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The Scott Polar Institute's photographic negatives are a unique resource but also an extremely fragile one. The Freeze Frame project will digitise over 20,000 photographic negatives from 1845-1960, representing some of the most important visual resources for research into British and international polar exploration.
Digitisation of related documents - information from personal journals and official reports from expeditions on which these photographs were taken - will provide historical and cultural context for the images. It is also intended to add context to the images by displaying them alongside selected items from our pre-eminent collection of polar fine art, prints, drawings, and manuscript materials.
The International Polar Year 2007-08 is the first of its kind for fifty years. The timing of the IPY, coupled with growing interest in climate change, provides a unique opportunity for online resources at the Scott Polar Research Institute to reach a wider learning community than ever before. The forthcoming centenaries of the 'Heroic Age' expeditions to discover the Poles also demand of us that this visual archive is accessible to a global audience.
The Freeze Frame project aims to develop an online database of freely available visual and textual resources to support learning, teaching and research into topics relating to the history of Arctic and Antarctic exploration and science. Through a series of interpretative web pages and e-learning resources the project will provide access to hidden collections for all educational levels. It will encourage users to discover polar environments through the eyes of those explorers and scientists who dared to go into the last great wildernesses on earth.
For more information or for information on access to high-resolution versions of these images, please refer to the SPRI picture library.
Collections in this community
Photographs chronicling the second relief expedition, 1903-04, of the sailing ships 'Morning' and 'Terra Nova'.
Includes images of the sailing ship 'Nimrod' in the ice, sledging camps, wildlife, and views of the Great Ice Barrier.
Includes four collections: the Ponting collection by Herbert Ponting; the Levick collection, given by George Murray Levick; the Debenham collection, given by Frank Debenham, later to be the founder of the Scott Polar Research Institute; and the Wright collection, taken by Charles Wright, the expedition's geologist.
Photographs of the Expedition on Greenland.
British Arctic Expedition 1875 - 1876, lantern slides
Includes images of life at Waterboat Point, penguins, seals, general views and whaling.
Boxed stereoscopic slides of relics of Sir John Franklin's expedition, 1845-48.
Includes 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.
Portraits of some of the officers of HMS Erebus, photographed before their departure from London in 1845.
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.
Includes images of deserted whaling stations on Deception Island and the hoisting of the British Flag there, portraits of officers, views of the South Orkney Islands and Argentine radio officers stationed there.
Images of South Georgia coastline. Includes some aerial shots.
Glass plate, nitrate and plastic negatives
Includes images of Arctic scenery, hunting of polar bears and seals, whaling and the sailing ship 'Eira'.
Photographs of the Expedition on Greenland. Images include: hunting, sledging, surveying, general views, icebergs, portraits, equipment, boats and ships and Inuit life.
Includes images of the expedition's travel to Antarctica, their life and work there, and the return to the United Kingdom.
Includes images of the expedition's departure from London, travel to Antarctica and life and work there, and the return to the United Kingdom.
Images of the Transglobe Expedition to circumnavigate the globe via the two Poles. Includes portraits of expedition members, photographs of equipment testing in the Arctic and photographs recording the progress of the Expedition across Europe, Africa, the South Pole, Alaska and the North Pole.
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The collections held by the Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge, are among the richest in the world for the study of polar environments. Work begins in April 2007 on the Freeze Frame project to capture and preserve our archive of historical images in digital form.