative Doctoral Awards.
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