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Transforming the Polar Museum

A new museum for Britain's polar heritage

New facilities

Curatorial, Storage and Reserve Collections Access

As part of the HLF funded project, the Museum has been able to remodel its curatorial spaces. Room was allocated in the Basement, modernised and upgraded, to ensure the well-organised storage of artefacts ranging from polar clothing to native sculptures. Room has also been found for their curation and remediation, with the fitting out of a conservation laboratory. The Museum has been able to employ a full time conservator for the first time.The new search room

Space has been provided for scholars to have supervised access to reserve collections of materials not on display, equipped with a PC to provide access to the Museum's electronic catalogue. More research into the collections is required and scholars are encouraged to contact the Keeper for further information.

Archival Storage

Plans for the Thomas H. Manning Polar Archives included the redevelopment of our existing archive store to provide state of the art, temperature- and humidity-controlled storage systems and the provision of additional shelving for our already comprehensive and growing documentary collection, unparalleled for its holdings of British polar archival heritage. Staff and volunteers took the opportunity to carry out a complete conservation audit of the collection and to rehouse all manuscript material in archival quality boxes. This work was completed in June 2009 and the Archives reopened to visitors on 1 July, after a six-month closure.


The new Museum is on a single level and fully accessible to wheelchair users, with new lifts to both the Museum and Institute entrances. The Lecture Theatre and reception kiosk are equipped with induction loops and large-print versions of all interpretation texts and captions will be available.