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BARENTS, William (1550-1597) and HEEMSKERK, Jacob van (1567-1607)

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0402 SSC/3
Held at: Royal Geographical Society
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Full title: BARENTS, William (1550-1597) and HEEMSKERK, Jacob van (1567-1607)
Date(s): 1871-1877
Level of description: Collection level
Extent: 1 oversize box and 3 files
Name of creator(s): Barents | William | 1550-1597 | explorer
Heemskerk | Jacob van | 1567-1607 | explorer


Administrative/Biographical history:

William Barents was born c 1550; became a cartographer and explorer; embarked on three notable expeditions hoping to find the Northeast Passage above Siberia. Barents reached the archipelago of Novaya Zemlya on his first two attempts, rediscovering Spitsbergen and Bear Island, sailing east into the Kara Sea. On his third attempt in 1596, his ship became trapped by sea ice and he and his crew of 16 men were forced to winter ashore on Novaya Zemlya. In June 1597 they set out on a 1,600-mile escape in two open boats, resulting in Barents death.

Jacob van Heemskerk was born in Amsterdam March 13, 1567. He became famous for attempts to discover an Arctic passage from Europe to China, 1596; Barents accompanied Heemskerck as pilot but died on this voyage. Following this, Van Heemskerck served as a vice admiral, protecting Dutch merchant shipping on voyages to China and the East Indies, dying after the Battle of Gibraltar as a result of leg wounds caused by a cannonball, April 25, 1607.


Scope and content/abstract:

Papers of William Barents and Jacob van Heemskerk, 1871-1877, comprise a photocopy of record left by them on the island of Novaya Zemlya, in the Artic Circle, in 1597.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

Arranged in original order.

Conditions governing access:

Accessible via The Foyle Reading Room. Free of charge for Fellows, Members and those with valid academic identification. All other users pay a charge and must bring identification in order to register on arrival.

Conditions governing reproduction:

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

Finding aids:

Hard copy catalogue and card list can be found in the Foyle Reading Room at the Royal Geographical Society and online at Access to Archives.

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Presented to RGS by Dutch Minister of Marine, 1877. Relics were found by Charles L W Gardiner who presented them to the Netherlands Government.

Allied Materials

Related material:

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:
Prepared by Archives volunteer using existing finding aids and edited by Samantha Velumyl, AIM25 cataloguer.

Rules or conventions:
Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal Place and Corporate Names 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions:
10 December 2001 modified in May 2008.

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