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SPRI Review 2009: Picture Library

Picture Library

The Picture Library continues to provide support to many visitors and external enquiries from across the world for their research of photographic material. This material is used in a variety of publications, television programmes, lectures, museum exhibitions and theatre productions. Photographs have been supplied for exhibitions at the American Museum of Natural History in New York, Dundee's Art Gallery and Museum the McManus, the Clyde Maritime Trust and to the BBC News website, the BBC Timewatch documentary about Shackleton and to Altitude Films for their TV programme 'The Wildest Dream'. Images have also been supplied for a number of books including 'The Heart of the Great Alone', by Sophie Gordon, Emma Stuart and David Hempleman-Adams, published by the Royal Collection Publications, and 'Scott's Last Expedition: The Journals of Captain R.F. Scott' re-printed by The Folio Society.

The Picture Library has placed a number of digital copies of Ponting's photographs with Getty Images. These are for an exhibition that Getty Images will be holding, starting in February 2010. Copy prints of the photographs will then be made available for purchase from Getty Images. During the year, the Picture Librarian worked on the setting up of an online print sales facility. This service is supplied by the company Cabinet UK Ltd., who provide a print-on-demand service for the supply of copy prints in a variety of different sizes via the SPRI website. This will include the vast majority of the photographs that were scanned by the JISC Freeze Frame project. The work has been time consuming because of the large volume of images to be processed and the adoption of new management software, but the site can be accessed at

The preventive conservation programme of our photographic collections continued with the boxing of four more albums. Purpose-built boxes were constructed by a conservator for an album of photographs taken on the Scottish National Antarctic Expedition, 1902–04, one album from the British Expedition to Graham Land, 1920–22 (Bagshawe and Lester) and two albums from the Byrd Antarctic Expedition, 1928–30. We thank the Friends of SPRI, who generously provided funds to support this work. The Picture Library would like to acknowledge the invaluable help given by volunteer Angela Haines.

Lucy Martin

Arctic flowers on morainic rock, Spitsbergen

Arctic flowers on morainic rock, Spitsbergen