Willard Bascom Papers, 1938-2000 (SMC 62)

Restrictions: Original media formats in SERIES 10) AUDIOVISUAL MATERIAL are restricted. Viewing/listening copies may be available for researchers.

Extent: 13 Linear feet (13 records center cartons, 1 map case folder, 11 films), + 23.6 GB of digital files

Digital Content

Many of the moving image recordings have been digitized. Two films exist only in digital format.

Papers of engineer and oceanographer Willard Bascom, including his correspondence, research files, writings, photographs and films, along with materials from his company, Ocean Science and Engineering, Inc.

Willard Bascom was a research engineer and oceanographer who pioneered a number of deep sea drilling and salvage projects. Bascom attended the Colorado School of Mines where he studied engineering and geology and worked as a mining engineer from 1941-1945. He then served as Research Engineer for the UC Berkeley WAVES Project, where he directed a field party studying waves and shorelines between 1945 and 1951. He joined the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in 1951 as a Research Engineer studying weapons effects at nuclear test sites in the Pacific Proving Grounds. While at SIO he worked as adjunct professor and accompanied the 1953 Capricorn Expedition as Senior Scientist in charge of pressure measurements throughout the cruise. In 1954 he joined the staff at the National Science Foundation, where he spearheaded the preliminary phases of Project Mohole, the first proposed attempt to drill through the earth's crust. As Director of Project Mohole between 1959 and 1962 Bascom helped develop dynamic positioning techniques for holding ships in place during drilling processes. In 1961, test drilling took place at a groundbreaking depth of 11,700 feet, however the project lost congressional support and was ultimately abandoned.

In 1962 Bascom founded Ocean Science and Engineering, Inc. (OSE), an undersea mineral resources excavation company which procured approximately 20 million carats of diamonds for the De Beers diamond company in South Africa. In addition to his coastal engineering and mineral prospecting work, Bascom was also greatly interested in underwater archaeology and the salvage of submerged vessels and ancient shipwrecks. In the early 1960s, OSE developed a mechanical arm attached to the R/V ALCOA Seaprobe for the purpose of retrieving sunken vessels at great depths, up to 1000 feet. His other company, Seafinders Inc., discovered the wreck of the Nuestra Senora de la Maravillas Spanish treasure galleon in the Bahamas in 1972. Between 1973 and 1984 Bascom served as Director of the Southern California Coastal Water Research Project (SCCWRP), an environmental research laboratory concerned with waste disposal in the ocean. After leaving SCCWRP, Bascom continued his underwater archaeology endeavors in the Mediterranean Sea. In the early 1990s, Bascom found a wreck near Artemision in northern Euboea, Greece from which he recovered three bronze statues for the Greek National Museum. In 1996 Bascom was party to the crew who recovered a treasure hoard of 1860s gold coins from the Brother Jonathan paddle steamer which sunk off the coast of Crescent City, California in 1865.

Bascom was a keen videographer and writer, and he documented many of his activities through both film and narrative. He authored and edited several books, including A Hole in the Bottom of the Sea: The Story of the Mohole Project (1961), Great Sea Poetry (1969), Deep Water, Ancient Ships: The Treasure Vault of the Mediterranean (1976), Waves and Beaches: The Dynamics of the Ocean Surface (1979), and The Crest of the Wave: Adventures in Oceanography (1990).

Bascom received the Explorer's Club Medal for his contributions to deep water archaeology and geophysics in 1980. He died in San Diego in 2000.

Papers of engineer and oceanographer Willard Bascom, including his correspondence, research files, writings, photographs and a small selection of films, along with materials from his company, Ocean Science and Engineering, Inc. Subjects of note include Project Mohole, marine salvage and mineral prospecting, underwater archaeology, coastal engineering and marine water pollution. The collection also includes Bascom's original 1953 memoir entitled "My Bubbles Rise in Steps: Free-Diving Adventures in the Tropical Pacific," which details his experiences on the Capricorn Expedition.


Container List


Scope and Content of Series

Series 1) BIOGRAPHICAL FILES: Curricula vitae, awards, diaries and calendars.

Box 1 Folder 1
Biographical notes and narratives, ca. 1968-1972
Box 1 Folder 2
Curricula vitae, undated
Box 1 Folder 3
IMR directorship, 1979

Application packet includes personal biography, employment history and bibliography.

Box 1 Folder 4
Awards, 1952-2000
Oversize Annex MC-015-03
Awards (oversize), 1986, 2000
Box 1 Folder 5
"Willard Bascom: Exploring the Possibilities" by Michael B. Downing, 1984

Profile for Oceanus. Draft version with Bascom's annotations and edits.

