Discovery Franklin: History of the lost 1845 Franklin Expedition to the Northwest Passage

The High Commission of Canada in Australia will present the Franklin Discovery Lecture at IMAS on Wednesday 18 February, 2015. The lecture will explore the intriguing history of the Franklin Expedition – which was lost in 1845 while searching for the Northwest Passage – and the 21st Century story of the discovery of one of the expedition’s ships.
This free lecture will be of interest to a wide audience, covering naval, military and colonial history (Canadian and Australian), First Nations history and culture, oral and local history, gender studies, polar/Arctic exploration, 19th century travel narratives, maritime archaeology, museum studies, the literature of science and nationalism, biography, shipping and maritime studies, and contemporary polar governance.
On May 19, 1845, Her Majesty’s Ships (HMS) Erebus and Terror of the Royal Navy departed England on a much-heralded Arctic expedition in search of the Northwest Passage. Under the command of
Sir John Franklin, former Lieutenant-Governor of Van Diemen’s Land (now the Australian state of Tasmania), the expedition’s two ships set out with a complement of 129 officers and crew. The ships were last seen entering Baffin Bay in August 1845. Nearly 170 years later the Canadian Victoria Strait Expedition team, using sonar technology, discovered a ship on the sea floor which, on September 30, 2014 was confirmed to be the lost HMS Erebus. Led by Parks Canada, the 2014 expedition combined state-of-the-art technology with 19th century Inuit oral testimony to make this exciting discovery.
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