Marine and terrestrial archives can be used to reconstruct the development of glacially influenced depositional environments on Svalbard in time and space during the late Cenozoic. The marine archives document sedimentary environments, deposits and landforms associated with the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) when Svalbard and the Barents Sea were covered by continental-scale marine-based ice sheet, the last deglaciation and the work of tidewater glaciers in interglacial setting as today. The terrestrial archives record large-scale Quaternary glacial sculpturing and repeated build-up and decay of the Svalbard–Barents Sea ice sheet. The fingerprinting of Quaternary glaciations on Svalbard reflects the transition from a full-glacial mode, with very extensive coverage by the Svalbard–Barents Sea ice sheet and subsequent deglaciation, to an interglacial mode with valley, cirque and tidewater glaciers as active agents of erosion and deposition. Conceptual models for Svalbard glacial environments are useful for understanding developments of glacial landforms and sediments in formerly glaciated areas. Svalbard glacial environments, past and present, may serve as analogues for interpreting geological records of marine-terminating and marine-based ice sheets in the past.