Box 1 Folder 6
International Hod Carriers' Building and Common Laborers' Union of America membership book, 1938
Box 1 Folder 7-33
Diaries, 1954-1995

1970 diary records round world trip; 1975 diary records trip to Greece and Malta; 1980 diary records trip to Greece and Turkey; 1988 diary records Yucatan and Mexico City trip; 1989-1995 diaries record Artemisian Expedition, Black Sea Expedition and other trips to Greece and the Black Sea.

Box 1 Folder 34
Calendars, 1961-1963
Box 1 Folder 35
Calendars, 1975-1977
Box 2 Folder 1
Calendars, 1978-1980
Box 2 Folder 2
Calendars, 1984-1986


Scope and Content of Series

Series 2) CORRESPONDENCE: Includes general correspondence detailing Bascom's professional activities, dating from 1946 to 1988, and personal correspondence, such as family letters and letters regarding Bascom's interest in collecting art, dating from 1956 to 1987.

Box 2 Folder 3-37
Professional correspondence, 1946-1976
Box 3 Folder 1-11
Professional correspondence, 1977-1988
Box 3 Folder 12-41
Personal correspondence, 1956-1987


Scope and Content of Series

Series 3) SUBJECT FILES: Working files on subjects of professional interest. Arranged alphabetically according to subject and mostly kept in original order.

Box 3 Folder 42
Anderson, Dick, 1968-1970

Diver-photographer who filmed OSE operations.

Box 3 Folder 43
Aquatic toxicity testing, 1984
Box 3 Folder 44-45
Beaches, ca. 1950-1959
Box 3 Folder 46
Bikini Atoll - Bascom's research file on Bikini Islanders, 1980-1989
Box 3 Folder 47
Carpenter vs. City of Santa Monica, 1982
Box 3 Folder 48
CBS, 1954-1958
Box 3 Folder 49
Cleopatra's Island, 1985-1986
Box 3 Folder 50
Conservation of salvaged artifacts, 1972-1973
Box 3 Folder 51-52
Deep sea instrument platforms, 1950-1959
Box 4 Folder 1
"Deep Water Aircraft Salvage" film, 1969
Box 4 Folder 2
Diamonds, 1964-1984
Box 4 Folder 3
"Diamonds Under the Sea" film, 1965, 1983
Box 4 Folder 4-10
Diving - Notes and correspondence, 1949-1954
Box 4 Folder 11-12
E-Quest, 1962-1968
Box 4 Folder 13
Fomento Industrial, 1968
Box 4 Folder 14
HEXCEL Products, Inc., 1955-1961
Box 4 Folder 15
Home shelters for civilians, 1956-1962
Oversize Annex MC-015-03
Home shelter blueprint (oversize) by Bascom, 1956
Box 4 Folder 16
J.H. Pomeroy & Co., Inc., 1957-1958
Box 4 Folder 17-20
Kentworthy vs. Marx, 1974-1980
Box 4 Folder 21
Mahon, John, 1966-1972
Box 4 Folder 22
Marine Archaeology and Maritime History - Course taught by Bascom at SIO, 1977-1978
Box 4 Folder 23
Marine ecology, 1974-1976
Box 4 Folder 24
Mark IX wave recorder, ca. 1955
Box 4 Folder 25
Marx, Robert, 19701-979
Box 4 Folder 26-27
Metcalf and Eddy, Inc. Engineers, 1978-1985
Box 4 Folder 28-29
Moorings and instruments, 1950-1959
Box 4 Folder 30
Ocean engineering education - Correspondence, notes and proposed curricula, 1948-1953
Box 4 Folder 31
Ocean Search, Inc., 1973-1974
Box 4 Folder 32
Operation Miki, 1950

A military exercise which simulated a massive invasion of the Hawaiian Islands.

Patent infringement suit

Box 4 Folder 33-34
General information and correspondence, 1975-1982
Box 4 Folder 35-36
Court of Claims documents, 1975-1978
Box 4 Folder 37
Attachments and exhibits, 1958-1976

Correspondence and notes submitted as evidence.

Box 5 Folder 1-5
Attachments and exhibits (cont.), 1958-1976
Box 5 Folder 6
Deposition of Professor John Isaacs, 1977 March 1
Box 5 Folder 7
Notes, 1970-1979
Box 5 Folder 8
Slides, 1970-1979

35mm color slides. Charts and images used during trial.

Box 5 Folder 9
Petroglyphs, 1976
Box 5 Folder 10-12
Point Loma kelp beds, 1982-1985
Box 5 Folder 13
Press and appearances, 1980-1989
Box 5 Folder 14-17
Oversize Annex MC-015-03
R/V Willard Bascom, 1981

Oversize blueprint and sketches of proposed sail-assisted oceanographic research vessel.

Box 5 Folder 18-19
Research sailing vessels blueprints and plans, ca. 1980-1989
Box 5 Folder 20
Rolex Awards for Enterprise, ca. 1990-1999

Bascom won a 1993 Rolex Award for Enterprise for his project entitled "The remote examination of ancient shipwrecks below diver depth in the Sea of Marmara (Turkey)."

