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University of Copenhagen
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Renowned polar library to close down

Unique collection of Arctic literature to be dispersed

It may not be the first library most University of Copenhagen students get to know, but the soon to be dispersed Polar Library in Christianshavn is an internationally recognised and unique collection of literature about all aspects of the Arctic region.

The library consists of around 25,000 publications, both scientific and humanistic, a number of which are unavailable in other collections.

The closure comes as Eskimology and Arctic Studies and the other partial owner of the collection, the privately owned Arctic Institute have been given notice to leave the renovated warehouse, which houses the library, early next year.

See the article End of an era for university’s arctic enclave.

Polar Centre’s closure shut downs library

Previously the government-funded Danish Polar Centre, which was part of the Danish Agency for Science, Technology and Innovation, provided the premises and the librarians for the collection. The Polar Centre also owned a share of the publications.

However, following the closure of the Danish Polar Centre in February 2009, the premises have to be vacated in the spring, leaving no choice other than to disperse the collection.

Sad about the consequences

Søren Thuesen, Associate professor at Eskimology and Arctic Studies, which up to now has shared lodgings with the library, regrets the closure.

»It attracts researchers from all over the world. They come here and know that they can find materials that are not available anywhere in other places. So we are sad about the consequences. We will now have a reduced Arctic library and it will no longer be a public library,« he explains.

»We have students from other universities and other departments who come here to study. I hope we will still be able to provide them a similar service where we are going. It’s all very new,« he says.

It is not yet known how the university’s share of the collection will be administered after the Polar Library shuts its doors in the spring of 2010.

»At this moment we don’t know yet how it’s going to be organised, but presumably it will be a part of the Faculty of Humanities library,« he says.