Centennial: Peary at the Pole


Here’s an anniversary that almost slipped by me: One-hundred years ago, Maine native and 1877 Bowdoin grad Robert E. Peary claimed to have reached the North Pole. The Peary-MacMillan Arctic Museum at Bowdoin has been blogging entries from the explorer’s diary, and today, April 6, 2009, marks the culmination of his “dream + ambition for 23 years.

The Brunswick, Maine, museum (which is free, by the way) has a special exhibit, Northward Over the Great Ice: Robert E. Peary and the Quest for the North Pole, commemorating Peary’s 1908-09 expedition. It relates Peary’s achievement using nearly 300 rare objects and photographs, many never before publicly exhibited, along with archival voice recordings and film footage, and first-hand accounts of Peary’s team.

A complementary exhibit of rare books, manuscripts, and photographs,  Reaching for the Pole: An Exhibition Celebrating the Centennial of Peary’s North Pole Expedition, is on view in the Hawthorne Library.


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