Advanced Search

News & Announcements

Archiving IPY 2007-8

During the last five (or more) years of planning and implementation of IPY 2007-8, many documents, correspondences, presentations, and multi-media tools have been developed that, while not raw scientific data, are a critical legacy of this historical research period. In order to learn from our experiences, and present a comprehensive account of this IPY to historians and scientists of the future, the Scott Polar Research Institute (SPRI) and Canadian IPY Secretariat at the University of Alberta have developed a process for capture and storage of digital material. This process has been endorsed and developed with the IPY International Programme Office and Joint Committee. We hope you will participate.
Lightberg Image: Rachel Hazell, Hazelldesignsbooks

You! Please consider taking a small amount of time to gather together critical files that document, in your view, some of the most important developments or contributions in this IPY. We are hoping for representation from the broad spectrum of IPY in order to collect a breadth of material and perspectives. This includes international, national, institutional, project, and sub-committee activities among others.

Material could be related to everything from IPY planning and implementation to logistics and community engagement. Appropriate material includes emails, presentations, key documents, images/ video, or other digital files.
All material will be publicly accessible except for those documents you wish to remain ‘closed’. These will be accessible only by individual request to SPRI, and for specific research purposes.
Physical artefacts should be archived with national or institutional libraries. For information on the partner closest to you, please contact Heather Lane (
A separate process is in place for storage of scientific data through the IPY Data and Information Service (IPY-DIS). Publications should be submitted to the IPY Publications Database.

The uploading of IPY digital archival material will be facilitated by the University of Alberta, through the IPY Digital Resource Library, IPY-DiTRL. Long- term storage and archive management will be overseen at the Scott Polar Research Institute utilising the institutional repository of the University of Cambridge, DSpace@Cambridge.
Files may either be uploaded individually on the DiTRL web interface, or, for larger collections, uploaded by batch submission. For the latter, you will be asked to store your files on a CD or DVD, or transfer them by FTP to the University of Alberta for uploading. You will also be asked to complete a simple spreadsheet detailing an overview of the material. You may also choose to compress multiple files or folders into single zip files to hasten the process.

Public_IPY_DiTRL_Upload_Intructions.pdf(for individual files & batch uploads) (PDF)
Batch Upload Excel spreadsheet for multiple files

We are currently looking for IPY partners who would be able to test the system with their material soon, but files can be uploaded at any time later in the year.

If you are willing to participate in this project, please email the following details:

- are you able to gather documents together in February or March 2009?
- if not, when would you like to archive your material?
- Preference for individual or batch uploading (recommended for over 20 files)?
- a signed copy of this DSpace Deposit Agreement_IPY

For more information on the archiving process, including uploading and security, please visit IPY-DiTRL

In the late 1990’s, discussions began about implementing a 4th International Polar Year in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the 1957-58 International Geophysical Year (renamed from the 3rd IPY). Today there are more than 50,000 participants from over 60 nations who are involved in the International Polar Year (IPY) 2007-8 with over 200 endorsed projects across a broad spectrum of natural and social science disciplines. The ending of IPY is a unique opportunity to collect valuable information about the development and implementation of this IPY, which will not only be valuable to historians of the future, but also central in providing societal and political context to the many significant scientific results that we expect to emerge during the next 15 years. Little information of this kind is available from the first three IPYs, and learning from our predecessors strongly suggests that the only viable opportunity to collect and document this information is while IPY 2007-8 still has the momentum that it has today.

Following consultation with the international Polar Libraries Colloquy, the IPY Joint Committee has agreed for archiving of digital and physical material, related to the development of international IPY activities and committees, to be developed and implemented by the Scott Polar Research Institute at the University of Cambridge, UK. This will include physical artefacts and digital copies of IPY reports, documents, posters, presentations, and correspondence. The collection of digital material is occurring in collaboration with the University of Alberta, Canada.

About the archiving partners

The International Polar Year Digital Resource Library, IPY-DiTRL, is an online database containing digital media that have been submitted by IPY researchers, students and other partners. The media is generally in the form of animations, power point presentations, video and audio clips, and PDF files. This digital library is complementary to the various IPY data catalogues (e.g. and publications databases (e.g.

DSpace@Cambridge is the institutional repository of the University of Cambridge. The repository was established in 2003 to facilitate the deposit of digital content of a scholarly or heritage nature, allowing employees and their departments at the University to share and preserve this content in a managed environment. It is a mirror archive that contains copies of all IPY files uploaded to IPY-DiTRL.

The Scott Polar Research Institute (SPRI), part of the University of Cambridge, is the oldest international centre for polar research. Today, it has developed to become a world-renowned centre for research and reference in a variety of fields relating to the environment, history, science and social science of the polar regions. Its library and archive provide an important repository for research resources, and support a wide range of academic disciplines. The research programmes of the Institute provide a strong core of intellectual activity focused on the Arctic and Antarctic, and in particular, ice and environmental change.

Add A Comment

Please use these fields to leave a public comment on this entry. For direct correspondence with the IPY International Programme Office, please see Get Involved or email the IPY Programme Office.





Please enter the word you see in the image below: