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SPRI Review 2011: Picture Library

Picture Library

The activities of the Picture Library over the last year have been dominated by the centenary of Captain Scott’s British Antarctic Expedition, 1910-13, whilst continuing to assist many visitors and enquirers from around the world with their research of photographic material for use in a variety of publications, television programmes, lectures, museum exhibitions and theatre productions.

Photographic material has been supplied for a number of exhibitions including those at the Australian National Maritime Museum, the Fram Museum, Norway, Gilbert White’s House and Garden and The Oates Collection, the Kidwell Industrial Museum, the National Maritime Museum Cornwall, the National Museum of Wales, the Natural History Museum in London, Northampton Museum and Art Gallery, and Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery. A significant number of images has been supplied to accompany orchestral and theatre performances, including the Scott Centenary concert tour of the London Sinfonia Orchestra and productions of the play ‘Terra Nova’ by Ted Tally for the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA) and Bawds at the ADC Theatre in Cambridge.

Our polar images have been published in many publications from travel catalogues to scientific journals, including Scientific American, Current Biology, Nature, National Geographic and in course material for the Open University. Images have also been supplied for a number of books including: ‘Captain Scott’s Invaluable Assistant, Edgar Evans’ by Isobel Williams; ‘Birdie Bowers: Captain Scott’s Marvel’ by Anne Strathie; a special promotional catalogue for Nigel Cabourn Ltd. Clothing; and re-prints of Captain Scott’s journal, ‘Scott’s Last Expedition’ by Wordsworth Editions Ltd. and Vintage Classics. Images have also been supplied for the book ‘The Quest for Frank Wild’ by Angie Butler.

In addition to numerous BBC news items, images have been supplied for a variety of television programmes including: ‘Flog It’ (BBC 2); ‘Antiques Road Trip’ (BBC 2); ‘The Last Explorers’, a documentary about the journey made by William Spiers Bruce to Antarctica (BBC 2); ‘The Secret Life of Ice’ (BBC 4); ‘The making of David Attenborough’s Bachelor King’ (Sky One); ‘Shackleton’s Whisky’ (National Geographic); and ‘On the trail of Tom Crean’ (Redshank Ltd, Ireland).

Captain Scott’s hut at Cape Evans, McMurdo Sound, Antarctica

Captain Scott’s hut at Cape Evans, McMurdo Sound, Antarctica

The Picture Library was also pleased to provide an image for a Royal Mail postage stamp. The photograph of Captain Scott and his four companions at the South Pole is one of four stamps commemorating significant attainments during the reign of the Monarchs of the House of Windsor including our present Queen Elizabeth II. The stamp is part of the House of Windsor and Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, Kings and Queens stamp set.

The Picture Library acquired, by generous donation from Dr Peter Pritchard, an interesting group of photographs from the Cambridge Spitsbergen Expedition 1938. In addition, we received, on a loan basis from Mr Robert Mack, a significant album of photographs taken on Shackelton’s Nimrod expedition 1907-09. These are welcome additions to the collection and will compliment material the Institute already holds from these expeditions.

The Picture Library Manager has been invited to join the new Management Committee for the Cambridge University Collection of Aerial Photography (CUCAP) in an advisory and supporting role. The Picture Library would also like to acknowledge the invaluable help given by Angela Haines for her dedicated voluntary work throughout the year.

Lucy Martin