Antarctica Introduction

This page has information on Antarctica."Speculation over the existence of a 'southern land' was not confirmed until the early 1820s when British and American commercial operators and British and Russian national expeditions began exploring the Antarctic Peninsula region and other areas south of the Antarctic Circle" (CIA World Factbook).

Reference Resources Print Indexes Journals Owned by CSU
Terms to Search in Library Catalog Research Databases Web Resources

Reference Resources

Print (and a few electronic) resources with information on Antarctica

Reference Resources--Encyclopedias & More 
Encyclopedias can be a great place to start your research, get an overview of your topic, or help you narrow your area of focus. Morgan Library has a number of encyclopedia sets that may be useful to you as you begin your research. Encyclopedias are located in the Reference collections in Morgan ("Reference") and the Atmospheric Libraries, so they may not be checked out. General encyclopedias can also be extremely useful for this subject.

  • Antarctica and the Arctic. G587 .M37 2001 Reference
  • Encyclopedia of the Antarctic. 2 vols. G855 .E55 2007 Reference
  • CRC Handbook of Atmospherics. 2 vols. QC 961 C73 1982 Atmos Reference
  • Encyclopedia of Atmospheric Sciences. 6 vols. QC854 .A48 2003 Reference, Atmos Reference and EASonline (to CSU affiliates) in PDF. See "Antarctic Climate."
  • Encyclopedia of the Arctic. 3 vols. G606 .E49 2005 Reference
  • Gale Virtual Reference Library. Online.
  • Keyguide to Information Sources on the Polar and Cold Regions. G593 .M54 1998 Reference
  • Knovel. Online. (Note: CSU does not subscribe to premium content.)

Circulating Items: Morgan & Atmos Stacks

  • Antarctica: An Encyclopedia from Abbott Ice Shelf to Zooplankton. G855 .A58 2002 Morgan
  • Encyclopedia of Climate and Weather. 2 vols. QC854 .E523 1996 Morgan and Atmos

Terms to Search in the Library Catalog

Subject headings are the most efficient search for identifying books in the library catalog. Identify useful books in the library catalog (and the Regional Catalog Prospector) doing a (LC) Subject search for (this is a selective list of terms):

  • Antarctica
  • Antarctica Birds
  • Antarctica Climate
  • Antarctica Climatic Changes
  • Antarctica Coast Changes Maps
  • Antarctica Conservation Of Natural Resources
  • Antarctica Description And Travel
  • Antarctica Discovery And Exploration
  • Antarctica Discovery And Exploration American
  • Antarctica Discovery And Exploration British
  • Antarctica Earth Sciences
  • Antarctica Ecology
  • Antarctica Environmental Conditions
  • Antarctica Environmental Law
  • Antarctica Environmental Protection
  • Antarctica Geology
  • Antarctica Glaciers Maps
  • Antarctica History
  • Antarctica Ice
  • Antarctica International Status
  • Antarctica Maps
  • Antarctica Maps Topographic
  • Antarctica Marine Resources Conservation
  • Antarctica Natural History
  • Antarctica Natural Resources Law And Legislation
  • Antarctica Remote Sensing Maps
  • Antarctica Research
  • Antarctica Scientific Expeditions
  • Antarctica Scott Robert Falcon 1868 1912 Travel
  • Antarctica Shackleton Ernest Henry Sir 1874 1922 Travel
  • Antarctica Waste Disposal In The Ocean
  • Antarctica Winds
  • Antarctica Zoology

Print Indexes

Terms and subjects will vary from source to source. In addition, terminology changes over time, so it will be necessary to be creative (i.e. know your history) in order to succeed in identifying articles of interest.

  • Readers’ Guide to Periodical Literature. AI 3 .R48 Reference 1900-
  • Humanities Index. AI 3 .I495 Reference 1974-1998
  • International Index to Periodicals. AI 3 .I49 Reference 1920/1923-1952/1955
  • International Index. AI 3 .I49 Reference 1955/1958-1964/1965
  • International Political Science Abstracts. JA 36 .I5 Reference 1951-2006
  • London Times (various titles: Palmer's, etc.) AI 21 T51 & AI21 .T46 Reference & others nearby 1785-
  • Nineteenth Century Readers' Guide to Periodical Literature, 1890-1899; with supplementary indexing, 1900-1922. AI3 .R496 Reference
  • Poole's Index to Periodical Literature. AI3 .P6 Reference 1802-1901
  • Social Sciences Index. AI 3 .I496 Reference 1974/75-1998/99

Research Databases

Take note that the exact terms and types of terms will vary from index (database) to index. Case (capitalization) does not matter when doing searches. Use truncation and proximity operators to do advanced searching. When the full text of an article is not available, use the  button to find out if the article is available full text in another electronic location. Also check for printed versions. If not available at CSU, request the article from Interlibrary Loan. Check the library catalog Sage first for books identified in these resources, then the Regional Catalog Prospector, and if not available there, make a request from Interlibrary Loan.

