National Archives Shows off Cool Stuff to Press August 30
Press Release · Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Press can escape record-breaking heat and cool off with Polar "show and tell" and treat!

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WHAT:  Washington, DC…A special press only opportunity to cool off in the Polar Exploration section of the National Archives Public Vaults permanent exhibition. The Polar “show and tell” will include a selection of some of the coolest original documents, patents, artifacts and images from the National Archives inestimable collection. While a number of the cool items featured in this special display are from the Polar collections, others fall under the looser definition of cool- as in unusual, unique or interesting. After the event, the press will be given a tasty frozen treat featured at the event.

Here is a video short featuring interviews with Archives experts Patricia Anderson and Mark Murphy. This video is in the public domain and not subject to any copyright restrictions. The National Archives encourages its use and free distribution.

WHO:  Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero,
Supervisory archivist Patricia Anderson,
Processing archivist Mark Murphy

WHERE:  The Polar Exploration section of the Public Vaults permanent exhibition
National Archives Building, Washington, DC
Please use the Pennsylvania Avenue entrance between 7th and 9th Streets, NW.

WHEN:  Tuesday, August 30, 2011, at 9 AM

Please Note: No Artificial Light May Be Used in the Exhibition.

Background – Reaching for the Poles

The Arctic and Antarctic were considered the last great frontiers in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Explorers from various nations, including the United States, mounted expeditions to penetrate the Polar Regions, taking along surveyors, scientists, artists, and even explorers’ relatives. Expeditions lasted for months, if not years, and some explorers faced sickness, hunger, isolation, and at times, death. They marveled at the beauty of the Polar Regions, and some of them even thrived in the harsh conditions.

The work undertaken by explorers resulted in scientific advances, increased geographic knowledge, and improved survival techniques and technologies. The National Archives houses the donated personal papers, photographs, and memorabilia of Polar explorers. These materials reveal the explorers’ contributions, the dangers they faced, and the triumphs they experienced.

The National Archives is located on the National Mall on Constitution Avenue at 9th Street, NW. Spring/Summer hours are 10 AM – 7 PM (through Labor Day). Fall/Winter Exhibit Hall hours are 10 AM – 5:30 PM daily, except Thanksgiving and December 25 (through March 14).

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For press information, contact the National Archives Public Affairs staff at (202) 357-5300.

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