The Vancouver Maritime Museum Board of Trustees is pleased to announce the donation of a significant library of Sir John Franklin material to the Vancouver Maritime Museum

The donation comes at an exciting time for maritime enthusiasts and historians, as the recent discovery of Franklin’s ship HMS Erebus in the Canadian Arctic is considered the most significant maritime historical find of the century.

The shipwreck, located by Parks Canada researchers last month, was the vessel that Sir John Franklin sailed during his doomed 1845 quest to find the Northwest Passage to Asia.

The Franklin library donation includes, among other items, the following:

• 1829 Presentation volumes of Sir John Franklin’s “Journey to the Shores of the Polar Sea”;

• Six Franklin Search Charts (1852-1855) with the first known chart showing the location and details of the Northwest Passage route as discovered by Captain McClure and the HMS Investigator (1853);

• Volumes of official correspondence, reports, books, fonds, and related material;


• An 1852 Broadside (red ink on linen-above left) that describes Captain Austin’s expedition in search of Sir John Franklin on HMS Intrepid, HMS Resolute and HMS Assistance.

Mr. Anthony Sessions and family donated the library, part of the Franklin Brooke-Hitching holdings, to the Vancouver Maritime Museum. The material will build on the expansive Arctic material already held by the Vancouver Maritime Museum and compliment the Henry Larsen Rare Book Library.

“We are ecstatic about receiving this material,” says Ken Burton, Executive Director of the Vancouver Maritime Museum. “And we’re anxious to weave it into our already impressive collection of arctic research material.”

 It is anticipated that the material will form part of a permanent Franklin Exhibit already planned for the Vancouver Maritime Museum.