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BY-NC-ND 3.0 license Open Access Published by De Gruyter Open Access November 23, 2016

From Science to Survival: Using Virtual Exhibits to Communicate the Significance of Polar Heritage Sites in the Canadian Arctic

  • Peter Dawson and Richard Levy
From the journal Open Archaeology


Many of Canada’s non-Indigenous polar heritage sites exist as memorials to the Heroic Age of arctic and Antarctic Exploration which is associated with such events as the First International Polar Year, the search for the Northwest Passage, and the race to the Poles. However, these and other key messages of significance are often challenging to communicate because the remote locations of such sites severely limit opportunities for visitor experience. This lack of awareness can make it difficult to rally support for costly heritage preservation projects in arctic and Antarctic regions. Given that many polar heritage sites are being severely impacted by human activity and a variety of climate change processes, this raises concerns. In this paper, we discuss how virtual heritage exhibits can provide a solution to this problem. Specifically, we discuss a recent project completed for the Virtual Museum of Canada at Fort Conger, a polar heritage site located in Quttinirpaaq National Park on northeastern Ellesmere Island (


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Received: 2016-1-20
Accepted: 2016-10-29
Published Online: 2016-11-23

© 2016 Peter Dawson, Richard Levy

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 3.0 License.

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