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Picture Library catalogue


Many of the 100,000 photographs in the Scott Polar Research Institute photograph collection have been digitised. The online Picture Library catalogue offers everyone access to this exceptional collection. Original captions have been used where known.

Order How to order copies of these images for: commercial use or private use.

There are 29 collections currently available, covering some 26,695 images:

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Antarctic Relief Expeditions 1902-04  (93 items)

Photographs chronicling the second relief expedition, 1903-04, of the sailing ships 'Morning' and 'Terra Nova'. Including images of the voyage south, photographs of Scott, Wilson, Colbeck, Morrison, Davidson and others, the arrival at Cape Adare, the search for ship 'Discovery' and the finding of the Antarctic pillar-box which gave them news of 'Discovery's wintering in McMurdo Sound, Cape Crozier. First sight of 'Discovery', 1903, the ships 'Discovery', 'Morning' and 'Terra Nova', ice being mined and the 'Morning's release from the ice.

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British Arctic Air Route Expedition 1930-31  (1,342 items)

Photographs of the Expedition on Greenland. Taken by various members of the expedition the images include: kayaks and umiaks; hunting; aeroplanes; sledging and surveying; general views, icebergs; base activities; portraits (expedition members and local Inuit people); equipment, dogs, boats and ships. Also included is a group of oblique air photographs of the coast of Greenland between Kangerdlugssuak and Umivik taken for surveying purposes.

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British Arctic Expedition 1875-76  (100 items)

The collection consists of black and white photographs of members of the expedition together with Inuit; views of the Greenland coastline and seascapes; activities carried out by the expedition; the vessels, both sailing and trapped in the ice. It also includes coloured lantern slides of sketches showing scenes from the expedition designed for use as an illustrated lecture.

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British Antarctic Expedition 1907-09  (547 items)

The set of images from the British Antarctic Expedition, 1907-09 includes photographs that appear in five different albums and seven glass plate negatives. They include images of the sailing ship 'Nimrod' in the ice, sledging camps, portraits of members of the expedition, wildlife, and views of the Great Ice Barrier. There are many duplicate photographs across the five albums.

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British Antarctic Expedition 1910-13  (3,228 items)

Photographs from the British Antarctic Expedition 1910-13 includes: The Herbert Ponting collection which were taken by the expedition's official photographer. Photographs taken by members of the Pole party and the later search. The George Murray Levick collection, which contains photographs from the northern party. The Frank Debenham collection. Debenham was later to be the founder of the Scott Polar Research Institute. The Charles Wright collection, the expedition's geologist.

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British Arctic Expedition 1937-38  (106 items)

Images of the expedition at Greenland. Includes photographs of the Gertrud Rask and other vessels, Inuit and their dogs, the Greenland coastline, seascapes and icebergs. Photographs probably taken by J.W. Wright. Numbers are not inclusive.

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British Expedition to Graham Land 1920-22  (1,217 items)

Photographs taken by Thomas Bagshawe and Maxime Lester depicting life at Waterboat Point. The images include their makeshift hut made from an abandoned water boat; penguins, seals, general views and whaling.

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British Franklin Search Expedition, 1857-59  (16 items)

Boxed stereoscopic slides of relics of the Franklin expedition, 1845-48, brought home in the vessel 'Fox' by Captain Leopold McClintock in September 1859. Includes pictures of guns, cooking apparatus, sextant, telescope, boat's ensign, clothing, prayer book and other relics. Also includes portrait of McClintock and photograph of the 'Fox', portrait and statue of Sir John Franklin.

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British Graham Land Expedition 1934-37  (3,687 items)

Photographs of the Expedition travelling to Graham Land via the Falkland Islands, the exploration of Graham Land and surrounding islands, and the return to the UK. Taken by various members of the expedition the images include: hunting; aeroplanes; sledging and surveying; general views; icebergs; base activities; portraits; equipment; dogs; boats and ships.

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British National Antarctic Expedition 1901-04  (815 items)

Photographs of Captain Scott's British National Antarctic Expedition, 1901-1904. The sizes given represent the size of apertures in the photograph album and not necessarily each print. Photographs taken by various photographers, including: Charles William Rawson Royds, Reginald W. Skelton, Ernest Shackleton, Charles Reginald Ford, Louis Charles Bernacchi and some are unidentified.

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British Naval Northwest Passage Expedition 1845-1848  (12 items)

Portraits of some of the officers of HMS Erebus, photographed before their departure from London in 1845.

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Cambridge Bjørnøya (Bear Island) Expedition, 1932  (364 items)

Photographs taken during the Cambridge Bjørnøya (Bear Island) Expedition, 1931. Photographer: David Lack. Images include the voyage to Bjørnøya, ships, people and places visited; the whale factory ship 'Pionner', both internal and external; Tunheim (main base); members of the Polish Polar Year expedition; huts at various points on the island, and many scenic views. The collection also includes many photographs of local birds including grey phalarope, purple sandpiper, Arctic tern, gulls, ducks and petrels.

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Cambridge East Greenland Expedition, 1933  (277 items)

Photographs from the Cambridge East Greenland Expedition, 1933. Photographs taken by Brian Roberts and David Lack. Includes the journey to Scoresby Sound, East Greenland as guests on board Dr J-B Charcot's ship 'Pourquoi Pas?'; Blosseville Kyst and Scoresby Sund; church and houses at Grίmsey, Iceland; birds, polar bears, scenery, daily life and work of the expedition; local Inuit people; portraits of the expedition members, Dr J-B. Charcot and officers and crew of the ship.