Box 5 Folder 21
Santa Monica Basin, 1985
Box 5 Folder 22
SCUBA, 1953
Box 5 Folder 23-26
Speaking engagements, ca. 1960-1980
Box 5 Folder 27-29
Television programming, ca. 1950-1980
Box 6 Folder 1-2
Television programming (cont.), ca. 1950-1980
Box 6 Folder 3-4
Trace metals, 1973-1979
Box 6 Folder 5
Treasure, 1968-1982

Collected correspondence, notes and brochures regarding the retrieval of sunken treasure.

Box 6 Folder 6-7
"Treasure Fever, Mon", 1972-1973

Correspondence, notes and other materials relating to a proposed film about searching for sunken treasure.

Box 6 Folder 8
Undersea warfare, 1953-1956
Box 6 Folder 9
Underwater archeology projects - Correspondence and notes, 1970-1975
Box 6 Folder 10-13
Underwater archeology education, 1974-1978

Correspondence and curricula regarding the implementation of marine archeology courses in higher education. Includes proposals written for the University of California and California State University system for an archaeological research institute.

Box 6 Folder 14
Virgin Islands rum liquor discharge, 1977
Box 6 Folder 15
Water Planning for Israel Ltd., 1976


Scope and Content of Series

Series 4) GROUPS AND ASSOCIATIONS: Includes correspondence, memoranda, notes and committee files documenting Bascom's participation in various groups pertaining to engineering and oceanography, arranged alphabetically.

Box 6 Folder 16-17
AAAS Committee on the Public Understanding of Science, 1960-1962
Box 6 Folder 18
The Adventurers' Club, 1977-1981
Box 6 Folder 19-23
Advisory Committee on Civil Defense, NAS-NRC, 1954-1957
Box 6 Folder 24-26
Atomic Energy Commission Plowshare Advisory Committee, 1965-1971
Box 6 Folder 27
California Regional Water Quality Control Board, 1982-1985
Box 6 Folder 28
Civil Defense Board to the Montgomery County Council, 1958
Box 6 Folder 29
Coastal Engineering Research Board, 1984-1985
Box 6 Folder 30
Deep Submersible Pilots Association, 1981-2000
Box 6 Folder 31
Explorers Club, 1969-1983

Correspondence, notes and meeting materials. Bascom received the Explorers Club Medal in 1980 for his work with deep water archaeology and ocean geophysics.

Box 7 Folder 1
National Academy of Sciences, ca. 1950-1956
Box 7 Folder 2-3
National Research Council Panel on Underwater Swimmers, 1951-1957
Box 7 Folder 4
Naval Research Advisory Committee, 1970-1977
Box 7 Folder 5-7
Ocean Sciences Board, 1978-1982
Box 7 Folder 8
President's Committee on Government Operations - Study of Civil Defense, 1957
Box 7 Folder 9-13
Seafinders, Inc., 1970-1977
Box 7 Folder 14-15
Searle Consortium (International consultants in ocean engineering, towing, salvage and diving), 1986-1991


Scope and Content of Series

Series 5) OCEAN SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING, INC. (OSE): Includes company correspondence and internal communications, project proposals, reports, photographs and notes.

Box 7 Folder 16-17
General information and correspondence, 1963-1975
Box 7 Folder 18
Finances, 1963-1967
Box 7 Folder 19
Management and personnel, 1965-1968
Box 7 Folder 20-21
Operational Committee meetings, 1966-1968

Proposals and reports

Box 7 Folder 22-23
USS Thresher, 1963, 1975-1976
Box 7 Folder 24
OSE Proposes SEARCH: SEA Recovery of Costly Hardware to NASA, 1964 April
Box 7 Folder 25
Progress Report for April-May 1964 to De Beers Consolidated Mines Limited on the Southern Diamond Corporation Concession Evaluation Project, 1964 August
Box 7 Folder 26
Report on Rockeater Sampling Programme in the Marine Diamond Corporation Concession, 1965 January
Box 7 Folder 27
Report on Rockeater Sampling Programme in the Atlantiese Diamant Korporasie, 1965 March
Box 7 Folder 28
Tidal Diamonds Concession Geologic Report, 1965 August
Box 8 Folder 1
Proposal to Aluminum Corporation of America for an Aluminum Oceanographic Laboratory, 1966 December
Box 8 Folder 2
The Construction and Operation of a Ship to Recover Valuable Objects from the Ocean Floor, 1967 June
Box 8 Folder 3
A Proposal to Air Force Intelligence of a Study of the Feasibility of Recovering Fragments of Soviet Missiles form the Floor of the Deep Ocean, undated
Box 8 Folder 4-5
Correspondence and notes about proposed book on salvage engineering, 1969-1971
Box 8 Folder 6
Film awards, 1966-1968

Annual Industrial Film awards for First Deep Ocean Drilling (1966) and A New Harbor for Capetown (1967); American Film Festival Honors awards for The First Deep Ocean Drilling (1967), and A New Harbor for Capetown (1968).

