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Freeze Frame Scott Polar Research Institute

Welcome to Freeze Frame

Historic Polar Images, 1845-1982, from the Scott Polar Research Institute

The Scott Polar Research Institute in the University of Cambridge holds a world-class collection of photographic negatives illustrating polar exploration from the nineteenth century onwards.

Freeze Frame is the result of a two-year digitisation project that brings together photographs from both Arctic and Antarctic expeditions. Here you can discover the polar regions through the eyes of those explorers and scientists who dared to go into the last great wildernesses on earth.

Detailed catalogue entries are provided for each image. All image captions are taken from original sources, where known. In digitising this resource the Scott Polar Research Institute has enabled browsing through the collection by date, expedition, or photographer, or by searching the content directly. Documents relating to the digitisation and web development process may be accessed via the project tab.
The Freeze Frame project is funded as part of the JISC digitisation programme and is hosted by the University of Cambridge in collaboration with DSpace@Cambridge.

  • CONSERVE: Preserving the images for future generations
  • DIGITISE: Providing access to some of the most important visual resources for polar research
  • EXPLORE: Encouraging discovery of the polar environment


RSS News Feed News and Events

Exhibition - Robert Falcon Scott - a century on

At the Scott Polar Research Institute from 17 October 2012 to 12 January 2013.

Including a series of events to mark the centenary

Captain Scotts expedition ship found

The Terra Nova which sailed to the Antarctic as part of the relief to the British National Antarctic Expedition, 1901-04 and as the expedition ship for the British Antarctic Expedition, 1910-13 has been found off Greenland where it sank in 1943. Photographs of the ship appear in the Freeze Frame collections.

The ‘lost’ photographs of Captain Scott

Photographs taken by Captain Scott on the journey to the South Pole have been acquired by the Scott Polar Research Institute. This remarkable collection consists of 109 photographs gives a view of the Antarctic as seen through Captain Scott’s eyes as he documented the first part of his epic journey to the South Pole. Subjects include his companions, the ponies and sledges, the scientific work they were undertaking and the breathtaking Antarctic landscape. Read more…

Exhibition - On thin ice

The National Maritime Museum has a new exhibition in Cornwall which includes material from the Scott Polar Research Institute. Open 8th April to 9th October 2011

Polar expedition journal on Twitter
The Scott’s last expedition Twitter page is linked with the Last Expedition blog on the Scott Polar Research Institute website. The blog follows Captain Scott’s expedition day by day through his diary entries from the British Antarctic (Terra Nova) Expedition 1910-1913.  Read more…

Exhibition: British Graham Land Expedition 1934-37
The Scott Polar Research Institute celebrates the 75th anniversary of the BGLE. The exhibition will be open from the 20th January - 29th April 2011. Read More

Face to Face cover

Face To Face Polar Photography in Print:
Written to accompany a touring exhibition, this unique book is the first to examine the history and role of polar exploration photography and showcases the very first polar photographs of 1845 through to images of the present day. Face to Face: Polar Portraits £50/£40/£25


The Freeze Frame web site launch takes place at the Scott Polar Research Institute
Posted: 4th March 2009.
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Sir Ranulph Fiennes chooses his favourite polar images.
Posted: 4th March 2009.
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Exhibition - Face to Face: Polar Portraits goes on display in Dundee.
Posted: 4th March 2009.
Read more …