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Cambridge Expedition to Vatnajökull, 1932  (265 items)

Photographs from the Cambridge Expedition to Vatnajökull, Iceland in 1932. The photographs were taken by Brian Roberts the leader of the expedition, and by Launcelot Fleming the geologist on the expedition. They include the journey to Iceland on board the trawler 'Lord Balfour of Burleigh'; arrival in south-east Iceland; journey along the coast and up a steep route by pack pony; sledging and camping on the ice; glaciological and geological formations; portraits of the expedition members and their guide.

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Eclipse and Maud Voyages 1888-89  (113 items)

Photographs taken during voyages to the Arctic by Walter Livingstone-Learmonth on the whaling ships 'Eclipse' and 'Maud'. Images include: the vessels at sea and in the ice, whaling, Inuit life, polar bear and seal hunting and life aboard ship.

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HMS Carnarvon Castle 1943  (84 items)

Includes images of deserted whaling stations on Deception Island and the the hoisting of the British Flag there, portraits of officers, views of the South Orkney Islands and Argentine radio officers stationed there.

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HMS Exeter, 1938  (18 items)

Images of South Georgia coastline taken from HMS Exeter. Includes some aerial shots from the Supermarine Walrus aircraft

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Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition 1914-1916  (450 items)

Photographs from the Imperial Trans Antarctic Expedition, 1914-16 (Weddell Sea party) includes: The presentation Blue Album and the informal Green Album, both of which contain photographs taken by Frank Hurley whilst with the Weddell Sea Party on the ship Endurance, and afterwards on South Georgia. Also included is the collection of original glass plate and plastic negatives. There are many duplicate photographs across the three groups.

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Leigh Smith Arctic Expeditions 1880-82  (13 items)

Includes images of Arctic scenery, hunting of polar bears and seals, whaling and the sailing ship 'Eira'.

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Modern Photograph Collection  (121 items)

This group includes collections of photographs which were taken during scientific field research in the Arctic and Antarctic.

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Norwegian British Swedish Antarctic Expedition 1949-52  (1,986 items)

The collection contains photographs of the daily life and work of the expedition; general scenic views, unloading of cargo, camping, sledging and weasel trains. It also includes portraits and group photographs of expedition members and crew of the Norsel, including the Norwegian flying unit, the ship 'Norsel' in ice and photographs of ice taken from the ship. There are also many images of Maudheim base and photographs which depict various scientific activities including the taking of meteorological measurements and seismograph operations.

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Oxford University Arctic Expedition, 1935-36  (395 items)

Photographs from the Oxford University Arctic Expedition, 1935-36 (Oxford Nordaustlandet Expedition, 1935-36) by various members of the expedition. They include expedition members, dogs and sledge teams, camps and various domestic scenes including Christmas party. Many photographs show travelling over ice with sledges. Some depict scientific activities including surveying and taking meteorological readings, and radio communication. There are also photographs showing construction and use of an ice tunnel at Ice-Cap Station.

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Oxford University Ellesmere Land Expedition, 1934-35  (1,018 items)

Photographs taken during the Oxford University Ellesmere Land Expedition, 1934-35 by various members of the expedition. They include people, plants, birds, dogs and sledge teams; landing stores by small boats; construction of the base hut; fishing and hunting seal with Inuit hunters; daily Inuit family life. Some original captions available, but many of the precise locations and the photographers have not been identified.

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Pan Am East Greenland Expedition 1932-33  (1,010 items)

Photographs of the Expedition on Greenland. Images include: hunting, sledging, surveying, general views, icebergs, portraits, equipment, boats and ships and Inuit life. Original cataloguing captions used.

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South Georgia North Coast Expedition 1979-80  (3,563 items)

The set of photographs provide a comprehensive and detailed photographic record of the principal whaling stations of the island of South Georgia and their environs.

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South Georgia Survey 1951-57  (4,881 items)

Photographs chronicling the first two of four South Georgia Surveys. Includes: Shackleton's grave, portraits of expedition members and Island inhabitants, geological studies, boat maintenance and repairs, landscapes and coastal views, sledging, man-hauling, surveying, base and camp activities, whaling and whaling stations, penguins, seals, skuas, albatrosses and sheathbills. The group of photographs taken by J.B. Heaney are survey photographs, mainly concentrating on Grytviken and the Allardyce Range areas.

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Scottish National Antarctic Expedition 1902-04  (219 items)

Includes images of the expedition's travel to Antarctica and the Southern Ocean, their life and work there, and the return to the United Kingdom.

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Shackleton-Rowett Antarctic Expedition 1921-22  (340 items)

Includes images of the expedition's departure from London, travel to Antarctica and life and work there, and the return to the United Kingdom.

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United States Navy Antarctic Expeditions Operation Deep Freeze 1955-98  (415 items)

Photographs chronicling the expeditions which set out to build shelters and airstrips for further phases of Operation Deepfreeze. Photographs include the USS Glacier breaking through pack ice at McMurdo Sound; USS Glacier and USS Edisto moored to ice; USS Glacier, Arneb and Greenville Victory moored in Kainan Bay; Air view of Hut Point and U.S. camp around Robert Falcon Scott's hut; Air view of 'Little America 5'; Trail party en route from 'Little America 5' to 'Marie Byrd Land'; Construction of huts at Little America 5.

Related collections

The Institute's museum catalogue is in the process of being put online.

Further information

Every effort has been made to ensure that the records are accurate. For additional information on any item, please contact the Picture Library Manager.

Please note that the inclusion of a record in the catalogue does not mean that items are currently on display in the Museum.

To order a copy of any picture in the catalogue, please see details of how to order copies. You will need to state the picture number(s).

Publication-quality photographs of museum objects can also be produced on request, subject to any copyright or conservation restrictions.

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