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Poles Apart

27 March - 31 May 2015

 -  Exhibitions

Poles Apart
Poles Apart

Changing attitudes to whaling in the 20th century

Special Collections at the University of St Andrews Library is pleased to be putting on an exhibition which will explore changing views on whaling at both North and South Poles. Now we consider commercial whaling to be morally unacceptable, but for two centuries whales were just another commodity to be exploited for their valuable oil, essential for many everyday processes.


The exhibition will follow the dwindling Arctic whaling industry in Dundee during the late 19th century, look at local reaction to a curious whale exploring the river Tay, and explore factory ship whaling in the Southern Ocean around South Georgia during the 20th century.

sketch of fin whale behaviour

Thanks a National Cataloguing Grant we are able use a newly catalogued collection of archives of the Discovery Committee to reveal the story of the group set up to monitor whaling and whale stocks, and its scientists, who inadvertently became early conservationists. We will also hear from whalers themselves, telling their own stories in oral history recordings.

Find out more about the research project at the Taming the Leviathan website.


The Scottish Fisheries Museum Trust Ltd
St Ayles, Harbourhead, Anstruther, Fife KY10 3AB
Tel (within UK): 01333 310628
Tel (from outside UK): +44 1333 310628
Charity Number: SC 006185 VAT Reg Number: 270 2790 64
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