Skip navigation

You are in:  Home » Online resources » SPRI Polar Directory » Polar libraries directory

You are not currently logged in

SPRI Polar Directory

Libraries

Go to: Introductory page or country:

There are 18 entries in the libraries directory for United Kingdom:

Jump down to:

British Antarctic Survey Archives Service

Website: www.antarctica.ac.uk/archives
Contact name: Ellen Bazeley-White & Joanna Rae
Address: High Cross, Madingley Road, Cambridge, CB3 0ET, United Kingdom
Telephone: +44-1223 221504 (Ellen) or 221531 (Joanna)
Fax: +44-1223 362616
Open to the public? / Opening hours: Weekdays, office hours, by appointment only
Year of foundation: Archives - 1979
Activities: The Archives Service preserves and provides access to records created by the British Antarctic Survey and its predecessors, Operation Tabarin (1943–45) and the Falkland Islands Dependencies Survey, (FIDS, 1945–61). The records held relate both to scientific activities and administrative and logistical operations in the Antarctic and Arctic. Together they provide a unique source of scientific polar data and information about organising and undertaking world-class research in a remote and hostile environment.
Publications: An online Database of Winterers is available via the BAS Club web pages. http://www.antarctica.ac.uk/basclub/news/winterers.php
Notes:

A fully indexed and searchable database of holdings in available in the Archives Office.

^ Top

British Antarctic Survey. Library

Website: www.antarctica.ac.uk/about_bas/our_organisation/eid/library.php
Contact name: Andrew Gray
Address: High Cross, Madingley Road, Cambridge CB3 0ET, United Kingdom
Telephone: +44-1223 221312
Fax: +44-1223 362616
Open to the public? / Opening hours: Weekdays, office hours, by appointment only
Year of foundation: 1976
Collections: Interdisciplinary library covering the atmospheric sciences, earth sciences and life sciences, with the emphasis on scientific research in the Antarctic and other cold regions. Also a small collection of books on polar exploration and history. Special collections: theses written by BAS scientists, the scientific reports of some Antarctic expeditions. Most of the stock is in English but French, German, Spanish, Russian and the Scandinavian languages are also represented.
Notes:

Set up in 1976 when the British Antarctic Survey moved to its present building, but based on existing collections previously held in the various scientific sections which until 1976 were at a number of different locations in the UK.

^ Top

British Library

Website: www.bl.uk
Address: 96 Euston Rd., London NW1 2DB, England
Telephone: +44-0171-412-7000
Fax: +44-0171-412-7268
Year of foundation: 1973 [incorporates among other collections, those of the British Museum Library founded in 1753]
Notes:

Operates the British Library Automated Information Service (BLAISE), through which various bibliographic databases may be accessed.

^ Top

British Library Document Supply Centre (BLDSC)

Website: www.bl.uk/articles
Address: Boston Spa, Wetherby, W. Yorks, LS23 7BQ, England
Telephone: +44-1937-546060
Notes:

The British Library is the national library of the United Kingdom and one of the world's greatest libraries. Our vision is to make the world's intellectual, scientific and cultural heritage accessible, and to bring the collections of the British Library to everyone's virtual bookshelf - at work, school, college, home

DESCRIPTION OF POLAR COLLECTION: Our collection is probably the world's largest devoted to the provision of remote document delivery. It covers every aspect of scientific, technical, medical and human knowledge, in many languages. We hold journals, books, conferences, reports, patents, theses, official publications, music scores and images. To search our collection on the web for free or to find more information about our collection, catalogues and publications, use the links below.

^ Top

Data-Star

Address: Haymarket House, 1 Oxenden St., London SW1Y 4EE, England
Telephone: +44-171-839-1427
Fax: +44-171-930-2581
Notes:

Online host service offering wide range of databases.

^ Top

National Archives of Scotland

Website: www.nas.gov.uk
Address: HM General Register House, Edinburgh EH1 3YY, Scotland
Telephone: +44-131-535-1314
Fax: +44-131-535-1360
Year of foundation: 1774
Notes:

National archive for Scotland

^ Top

National Library of Scotland

Website: www.nls.uk
Address: George IV Bridge, Edinburgh EH1 1EW, Scotland
Telephone: +44-131-226-4531
Fax: +44-131-220-6662
Year of foundation: 1680s
Notes:

National Library of Scotland – Scotland's largest library and the world centre for the study of Scotland and the Scots. Thanks to our UK legal deposit status, we are also a vast reference library, covering all subjects, from art to mountaineering, and from early times to the digital age.

Holdings include the polar collections of James Wordie and Thomas Graham Brown.

