Old photos of Tirolean glaciers

Recently on a scorching summer day I retreated into the cool and dark of the Austrian Alpenverein (ÖAV) photo archive, with my colleagues Dr Christoph Klug and Dr Jordan Mertes looking for old photos of glaciers for a repeat photo project. The idea is to make repeat photographs in 2018 of some sample glaciers in North and South Tirol and show them as part of the remit of the GLISTT research project, which aims to develop an operational glacier monitoring system for the region, primarily based on high resolution satellite data. Here are Jordan and Christoph amidst all the boxes.

The ÖAV have an amazing collection of terrestrial and airborne photos of the Alps, as well as other mountains and countries and cultures worldwide.

It would be a full time job for someone with expert local knowledge of each local area to catalogue the whole collection, but much has been done. Some boxes of ‘random’ images remain however, piquing my interest.


Though we were looking for glaciers from North Tirol, I realized there’s a number from my main study site of Suldenferner so I’d better go back and have a look at those.

If anyone knows other good sources of old images of glaciers, do get in touch!

Other resources:

About lindsey

Environmental scientist. I am glaciologist specialising in glacier-climate interactions to better understand the climate system. The point of this is to understand how glaciated envionments might change in the future - how the glaciers will respond and what the impact on associated water resources and hazard potential will be.
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