This study concerns the involvement of four British companies in the industrialisation of Spitsbergen in the European Arctic in the first half of the twentieth century. The companies were the Spitzbergen Coal & Trading Co., the Spitzbergen Mining & Exploration Syndicate, the Northern Exploration Co., and the Scottish Spitsbergen Syndicate. The combined historical context of Britain's leading coal industry, its global empire, and its contributions to polar exploration and science bore down on them. Against this multifaceted background, it is particularly interesting to ask, ‘What were the driving forces behind the development of the British mining industry on Spitsbergen between 1904 and 1953?'.
Nominated for the William Mills Prize for Non-Fiction Polar Books 2014!
"Since it is a thesis the book is written as an academic study, rather than a historic account, which makes it quite a heavy but a very authoritative read. ... There also numerous contemporary photos which give a good idea of the companies’ activities and a good bibliography for anyone wanting to research further into the subject." Christine Simm in SCOTTISH ARCTIC CLUB Newsletter
, Summer 2014.
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PART I - INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND 1
1 Introduction and contextualisation 3
2 Britishness 29
PART II - THE ARCHAEOLOGICAL IMAGE 49
3 The Archaeology of Arctic Mining 51
4 The Archaeology of Arctic Exploration 85
PART III - THE HISTORICAL IMAGE 157
5 The Spitzbergen Coal & Trading Co., Ltd. (1904-18) 159
6 The Spitzbergen Mining & Exploration Syndicate, Ltd. (1906-11) 203
7 The Northern Exploration Co., Ltd. (1910-34) 239
8 The Scottish Spitsbergen Syndicate, Ltd. (1909-53) 329
PART IV - THE COMBINED IMAGE 423
9 Four British companies on Spitsbergen: discussion and conclusion 425
Appendix 1 - Place-names used in the text 453
Appendix 2 - Staff of the Scottish Spitsbergen Syndicate 458
Appendix 3 - Learned papers of the Scottish Spitsbergen Syndicate 461
English summary 464
Nederlandse samenvatting 465