The Scott Polar Research Institute is a long-established centre for research into both polar regions which is part of the University of Cambridge and currently in the running for the Art Fund Prize 2011, the UK’s largest arts prize. The collection contains stunning images taken from the very early days of exploration, to both the Arctic and the Antarctic, particularly those of the expeditions led by Scott and Shackleton, providing a documentary record of all aspects of life in the polar regions, ranging through science, glaciology, scenery and ethnography. Images available for licensing via the Bridgeman Art Library include the tools and clothing worn and used by Scott, the last page in Scott’s diary before he died, portraits of arctic explorers and delicate, beautiful watercolours of the Antarctic landscape by Edward Wilson amongst others. The British Antarctic Expedition’s (1910-13: commemorating the centenary Led by Robert Falcon Scott), aim was to reach the South Pole and to carry out extensive exploration and scientific experiments along the coast of Victoria Land, on the Ross Ice Shelf. Scott was competing against the Norwegian Amundsen to be the first to reach the South Pole. Amundsen reached the Pole on 14 December 1911, where Scott’s team arrived to find his tent some 35 days later. Scott and his party were all to perish on their return journey.

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