Campus News

Ancient Ice Exhibit Closing

Story posted August 19, 2003

Time is running out to see the 464-year-old ice at The Peary-MacMillan Arctic Museum at Bowdoin College. On August 31, the exhibit "Ancient Ice, Cool Science: Climate Change in the North" will close after a successful run of nearly two years.

The exhibit, which includes not only ancient ice from the Greenland Ice Cap, but a host of objects rarely seen in Maine, has been very popular with museum visitors ranging from school-age children to scientists from across the country.

Museum staff has been pleased with the public's response to the exhibit, and will be sorry to close it.

"We included a large number of loan objects in this exhibit, to give visitors a sense of the array of climate change research focused on Arctic regions," said curator Genevieve LeMoine. "We have everything from 45-million-year old wood on loan from the University of Saskatchewan, to Norse artifacts from an abandoned settlement in Greenland on loan from the National Museum of Denmark. We'd love to keep them around longer, but they do need to go back to their home institutions."

Other objects -- a sketchbook and sickle from the Maine Historical Society, for example -- come from closer to home. And not everything is on loan. The National Science Foundation donated a ventifact, a wind-eroded rock from the Dry Valleys of Antarctica. The National Ice Core Lab in Boulder, Colorado, provided the ice core, a small section of a two-mile long core extracted from the Greenland Ice Cap in the 1980s.

The staff of the museum is hard at work on the next exhibit, "Treasures and Trinkets: Collecting Culture in the North." This exhibit will open in late October and will highlight some of the most spectacular objects in The Peary-MacMillan Arctic Museum collection, many never before seen by the public.

The Peary-MacMillan Arctic Museum is located on the first floor of Hubbard Hall on the Bowdoin College campus. The museum is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 2 to 5 p.m., and is closed Mondays and national holidays. Admission is free. For more information call 207-725-3416 or visit the Web page at

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