The Glacier Photograph Collection is an online, searchable collection of photographs of glaciers, mostly taken in the Rocky Mountains, the Pacific Northwest, Alaska, and Greenland. Photographs were taken from the ground, air, and space. The dates of the photographs range from the mid 1800s to the present day. However, the collection does include a smaller number of photos of glaciers in Europe, South America, the Himalayas, and Antarctica. As of August 2021, more than 25,000 glacier photographs are in the database. 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.
Search the Glacier Photograph Collection
You can search the Glacier Photograph Collection by glacier name, location, date, photographer, and more from the Search & Order interface. You can view lower-resolution photographs online and order high-resolution photographs from the interface.
The Glacier Photograph Collection also includes interesting subsets of photographs, highlighted as Special Collections as described below.
Repeat Photography of Glaciers
This special collection displays photographs of the same glacier, taken from the same vantage point and at the same time of year, but taken many years apart. These photographs can show evidence of glacier and climate changes over time.
DAHLI IGY Glacier Photographs
This special collection is from Alaskan glacier surveys led by William O. Field during the International Geophysical Year.
Astronaut Glacier Photographs
This special collection was taken by astronauts on the International Space Station and the Space Shuttle Endeavor.
Antarctica Dry Valleys Glacier Photographs
This special collection consists of field photographs from the McMurdo Dry Valleys region of Antarctica.
WGMS Glacier Photographs
This special collection focuses on photographs of glaciers for which long fluctuation series are available, some of them dating back to the 18th century.
National Park Service Glacier Survey Reports
This special collection highlights glacier photographs taken from original National Park Service (NPS) Glacier Survey reports.
Lake Clark National Park and Preserve Glacier Photograph Collection
This collection of 1173 photographs of glaciers in and around the Lake Clark National Park and Preserve in Alaska was compiled by Jacob Zanon while he was a Natural Resource Specialist Intern in the GeoSpatial Services Department at Saint Mary's University, MN.
Kenai Fjords National Park Coastal Glacier Repeat Photography Collection
This collection of photos is part of an ongoing repeat photography project documenting coastal glacier change in Kenai Fjords National Park in southcentral Alaska.
Citing these data
Each image in the digital GPC has its own citation. To cite individual photographs, please use the following citation:
Photographer's name. Year photograph was taken. Name of glacier: From the Glacier Photograph Collection. Boulder, Colorado USA: National Snow and Ice Data Center. Digital media.
If using many images, the user may simply cite the entire collection:
National Snow and Ice Data Center (comp.). 2002, updated 2019. Glacier Photograph Collection, Version 1. [Indicate subset used]. Boulder, Colorado USA. NSIDC: National Snow and Ice Data Center. doi: https://doi.org/10.7265/N5/NSIDC-GPC-2009-12. [Date Accessed].