The Polar Museum, Scott Polar Research Institute, Cambridge

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History Museum · Hidden Gem · Specialty Museum
The Scott Polar Research Institute is a centre for research into the polar regions and glaciology worldwide. It is a sub-department of the Department of Geography in the University of Cambridge, located on Lensfield Road in the south of Cambridge.
SPRI was founded in 1920 as the national memorial to Captain Robert Falcon Scott and his companions, who died on their return journey from the South Pole in 1912. It investigates issues relevant to the Arctic and Antarctic in the environmental sciences, social sciences and humanities. The institute has some 60 personnel, consisting of academic, library and support staff plus postgraduate students, associates and fellows attached to research programmes.
The institute also hosts the secretariats of the International Glaciological Society and the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research, and is part of the NERC Centre for Polar Observation and Modelling.
The Scott Polar Research Institute houses the world's most comprehensive polar library and archives. The archives contain an unparalleled collection of manuscript material relating to the polar regions, research and exploration. For scientists and scholars, the library offers a collection developed since the 1920s covering all subjects relating to the Arctic, the Antarctic, and to ice and snow wherever found. For industry, it is a prime information source on such subjects as exploration and exploitation of natural resources and on the environmental implications of such activities in the polar regions; on the design of ice-strengthened shipping and selection of sea routes; and on problems of construction and transportation in cold environments. The library also offers an unrivalled resource for the needs of international relations and strategic defence.
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410 reviews
  • A great place to visit. Very informative and full of Artic artifacts. It is not large but well worth a visit!  more »
  • I don't know why but I was expecting a much larger museum. The contents were very interesting but maybe a little more about current projects in the polar regions that are being worked on could be...  more »
  • Clearly presented exhibit on Arctic and Antarctic exploration. Walk back on the left (presumably Northern side) for the Arctic story and back toward the front on the other side for the Antarctic. I was just left wondering since both Cook's and Peary's claims to have reached the North Pole first are disputed, who did reach it first? I'm sure they would have said who if they were British.
  • Nice little free museum. Good exhibits. Clean toilets. Worth popping in if you are nearby.

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