David Brainard Diary

Three Years fo Arctic Service - coverDavid Brainard's Camp Clay diary is a meticulously kept account of the daily happenings at Cape Sabine on the Ellesmere Island coast, where the men of the Lady Franklin Bay Expedition lived as castaways through the long and desperate winter of 1883–1884. In this spot, Lt. Adolphus W. Greely and his twenty-five men were faced with surviving subzero Arctic temperatures, months of darkness, battering storms of gale-force winds, and starvation rations that left them on the verge of madness.

The Dartmouth College Library has teamed up with independent scholar Laura Waterman to digitize and transcribe Brainard’s Camp Clay Diary. The diary is a testament to Brainard’s heroism, but also a fruitful primary source for understanding one of the great tragedies of arctic exploration. On this site, you will find an introductory essay by Laura Waterman, the digitized and transcribed diary with TEI mark up, (transcribed text begins at page 73) and an afterword (Appendix) by arctic historian Glenn Stein.

The original diary is housed in Rauner Special Collections Library where it is available for research use as part of the Papers of David L. Brainard (Stef Mss-189)