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Industrial heritage in the Polar areas as sources for historical research
Arctic Centre, University of Groningen, The Netherlands. (Assessing Arctic Futures)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-6461-7734
Economic History Section, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration, Bergen, Norway.
(Arctic Centre, University of Groningen, The Netherlands)
Riksantikvaren, Norge.
2010 (English)Conference paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Remains of industrial sites in the Polar Regions are increasingly becoming popular visitor’s sites for the expanding tourism industry and a concern for researchers, authorities and other actors who are dealing with environmental issues and heritage management there. How shall we balance between the need to protect the environment and the heritage values of industrial remains? One question which is to seldom touched upon in the discussion, is the source value of industrial sites for historical research. In this presentation we will discuss this, by focusing on the remains of two whaling stations on South Georgia – Prince Olav Harbour and Ocean Harbour. These stations were mapped during a historical-archaeological expedition in March 2009, within the framework of the IPY project LASHIPA. This project aims to explain the development of large scale natural resource exploitation in the Polar Areas and its consequences for the geo-political situation there. How can these research problems be addressed by analysing the remains of these whaling stations? We will show that these whaling stations provide information pertaining to the following research themes in LASHIPA: driving forces behind industrial development in the polar areas, design of technology and settlements in polar environments, and international competition over natural resources and polar territories. The remains of the stations reflect the multiple roles they have played since they were established in the early twentieth century. Initially they were socio-technical networks with productive purposes, and at the same time anchor points for territorial claims. After the stations were closed, they were turned in to refuges for scientific expeditions and later also for military troops. Finally, we will present an example on the results of an extensive environmental clean-up at a whaling station – Grytviken – and its consequences for the source value of industrial heritage sites for historical research.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
Industry, whaling, hunting, polar science, polar research, antarctic, geo-politics, foreign policy, governance, field research, archaeology
Keyword [sv]
Industri, valfångst, polar vetenskap, polarforskning, antarktis, geo-politik, utrikespolitik, förvaltning, fältforskning, arkeologi
National Category
History and Archaeology
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-87827OAI: diva2:501940
IPY Oslo Science Conference, Oslo, Norway, June 8-12, 2010
LASHIPA (Large Scale Historical Exploitation of Polar Areas), IPY project #10

QC 20120423

Available from: 2012-02-14 Created: 2012-02-14 Last updated: 2016-02-25Bibliographically approved

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