Projects, events and news from the University of Cambridge Museums
I’m three-quarters of the way into the 2-year Antarctic Cataloguing Project at the Polar Museum. The project was generously funded by the Esmée Fairbairn Collections Fund to create a fully researched and illustrated online catalogue of the Museum’s collection of material relating to the science and exploration of Antarctica. The collection comprises something between 2000 and 3000 items, and covers material from the expeditions of Scott and Shackleton in the 1900s and 1910s, the British Graham Land Expedition in the 1930s, the Norwegian-British-Swedish Antarctic Expedition in the 1950s, the Transglobe Expedition in the 1980s, and the expeditions of the Falkland Islands Dependencies Survey and the British Antarctic Survey, as well as many others.
Having spent a large part of the last seventeen months working away in the basement examining, measuring, describing and photographing the Antarctic objects, as well as a significant chunk of time at the computer creating beautifully formatted and consistent catalogue records, I’m delighted to announce that the Antarctic Catalogue is now live on the Polar Museum website!
Over 1500 records are now available online, of which 900 currently have images. This includes clothing and footwear, snowshoes and crampons, skis, goggles, medals and coins, domestic and personal equipment, foodstuffs, animal equipment such as whips and harnesses, scientific equipment, and geological and natural history specimens. The catalogue is by no means complete – more images will be added as the objects are photographed, and more records will be added as the cataloguing progresses.
As well as continuing to populate the online catalogue, we’re also hoping to improve it by adding new fields, developing an advanced search and, ultimately, creating hyperlinks to biographical records about people, organisations and expeditions, and to link to records for related objects.
While this is very much a work in progress, we’re really excited to have something to share and would love to know what you think so please do take a look here.
Greta Bertram, Antarctic Project Cataloguer, The Polar Museum