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Suggested reading

Many inspiring books have been published about Svalbard. We have listed a few of them. 


Svalbard Guide by Pål Hermansen
An informative guide book of Svalbard by the writer and internationally recognized photographer Pål Hermansen. 

A Journey to Svalbard - Polar Territory by Christian Kempf
An informative and beautifully illustrated book on all aspects of travelling in Svalbard.

Arctic Dreams – Imagination and Desire in a Northern Landscape by Barry Lopez
This celebrated meditation on the Arctic draws on Lopez’s travels throughout the North. A dazzling writer and compassionate observer, Lopez weaves biology and history into his storytelling. With chapters on the Polar Bear and Narwhal.

The Arctic - a Guide to Coastal Wildlife by Tony Soper
A compact, illustrated guide to coastal marine mammals and seabirds of the circumpolar north featuring handsome water colour illustrations by Dan Powell and lively text on the natural history of each species by intrepid expedition leader and bird-lover Tony Soper. 


Flowers of Svalbard by Olav Gjaerevoll and Olaf I. Rönning
This excellent field guide to all flowers in Svalbard is available in most shops in Longyearbyen.


Rocks and Ice – Landscapes of the North by Rolf Stange
This is a geographical travelling accompaniment for anyone interested in the geology of Spitsbergen (and Greenland).


Face to Face – Polar Portraits by Huw Lewis-Jones
A lavish account of pioneering polar photography and modern portraiture. The book features the very first polar photographs and the first portraits of explorers. It is published by the Scott Polar Research Institute (SPRI) in association with Polar World.

By airship to the North Pole – An Archaeology of Human Exploration by P.J. Capelotti
A history of Swedish balloonist Andrée and the American journalist Wellman and their attempts to reach the North Pole by airship.

Disaster at the Pole – The Tragedy of the Airship Italia and the 1928 Nobile Expedition to the North Pole by Wilbur Cross
A thrilling account of the crash of the airship Italia in 1928 and the political aftermath in an increasingly fascist Europe.

Ninety Degrees North – The Quest for the North Pole by Fergus Fleming
A thrilling artfully told chronicle of the mostly 19th-century adventurers, madmen and explorers who quested after the North Pole.

Shipwrecked at the Top of the World – Four against the Arctic by David Roberts
Combines the little-known but remarkable tale of fourteen Russian Walrus hunters that were stranded on the icepack around Svalbard after a storm destroyed their ship in 1743.

The Arctic – A History by Richard Vaughan
This is one of the fullest and most comprehensive history books of the area, which will appeal to anyone interested in history, geography and anthropology.

The White Eagle – Roald Amundsen by Olav Gynnild
This book is an exploration into the life of Norwegian polar explorer and aviator Roald Amundsen. This extraordinary man spent a great deal of his life exploring the Arctic including several attempts to reach the North Pole starting in Svalbard.


Birds and mammals of Svalbard by K.M Kovac C. Lydersen 

Frozen Oceans – The Floating World of Pack Ice by David N. Thomas
The author’s lively and readable text conveys his excitement at the unique relationships between living communities and the ice. Published in 2004 by the Natural History Museum in London.

Polar Bears by Ian Stirling and Dan Guravich
A tribute to the Polar Bear by pre-eminent researcher Ian Stirling and intrepid photographer Dan Guravich. It’s an excellent combination of outstanding colour photography, solid information on natural history and Inuit lore. 

Polar bears on the edge by Morten Jørgensen
In this book, the author analyses the current status of the polar bear. And he punctures the myth that polar bears are well protected and managed today. 

Polar Bears – Living with the White Bear by Nikita Ovsyanikov
A beautiful book chronicling four years living among the polar bears (of Wrangel Island in Russia).

The World of the Polar Bear by Norbert Rosing and Ian Stirling
Fantastic photographs and brief essays on the behaviour and history of the polar bear.

The World of the Walrus by Peter Knudtson
One of few informative books on the Walrus. The book combines engaging text and spectacular photographs to reveal the essence of this prodigious sea mammal. 


Frozen Planet 
This is a nature documentary series with David Attenborough as narrator. The seven-part series focuses on life and the environment in both the Arctic and Antarctic. A sequel titled Frozen Planet II began airing in September 2022, which covers more frozen habitats than just the polar regions, while also emphasizing more on the threat of climate change.


The Governor of Svalbard provides information about the rules and regulations in Svalbard.

Read more about AECO:

For those of you who are interested in following the ice conditions in Svalbard, click HERE


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