Service Interruption

27 July 2005

Glacier Photograph Collection Triples in Size

Experts study historic glacier photographs to help them understand and communicate about the changes that are unfolding as global temperatures increase. Glacier photographs form an important and compelling climate record, showing historic glacier terminus locations and glacial retreat. However, these historic prints are often too fragile for frequent handling, and users generally must travel to visit and search the collections.

The Glacier Photograph Collection, featured in the July 22 issue of Science, is housed at NSIDC. The database is based on a collection of 5,000 print images of glaciers beginning in the 1800s. Starting in 2002, NSIDC and its partners have helped solve the problem of accessing the collection by scanning selected photographs and putting them in a searchable online database. When the collection could only be seen in person, fewer than a dozen people each year accessed the collection; now, more than 12,000 online viewers visit the collection each year. In July, NSIDC added 2,000 photographs to the database, tripling the size of the online collection and bringing the total number of online prints to 2, 914 images.

To download low-resolution photographs or to order high-resolution versions, visit the Glacier Photograph Collection.