Box 8 Folder 7-11
Miscellaneous photographs, 1960-1970
Box 8 Folder 12
Sketches of equipment, undated
Box 8 Folder 13
Menke notes, 1965-1968
Oversize Annex MC-015-03
Project site surveys, ca. 1960-1969

Oversized maps and sketches.


Scope and Content of Series

Series 6) PROJECTS AND EXPEDITIONS: Includes correspondence, notes and working files detailing Bascom's consultant work, Project Mohole, the Southern California Coastal Water Research Project (SCCWRP) and underwater salvage projects, arranged chronologically.

Box 8 Folder 14-16
Consultant work, 1972-1985
Box 8 Folder 17
Capricorn Expedition, 1953

Correspondence, memoranda and general information pertaining to Bascom's role of measuring pressure at different installations during the cruise.

Project Mohole

Box 8 Folder 18
General information and correspondence, 1960-1963
Box 8 Folder 19
The Mohole Project summary, 1959

Written by Bascom as Technical Director of the American Miscellaneous Society (AMSOC) Committee.

Box 8 Folder 20
Ship design, 1961-1963
Box 8 Folder 21
The Earth's Crust and the Mohole Project - Bascom lecture, 1962 November 21
Box 8 Folder 22
Notes, undated
Box 8 Folder 23
Photographs of personnel aboard CUSS I, 1961
Box 8 Folder 24-25
Miscellaneous photographs of personnel, equipment and vessels, 1961-1962
Box 8 Folder 26
Cable survey in South Africa, 1965
Box 8 Folder 27
Bahamas treasure, 1971-1973
Box 8 Folder 28
Dan Region Wastewater Project, 1976
Box 8 Folder 29-36
Southern California Coastal Water Research Project, 1975-1985
Box 9 Folder 1-5
Southern California Coastal Water Research Project (cont.), 1975-1985
Box 9 Folder 6
Santa Monica sand accretion, 1981-1982
Box 9 Folder 7
Waterways Experiment Station, Army Corps of Engineers, 1984
Box 9 Folder 8-11
San Diego Designation Study, 1985
Box 9 Folder 12-13
Santa Cruz Wastewater Treatment Plant, 1985-1986

Bascom served as consultant through Brown and Caldwell Consulting Engineers.

Box 9 Folder 14
Ballast Trail of Black Rock galleon wreck, 1987-1993
Box 9 Folder 15
CETREL, Bahia, 1989
Box 9 Folder 16
Black Sea ancient ship expedition, 1991
Box 9 Folder 17
Cape Artemision salvage, 1993-1997


Scope and Content of Series

Series 7) CONFERENCES AND EVENTS: Notes, correspondence and meeting materials detailing Bascom's professional attendance, arranged chronologically.

Box 9 Folder 18
Fourth Conference on Coastal Engineering, 1953
Box 9 Folder 19
International Conference on the Peaceful Uses of Atomic Energy, 1955 June 30
Box 9 Folder 20
Undersea Warfare Committee Meeting, 1955 September 16
Box 9 Folder 21
First Conference on Coastal Engineering Instruments, 1955 October 31-November 2
Box 9 Folder 22
AAAS Moho (Mohole) Symposium, 1960 December 30
Box 9 Folder 23
First International Congress on Diamonds in Industry Symposium, 1962 June 2

Bascom presented a lecture on the Mohole Project.

Box 9 Folder 24
Drilling Beneath the Ocean - Honeywell Engineers Lecture Series, 1963 February 24
Box 9 Folder 25
Fairleigh Dickinson Oceanology Conference, 1967 June 20-22
Box 9 Folder 26
Interregional Seminar on New Methods for Mineral Exploration with Emphasis on Geophysical Techniques, 1967 July 17-22
Box 9 Folder 27
Scripps Public Symposium, 1968 February 1-2

Bascom presented lecture entitled "Minerals from the Ocean."

Box 9 Folder 28
AAAS-Brookings Seminars for Members of Congressional Staffs, 1968 March 26-27
Box 9 Folder 29
Workshop on the Effects of Human Activity on the Coastal Ocean, 1984 January 9-11
Box 9 Folder 30
A Forum for Discussion of Municipal Waste Disposal, Conference of Coastal Agencies, 1984 March 8
Box 9 Folder 31
OCEANS '85, 1985 November 12-14

Bascom presented paper entitled "The Evidence of One's Eyes."

Box 9 Folder 32
Working Solutions: Shore and Beach - O'Brien Symposium, 1987 March 23-24


Scope and Content of Series

Series 8) WRITINGS: Bascom's manuscripts, publications and notes. Arranged in two subseries: A) Papers and publications and B) Notes.

