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Exploration into science: Discover the story of planet Earth's coldest, driest, windiest, highest and deadliest places …

The Scott Polar Research Institute holds a unique collection of artefacts, journals, paintings, photographs, clothing equipment, maps and other materials illustrating polar exploration, history and science. Come and find out how past discoveries in the Arctic and Antarctic help today's scientists to investigate our changing environment.

SPRI Y: 2010/7

The Polar Museums Network: connecting polar collections around the world

The Polar Museum is pleased to announce the launch of the Polar Museums Network (PMN), a new initiative which brings together polar museums and collections around the world to strengthen and spread the knowledge of polar history, science and exploration. The PMN will foster greater cooperation and collaboration amongst polar museums in the key areas of exhibitions, research, outreach and learning, documentation and conservation.

The PMN has been founded by six museums from Norway, Sweden and the UK, and it is hoped that membership will extend to museums from across the globe. Membership of the PMN is also open to all persons and institutions evidencing an abiding interest in the collection, preservation, research and interpretation of polar artefacts.

The PMN will hold its inaugural conference at The Fram Museum, Norway, with the theme 'Polar Partnerships: Working together to spread the knowledge of polar history, science and exploration'. The conference will be followed by a study tour to Uranienborg, Roald Amundsen's home at Svartskog, Polhøgda, Fridjtof Nansen's home and office at Lysaker, and the Ski Museum. Conference dates to be confirmed.

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Studio Portrait of Shackleton SPRI: P99/40

Scott Polar Research Institute awarded £500,000 from Heritage Lottery Fund

The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has announced a £5 million funding programme, Collecting Cultures, which will benefit 23 museums, libraries and archives across the UK, including the Scott Polar Research Institute.

We are delighted to announce that we have been awarded £500,000 - the biggest single amount awarded to any organisation today.

This money will specifically go towards By Endurance We Conquer: the Shackleton Project which will unite the Scott Polar Research Institute's Archive, Museum and Picture Library in a targeted purchasing strategy designed to develop its collection of material relating to Sir Ernest Shackleton. It will strengthen all three departments through knowledge-sharing and collaborative planning, and dramatically enhance the public engagement offerings through new acquisitions and interpretation.

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» What's On

Take a quick look at the exciting events in store this season ...

» What's new

Read about our current exhibition, The Lost Photographs of Captain Scott ...

Read about Toby Booth who, inspired by the Saving Scott Negative Appeal and Sir Ranulph Fiennes undertook an epic adventure of his own...

Learn more about the work of our Conservators via our Conservation blog ...

Take a peek at work behind the scenes via our University of Cambridge Museums blog posts ...

» Exhibitions


Scott's Expedition Diaries online

The Polar Museum has begun an exciting new project to provide access to the journals and diaries of the officers, scientists and crew of Scott's Terra Nova Expedition, 1910-13, held in the Institute's Archives. Check our Polar Diaries project pages for news of developments.

Read more about the 2010 redevelopment of the Polar Museum and our Heritage Lottery Fund award.

HLF logo -Hi

We look forward to welcoming visitors of all ages, including school and other groups.

» Museum catalogue

The museum catalogue is not yet fully published but sections not on the web are SPRI Museum Y: 88/1/2, Caribou skin bag from Mittimatalikavailable to visitors by appointment. Special collections available online include:

Access and contact details

» Directions to the museum are available. » Contact us if you need more information.

Visitors are permitted to take photographs (with flash or a tripod) in the galleries for their personal, educational use only. Photographs taken by visitors must not be reproduced or published in any form, including on the internet, without permission.

The Museum welcomes requests for scholarly access to the Collections. Scholars wishing to access the Museum's reserve collections should make an appointment with the Keeper.

Acquisition of museum material has been principally by gift. Access conditions for collections not on display are similar to those for archival materials. Copies of items in the Institute's collections, including paintings and photographs, can be supplied for publication. The Library and Archives are also accessible to visitors by appointment; please read the notes on access to the Special Collections. Please use our online booking form for appointments to consult material in the Archives or Art Collection.

Our Museum policy documents describe our policies on acquisition, loans and other areas. See also information on conservation.

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