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Oral History Project

Did you join the Geological Society before 1960? If so, we would like to hear from you.

The plate tectonics revolution and other significant developments in the geosciences have taken place within living memory.  A record of the recollections of people who lived through this revolution and their insights into the changes that have taken place in the geological world during their lifetimes will be of incalculable value to future historians and will provide a fitting commemoration of the Society'’s bicentenary in 2007.

The History of Geology Group is creating an oral history archive.  We are initially looking for people to interview who joined the Society in the 1950s, or before.  We are also seeking people of all ages who would be interested in doing some of the interviewing.  Training will be given on how to use the equipment and how to conduct an interview.  The involvement of a range of people will make this a project for the whole community.  Let us know if you are interested in taking part, wherever you live – we can’t promise to reach you, but we’ll do our best!

During the working lives of some of the Society’s Fellows, there have been great cultural and social changes in the profession of geology.  New professional and academic disciplines have emerged, the place of the geosciences within society has evolved, and working cultures have changed radically.  To some historians, such social, cultural and economic changes are just as interesting and significant as ‘scientific’ developments –- indeed, many would argue that they are inextricably bound together.

As well as constituting an enduring resource, it is hoped to use the oral history material gathered in a number of ways.  Short transcribed sections might be used in printed materials for the bicentennial conference and audio material could be played in appropriate spaces at this and other celebratory events.  It would also make ideal material for radio and might provide a point of interest to attract air time. We also hope to make audio material available on the Society’s website.

If you are interested in further details about this project please contact Alan Bowden.

Join the History of Geology Group

Piltdown skull

Membership is open to anyone with an interest in the history of geology and costs £15 per year


A newsletter is circulated three times a year containing announcements of future events, reviews of meetings, notices and reviews of recent publications, and other items of relevance to the history of geology. HOGG is also actively collecting and publishing links to history of geology resources online.

The most recent newsletter is restricted to HOGG members only but past newsletters are available for all to view.