Freeze Frame

Scope and Content

The Scott Polar Research Institute at the University of Cambridge holds a unique collection of fascinating images that document the history of polar exploration. Many of the original images are captured on glass plates or daguerreotypes and are too fragile and unsuitable for handling or public display. By digitising this collection, the images have been preserved and made easily available for research use.

This collection of some 20,000 pictures covers expeditions to the Arctic and Antarctica. The images are presented at a reasonable size with copyright information laid over the picture. There are full search facilities, including the ability to search by date, expedition or photographer as well as the ability to find images by a keyword tag cloud.


This is a description of an Online Resource. Online Resources are websites that describe, interpret and provide access to archives. They often provide access to digital content but they may also describe physical materials. They usually cover a theme or topic, such as an individual, a movement, or an important historical event.

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A Jisc funded digitisation initiative. Publisher: University of Cambridge

Additional Information

The Freeze Frame collection will be of interest to anyone studying or teaching the arts as examples of landscape, portrait and historical photography. There are images related to the environment, wildlife and travel. Themes such as 'History of Photography in the Polar Regions', Changing Britain and the Heroic Age' and 'Surviving in Extreme Environments' can all be explored within this collection.

Students and lecturers can also create their own galleries on the site to support projects and study areas.