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'Don't go looking for Antarctica without this book.' - Susan Solomon



Select one of these links to find museums in the country of your choice:

United Kingdom


United Kingdom

The Scott Polar Research Institute Museum

This is Britain's most important Polar museum. The fine range of material on display includes artifacts from the Heroic Age of Polar Exploration, including Captain Oates's sleeping bag and Worsley's chronometer, used to navigate the James Caird during Shackleton's famous rescue voyage. Other exhibits include paintings, drawings, photographs and other materials from a wide variety of expeditions, all well labelled. The ceiling of the main room is adorned with a twin frieze depicting Arctic and Antarctic maps encircled with the names of famous explorers, painted by Macdonald Gill in 1934. Specialist temporary art exhibitions are hosted from time to time.

Public lectures are held on Saturday evenings in the Institute's own lecture theatre. There are four lectures each during the Michaelmas and Lent terms, and details of which are posted on this site. The museum shop sells a variety of tasteful T-shirts, mugs, postcards, prints and of course some very interesting books.

Open Tuesday to Friday 11.00-13.00, 14.00-16.00 and Saturday 12.00-16.00

Admission free to Museum and public lectures

Scott Polar Research Institute
Lensfield Road
Cambridge CB2 1ER
Tel: (+44) 01223 336540


The Oates Museum

Permanent exhibition devoted to the memory of Captain Lawrence Oates, who perished tragically on the South Pole expedition led by Captain Scott in 1912. He is immortalized in his last words: 'I am just going outside. I may be some time.'

The exhibition includes relics from the expedition, a reconstruction of the sleeping quarters on the Terra Nova, letters Oates wrote to his mother and photographs by H.G. Ponting, the expedition's photographer. There is also material depicting Oates' family life and army career.

Further exhibits commemorate the life of his uncle Frank Oates, Victorian explorer, and Gilbert White, renown author of The Natural History of Selbourne. This joint exhibition was made possible by R.W. Oates who purchased White's own house for the museum; today the museum is maintained by a charitable trust dependent entirely on public support. Fundraising is currently underway for the restoration of the house; parts of the museum will be closed for some time, so visitors should telephone first to avoid disappointment. Anyone wishing to make a donation to this important museum should contact the Curator.

Open daily 11.00-16.00
Admission free to children, Adults £6.50

Gilbert White's House and The Oates Museum
Selborne Hill, Selborne, Hampshire GU34 3BN
Tel: (+44) 01420 511517


Cook in the Antarctic

This year the Captain Cook Memorial Museum has refurbished and extended its premises and together with assistance from the UK Antarctic Heritage Trust has created a new room devoted to Cook's exploits in Antarctica.

Open March to October
Admission £3.00 Adults, £2.50 Concessions, £2.00 Child, £8.50 Family ticket; School parties £1.50 per child and teachers and coach driver free, bookable in advance

Captain Cook Memorial Museum
Grape Lane, Whitby, North Yorkshire YO22 4BE
Tel: (+44) 01947 601900



The Fram Museum

The Norwegian polar exploration ship Fram was built for Nansen's 1893 expedition in the Arctic. Sverdrup sailed her to the Arctic again in 1898, and in 1910 Amundsen used the ship for his South Pole voyage. Fram now is landlocked in this splendid museum; visitors are able to board the ship and wander around the deck and down to the cabins, lounges, mess room, cargo hold and engine room.

Bydgøynes, N-0286 Oslo
Tel: (+47) 22 43 83 70


Polar Museum

This superb museum is housed in an1830 traditional wooden wharfside building, which itself creates a special atmosphere and is protected by preservation orders. The permanent exhibition is beautifully displayed through eight rooms, covering trapping in the Arctic, Svalbard in the 16th and 17th centuries, seal, walrus and polar bear hunting, Nansen and of course Amundsen. There are several stuffed animals including a husky team, a small trapper's hut and a reconstructed ship's cabin - and even a polar bear's massive heart! Children and adults alike will be enthralled. Temporary exhibitions are presented at regular intervals on the gorund floor, and the meeting room on the first floor is used regularly for a variety of events and may be hired for private functions.

Polarmuseet i Tromsø
Søndre Tollbugate 11, Postboks 900, 9259 Tromsø
Tel: (+47) 77 68 43 73



An information and experience centre for the whole family dedicated to the polar regions. The design of this modern purpose-built museum is based on ice floes pressed against the shore. In the theatre the panoramic film Svalbard - Arctic Wilderness promises a unique experience. Moving on from here the Arctic Walkway recreates an arctic landscape with a blazing snow storm in the polar night before taking you across the Arctic Ocean with the northern lights flickering in the dark sky. Live seals and fish in the aquarium with its viewing tunnel and 'touch pool'. Moored outside the museum is the polar vessle Polstjerna.

Hjalmar Johansensgt. 12, 9296 Tromsø
Tel: (+47) 77 75 01 11



Sea Ice Exhibition Centre

In 2006 a new Sea Ice Exhibition Centre was opened in Blönduós, Iceland. Author of text displayed was Dr Thor Edward Jakobsson, sea ice specialist and meteorologist in Reykjavik.

The beautifully presented display is housed in the oldest wooden building in Iceland, known as Hillebrandt’s House, which itself has a long and interesting history. The exhibition comprises posters, photographs and artifacts relating to the Arctic. Subjects covered range from explaining what sea ice actually is, weather aspects, East Greenland and the king of the Arctic, the polar bear.

Blönduós was chosen as the most appropriate location because it sits on the edge of Huna Bay in the north-west of Iceland where sea ice is most commonly found. This resourceful island population has often in the past had to adapt to the difficulties of blocked sailing routes and restricted access to fishing areas for several months of the year.

Open 11.00-16.00 daily during the summer, closed in winter

Hafíssetrið – Sea Ice Exhibition Centre
Blöndubyggð 2
540 Blönduós
Tel: (+345) 452 4848



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