Data Set ID:

Glacier Photograph Collection, Version 1

The Glacier Photograph Collection is a database of photographs of glaciers from around the world, some dating back to the mid-1850's, that provide an historical reference for glacier extent. As of June 2015, the database contains over 15,000 photographs.

NSIDC houses thousands of photographic prints of glaciers taken from the ground, the air, and from space. These photographs constitute an important historical record, as well as a data collection of interest to those studying the response of glaciers to climate change. NSIDC partnered with the NOAA Climate Database Modernization Program (CDMP) and the National Geophysical Data Center (NGDC) to digitize selected photographs and make them available through a searchable interface.

Most of the photographs are of glaciers in the Rocky Mountains, the Pacific Northwest, Alaska, and Greenland. However, the collection does include a smaller number of photos of glaciers in Europe, South America, the Himalayas, and Antarctica. The photos are available online via a searchable interface and are retrievable by glacier name, photographer name, date, country, state, and geographic coordinates.

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Geographic Coverage

Data Set Tabs

Spatial Coverage:
  • N: 81, S: -43, E: 180, W: -180

Spatial Resolution:
Not Specified
Temporal Coverage
  • 1880-01-01 to 2009-12-31
(updated 2015)
Temporal Resolution:
Not specified
  • Glaciers/Ice Sheets > Glaciers
Sensor(s): CAMERAS
Data Format(s):
  • TIFF
  • JPEG
Data Contributor(s): National Snow and Ice Data Center (comp.).

Data Citation

As a condition of using this data, you must cite the use of this data set using the following citation. For more information, see our Use and Copyright Web page.

National Snow and Ice Data Center (comp.). 2002, updated 2015. Glacier Photograph Collection, Version 1. [indicate subset used]. Boulder, Colorado USA. NSIDC: National Snow and Ice Data Center. [Date Accessed].

Questions? Please contact:

NSIDC User Services
Phone: 1 303 492-6199
Fax: 1 303 492-2468
Contact Address:
National Snow and Ice Data Center
University of Colorado
City: Boulder
Province or State: CO
Postal Code: 80309-0449
Country: USA