Papers and Publications

Box 9 Folder 33
The Causes of Movement of Ocean Sands, 1950 December
Box 9 Folder 34
The Relationship Between Sand Size and Beach Face Slope, 1951 April
Box 9 Folder 35
A Preliminary Study of the Problems of Underwater Demolition Teams, 1951 June
Box 9 Folder 36-37
"Beach Characteristics," ONR Manual of Amphibious Oceanography, 1951 July
Box 9 Folder 38
Observations on Water Temperature, Wave Steepness and Beach Width, Carmel, California, 1951
Box 9 Folder 39-41
My Bubbles Rise in Steps: Free-Diving Adventures in the Tropical Pacific - Memoir from Capricorn Expedition, 1953 March
Box 9 Folder 42
Diving Geologists! Why Not?, 1953 June
Box 9 Folder 43
Lambersten, Christian J. and Willard Bascom. "The Permissible Level of Carbon Monoxide in Inspired Air Used for Diving", 1953 December
Box 10 Folder 1
Characteristics of Natural Beaches, 1953
Box 10 Folder 2-4
A Hole in the Bottom of the Sea, 1959-1966
Box 10 Folder 5
Force and Policy, 1956 August
Box 10 Folder 6
Anti-Shark Alternatives, 1956
Box 10 Folder 7
To Be or Not To Be…, 1956
Box 10 Folder 8
Old Uses for a New Navy, ca. 1957
Box 10 Folder 9
Biological Versus Cultural Evolution, 1958 August
Box 10 Folder 10
Civil Defense, Encyclopedia Britannica, 1958
Box 10 Folder 11
Science and Network Television, ca. 1958
Box 10 Folder 12
Peacetime Uses of Deep-Moored Buoys, 1959 February
Box 10 Folder 13
Gregory, John B. and Willard Bascom. "Maneuvering Devices for Ships", 1959 March
Box 10 Folder 14-15
"The Mohole", Scientific American, 1959 April
Box 10 Folder 16
Beaches, 1960
Box 10 Folder 17
The Origin of the Ocean, 1961
Box 10 Folder 18
A Second Front, ca. 1961
Box 10 Folder 19
E-Quest, 1963

Submitted to Scientific American

Box 10 Folder 20
Great Sea Poetry, 1969

Published compilation of sea-related poetry, arranged by Bascom.

Box 10 Folder 21
Ocean Science in Vietnam, 1967
Box 10 Folder 22
Oil in the Arctic Islands, 1969
Box 10 Folder 23
The Pearl Divers of Takaroa, 1969
Box 10 Folder 24
Technology and the Ocean, 1969
Box 10 Folder 25
The Remarkable CRAWLCUTTER of O.S. & E, Inc., 1970
Box 10 Folder 26
Proposal for Doing Deep Marine Archaeology in Greek Waters, 1971 April
Box 10 Folder 27
"Deep Water Archeology," Science 174, 1971 October
Box 10 Folder 28
Proposal for Oil Storage and Transport Co. a Delaware Corporation, 1972 January
Box 10 Folder 29
Archaeology in Deep Water, 1972
Box 10 Folder 30
Ancient Ships in Deep Water, 1973 June
Box 10 Folder 31
Waste Disposal in the Ocean, 1973-1976
Box 10 Folder 32
Finding the Lost Treasure of the Mimbres, ca. 1973
Box 10 Folder 33
Deep Water, Ancient Ships: The Treasure Vault of the Mediterranean, 1974-1977
Box 10 Folder 34
Science and Ancient Sea Stories, 1976 February
Box 10 Folder 35
Imagination in Marine Education, 1976
Box 10 Folder 36-38
Waves and Beaches, 1960-1980
Box 10 Folder 39
Engineering and the Efficient Use of the Sea, 1980
Box 10 Folder 40
The Use of Sailing Ships for Oceanography, Ocean Science Board, 1980

Bascom was on the Ad Hoc Panel on the Use of Sailing Ships for Oceanography of the Ocean Science Board.

Box 10 Folder 41
Remembrances of John Isaacs, 1980 November
Box 10 Folder 42
King Event, Operation Ivy, 1981 March
Box 10 Folder 43
Spilhaus, Athelstan and Willard Bascom. "A Sail Assisted Ship for Ocean Research", ca. 1982
Box 10 Folder 44
Memorable Moments in Marine Technology, undated
Box 10 Folder 45
Offshore Prospecting for Minerals, undated


Box 10 Folder 46
Miscellaneous notes labeled "ideas to work on", 1958-1968
Box 10 Folder 47
Miscellaneous notes, 1976-1985
Box 10 Folder 48
Miscellaneous notes from seminars, ca. 1980-1989
Box 11 Folder 1
Miscellaneous notes from seminars (cont.), ca. 1980-1989
Box 11 Folder 2
Carmel Beach, 1946-1947
Box 11 Folder 3
Beach erosion, notes and graphs, ca. 1950-1959
Box 11 Folder 4
Desalination, ca. 1950-1959
Box 11 Folder 5
Instruments and equipment, ca. 1950-1959
Box 11 Folder 6
Waves, ca. 1950-1959
Box 11 Folder 7
Harbor surging, ca. 1950-1959
Box 11 Folder 8
Notes on theory on the origin of cancer from a discussion with Roger Revelle, 1954 April
Box 11 Folder 9
Assorted design sketches, 1956

Includes design for "water sub-machine gun" and "radio record-player cabinet."

