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May 15, 2013

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Amundsenís northern exposure displayed

For several weeks during the first of three years in the Canadian Arctic, famed Norwegian polar explorer Roald Amundsen and his crew built igloos every day, under the watchful eye of an Inuit teacher, until they had mastered the art.

Their teacher shook his head at the sheer abundance of igloos, certain the crew had lost their senses to build so many, but such experiences and close relationships developed with the Inuit while searching for the Northwest Passage from 1903–1906 proved valuable in Amundsen’s later success in becoming the first person to reach the South Pole on Dec. 14, 1911.

An exhibition of photos by Amundsen and text from abridged versions of manuscripts from public lectures about his time in the Arctic will be on display at the University of Victoria June 1–8.

Cold Recall – Reflections from the Northwest Passage includes 51 large panels depicting both the scientific work of Amundsen and his crew while in the Arctic and their life with the Inuit people. The exhibit at the UVic Libraries will be located in the lower library lobby, outside the Maltwood Gallery, and is curated to feature 30 panels highlighting life among the Inuit. In addition to the exhibit, vintage footage of Amundsen’s exploration to the South Pole will also be available for viewing.

The exhibit is on loan from the Norwegian government to the Association for the Advancement of Scandinavian Studies for Congress 2013. More than 7,000 delegates are coming June 1–8 for Congress 2013, a unique gathering of scholars, students and policy-makers hosted by UVic in partnership with the Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences.

The Cold Recall exhibit opens June 3–9 and is free and open for public viewing 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekends.

The UVic display coincides with the May 17 opening of the Race to the End of the Earth exhibit at the Royal BC Museum. It details the competition between Amundsen and British Navy Capt. Robert F. Scott to be first to reach the South Pole.

Media advisory: UVic will have the Cold Recall exhibit set up by May 31 and can arrange media visits ahead of the June 3 official opening.

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  Media Contacts:

Dr. Helga Thorson (Dept. of Germanic and Slavic Studies) at 250-721-7320 or helgat@uvic.ca
Mitch Wright (UVic Communications) at 250-721-6139 or mwwright@uvic.ca

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