The Koch Family Papers Part 2 (vol. 2)

Part 2 of the Koch Family Papers about the geo-explorer Lauch Koch's life, work and aspirations

Part 2 Part 2: Drawings and maps from the 2nd Thule and Bicentenary Jubilee Expeditions (1916-1923) and the mapping of northern Greenland (Avannaarsua)

Volume 2: Mapping from Baffin to Koch and the role of Greenlanders

Author: Peter R. Dawes

Lauge Koch (1892-1964) was involved in Greenland affairs for 50 years with far-reaching impact. The Danish National Archives (RIgsarkivet) holds the bulk of his papers; others that remained with his family form the basis of a book published in 2012 as Part 1 of a trilogy, The Koch Family Papers.

The present two-volume book - Part 2 of the trilogy - focusses on a unique collection from the pre-aviation era: two hundred drawings and maps pertaining to the mapping of Greenland's Farthest North or Avannaarsua. Koch began this mammoth task as a student on Knud Rasmussen's 2nd Thule Expedition (1916-18) and completed it on his own Bicentenary Jubilee Expedition (1920-23). The assistance of the indigenous people - the Inughuit - on these ventures was indispensable.

Volume 2 goes through the cartographic and geologic exploration from William Baffins first written observations in 1616 until Koch shows up 300 years later. The focus is on the role of Greenlanders in mapping their own land; their will to work together in all areas of field work was essential for Kochs success. 

The author
Geologist Peter R. Dawes - emeritus research scientist at GEUS - has been working with Greenland affairs for more than 50 years. While geoscience has been his foremost occupation, the history of polar exploration and geographical discovery takes a close second place.
During several expeditions to North Greenland in the 1960s, Dawes was introduced to the pioneer work of Lauge Koch who dog-sledged in the region between 1916 and 1923 producing the first regional geological and topographical maps of northern Greenland. His admiration for this eminent accomplishment and Koch's later work in East Greenland has been lifelong and, through contact with Koch's family, it has resulted in several articles on his work and life.