These resources are found via the  A-Z Databases page.

  • Academic Search Premier.
  • America: History & Life.
  • Historical Abstracts.
  • International Political Science Abstracts. 2007- (earlier years in print)
  • JSTOR. (keywords, not subjects--therefore contemporary vocabulary is vital for success--was it an expedition? a voyage? a trip? a trek? an exploration?)
  • Digital Dissertation Abstracts.
  • ProjectMUSE.
  • WorldCat. (Subject terms should match those listed under Library Catalog. The library catalog, Prospector, and Interlibrary Loan requests can be made directly from WorldCat via the  button )
  • New York Times 1851- . (contemporary vocabulary is vital for success--was it an expedition? a voyage? a trip? a trek? an exploration?)
  • Web of Science. (Arts & Humanities Citation Index)

Journals owned by CSU

These are some, but not necessarily all, journals owned by CSU concerning the Antarctic.

  • Antarctic Bibliography. 1965-1998 LC33.9 Documents
  • Antarctic Record. Nankyoku Shiryo. G 845 .A57 Scattered nos. 77-80, 88-114. 1995- Current in Journal Room; older volumes Movable Shelves
  • The Antarctic Sun. United States Antarctic Program. Listed in library catalog as Antarctic Sun Times.
  • Australian Antarctic Magazine. Online Free E-Journal 2001- .
  • JARE Data Reports. Ionosphere. Scattered nos. 27-47, 51-68, 70, 73- .QC 881.2 .I6J37 Atmos
  • JARE Data Reports. Meteorology. 1980(3?)-2003. QC 875 .A6J37 Atmos
  • Journal of South American Earth Sciences. 1988- JSAESonline to CSU affiliates. Geology of Antarctica.
  • Polar Record. 2003- PRonline to CSU affiliates; 1931-1953 G 575 .P6 Storage


-->Click here for information about evaluating Web sites.

Bibliographies (Some Searchable)       Timelines       General        Antarctica Treaties & More      Maps       Photographs

Bibliographies (some searchable databases) & library guides on Antarctica

SPRILIB Antarctica. Scott Polar Research Institute. University of Cambridge. 

"SPRI Library holds the world's largest collection of publications for Antarctica and the Southern Ocean. You may now search this collection on the Internet. There are currently around 43,450 records, listing works published from 1602 through to 2003." Search by keyword, year, place, expedition (leader) and/or author.

Antarctic & Southern Ocean Subject Guide. University of Tasmania. 

Recommends reference books (check library catalog for holdings), databases (CSU does not own any of the Antarctic & Southern Ocean-specific databases, but has some of the others), links to Web sites, and other topics. More about the oceans than the continent, but they do surround it and are therefore relevant. Selectively annotated.

Timelines of Antarctica

Timeline Antarctica. Algis Ratnikas.  Prehistory to the present.

Antarctica History - Exploration Time Line. Cool Antarctica. Paul Ward. 

Timeline starting with 350 B.C., jumping to 1773 and up to the present. Part of a commercial site.


Antarctica. CIA World Factbook. 

Map image and overview of the southern continent. Provides overview information about the geography, people, government, economy, communications, transportation, military, and transnational issues,

La Antartida. Direccion Nacional del Anartico. Instituto Antartico Argentino. In Spanish. 

Link to Spanish (English portion of site appears to have disappeared) that has information on (based on previously available English portion): A Brief Geographical Survey; Antarctic History; Race for the South Pole; Antarctic Climate - Optical Phenomena - Vegetation and Animal Life; Birds; Mammals; Aspects of Human Life in Antarctica; Argentina in Antarctica; Argentine Antarctic Stations; Main Juridical and Political Aspects of Antarctica; Environmental Protection; Flora and Fauna Protection; The Antarctic Ozone Hole; and The Dirección Nacional del Antártico - Instituto Antártico Argentino.

Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR). 

"SCAR is charged with the initiating, developing and coordinating high quality international scientific research in the Antarctic region, and on the role of the Antarctic region in the Earth system." View SCAR bulletins, reports, newsletters, and more under Publications tab. Other tabs have or link to materials such as Science & Data, Antarctic Information, and more.

About Antarctica. National Environment Research Council. British Antarctic Survey. 

Menu-driven, but has detailed information and articles about individual topics. Broad areas are wildlife, geography, teacher resources, environmental protection, tourism, and geopolitical. There is a lot of information to be found here. Also find datasets under Data menu.

Antarctica as an Educational Resource. 

