Prince Albert I of Monaco was a successful explorer and leader of a large number of scientific expeditions, including four expeditions to Svalbard in the period 1898 – 1907. These were important in their own right, but can also be looked upon as the birth of Norwegian scientific research in Svalbard.
The following decades of annual Norwegian expeditions to Svalbard established the pattern of work and scientific disciplines. This ultimately led to the establishment of the Norwegian Polar Institute in 1948.
Numerous photographs, illustrations and maps from archived in Monaco and Norway show the beautiful landscape and the pioneering scientists at work. In addition to Prince Albert himself, the scientists and crew included Dr. Jules Richard, William Speirs Bruce, Edward Holm Johannesen, Gunnar Isachsen, Louis Tinayre, Hjalmar Johansen, Adolf Hoel and Hanna Marie Resvoll-Holmsen.