Kazan: Univ. typ. 1822.
Books 1-12 (January-December) or parts 4-6 (numbered from the beginning of the publication in 1821).
Twelve Octavo issues (from ca. 24,5x16 to ca. 21,5x13 cm). [Part 4]: [2 – t.p.], 58; 59-134; 135-194; 195-248 pp. [Part 5]: [2 – t.p.], 56, [2 – table of contents of part 4, January-April]; 57-120; 121-187; 189-245, [2 – table of contents of part 5, May-August] pp. [Part 6]: [2 – t.p.], 68; 69-128; 129-184; 185-247, [2 – table of contents of part 6, September-December] pp. All issues in the original publisher’s wrappers with printed decorative borders (the January issue in grey wrappers, all other issues – in navy blue wrappers). Housed in a handsome custom-made navy morocco clamshell box with cloth boards; spine with gilt-tooled decorations and a gilt-lettered title. Several wrappers with minor tears and losses neatly repaired, the February issue trimmed, but overall a beautiful annual set of this rare magazine preserved in its original state.
A very rare complete annual set of the early Russian provincial periodical “Kazansky Vestnik,” which is famous for the first publication of Nikolay Lobachevsky’s groundbreaking work on non-Euclidean geometry “On the Origin of Geometry” (printed in five parts of the magazine for 1829-1830, see more in the Christie’s 1998 catalogue of Haskell F. Norman’s library’s sale: https://www.christies.com/en/lot/lot-1339879). Affiliated with the Imperial Kazan University, “Kazansky Vestnik” was published monthly in 1821-1833; among its other important publications are the present first detailed account of Bellingshausen’s Antarctic expedition (1822), Lobachevsky’s article on pedagogics (“O vazhneishikh nachalakh vospitaniya,” August 1832), reviews to Nikolay Karamzin’s famous (“Istoria Gosudarstva Rossiiskogo” (“History of the Russian State”), articles on the history of Yekaterinburg, travels to Central Asia, &c.
According to the Russian Brockhaus & Efron Encyclopedia, “Kazansky Vestnik” was published with a small print run of 500 copies for the first year (1821), 300 copies for the second year (1822) and 205 copies for the “last” year (1833).
Worldcat doesn’t find any paper copies of complete annual sets of “Kazansky Vesnik” in the western libraries. Odd volumes are held in the libraries of the University of California, Berkeley (part 5, May-August 1822), the University of Chicago (part 10, January-April 1824), the University of Illinois (part 12, 1824), Stanford University (part 34, 1832), and the University of Göttingen (March, April, July and August 1830).
This annual set for 1822 is exceedingly rare and contains the first detailed printed account of the first season of the first Russian Antarctic Expedition of 1819-21 under the command of F.F. Bellingshausen (1778-1852) and M.P. Lazarev (1788-1851). During its two seasons in Antarctic latitudes, the expedition surveyed the uncharted southern shore of South Georgia, discovered several islands in the South Sandwich and South Shetland groups, did the first circumnavigation of Antarctica mostly within the Antarctic circle, and discovered the Peter I Island and Alexander I Island near the Antarctic peninsula. It was during the first Antarctic season, on January 16, 1820 O.S. (January 28 N.S.), that Bellingshausen approached the continent up to 69°21’28” south latitude and became the first to observe what is now known as the Antarctic continental ice shelf (modern-day Bellingshausen ice shelf near the Princess Martha Coast in the Lazarev Sea). Due to the general agreement that ice shelves are an integral part of the Antarctic continent, Bellingshausen is considered the discoverer of continental Antarctica. According to another point of view, he is one of the three explorers who discovered Antarctica in 1820 (together with Edward Bransfield, who sighted the Trinity Peninsula on January 30, 1820, and Nathaniel Palmer, who discovered the Antarctic Peninsula on November 17, 1820).
The official account of Bellingshausen’s expedition wasn’t published until 1831 (Dvukratnye Izyskaniya v Yuzhnom Ledovitom Okeane i Plavaniye Vokrug Sveta, v Prodolzheniye 1819, 20 i 21 godov, Sovershennye na Shlyupakh Vostoke i Mirnom pod Nachalstvom Kapitana Bellinsgauzena… SPb., 1831, 2 vols text & atlas). Printed in a run of only 600 copies, it quickly became “one of the rarest publications concerning the Antarctic” (Rozove 31). For the ten years between the expedition’s return to Kronstadt in July 1821 and the publication of its official account in 1831, the main source of information about its history and results were the articles in Russian and European periodicals, as well as rare and little-known freestanding publications by the expedition astronomer, Kazan University professor Ivan Mikhailovich Simonov.
