Nils Adolf Erik Nordenskjöld

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Nordenskjöld, Nils Adolf Erik

 

Born Nov. 18, 1832, in Helsinki; died Aug. 12, 1901, in Dalbyö, near Malmö. Swedish geologist and geographer, arctic explorer, navigator, and historical cartographer. Member of the Stockholm Academy of Sciences (1858).

Nordenskjöld graduated from the University of Helsingfors (Helsinki) in 1853. In 1861 he took part in O. Torell’s expedition to Spitsbergen. In 1864, 1868, and 1872–73 expeditions led by Nordenskjöld surveyed the coasts of Spitsbergen, and Nordenskjöld became the first to cross the eastern ice field. In 1870 and 1883 he led Swedish expeditions to Greenland, initiating the study of its ice cap. In 1875 and 1876 he sailed from Sweden to the mouth of the Enisei, directing scientific investigations. In 1878–79, on the Vega, Nordenskjöld was the first to navigate the Northeast Passage from the Atlantic to the Pacific, wintering along the way. He returned to Sweden in 1880 via the Suez Canal, thus becoming the first to circle Eurasia. Among the geographical features that have been named after him are an archipelago north of Taimyr Island, gulfs along the coast of Novaia Zemlia and of Northeast Land in Spitsbergen, and a peninsula in West Spitsbergen (Nordenskjöld Land). He was a corresponding member of the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences (1879) and an honorary member of the Russian Geographic Society (1881).

WORKS

Vega-expeditionens vetenskapliga Yakttagelser, vols. 1–5. Stockholm, 1882–87.
Fascimile Atlas to the Early History of Cartography. Stockholm, 1889.
Periplus: An Essay on the Early History of Charts and Sailing Directions. Stockholm, 1897.
Russian translation:
Plavanie na ‘Vege’, vols. 1–2. Leningrad, 1936.

REFERENCES

Ostrovskii, B. G. Adol’f Erik Nordenshel’d. Arkhangel’sk, 1937.
Vize, V. Iu. Moria Sovetskoi Arktiki, 3rd ed. Moscow-Leningrad, 1948.