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The Institute Appeal





The Institute was established in 1920 as a memorial to Captain Scott and his companions, as a place for polar explorers to meet, and as a source for information about the polar regions.

In 1934 The Institute moved into its present building in Lensfield Road in Cambridge, The Shackleton Memorial Library at the Scott Polar Research Instituteand this building has grown in two stages. In 1968 the Ford Foundation funded an extension containing offices, laboratories, cold rooms and a lecture theatre, strengthening the Institute's research and teaching capacity, together with enough additional library space to last a further 30 years.

In 1998, after a highly successful campaign raised £1.5m, the Shackleton Memorial Library was opened by Sir Ernest Shackleton's grand-daughter, The Honourable Alexandra Shackleton. This major extension provides purpose-built accommodation for the Library, Archives, Photographic Library and Map Collection, and won an award from the Royal Institute of British Architects.

These developments have given the Institute an excellent base. We now need to ensure that the historic role of the Institute can be built upon through a series of projects to enhance its activities both within and beyond the University of which it is a part.

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Sea ice studies
Sea ice studies


Certain photographs (also used around the website) by: Henry Bowers, Finlo Cottier, Lewis Gasson, Frank Hurley, Frank Illingworth, Herbert Ponting and Charles Swithinbank.