The “Kazansky Vestnik” for 1822 contains the first and only publication of Simonov’s private journal, kept during the expedition’s first exploratory season in the Antarctic. The journal chronologically covers the period from the “Vostok” and “Mirny’s” departure from Rio de Janeiro on December 11, 1819 to “Vostok’s” arrival to Van Diemen’s Land on March 25, 1820. The material was published in the six issues of the magazine and altogether occupies 43 pages (March, pp. 156-165; April, pp. 211-216; May, pp. 38-42; July, pp. 174-181; October, pp. 107-116; and December, pp. 226-232). The journal provides a lively original account of day-to-day events with the indication of significant dates, filled with Simonov’s personal impressions of what he experienced. He reports about “Vostok” and “Mirny” surveying the southwestern coast of South Georgia and meeting there with British whalers, one of whom spoke Russian (December 15), the discovery on December 22 and 23 of three islands in the South Sandwich group, which they named after Marquise de Traversay (Leskov, Zavodovki & Visokoi Islands of the Traversay group), the volcanic eruption on one of the new islands which they visited and collected lava specimens from (December 24), and the survey of the other South Sandwich Islands (Saunders, Montagu, Bristol, &c.; December 28 – January 4). The entry for January 16, 1820 (when Bellingshausen first sighted the Antarctic continental ice shelf) reports that the party “ascertained our latitude as 69°22’ and shortly after noon saw the pack ice and went back.” Also interesting are Simonov’s notes on the barren landscapes of the South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands (December 15, 17), the formation and structure of the sea ice and icebergs (January 7), various atmospheric and astronomical phenomena, including colourful aurora australis (February 11, 12 & 13, March 2, 3, 4, 6) and lunar eclipse (March 17), measuring the ocean depth and seawater temperature (December 20, 27), two major ocean storms which “Vostok” endured (February 18-19 and March 9-10) and the ship’s damage, harvesting fresh water by shooting cannon balls into an iceberg (January 26), the appearance and fearlessness of penguins, penguin and seal hunting (December 20, 24, January 7, 8), roasting penguins and albatrosses for dinner (December 20), several whale sightings (December 20), the first seaweed encountered when moving to warmer waters (March 18), fluorescent sea (March 24), &c.
To our best knowledge, Simonov’s journal, first published in “Kazansky Vestnik” in 1822, was never reissued. Its publication stopped in the December issue of 1822 and was not continued, despite the note “continuation in the future” on the last page (December 1822, p. 232). Most likely, the need for further publication ceased with the publication later in the same year of Simonov’s address read at the University’s meeting on July 7, 1822. The 59-page brochure, titled “Slovo ob uspekhakh plavaniya shluypov Vostoka i Mirnogo okolo sveta i osobenno v Yuzhnom Ledovitom more, v 1819, 1820 I 1821 godakh” (“An address on the achievements of the voyage of sloops Vostok and Mirny around the world, and especially in the Southern Ice Ocean, in the years 1819-21,” Kazan: Univ. Typ., 1822) described the whole expedition, including the discoveries in the South Pacific and the second season in the Antarctic, and summarized its results. The account of the first Antarctic season in the “Slovo…” is abridged and occupies about eight pages (pp. 14-21), in comparison with over forty pages in the “Kazansky Vestnik.” Only the first season was published in Kazansky Vestnik in the six articles because of “Slovo…” which is supported by the librarians of the Scientific Library of Tomsk University (https://virtuarium.ru/exhibition/pod-parusom-otkrytiy-dokumenty-pervoy-antarkticheskoy-ekspeditsii#Simonov).
It has become evident that Simonov’s publications about Bellingshausen’s expedition in the “Kazansky Vestnik” generally went unnoticed and remained largely unknown to western scholars in the 19th and 20th centuries. It was “Slovo…” that got translated into German in 1824 (Beschreibung einer neuen Entdeckungsreise in das südlische Eismeer [Description of a recent voyage of discovery into the Southern Ice Ocean]. Wien: Wallihausser, 1824) and became the basis of several European publications about Bellingshausen’s expedition, issued before the official account was finally printed in 1831. Three major Antarctic bibliographies covering the articles in periodicals (see Chavanne, Denucé and Roscoe in the selected bibliography below), in their lists of publications about Bellingshausen’s expedition issued before 1831, register only the 1824 German edition of Simonov’s “Slovo,” as well as articles in German, French and English magazines, based on his later communications with or letters to Alexander von Humboldt, Baron Franz Xaver de Zach, or his former teacher Joseph von Littrow.
