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A fascinating museum showcasing all things linked to research expeditions to the poles of the Earth

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Polar Equipment
Drawings & Letters
Shackleton Memorial Library
The Scott Polar Research Institute is a one of kind place, expert in research into the Artic and Antarctic Polar Regions. It was founded in 1920 in remembrance of Captain Robert Falcon Scott and his men. Scott was a great Polar explorer, one of the first to contribute so much to the field. He and his companions had made a daring expedition to the South Pole, and on their return in 1912, they sadly perished in the unforgiving conditions. The Scott Polar Research Institute was set up as their national memorial. It is a sub-department of the Department of Geography in the University of Cambridge.

The door to the institute

Did You Know?

The inscription on the front of the Scott's Polar Research Institute reads, Quaesivit arcana poli videt dei. When translated it speaks of Scott’s final journey into the snow and ice, He sought the secret of the pole, and found the hidden face of God.
The Institute exhibits some fascinating artifacts to do with Polar exploration. These are particularly from Scott’s time and earlier; aptly named the Heroic Age of Exploration. They include amazing photographs of almost unbelievable feats, journals and polar hiking gear! It also has the most extensive Polar library in the world. Reading the journals of the great explorers alone gives you an insight into the pain and glory involved in polar exploration, but the Institute also contains the Shackleton Memorial library. It was set up in honour of all Earnest Shakleton, one of the most famous names in Polar exploration, and his men had contributed to the field. It includes scholarly books and extensive archives on expeditions, as well as much more.

Ceiling map paintings of the North and South Pole

A sledge used in the British Graham Land expedition of Antarctica in 1934
As well as being open to the public, the Institute also plays an integral part in the furthering of research on the Polar Regions and their surrounding seas. The team there, as well as students at the University, study environmental and social science issues that affect the Arctic and Antarctic. It is home to the Glaciology and Climate Change group, whose research on the retreat of ice in Western Antarctica, affecting summer melting in Northern Canada, has contributed greatly to our understanding climate change.

A snow mobile
Visitor Information
The Scott Polar Institute is open Tuesday to Saturday 10am to 4pm. Entrance is FREE. Tel: 01223 336 555

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