- Explorers Club
The Explorers Club was founded in
New York, NY, in 1904. The club as explained in its charter was formed to further general exploration, to spread knowledge of the same; to acquire and maintain a library of exploration; and to encourage explorers in their work by “evincing interest and sympathy, and especially by bringing them in personal contact and binding them in the bonds of good fellowship” (TEC, Certificate of Incorporation, October 25, 1905).
Today, the Explorers Club is a multi-disciplinary society dedicated to advancing field research, scientific exploration and the ideal that it is vital to preserve the instinct to explore. The club's mission is to encourage scientific exploration of land, sea, air and space, emphasizing the physical and biological sciences. Its headquarters is the
Lowell ThomasBuilding on East 70th Street in New York City. Membership in The Explorers Club is open to qualified individuals and corporations that are leaders in science and exploration. The Club counts 3,000 members representing every continent and more than 60 nations. Over the years, membership has included polar explorers Roald Amundsen, Robert Peary, Matthew Henson, Ernest Shackleton, Vilhjalmur Stefansson, Sir George Hubert Wilkins, and Frederick Cook; aviators Jimmy Doolittle, Charles Lindbergh, Richard Archboldand Chuck Yeager; underwater explorers Sylvia Earle, Jacques Piccard, Don Walshand Robert Ballard; astronauts John Glenn, Buzz Aldrin, Neil Armstrong, Sally Ride, Kathryn Sullivan, and cosmonaut Viktor Savinykh; anthropologists Louis Leakey, Richard Leakeyand Jane Goodall; mountaineers Sir Edmund Hillaryand Tenzing Norgay; former U.S. Presidents Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin D. Rooseveltand Herbert Hoover; and thousands of other notables including journalist Lowell Thomas, newspaper cartoonist Mel Cumminand pioneer explorer Thor Heyerdahl.
Today, the club serves as a base for expedition planning, presentations, meetings, and events. The Club invites returning explorers to share their experience and findings in public lectures and member events, and in its quarterly periodical, The Explorers Journal. Since March 2006 the elected president of The Explorers Club has been Daniel A. Bennett.
The club also serves as a center for scholarly research. The Explorers Club Research Collections is home to a unique collection of art, archives, film, photos, maps, manuscripts and memorabilia related to the club's peripatetic members, living and dead. As the club's first presidents were polar giants of the late 19th and early 20th centuries (namely A. W. Greely, F. A. Cook, R. E. Peary, and D. L. Brainard) highlights of the archives include Papers of the Peary Arctic Club (1899-1910), Papers of the Lady Franklin Bay Expedition (1881-1884), Papers of the Arctic Club of America, and other original materials. The club's James B. Ford Library contains 15,000 catalogued volumes on exploration and travel, with a rare-book collection that dates from the incunabulum. Access to collections is available by appointment.
The club has at least two grant programs: the Youth Activities Fund, aimed at high school and college students; and the Exploration Fund, which offers aid to graduate students whose field research counts toward an advanced degree. Grants consist of money as well as opportunities to participate in expeditions under the guidance of noted explorer-scientists during the summer. Up to 60 awards are given out annually in each program for fieldwork conducted anywhere.
The Explorers Club flag has been carried to poles, mountain peaks, ocean depths,
outer spaceand the lunar surface. According to the club's Web site, "A flag expedition must further the cause of exploration and field science."
* [http://explorers.org/index.php Explorers Club website]
* [http://explorers.org/expeditions/expeditions.php Flag expeditions]
* [http://www.explorers-stl.com St. Louis Chapter of The Explorers Club]
* [http://www.neexplorersclub.org New England Chapter of The Explorers Club]
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