Stefansson, Vilhjalmur, 1879-1962

Vilhjalmur Stefansson was born on November 3, 1879 in Arnes, Manitoba, Canada. He attended the University of North Dakota from 1897-1902. He was voted the best orator in 1900, and also worked for the school newspaper. In 1930 he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws degree, only the third such degree awarded. He then transferred to the University of Iowa and graduated in 1903 with a degree from the School of Liberal Arts. He next enrolled at Harvard, graduating with a Master of Arts degree in 1906. Stefansson lived among the Eskimos from 1906-1907, along with Canadian zoologist Rudolph Anderson, Stefansson launched a major research expedition to the Canadian Northwest from 1908 to 1912. The team carried out ethnological and zoological studies among the Mackenzie and Copper Eskimo of the Coronation Gulf. He retired from active exploration in 1919, and focused on studying, writing and lecturing about the Arctic. He wrote more than 20 books and over 400 articles during his life. He assembled the Stefansson Collection, printed materials, manuscripts and photographs related to both the Arctic and Antarctic regions. During World War II, Stefansson studied the defense of Alaska, and wrote reports and manuals for the armed forces. In 1947, he began a position as Arctic consultant at Dartmouth College, in Hanover, New Hampshire. In 1951, the collection was transferred to Dartmouth. Vilhjalmur Stefansson died from complications of a stroke on August 26, 1962 in Hanover.

From the description of Papers, 1919-1989. (University of North Dakota). WorldCat record id: 48872408

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