Skip to main content

Resources for My Subject

Polar Studies: SPRI Collections

Resources which support research, teaching and learning in Polar Studies

Polar Library print collections

Polar Library resources can all be searched for in iDiscover. We hold a variety of materials for use in learning, teaching and research about the polar regions including: over 50,000 books, DVDs, video and audio-visual materials; an extensive collection of grey literature, pamphlets and ephemeral leaflets and brochures; a variety of maps of the polar regions; and hard copies of SPRI MPhil and PhD theses, many of which are also available through Apollo. As well as access to an extensive range of electronic journals and databases, we hold 80 current print journal subscriptions and back runs of many more specialist journals in hard copy, where not available electronically. iDiscover also has entries for over 100,000 chapters from books in the collection and journal articles linked to the print journal titles.

Make a Recommendation

We always welcome new book recommendations and will consider anything that fits our collection development policy. Email library@spri.cam.ac.uk or speak to a member of library staff in person to make a suggestion.

Finding Polar Library resources

Poster on finding Polar Library resources in iDiscover
Poster on understanding Polar Library classmarks
Poster on finding book chapters and print articles in the Polar Library

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The Institute's archive holds one of the largest collections of manuscript and other unpublished material relating to the Arctic and Antarctic regions, and to many persons who have lived and worked there. It aims to provide a detailed insight of British polar activities relating to the science, exploration, history, geography, environment, business and administration of the Arctic and Antarctic undertaken by British expeditions, explorers, businesses and Government.

Access to the archive is by prior appointment only; use the online booking request form to reserve a desk in the reading room.

Consult the Archives FAQs and archive access policy prior to your visit.

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.