Photo: The National Board of Antiquities
|Adolf Erik Nordenskiöld an explorer and a scientist The world famous explorer and discoverer of the Northeast Passage, Adolf Erik Nordenskiöld (1832-1901) was born and lived his childhood in Alikartano Manor. He is one of the most internationally famous Finnish scientists. His scientifically most significant work includes his activities as the head of the mineralogy department in Stockholm Natural History Museum, achievements as an explorer and scientist and his work as the researcher of historical cartography.
As a young scientist, Adolf Erik Nordenskiöld first became interested in the study of arctic regions. His first northern expedition headed to Spitzbergen in 1858, and he returned there numerous times in the 1860s and 70s. After that Nordenskiöld's expeditions to the polar region were directed to Greenland, the northern coast of Siberia and the Kara Sea. With his two trips to the Yenisai Delta in 1875 and 1876, Nordenskiöld proved that the Artic Ocean could be navigated and simultaneously prepared to sail across the Northeast Passage.
As an explorer of the northern regions, Adolf Erik Nordenskiöld was fascinated by the idea of finding and sailing the northeast passage. Nordenskiöld's research vessel Vega which in addition to the actual crew also had a high-quality scientific research group onboard, sailed on 22nd June 1878 from Karlskrona Harbour towards the Arctic Sea with its aim to sail along the northern coastline of Siberia and through the Bering Strait to the Pacific Ocean and from there along the South-Asian coastline and around Europe home.
After its successful trip, Vega returned to jubilant Stockholm on 24th April 1880. Nordenskiöld was celebrated across Europe, and he became world famous with his description of Vega's journey which was translated into ten languages.
With his determined work over thirty years, Adolf Erik Nordenkiöld collected an archive of over 24,000 maps and thousands of volumes of early geographical and cartographical literature. Facsimile-Atlas, Nordenskiöld's pathbreaking major work on the history of cartography was published in 1889. The book introduced all the known pre-17th century map models as facsimiles.
Nordenskiöld wished that his scientific library and map collection would be returned undivided to his old home country. Anna Nordenskiöld unconditionally fulfilled her husband's wish after his death and refused all other bids, and in 1902 czar Nicolas II granted an appropriation to buy the collection. The valuable collection was placed in the Helsinki University Library.
The Emerging World - Map Treasures from the A. E. Nordenskiöld Collection
The National Museum of Finland 26 April - 27 October 2013