Ksenia Gemp - Arctic-fund

Ksenia Gemp

Ksenia Gemp (1894-1998). Russian life scientist (algologist), geographer, historian, ethnographer and folklore specialist, Gemp received schooling at Arkhangelsk grammar school. Her father, Piotr Mineyko, was friends with renowned polar explorers — Georgy Sedov, Vladimir Rusanov, Rudolf Samoylovich — who would visit him at his place. Later, Ksenia described her encounters with them in her published series of essays.

In 1912, Hemp enrolled in St. Petersburg Higher Women Courses’ Faculty of History and Philology. However, the field she seemed to have had even greater passion for was algology, the study of algae. A collector and publisher of written and verbal epic legacy, Gemp had contributed to many expeditions exploring the cultural and historical legacy of the northern areas. She spent decades re-discovering and analyzing the collected data. The publication of A Tale of the White Sea, Hemp’s first and one of the most prominent texts describing the everyday life and creative endeavours of Pomor communities, was timed with celebration of Arkhangelsk’s 400th anniversary.