Art and Artifacts of the North
Witness the Arctic provides information on current arctic research efforts and findings, significant research initiatives, national policy affecting arctic research, international activities, and profiles of institutions with major arctic research efforts. Witness serves an audience of arctic scientists, educators, agency personnel, and policy makers. Witness was published biannually in hardcopy from 1995-2008 (archives are available below) and is currently published online 3-4 times annually, depending on newsworthy events.
With the Spring 2009 issue, ARCUS changed the format of Witness the Arctic. To provide more frequent updates and reduce printing and mailing costs and associated environmental impacts, the newsletter is now distributed online in three or four shorter issues per year, depending on newsworthy events.
The Dartmouth College Library (http://library.dartmouth.edu/) houses rare research collections in polar studies that range from the latest scientific journal articles to historical photographs and manuscripts in the Stefansson Collection on Polar Exploration in the Rauner Special Collections Library. Much of Dartmouth's northern material was the result of the remarkable period of northern activity at the college in the 1950s and 1960s, as well as support for Canadian and arctic endeavors on the part of then-president John Sloan Dickey.
Founded as the private research collection of the arctic explorer Vilhjalmur Stefansson, the Stefansson Collection is a rich body of material for research on the history of both the Arctic and Antarctic. It includes published expedition records and diaries, biographies, bibliographies, and general histories of the polar regions, as well as original logbooks, journals, correspondence, and personal papers of many polar explorers.
Many of the photographic holdings relate to the Canadian Arctic Expedition of 1913–1918, but there are also photographs of other expeditions, ships, events, peoples, flora and fauna, and equipment in the collection. The Stefansson Collection also contains paintings, drawings, prints, and sketchbooks, all of which are part of Dartmouth's overall collection of objects related to the art and material culture of Canada and the circumpolar North numbering more than 3,000 items.
During the International Polar Year 2007–2008, the Hood Museum of Art partnered with the Institute of Arctic Studies to develop the exhibit Thin Ice: Inuit Traditions within a Changing Environment (http://hoodmuseum.dartmouth.edu/exhibitions/thinice/index.html), which explored traditional Inuit life through 19th and early 20th century art and artifacts that indigenous arctic peoples used to survive challenging environments. The exhibit highlighted the impact of rapid climate change and the melting of sea ice on Inuit ways of life.