Scott Polar Research Institute

Address University of Cambridge, Lensfield Road, Cambridge, Cambs, CB2 1ER
Contact Librarian
Telephone 01223 336552
Method of referral The Library is already accessible to the general public by appointment. Readers should telephone 01223 336552 or email for an appointment in advance of their visit and will be required to provide photographic proof of identity on request. To visit the Archives, an online booking request form: htp:// is provided and a minimum of two weeks notice is requested
Access to resources Reference only access to open shelf collections. Access to archival materials and other special collections may be restricted, dependent upon staff time required for supervision, and is subject to the Institute's Special Collections Access policy:
Subjects covered
  • 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.
  • The Picture Library contains a photograph collection from both the Arctic and Antarctic, mainly depicting the history of exploration in the polar regions, including much material from the expeditions of Scott and Shackleton.
Special collections