Box 11 Folder 10
Buoys, 1965
Box 11 Folder 11
Design sketches, ca. 1970-1979
Box 11 Folder 12
Great Lakes shipwrecks, ca. 1970
Box 11 Folder 13
Bahama Bank film, 1972
Box 11 Folder 14
Magnetics, 1972
Box 11 Folder 15
Climate change, 1974
Box 11 Folder 16
Endangered birds, 1979
Box 11 Folder 17
Marine resources, 1979
Box 11 Folder 18
Notes on Southern California beach recreation statistics, ca. 1980
Box 11 Folder 19
Assimilative Capacity Concept, 1982
Box 11 Folder 20
Biochemistry, 1984
Box 11 Folder 21
Hydrocarbon outputs, 1984
Box 11 Folder 22
Cancer risks, 1985
Box 11 Folder 23
San Diego sand, undated


Scope and Content of Series

Series 9) PHOTOGRAPHS AND SLIDES: Subjects of note include photographs of Bascom, Project Mohole, research vessels, engineering equipment, the UC Berkeley Wave Project, coastal dredging, underwater salvage and mineral prospecting projects and work at sea. Arranged in two subseries: A) Photographs and B) Slides.


Box 11 Folder 24
Miscellaneous photos of Willard Bascom, ca. 1960-1980

Portraits and candid photographs of Bascom in group pictures.

Box 11 Folder 25
Miscellaneous ship wrecks, ca. 1910-1960
Box 11 Folder 26
Miscellaneous ships in storms, ca. 1910-1970
Box 11 Folder 27-34
Miscellaneous coastal features, ca. 1945-1960

A large number of photographs depicting coastlines, beaches, jetties, bays and marinas.

Box 11 Folder 35
Miscellaneous ships and research vessels, ca. 1945-1960
Box 11 Folder 36-38
Miscellaneous ship equipment, ca. 1950-1960
Box 11 Folder 39
Engineers at work on beach, ca. 1946
Box 11 Folder 40
Operation Crossroads atomic bomb tests, 1946
Box 11 Folder 41-52
UC Berkeley Wave Project, ca. 1950-1959

Collected photographs related to project designed to create amphibious military landings using nearshore waves and underwater topography. Original groupings of photographs maintained. Most photographs are undated and unidentified.

Box 12 Folder 1-7
UC Berkeley Wave Project (cont.), ca. 1950-1959
Box 12 Folder 8
Navy diving crew at work, ca. 1950
Box 12 Folder 9
Cable marker buoys, ca. 1950-1960
Box 12 Folder 10
Navy Electronics Laboratory, 1951 July
Box 12 Folder 11
Vented explosions at Coronado, 1952 May
Box 12 Folder 12
Bikini Atoll, 1952
Box 12 Folder 13
Capricorn Expedition, 1952-1953
Box 12 Folder 14-15
Diamond mining in South Africa, ca. 1960-1969
Box 12 Folder 16
Nuclear test sites, ca. 1960-1969
Box 12 Folder 17-19
Rockeater, ca. 1960-1969

Marine diamond prospecting vessel under contract to De Beers.

Box 12 Folder 20
Vibracorer, ca. 1960-1969
Box 12 Folder 21-23
Vietnam trips, ca. 1960-1969
Box 12 Folder 24-25
Collected photos for Waves and Beaches, 1960-1970

Photographs collected for potential reproduction in Bascom's book.

Box 12 Folder 26
Diamonds, 1964
Box 12 Folder 27
Collinstar wreckage, 1965 May
Box 12 Folder 28
Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) Plowshare Advisory Committee meetings, 1965-1970
Box 12 Folder 29-30
Cosmos Club movie showing, 1967 April 4
Box 12 Folder 31
Melville Island, 1967
Box 12 Folder 32
Bascom with Robert Marx, ca. 1967
Box 12 Folder 33
Pomona barge, ca. 1967
Box 12 Folder 34
R/V Wando River, ca. 1967

Carried vibrating corer tool called Horton Sampler onboard.

Box 12 Folder 35
Search for sunken 727 aircraft, 1969
Box 12 Folder 36
Mining in Thailand, ca. 1969
Box 12 Folder 37
Scallop boats, 1969-1970, undated
Box 12 Folder 38
Nonsuch, 1970

Replica of 1650 ketch built by the Hudson's Bay Company to celebrate its 300th anniversary.

