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Arctic Encounters

Arctic Encounters

An exhibition of Arctic material culture from Canada, Greenland and Alaska

3rd May - 16th December 2006 (exhibition opening extended by popular demand)

See: Opening times for the exhibition and the Museum

New! Online catalogue

The Scott Polar Research Institute is world-renowned for its library, archival and photographic collections. Less well known is its outstanding collection of objects made by the indigenous peoples of northern Canada, Greenland and Alaska. The collection of over six hundred objects includes clothing, hunting implements, domestic utensils and art from as early as the eighteenth century. The collection documents cultural change as access to European materials, technology and beliefs altered traditional ways. The British and Canadian presence in the Arctic is reflected in the ways in which these collections came to the Institute. The objects were collected by members of exploratory and scientific expeditions, missionaries, scientists and other travellers, many with associations with Cambridge. This special exhibition provides a glimpse of some of the Arctic material in the collection and complements the launch of the SPRI Museum web catalogue, which contains detailed descriptions and photographs of the artefacts, as well as information about the people who collected them.


Carving, Bird on Head of Polar Bear, soapstone and ivory on base. Artist: probably Ooloopie Killiktee (b. 1919). Kimmirut (Lake Harbour), Baffin Island, Nunavut, Canada, 1961. SPRI Museum Y:2005/7/22a-c