ADVENTURES IN POLAR READING. David H. Stam.
ADVENTURES IN POLAR READING
ADVENTURES IN POLAR READING
ADVENTURES IN POLAR READING
ADVENTURES IN POLAR READING
ADVENTURES IN POLAR READING
ADVENTURES IN POLAR READING
ADVENTURES IN POLAR READING

ADVENTURES IN POLAR READING.

  • New York: Grolier Club, The, 2019.
  • 7 x 9.5 inches
  • Cloth with dust jacket
  • 256 pages
  • ISBN: 9781605830841

Price: $40.00  other currencies

Order Nr. 134216

"Stam is a very lively writer, and what could have been a forced march through a topic as potentially barren as the pack ice proves to be quite fertile, providing polar history geeks with an unexpectedly fascinating examination of an aspect of shipboard life that has received insufficient attention. . . . Piecing together the limited library catalogues from ships, along with requests found in surviving written requests and other sources, Stam tracks how polar reading matched the changes in society at large as literacy expanded."
- David James, Anchorage Daily News

"Adventures in Polar Reading is, in physical form, an embodied curriculum vitæ of Stam's work over these past two decades, arranged so as to bring us along in his venturesome company, and partake of the pleasure of discoveries made along the way. . . . No collection of Arctic or Antarctic books worth its salt -- or, perhaps I should say, worth its ice -- should be without it."
-Arctic Book Review

"The Stams' bibliographic expertise has enabled them over time to research in detail the libraries and reading of those on major polar expeditions from the initial question, 'What did polar explorers read, whether under duress, or in periods of ennui and boredom?' . . . Three detailed appendices and an index conclude an impressive and ground breaking volume comprehensively covering 'The Book Cultures of High Latitudes'."
- Colin Steele, Biblionews


Based in part on his own naval experience, including duty in Antarctica, and informed by extensive archival and secondary research, David Stam's book examines the printed needs of several polar expeditions, including those of Adolphus Greely in the International Polar Year 1881-83 in northernmost Canada. Stam's study also includes analysis of shipboard- and expedition-based periodicals throughout the so-called Heroic Age of exploration (ca. 1880-1921); a definitive essay on the enduring books of Ernest Shackleton's legendary journey aboard the Endurance; a parallel study of the primarily religious literature distributed as Loan Libraries of the American Seamen's Friend Society; and, finally, an account of the three libraries assembled by Richard Evelyn Byrd for the successive bases at Little America (1929-41). The volume is bookended by chapters that provide an autobiographical account of how Adventures in Polar Reading came to be written and extensive suggestions pointing the way to topics of research that Stam's methodology might enable for other scholars.

12 figures plus 12 decorative illustrations. Designed by Thomas Eykemans and set in Fairfield by Integrated Composition Systems.