The first analysis of the contents of Simonov’s journal published in the “Kazansky Vestnik” (1822), as well as its first translation into English can be found in the fundamental research of Bellingshausen’s expedition by Rip Bulkeley, published in 2014 (Bulkeley 2014, pp. 144-158). According to Bulkeley, the journal was never republished in Russian (Ibid. p. 144).
Although not the very first Russian publication about Bellingshausen’s expedition, Simonov’s journal published in the “Kazansky Vestnik” (1822) remains the first major detailed account of the expedition and its first Antarctic season of December 1819-March 1820. Bulkeley registers six earlier Russian articles on the topic, published in 1821 (see the bibliographies in Bulkeley 2014 and 2021). These include an excerpt from Bellingshausen’s brief five page official report to the Russian naval minister written in Port Jackson in April 1820 (published in the “Syn Otechestva”, 1821, part 69, No. 17, pp. 133-137, and later widely republished in the contemporary European press), two anonymous journalists’ articles also brief written after the expedition’s return to Kronstadt in July 1820 (published in the “Otechestvennye Zapiski,” part 7, No. 16, pp. 233-242; and “Russky Invalid,” No. 196, 24 August 1821, pp. 786-788), and four materials in the “Kazansky vestnik” for 1821 (February, pp. 135-139; July, pp. 170-172; September, pp. 57-65; October, pp. 98-107). All of these materials are brief and lacking detail. This is best seen in Bellingshausen’s official report, which is dedicated to the expedition’s first Antarctic season, as it occupies only five pages. The materials in the “Otechestvennye Zapiski” and “Russky Invalid” combine the data from Bellingshausen’s report with the impressions on the expedition’s arrival.
The “Kazansky Vestnik’s” materials of 1821 include the publications of three short letters sent by Simonov from Rio de Janeiro or Port Jackson to the head of the Kazan University and department of education Mikhail Magnitsky. Two of them describe the expedition’s movements and explorations in the Atlantic and South Pacific, and only one letter, occupying three pages, talks about its first Antarctic season (1821, July, pp. 170-172). The October publication is a brief report of Simonov’s astronomical observations during the expedition; its first English translation was also published by R. Bulkeley (Bulkeley 2014, pp. 158-162).
So, the conclusion is that Ivan Simonov’s journal, published in the six issues of the “Kazansky Vestnik” for 1822, is the first major printed account of the first season of F. Bellingshausen’s Antarctic expedition of 1819-21. It was never republished in Russian and first translated into English in 2014. It’s a lively first-hand unique account written during the expedition, which makes it an important addition to the official account of 1831.
Bulkeley, R. Bellingshausen’s first accounts of his Antarctic voyage of 1819-1821// Polar Record 49 (248). 2013, pp. 9-23.
Bulkeley, R. Bellingshausen’ and the Russian Antarctic Expedition, 1819-21. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014.
Bulkeley, R. The Historiography of the First Russian Antarctic Expedition, 1819-21. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2021.
Conrad, L.J. Bibliography of Antarctic exploration: Expedition accounts from 1768 to 1960. Washington, 1999.
Chavanne, J., Karpf, A., Chelavier de Le Monnier, F. Die Literatur über die Polar-Regionen der Erde. Wien, 1878. Nos. 5736, 5789-5791, 5796, 5798, 5800, 6399, and others.
Denuce, J. Bibliographie Antarctique. Bruxelles, 1913. Nos. 2843-2853.
Howgego, R.J. Encyclopedia of Exploration, 1800 to 1850. Hordern House, 2004.
[Roscoe, J.] Antarctic Bibliography/U.S. Naval Photographic Interpretation Centre. Washington, 1951. Nos. 23-13.1 – 23.-13.12.
Rosove, M.H. Antarctica, 1772-1922. Freestanding publications through 1999. Santa Monica, 2001.
Spence, S.A. Antarctic Miscellany: books, periodicals & maps relating to the discovery and exploration of Antarctica. London, 1980.
Interesting Russian Internet resources:
Original expedition papers from the Russian State Archive of the Navy:
Documents and printed accounts of the expedition from the collections of the Scientific Library of Tomsk University:
Simonov’s biography and selected bibliography from the Russian Brockhaus Encyclopedia:
Selected bibliography of Kotzebue’s atlas:
Sabin 38289, Wickersham 6195 (incorrectly described), Howes 258, Arctic Bibliography 9192, Obolyaninov 1317, Svodny Katalog Russkoy Knigi (1801-1825) 3985, Lemus (Russkiye Geograficheskiye Atlasy, XIX vek) 61.
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