Box 12 Folder 39
R/V ALCOA SEAPROBE, ca. 1970-1979
Box 12 Folder 40
Oman trip, 1971
Box 12 Folder 41
Explorers Club meeting, 1977 November 9
Box 12 Folder 42
Bascom receiving Explorers Club medal, 1980 May
Box 12 Folder 43
Sea of Marmara sonar charts, 1992
Box 12 Folder 44
Sea of Marmara expedition, 1993
Box 12 Folder 45
At sea in Mediterranean, 1994
Box 13 Folder 1
Arctic research station and landscapes, undated
Box 13 Folder 2
Hawaiian Electric Co. Model Std. (C-245), undated
Box 13 Folder 3
Ship crew at work, undated
Box 13 Folder 4
Unidentified men posing with items dredged from seafloor (labelled "Treasure Hunt"), undated
Box 13 Folder 5
Weapons Effects Buoy System (WEBS) buoys, undated


Box 13 Folder 6
Miscellaneous photos of Bascom, ca. 1964-1993
Box 13 Folder 7
Miscellaneous photos people and crew members, ca. 1961-1970
Box 13 Folder 8-9
Miscellaneous photos of ships and equipment, ca. 1963-1969
Box 13 Folder 10-11
Miscellaneous work at sea, 1966-1970
Box 13 Folder 12
CUSS I - Oil drillship contracted for Project Mohole, 1959-1964
Box 13 Folder 13
Puerto Rico WHOI survey expedition aboard R/V Vema, 1959
Box 13 Folder 14
Project Mohole, 1960-1961
Box 13 Folder 15
Capetown coastline, 1963
Box 13 Folder 16
Willard Bascom and Ted Chamberlain on Lanai, 1964
Box 13 Folder 17
Rockeater, 1964-1967
Box 13 Folder 18
Core sampling, 1965
Box 13 Folder 19
SEALAB III site survey, 1966
Box 13 Folder 20
STIT C-238, 1966
Box 13 Folder 21-29
R/V Wando River, ca. 1966
Box 13 Folder 30
R/V Oceaneer, 1966-1967
Box 13 Folder 31
Bow thruster at Avondale Shipyard, 1967
Box 13 Folder 32
OSE vibrating core drill off Newport, Calif., 1968
Box 13 Folder 33
Alaska trip, 1969
Box 13 Folder 34
ASPSS 1st drop equipment (Sherwood), 1969
Box 13 Folder 35
Navy parachute tests on beach, 1969
Box 13 Folder 36
OSE Director's Lunch, 1969
Box 13 Folder 37
Broward County Beach Restoration Project field office, 1970
Box 13 Folder 38
Diagrams of submersible corer, 1970
Box 13 Folder 39
Ft. Pierce, FL beach, 1970
Box 13 Folder 40
Newport vibratory anchors, 1971
Box 13 Folder 41
R/V Midwife, 1971
Box 13 Folder 42
Box 13 Folder 43
Ocean Science & Engineering MCLS sea trials, 1972
Box 13 Folder 44
MCCB crown block, 1973
Box 13 Folder 45
MCCB shipping, 1973
Box 13 Folder 46
"Ocean Motion" crane - Unidentified equipment yard and machinery, 1973
Box 13 Folder 47
Ocean Science & Engineering MCCB, 1973
Box 13 Folder 48
Black Sea trip, 1991
Box 13 Folder 49
Russian expedition off Crimea, 1991
Box 13 Folder 50
Sea of Marmara trip, 1992
Box 13 Folder 51
Artemision Expedition, 1993
Box 13 Folder 52
Pompano Beach dredge in Florida, undated
Box 13 Folder 53
Measuring L.A. River floodwater, undated
Box 13 Folder 54
Oceaneering Vibracorer shop pictures, undated
Box 13 Folder 55
South Africa landscape, undated


Scope and Content of Series

Series 10) AUDIOVISUAL MATERIAL: Various 16mm films and Hi8 videocassettes detailing Bascom's work. Subjects of note include Project Mohole, underwater archaeology expeditions in the Mediterranean Sea and Black Sea, mineral excavation and research vessels at work.

16mm films

Oversize FS-114
Oceanography, ca. 1940-1960

Montage of miscellaneous oceanographic work. Includes footage of Willard and Rhoda Bascom on beach, amphibious vehicles, military beach assault exercises, various equipment and machinery, a man demonstrating beach erosion in simulator, Bascom at work in the arctic and Weapons Effects Buoy System (WEBS) deployment and demonstration. Time 00:32:00, no sound, both color and b/w.

Oversize FS-104
Air Force Weapons Laboratory Deep Ocean Buoy System, ca. 1960

Produced by AF Special Weapons Center at Kirtland Air Force Base Air Force Systems Command. Footage of crew working with buoys in U.S. Naval Construction Battalion Center and deploying buoys at sea. Time 00:05:43, color, no sound.

Oversize FS-108
Oceanography at Work: Diamonds Under the Sea, ca. 1963

Produced by Ocean Science and Engineering Inc. Film about diamond mining in South Africa. Subjects of note include local people, landscapes and scenery, equipment and technology, and diving for gems. Time 00:25:55, color, sound.

Oversize FS-109
Project Mohole film, 1966

Promotional film discussing Project Mohole. Begins with footage of Willard Bascom as Director of Project Mohole explaining project to NAS personnel, including Jack McClellan (Chief Engineer), Edward Horton (Drilling Engineer), Francois Lampietti (Mining Engineer), Peter Johnson (Naval Architect), and Robert Snider (Oceanographic Engineer). Subjects of the film include include CUSS I, onboard technology, ship controls, test drilling off the coast of Guadalupe Island, pipe installation at sea, geologists examining cores and Bascom at work. Time 00:23:18, color, sound.

Oversize FS-115
A New Harbor for Cape Town, 1967

Film about OSE ocean floor geophysical survey and coring program in Cape Town Harbor. Time 00:23:30, color, sound. Poor quality audio.

Oversize FS-107
Soundtrack for A New Harbor for Cape Town, 1967

Reel-to-reel sound recording.

Oversize FS-105
Wong Miew Choong Mines, Thailand, ca. 1967

Footage of mineral prospecting operation at Wong Miew Choong Mines in Thailand. Includes some shots of local people, monks at temple, local scenery and wildlife. Time 00:10:00, color, no sound.

Oversize FS-110
Santa Barbara oil spill Pt. I, 1969

Footage of oil spill, cleanup crews and effects on wildlife and environment. Time 00:13:30, color, no sound.

Oversize FS-111
Santa Barbara oil spill Pt. II, 1969

Time 00:16:00, color, no sound.

Oversize FS-113
R/V ALCOA Seaprobe, ca. 1970

Miscellaneous footage of crew at work, machinery, instrumentation and ship life aboard R/V ALCOA Seaprobe. Time approx. 00:34:00, color, no sound.

Oversize FS-106
R/V ALCOA Seaprobe, undated

Created by Q.E.D. Productions, NYC. Narrated film about R/V ALCOA Seaprobe. Includes aerial footage of vessel at sea, interviews with ship engineers, and footage of onboard equipment and drilling operations. Time approx. 00:22:00, color, sound.

Oversize FS-112
Tomorrow's World Dredger, undated

Footage of crew with dredging machine on beach. Time 00:19:50, color, no sound.

Hi-8 tapes and digital recordings

Box 13 Folder 56
Turkey Pt. I, 1991

Begins with landscape and scenery. At 00:10:00 Bascom with Izdar Moussa and unidentified Turkish representatives examining maps and discussing proposed underwater archaeology trip. At 00:42:40 Bascom talking about sunken ships and his project entitled "Straight Search" to be conducted in cooperation with Turkish government. At 01:07:00 Bascom discussing sunken ships with unidentified man at ship museum. At 01:30:25 Bascom sitting with unidentified people in room discussing sonar and ROV searching technology for sunken ships. Time 02:03:42.

Box 13 Folder 56
Turkey Pt. II, 1991

Bascom discussing "Straight Search" with Turkish representatives. Time 01:58:22.

Box 13 Folder 56
Black Sea trip, 1991

Footage of underwater camera searching ocean floor for sunken ship with audio commentary from Bascom and others.. At 01:38:25 Bascom finally says "Eureka, we found it!". Time 01:46:31.

Box 13 Folder 56
Black Sea Expedition Pt. I, 1992

Men prepare underwater camera, Russian crew loads bus with equipment, Bascom in museum looking at artifacts retrieved from shipwrecks, miscellaneous shots of crew at work on boat, Bascom and others discussing ancient Bosphorus in the Black Sea through Russian translator in ship cabin. Time 02:03:49.

Box 13 Folder 56
Black Sea Expedition Pt. II, 1992

Willard Bascom and crew raising Adventurer's Club flag on deck, crew members at work, Willard Bascom conversing with scientists. Includes some cut-away shots to scenery on land. Time 01:55:13.

Box 13 Folder 56
Genoa and Marmara, 1993

Bascom receiving honorary doctoral degree and giving speech at the University of Genoa, Italy on 1993 January 1. At 00:13:30 cuts away to work in the Sea of Marmara. Time 01:03:56.

Digital file 1
Brother Jonathan paddle steamer Pt. I, 1996

Footage of Delta Oceanographics crew deploying submersible at sea and discussing project to locate and salvage nineteenth-century paddle steamer Brother Jonathan. Time 01:03:22.

Digital file 2
Brother Jonathan paddle steamer Pt. II, 1996

Crew retrieves submersible and examines recovered gold coins on ship deck. Time 00:50:26.