Introduction, history, environment, biology, adaptation, human impact, references (short bibliography). The site apparently hasn't been updated since 2001 or thereabouts, but the history, biology, environment, etc. information is probably still applicable.

Antarctica -- Discovery and Exploration. Glasgow Digital Library. Scotland. 

Images and text (sometimes just text).

Antarctica Online. MastroMedia. Copyrighted. 

Links to site information on science, history, culture, getting there, photo gallery, and more. Antarctic History provides a detailed history of Antarctica.

Australian Antarctic Division. Australian Government. 

Copious information about multiple facets of Antarctica. Areas are: Experience Antarctica; Protecting the Environment; Science; Antarctic Applications; 
Antarctic Law & Treaty; Living & working in Antarctica; and Australian Antarctic Data Centre. Latest news is on the main page.

The Official Antarctica Home Page. 

Text with links off for maps, wildlife, and history & expeditions (e.g. story of Shackleton's voyage in 1914), some found on site.

International Polar Foundation. Polar Foundation Corporate Web site. 

"The International Polar Foundation communicates and educates on polar science and polar research as a way to understand key environmental and climate mechanisms." It has Web sites focusing on science (SciencePoles), education (EducaPoles), and adventure (ExploraPoles). Photographs and animations are copyrighted.

Antarctica treaties and more

Antarctic Treaty Secretariat (ATS). Buenos Aires, Argentina. 

Site is primary source of Antarctic treaties. Tabs are: Antarctic Treaty System; Environmental Protection; Information Exchange; and Resources. Site is in English, Spanish, French, and Russian, with the apparent exception of the text within the News frame, which is in English on all of the pages on the day the site was checked. ("News" changes language: Noticias, Actualités, Новости).

Handbook of the Antarctic Treaty System. U.S. Department of State. 

"This Handbook reproduces material with respect to the Antarctic Treaty system, including the Antarctic Treaty itself, the Protocol on Environment Protection to the Antarctic Treaty, the Convention for the Conservation of Antarctic Seals, the Convention on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources and measures [recommendations] in furtherance of the principles and objectives of the Treaty. Also included is the text of, and information on, the Convention for the Regulation of Antarctic Mineral Resource Activities, which has not been ratified by any state." Links to materials in PDF.

Guide to Law Online: Antarctica. Library of Congress. 

Information and links to information about legal topics to do with the continent.

Antarctic and Southern Ocean Coalition (ASOC). 

Environmental organizations working to keep Antarctica an unspoiled wilderness. See The Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty (the Madrid Protocol--on another site). Publications section of site (under Information menu) includes: Recent ASOC Publications; ASOC Papers Submitted at Official Meetings; Press Releases; Brochures, Fact Sheets and Newsletters; and Annual Reports.


Landsat Image Mosaic of Antarctica (LIMA). NASA. 

"Meet Antarctica" to get an idea of its size, makeup (vertical cross section), shaded relief, flow rates, and other images. PDF fact sheets also have images. Find an Antarctic Feature links off to USGS Geographic Names Information System (GNIS) site that is not bookmark able. From this site, look up a specific feature or location on the continent. Then read more about that feature and see it on a LIMA map.

Polar Regions and Oceans Maps. Perry-Castañeda Library Map Collection. The University of Texas at Austin. 

Most produced by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency. Mostly political.


Antarctic Photo Library. U.S. Antarctic Program. National Science Foundation. 

Site has over 450 photos arranged by topic: People, Stations, Scenery, Science, Transportation, Wildlife, Historical, and New Photos. Click on thumbnail for larger photo and brief information about it.

Antarctica. Alexandria Digital Library: Earth. University of California Santa Barbara. 

Arranged by topic. Digital images (some historical). Links to multiple sites with digital information.

NOAA Photo Library: Antarctic

"NOAA at the Ends of the Earth" album with multiple photos. NOAA At The Ends of the Earth ~ Antarctic: Ice, The Fringes, Outposts, Traverses, historical images
birds, mammals, a few ugly fish, spring & summer, fall& winter, etc. Click on photo to enlarge and read brief information about it. 1888 photos as of 12/18/8.

Scenes from Antarctica.

The Big Picture: News Stories in Photographs. Boston Globe.  32 (as of 12/18/8) stunning photographs taken on Antarctica. (Including a CSU faculty member!) Captions provide contextual information.

Antarctic Images by Anthony Powell

Photo galleries include: Antarctic Wildlife, Auroras, It's a Harsh Continent, Bases Machines and People, Landscapes and Scenery, and more. Includes year-long time lapse video clip. Many stunningly beautiful photographs. Photos are for sale in multiple sizes, formats, and price ranges. Online images have URL watermark.

As in all research, be sure to evaluate what you find, be it an article, book, or Web page.

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