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We plan to conserve and digitise the majority of our archive of photographic negatives from 1845-1982. This archive includes daguerreotypes, magic lantern slides, glass plate negatives and modern cellulose nitrate and acetate formats. Many of these images are unpublished, rediscovered within private albums and personal collections. Most have never been before the public eye.

Outline project timetable:polar image selection 2


  • 1 January, Project planning and research strategy
  • 1 April, Collection research begins
  • 1 May, Initial image selection begins, Project website launch
  • June, Initial image selection
  • 12 June, Project team deliver strategic plans to steering group
  • July, Phase 1 recruitment and training completed
  • August, Metadata completed for initial batch of 1000 images
  • September, aggregation of resources in DSpace begins
  • November, Trial implementation of presentation layer released for usability testing
  • December, Collection development forum launched


  • March, Education Officer appointed; focus group convened
  • June, First learning resources available for evaluation
  • September, Final usability testing begins


  • February, Resource integration completed; work begins on final report
  • 4 March, Project launch

Steering group meetings will be held in March, July and November each year.

Project outline

The Freeze Frame historic polar images project is the largest and most ambitious of its kind, featuring unique photographic collections of national significance, with an enduring appeal. There are iconic and familiar images from the 'Heroic Age' of Antarctic expeditions of Robert F. Scott and Ernest Shackleton, as well as other generations of explorers who braved the polar regions before and after them. With remote access to these digital images, we hope to encourage new audiences to explore the polar world for themselves.

Read the outline project proposal here.

Project staff

  • Project Director: Professor Julian Dowdeswell
  • Deputy Director: Heather Lane
  • Project Manager: Naomi Boneham
  • Documentation Assistant: Wilow Silvani
  • Digitisation Assistants: Tim Banting, Jon Bird
  • Education Officer: Mel Rouse
  • Picture Library Manager: Lucy Martin
  • Technical consultancy provided by CARET, Cambridge University Library Imaging Service

Contact us

For enquiries about the project or to be added to the project's mailing list please email We will be placing a call for participants in an online Collection Development Forum in due course- please register your interest.

For press enquiries please email or telephone +1223 336540


Project supported by:

IPY logo JISC logo