Skip to Main Content

Polar Exploration: Ralph Plaisted, Will Steger, & Ann Bancroft: Primary Sources: Archives & Records


Plaisted Polar Expedition Papers.
Newspaper clippings and other papers related to two snowmobile expeditions from northern Canada to the North Pole organized by Ralph Plaisted, a St. Paul insurance agent, snowmobile enthusiast, and amateur explorer. After an aborted attempt in 1967, Plaisted's group reached the North Pole in April 1968, the first mechanized expedition to do so and the first to arrive by sled since 1909.
MNHS call number: See the finding aid in the library (P1990)

Gordon Mikkelson Papers.
This archival collection consists of papers related to the life and career of a Minneapolis civic leader, WCCO Radio executive, and conservationist. The collection includes a group of papers related to Mikkelson's work with the 1967 and 1968 Plaisted Polar Expeditions.
MNHS call number: Digital Finding Aid    

Trans-Antarctica Expedition Records.
Newspaper clippings, magazine articles, newsletters, news releases, children's correspondence, essays and drawings, promotional and marketing files, daily expedition logs, subject files, video and audio tapes, posters, and photographs detailing a dogsled expedition to the Antarctic region (August 1989-March 1990) led by Will Steger of Ely, Minnesota. There is also some information on Steger's earlier dogsled expedition to the North Pole (1986) and a training run in Greenland (1988). The collection consists largely of public relations materials produced by and for the International Polar Expeditions organization. Many other files document extensive marketing efforts surrounding the expedition.
MNHS call number: See the finding aid in the library (International Polar Expeditions, Inc.). 

Books & Other Publications

"Six Across Antarctica: Into the Teeth of the Ice," by Will Steger.
In National Geographic, vol. 178, no. 5 (Nov. 1990): pp. 66-93.
MNHS call number: G 850 1989 .I58 S73 1990

Crossing Antarctica, by Will Steger and Jon Bowermaster.
New York: Knopf, 1992.
MNHS call number: G 850 1989 .I58 S74 1992

North to the Pole, by Will Steger, with Paul Schurke.
New York: Time Books, 1987.
MNHS call number: G 630 .A5 S73 1987

No Horizon is So Far: Two Women and Their Extraordinary Journey Across Antarctica, by Liv Arnesen. 
Cambridge, MA: Da Capo Press, 2003.
MNHS call number: G 850 2000 .A76 2003b

True to Ourselves: A Celebration of Women Making a Difference, edited by Nancy M. Newman. 
Includes "Being Clear in Passion and Desire," by Ann Bancroft. 
San Francisco : Jossey-Bass Publishers, 1998.
MNHS call number: HQ 1412 .T78 1998

Trans-Antarctica 1990 International Expedition: Experience the Adventure!
Des Moines, IA : Meredith Publishing Services, 1989.
MNHS call number: G 850 1989.I58 T72 1989


Ann Bancroft, Nancy Loewen: Co-authors of Four to the Pole!
St. Paul, Minn.: Minnesota Humanities Commission, Minnesota Center for the Book, c2002.
An interview with Ann Bancroft and Nancy Lowen co-authors of Four to the Pole!: The American Women’s Expedition to Antarctica, 1992-93.
MNHS call number: Videotape 976

Ann Bancroft, A Voice for Adventure Challenging Frontiers
St. Paul, MN: Northeast Metro Minnesota Branch, American Association of University Women, c1991.
Ann Bancroft tells about the challenges in her life--polar explorations, mountain climbing and dyslexia. The interview is divided into two parts: her early life and North Pole adventure, and her upcoming ski trek in Antarctica.
MNHS call number: Videotape OVERSIZE 997

St. Paul : Twin Cities Public Television, 1991-1992.
Interviews with people from all walks of life (mainly Minnesotans), including influential people in the arts, sports, politics, government and business, and people who have struggled in life, overcome obstacles and share their experiences. Interview with Ann Bancroft. 
MNHS call number:  III.45.2

Search for Primary Sources at MNHS

Gale Family Library • Minnesota Historical Society • 345 W. Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul, MN 55102-1906 • 651-259-3300
Hours and More InformationEmail us