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Scott Polar Research Institute

History of the Scott Polar Research Institute

General information about the Scott Polar Research Institute can be found on Wikipedia.

6/5/1933: There is a good deal of interest in the building operations in progress at the corner of Lensfield Road. It is for the Scott Polar Research Institute which has been based in a house at the corner of Panton Street since 1925. The new building, designed by Sir Herbert Baker and being built by Messrs Sindall, should be completed next year. (Cambridge Press)

During World War Two the building was used by the Naval Intelligence Divisions. Gwen Raverat worked here as a draughtsman. They complied handbooks about countries which the Navy might be required to ‘visit.’ Her job was to make the block diagrams. She often had no photographs to work on but had to use contours on the map to indicate terrain.

Cambridge Inscriptions Explained by Nancy Gregory (2006) looks at the background to the inscription above the front entrance:


He sought the mysteries of the Pole, he sees [the mysteries] of God 

This was composed by Sir Herbert Fisher, Warden of New College Oxford.


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