^ Top

National Maritime Museum

Website: www.nmm.ac.uk
Address: Greenwich, London SElO 9NF, United Kingdom
Telephone: +44-1-858 4422
Fax: +44-81-312 6632
Notes:

The National Maritime Museum was founded in 1934 and houses the world's largest maritime library and archive. The Library now consist of 135,000 volumes of printed books, periodicals and pamphlets, 2,000 microforms and CD-ROMs. The Library is classified according to the Universal Decimal Classification (UDC) and catalogued according to the library management system TINLIB. There are two OPAC terminals available for public use in the Library.

DESCRIPTION OF POLAR COLLECTION: The Library covers all aspects of maritime history. Collections on naval history, genealogy, piracy, warship, whaling, fishing, emigration, exploration, geography, oceanography and biography.

^ Top

National Maritime Museum. Manuscript Collection

Website: www.nmm.ac.uk/collections/archive/catalogue/
Address: Greenwich, London SE10 9NF, United Kingdom
Telephone: +44-01-858 4422
Fax: 081-312-6632
Notes:

The manuscript holdings relate to the whole of British maritime history, both naval and merchant. Naval manuscripts include a series of lieutenants logs and administrative papers; merchant manuscripts include Lloyds surveys, crew lists for selected years, Masters certificates and the papers of shipping companies. There is a large number of collections of personal papers, mainly relating to naval officers' careers.

^ Top

National Meteorological Library. Met Office

Address: London Road, Bracknell, Berkshire RGl2 2SZ, United Kingdom
Telephone: Bracknell +44-(01344) 856694, Loans Desk ....854838, Information Manager ... 854841
Notes:

The Meteorological Office was established in 1854. The first mention of a "library" was in 1870, when it " included 1,200 volumes exclusive of pamphlets.

DESCRIPTION OF POLAR COLLECTION: Meteorology of polar regions including large data holdings; also oceanography to a lesser extent, "Expeditions" collection, many to Polar regions.

^ Top

Natural Environment Research Council. Polar Sciences Section, Corporate Affairs Unit

Website: www.nerc.ac.uk
Address: Polaris House, North Star Avenue, Swindon, Wiltshire, United Kingdom
Telephone: +44-01-793-411 651
Fax: +44-01-793-411 691
Notes:

Our library is a small unit serving a policy/management user group rather than research activities. We do take Polar Record and Antarctic Science and keep copies of annual reports of Polar agencies in the UK.

DESCRIPTION OF POLAR COLLECTION: Collections on Arctic, Antarctic, Earth Sciences, Terrestrial and Freshwater Sciences and Marine Sciences.

^ Top

Polar Postal History Society

Website: www.rpsl.org.uk/polar
Address: The Royal Philatelic Society London, 41 Devonshire Place, London, W1G 6JY
Telephone: +44 (0) 20 7486 1044
Fax: +44 (0) 20 7486 0803
Notes:

Registered Charity No. 286840

Collection of books, articles, etc. on polar philately, although some are of general interest. It is available to members of PPHS on payment of postage in both directions.

DESCRIPTION OF POLAR COLLECTION: Deals with the postal history of both Arctic and Antarctic regions.

^ Top

Royal Geographical Society. Archives

Website: www.rgs.org
Address: 1 Kensington Gore, London, SW7 2AR, United Kingdom
Telephone: +44-020 7591 3050
Fax: +44-020 7591 3001
Notes:

Description of Archive or Manuscript Collection: Diaries, ships logs, photographs, articles submitted for publication in the Society's Journal, and correspondence relating to 19th and 2Oth century voyages and expeditions to the Arctic and Antarctic including a special collection of papers from Captain R.F. Scott's Discovery expedition 1901-4.

Finding Aids or Description of Collection: The RGS Archives: A handlist compiled by Christine Kelly' Published by the RGS (reprinted from parts published in the Geographical Journal, vol. 141, 142, 143). 1978.

^ Top

Royal Geographical Society. Library

Website: http://catalogue.rgs.org/uhtbin/webcat
Address: 1 Kensington Gore, London, SW7 2AR, United Kingdom
Telephone: +44-71-589-5466
Fax: +44-71-584-4447
Notes:

The Library dates from the foundation of the R.G.S. in 1830. At first the acquisitions were mainly books of voyages and travels, but with the establishment of geography as a university discipline in the late l9th century, the academic geography book gained prominence and this has continued so that the majority of acquisitions now fall into this category. The main subjects covered are: geography (all branches); cartography and survey; history of exploration, voyages and travel. The Library contains well over 100,000 books, including about 35,000 volumes of periodicals.

DESCRIPTION OF POLAR COLLECTION: The polar collection covers all aspects of the geography of the Arctic and Antarctic. There is a noteworthy special collection - the Feilden Collection - presented to the Society by Colonel H.W. Feilden, c.B., (1838-1921). This Collection, which covers the Arctic, contains about 350 books, and also about 250 pamphlets bound up in volumes as 'Arctic Tracts'.

In the polar collection, virtually all European languages are represented.

Additional web address: images: http://images.rgs.org/

^ Top

Scott Polar Research Institute. Archives

Website: www.spri.cam.ac.uk/library/archives/
Contact name: Archives Manager: Naomi Boneham
Address: Lensfield Road, Cambridge CB2 1ER, United Kingdom
Telephone: +44-1223-336555
Fax: +44-1223-336549
Open to the public? / Opening hours: Yes - see website
Year of foundation: 1920
Notes:

Description of Archive or Manuscript Collection: Consists of journals, log-books, reports, correspondence, administrative records, etc., of expeditions to the Arctic and Antarctic from the early l9th century onwards. Particular strengths are records of British naval exploration in search of a North-west Passage and towards the North and South Poles in the period 1818-1920, including the papers of Sir George Back, Sir John and Lady Franklin, Sir William Parry, Sir John Ross, Sir John Richardson and others; British university expeditions from about 1920 onwards; the whaling industry; the Scott expeditions of 1901-04 and 1910-13.

Additional Internet resources: http://www.archiveshub.ac.uk/

^ Top

Scott Polar Research Institute. Library

Website: www.spri.cam.ac.uk/library
Contact name: Librarian and Keeper of Collections: Heather Lane
Address: Lensfield Road, Cambridge CB2 1ER, United Kingdom
Telephone: +44-1223-336557
Fax: +44-1223-336549
Open to the public? / Opening hours: By appointment Mon-Fri 0900-1300, 1400-1730
Year of foundation: 1920
Publications: Polar and Glaciological Abstracts http://www.spri.cam.ac.uk/library/publications/pga/
Notes:

History of library: the library was founded by the late Professor Frank Debenham in 1920 as an integral part of the Scott Polar Research Institute (SPRI), an independent institution under the aegis of the University of Cambridge, established with funds from the Scott Memorial Mansion House Fund. Originally accommodated on the top floor of the Sedgwick Museum, Downing Street, Cambridge, it moved in 1927 to Lensfield House, Lensfield Road. From 1934 it was housed in a new building designed by Sir Herbert Baker, for which the Pilgrim Trust gave funds. The library was extended in 1968 into the new wing of the Institute by a Ford Foundation grant. A further small extension was completed in 1986 and another major extension in 1998. SPRI joined the Department of Geography of the University of Cambridge in 1957.

DESCRIPTION OF POLAR COLLECTION: The collection aims to be as comprehensive as possible for publications relating to the Arctic and the Antarctic and to the regions adjacent to them. A World Data Centre (administered within the Library) maintains a similarly comprehensive collection of literature on snow and ice wherever found. There are also substantial holdings for typical polar animals such as seals, whales, reindeer, penguins, etc. even when located outside the polar regions. The collection has been catalogued, indexed and abstracted in detail.

Languages: All languages in which polar and glaciological studies are published. The following are particularly well represented: Russian, Danish, Norwegian, Swedish, Finnish and Spanish. For glaciology, there are also extensive holdings in Japanese.

IN-HOUSE DATABASES: SPRILIB: 75,000 records (August 1994). SPRILIB Antarctica [http://www.spri.cam.ac.uk/resources/sprilib/antarctica/] collection of publications for Antarctica and the Southern Ocean. SPRILIB Russian North [http://www.spri.cam.ac.uk/resources/sprilib/russian/] SPRI Library holds an exceptionally extensive collection of publications concerning northern Russia and Siberia. You may now search this collection on the Internet. There are currently 19,024 records, listing works published from 1671 through to 1999. SPRILIB Ice and Snow [http://www.spri.cam.ac.uk/resources/sprilib/icesnow/]

Directory of Polar and Cold Regions Organisations: this directory provides brief details of organisations with interests relating to the polar and cold regions; that is, to the Arctic and Antarctic and to all parts of the world where ice, snow and permafrost are to be found.

^ Top

The National Archives

Website: www.nationalarchives.gov.uk
Address: Ruskin Av., Kew, Richmond, Surrey TW9 4DU, England
Telephone: +44-181-876-3444
Fax: +44-181-878-8905
Year of foundation: 1838
Notes:

COLLECTIONS: National archive for England and Wales and the United Kingdom, holding the records of central government and the central courts of law. These includes records relating to polar territorial claims, the Arctic Committee, Arctic and Antarctic exploration, the Antarctic Relief Committee, British Antarctic Territory, the Ross papers, and microfilm copies of most textual records up to 1904 in the Hudson's Bay Company Archives.

^ Top

World Data Centre C for Glaciology (WDCGC)

Website: www.wdcgc.spri.cam.ac.uk
Address: Lensfield Road, Cambridge CB2 1ER, United Kingdom
Telephone: +44-1223-336556
Fax: +44-1223-336549
Notes:

One of four international data centres designed to facilitate the international exchange of data and information on all forms of snow and ice. Library

Additional Internet resources: Online databases: Ice and Snow Database: www.spri.cam.ac.uk/resources/sprilib/icesnow/

^ Top