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BACK, Sir George (1796-1878)

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0402 SGB
Held at: Royal Geographical Society
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Full title: BACK, Sir George (1796-1878)
Date(s): 1814-1878
Level of description: Collection (fonds)
Extent: 2 boxes, 1 outsized folder and 1 framed letter
Name of creator(s): Back | Sir | George | 1796-1878 | Knight | Arctic navigator | Admiral


Administrative/Biographical history:

Born, 1796; entered the navy as midshipman, 1808; taken prisoner by the French at Deba, 1808; midshipman to the Akbar, 1814; Admiralty mate of the Bulwark, 1817; volunteered for service in the Trent, under Sir John Franklin, who was then entering on the first modern voyage of discovery in the Spitsbergen seas, 1818; expedition with Franklin by land to the Coppermine River,1819-1821; appointed to the Superb, 1823; join Franklin's expedition to the Mackenzie River, 1824-1826; expedition to find Captain Ross, 1833-1835; Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, 1836-1878; Vice President and member of the RGS Council; RGS Gold Medallist - Royal award, 1835; commander of an expedition to complete the coast line between Regent's Inlet and Cape Turnagain, 1836; President of the Raleigh Club, 1844; Fellow of the Royal Society, 1847; employed by government to report on the harbour of Holyhead; died, 1878.


Scope and content/abstract:

Papers of Sir George Back, 1814-1878, including c. 250 letters addressed to Sir George Back by various correspondents (listed by name), 1848-1878; personal letters from Back to his family, 1813-1878; photocopies of extracts from Back's sketchbook and slides of his sketches from 1819-1822 expedition to Arctic; passports and framed letter with sketches of polar bear, 1874.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:
English and French. Passports in German, French Italian and Arabic.

System of arrangement:

Incoming letters are filed alphabetically. Back's letters are filed chronologically.

Conditions governing access:

Open by appointment only, subject to completion of application form. Non-Fellows require a letter of reference.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Photocopying at Archivist's discretion, and subject to completion of 'application for copies' form. No reproduction or publication without permission of the RGS-IBG Archivist.

Finding aids:

The RGS archives: a handlist compiled by Christine Kelly. London: RGS, 1977.

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

The Back collection of letters are on indefinite loan from Mrs A W Holmes on behalf of John Pares.

Allied Materials

Related material:

RGS Archives - Correspondence Blocks 1830-1833, 1834-1840, 1841-1850, 1851-1860, 1861-1870, 1871-1880 (includes copy of Back's will). Jnl. Mss. Arctic 1837(2) and 1854.

National Register of Archives: Click here to view NRA record

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:
Prepared by David Tatham, Archives Volunteer using existing finding aids, DNB entry, PRGS [NS] Vol. I. Revised by Sarah Drewery.

Rules or conventions:
ISAD(G) ed.2, name authority NRA.

Date(s) of descriptions:
11 July 2000; Nov 2008.

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