Nils Adolf Erik Nordenskjöld

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

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).


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.


Ostrovskii, B. G. Adol’f Erik Nordenshel’d. Arkhangel’sk, 1937.
Vize, V. Iu. Moria Sovetskoi Arktiki, 3rd ed. Moscow-Leningrad, 1948.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
It appears that one of his primary sources on these manuscript sea charts (portolan charts) is Periplus by Baron Adolf Erik Nordenskiold, published in 1897.