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Stevens (Payson R.) FIBEX/Vulcan Film Documentary Collection
SMC 0171  
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Historical Background
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • Publication Rights
  • Restrictions

  • Descriptive Summary

    Contributing Institution: Special Collections & Archives, UC San Diego
    9500 Gilman Drive
    La Jolla 92093-0175
    Title: Payson R. Stevens FIBEX/Vulcan Film Documentary Collection
    Identifier/Call Number: SMC 0171
    Physical Description: 6 Linear feet (11 flat boxes, 1 shoebox, and 3 record cartons)
    Date: 1981
    Abstract: Documentary footage shot by Payson R. Stevens during Leg II of the FIBEX/Vulcan expedition (24 February to 28 March, 1981) in the Scotia Sea of Antarctica.
    Languages: English .

    Scope and Content of Collection

    Documentary footage shot by Payson R. Stevens during Leg II of the FIBEX/Vulcan expedition (24 February to 28 March, 1981) in the Scotia Sea of Antarctica. FIBEX was a large international study; the Scripps Institution of Oceanography was one participant, with Oz Holm-Hansen contributing as chief scientist for one leg aboard the R/V Melville. It includes photographic slides, sound recordings, and films. The slides are 35mm color slides arranged in 23 small groupings by subject, by Stevens. The sound recordings are associated with the film reels and include interviews, meetings, and ambient sounds. According to correspondence retained when this material was donated to the Library, the sound recordings "sync" with the films, but the numbering relationship between the two formats is unclear. Further investigation will be required to match sound reels to film reels.
    The film is 16mm and includes all footage that was created for a future documentary, which was never made. Subjects include interviews with scientists, onboard research activities, animals, and Antarctic vistas, islands and scenery. Films are arranged in two subseries. The raw footage has little description and overall, those films are in poor condition and exhibiting vinegar syndrome. The "dailies" were created by Payson in August 1981 and are in much better condition. They appear to be compilations of original footage ("roll" numbers are cited on the inventory). A shot log was included with the original gift, but it is so brief and incomplete that it is not particularly helpful to identify subjects of each film, beyond what is included in the finding aid notes.
    Arranged in three series: 1) SLIDES, 2) SOUND RECORDINGS, and 3) FILMS.

    Historical Background

    BIOMASS/FIBEX Programme
    An international BIOMASS (Biological Investigations of Marine Antarctic Systems and Stocks) programme started in 1976. It arose from the growing interest of many countries in the living resources of the Southern Ocean - mainly krill, fishes, and squids. The BIOMASS programme was planned for 10 years and included oceanographic surveys, studies on krill and fish populations structure and fishery statistics, laboratory experiments on krill, bird and seal censuses.
    The first part of the BIOMASS programme was the so-called FIBEX (First International BIOMASS Experiment) in 1981 - a joint, complex program of oceanographical studies of the Southern Ocean carried out by 13 vessels from 11 states.
    (The above statements on BIOMASS and FIBEX are adapted from: Stanisław Rakusa-Suszczewski et al, Antarctic oceanobiological expeditions organized by the Polish Academy of Sciences, p. 63 [https://journals.pan.pl/Content/110832/PDF/1998-1-2_061-079.pdf])
    The Scripps Institution of Oceanography participated in FIBEX with Vulcan-6 and Vulcan-7 surveys of the Scotia Sea (53°S to 60°S, 50°W to 33°W).
    For information on Payson R. Stevens, a Scripps Institution of Oceanography alumni and filmmaker, please visit his website at: https://www.paysonrstevens.com.

    Preferred Citation

    Payson R. Stevens FIBEX/Vulcan Film Documentary Collection. SMC 171. Special Collections & Archives, UC San Diego.

    Acquisition Information

    Acquired 2004-2011



    Publication Rights

    Publication rights are held by the creator of the collection. UC Regents own copyright to the 35mm slides.


    Original audiorecording media are restricted. Sound recordings have been digitized and listening copies may be available for researchers. Film in series 3A is in poor condition, and no film has been digitized; inquire in advance to determine viewing accessibility.