British Antarctic Oral History Project

British Antarctic Oral History Project

The British Antarctic Oral History Project (BAOHP) is a collaboration between British Antarctic Survey (BAS), BAS Club, UK Antarctic Heritage Trust (UKAHT) and Scott Polar Research Institute (SPRI) to capture reminiscences and preserve the memories of those involved in British polar science, with particular focus on those who worked for, or closely with, Operation Tabarin, 1943–45, Falkland Islands Dependencies Survey (FIDS), 1945–61, and British Antarctic Survey (BAS), 1962–present.

The collection of oral histories by the BAS Archives Service first began in 1985, continuing until 1988. It recommenced in 2003, when a professional freelance interviewer was employed to undertake most of the recording work. The initiation of the BAOHP in 2009, however, allowed the capture of reminiscences at a greater rate than had been previously possible.

Results of the project can be accessed via:

In 1985 British Antarctic Survey (BAS) Archives Service began an oral history project to preserve the memories of those who had worked for, or closely with, Operation Tabarin, 1943–45, Falkland Islands Dependencies Survey (FIDS), 1945–61, and British Antarctic Survey (BAS), 1962–present.  This collaborative project aims to:

  • preserve and make accessible the unofficial history of British endeavour in the Antarctic, particularly that of BAS and its predecessors, by recording the reminiscences of former staff and of others closely associated with the Survey
  • acquire first-hand accounts of events, activities, background culture, and gain insight into decisions and policy, relationships between organisations and individuals which are unlikely to be represented in the official record held in the archives
  • capture an essence of individuals by recording their memories in their own words and/or still or moving images of them in conversation

Project team

The team consists of a mix of paid and volunteer enthusiasts. We try to meet annually as a group. The project was led by Amanda Lynnes (UK Antarctic Heritage Trust) from November 2009 until November 2013, but is currently without a leader. (Joanna Rae was project leader April-November 2009).

Coordinators (the management team):

  • Joanna Rae (BAS) archivist, coordinator for BAS-funded interviews
  • Allan Wearden (volunteer), coordinator for BAS Club-funded interviews
  • Naomi Boneham (SPRI archivist)

Interviewers:

  • Chris Eldon Lee (freelance) (audio)
  • Jack Tolson (freelance) (moving film)
  • Felicity Aston (freelance interviewer) (audio)
  • Trish Levido (volunteer interviewer in Australia) (audio)
  • Georgia Moodie (volunteer interviewer in Australia) (audio)

Researchers:

  • Peter Bird (volunteer research leader)
  • Terry Allen (volunteer)
  • Melanie D’souza (volunteer)
  • Dave Burkitt (volunteer)
  • Bill Block (volunteer)

Transcribers:

  • Andy J Smith (volunteer transcription leader)
  • Alan Carroll (volunteer)
  • Mike Leach (volunteer)
  • Chris Lush (volunteer)
  • John Blunn (volunteer)
  • Ken Hill (volunteer)
  • Charlie Robb (volunteers)
  • Alex Gaffikin (volunteer)
  • Sue Edwards (volunteer)
  • John Edwards (volunteer)
  • Carys Torres (volunteer)
  • Maggie Russell (volunteer)
  • John Zerfahs (volunteer)
  • Catriona Zerfahs (volunteer)
  • Simon Taylor (volunteer)
  • Madeline Russell (volunteer)
  • David Price (volunteer)
  • Gemma Lavender (volunteer)
  • James Madell (volunteer)
  • Allan Wearden (volunteer)
  • Hillary Bachelder (volunteer)
  • Stuart Lawrence (volunteer)
  • Fiona Harding (volunteer)
  • Dawn Sutcliffe (volunteer)
  • Sue Jack (volunteer)
  • Neil MacPherson (volunteer)
  • Barry Heywood (volunteer)
  • Mike Dixon (volunteer)
  • Elizabeth Edwards (BAS employee)

Cataloguers:

  • Sophie Leverington (BAS Archives volunteer)
  • Judith Lloyd-Jones (BAS Archives volunteer)
  • Joanne Donaghy (on UKAHT contract)

NEWS STORY: Antarctic memories online

10 December, 2015

The British Antarctic Oral History Project is the result of a collaboration between the British Antarctic Survey (BAS), BAS Club, UK Antarctic Heritage Trust (UKAHT), and Scott Polar Research Institute …