Skip to main content

Resources for My Subject

Polar Studies: SPRI Collections

Resources which support research, teaching and learning in Polar Studies

Make a Recommendation

Searching SPRI print collections for Polar Studies

SPRI Library houses a variety of materials for use in research and learning about the polar regions.

  1. 50,000 monographic and open shelf items - including books, DVDs, videos, audio materials.
  2. Periodicals - as well as access to an extensive range of electronic periodicals, SPRI Library also holds 80 current print journal subscriptions and houses back runs of many more specialist journals in hard copy where these are not available in electronic form.
  3. Pamphlets -  an extensive collection of grey literature - leaflets, brochures, reprints.
  4. Maps - a wide variety of regions and map types which are stored in the basement
  5. Theses - Copies of all M.Phil and PhD theses are held in hard copy. Digitized versions are being made available open access in the University of Cambridge Institutional Repository, Apollo, when copyright holders grant permission.

Materials are sorted using Polar UDC, first by geographic area, then by subject. You can search for items added since January 2016 using iDiscover. Older material can be found by visiting the SPRI Library to complete your search using our in-house search software. We hope to add our full catalogue to iDiscover during 2019.

Library Showcase

SPRI Library

housed on the upper floors of the Scott Polar Research Institute

Special Collection

Our rare, historic or one of a kind items are available for viewing - come ask at the Library Office

The Old Library Reading Room


Collections in the Rotunda

Polar expeditions planned over the Map table

Museum collections

The Scott Polar Research Institute's Polar Museum offers online access to information on its extensive museum collections through the SPRI museum catalogue. Use this online catalogue to access records stored in the Museum's centralised collections management database. Thousands of records are currently available - the majority have digital images attached.

Thomas H Manning Polar Archives

The Institute's archive holds one of the largest collections of manuscript and other unpublished material relating to the Arctic and Antarctic regions, and to many persons who have lived and worked there.

Access to the archive is by prior appointment only as you will need to reserve a readers desk.

Picture Library

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. Search the Picture Library catalogue to find 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. The collection 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.