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Picture Library

Picture Library

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The SPRI Picture Library houses one of the world's most comprehensive collections of historical photographs of the Polar Regions. It also holds a growing collection of modern photographs taken by scientists and researchers working in the field.
Read more about our acquisitions.

The collection contains stunning images taken from the very early days of exploration to both the Arctic and the Antarctic, particularly those of the expeditions led by Scott and Shackleton. It provides a documentary record of all aspects of life, travel and work in the polar regions, ranging through the fauna and flora, transport, science, scientific stations, glaciology, scenery and ethnography.

SPRI Prints

SPRI Prints

The Scott Polar Research Institute is pleased to offer high quality prints from its unique image collections. Choose from a wide selection of polar photography from the SPRI Picture Library. Prints are available in a range of sizes, framed or unframed and delivered directly to your door. Visit

Explorers in cave

Picture Library catalogue - including:

Older resources, which we are working to integrate into the new master catalogue, are:


Ordering images for commercial use

SPRI holds one of the world's most comprehensive collections of polar imagery. Copies of images from the collection may be made available for publication or other purposes. We can supply high quality copies to meet most requirements. Read more …


The lost photographs of Captain Scott

The support of the Heritage Lottery Fund will ensure that the 109 photographs taken by Scott himself on the British Antarctic (Terra Nova) Expedition can be acquired by the Scott Polar Research Institute. Read more ...

Scott negatives

Captain Scott's 'lost' photographic negatives

The Polar Museum at the Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge, is proud to announce that it has successfully raised the £275,000 needed to be able to purchase the 113 photographic negatives, thanks to public support. The negatives represent an extraordinary visual record of Scott's last expedition, but were in danger of being sold abroad. Read more ...

Ponting Portfolio

Platinum Prints - Ponting Portfolio

Collaboration with Salto Ulbeek publishers makes a selection of Ponting's Antarctic photographs available for the first time using the platinum printing process, a photographic technique renowned for its exceptional aesthetic and archival properties.

Bridgeman logo

Bridgeman Images

The Scott Polar Research Institute is excited to announce a brand new partnership with the Bridgeman Images the renowned fine art image library. For the first time some of the Institute's fine art images will be commercially available online. The SPRI art collections represent a variety of responses to the Polar Regions, providing a unique and evocative portrayal of the icy corners of the world. From the British voyages to the Arctic during the nineteenth-century to the Heroic Age of exploration in Antarctica, featured collections include the UK's largest collection of watercolours by Edward Adrian Wilson, who accompanied Scott on both the Discovery and Terra Nova expeditions to Antarctica.

Freeze Frame

Freeze Frame: Historic Polar Images, 1845-1982

Freeze Frame is a remarkable new resource enabling you to explore over 20,000 photographs from 1845-1960, representing some of the most important visual resources for research into British and international polar exploration.


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