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The penetration of the Bellingshausen Sea : Operation Deep Freeze

Identifier: Film Collection no. 252

Scope and Contents

Filmed during the U.S. Antarctic Research Program's Expedition to the Bellingshausen Sea, 1960. Made by Robert Cushman Murphy and a U.S. Navy cameraman, the film is a record of the U.S. Antarctic Research Program's expedition to the Bellingshausen Sea in Antarctica. Two Navy icebreakers, the Glacier and the Burton Island, and their crews (nearly 600 men) penetrated the sea which had remained unexplored since its discovery in 1821. Murphy, an AMNH ornithologist, traveled on the Glacier under Commander Philip McDonald. A fine exposition of Navy research methods is presented. Navy scientists are observed at work collecting specimens of insects and plants, sending up weather balloons, taking water samples, and surveying the topography from helicopters. At one point the crews of both ships have a party on the ice. The Glacier is called upon twice to rescue other ships trapped in the ice: the San Martine, an Argentine icebreaker, and the Danish Krista Dan, upon which English explorer Sir Vivian Ernest Fuchs is a passenger. The expedition continues north to Marguerite Bay, Palmer Island, King George Island, Penguin Island, Deception Island, and the Falklands. Narrating throughout, Murphy identifies the wildlife of the various regions, which includes a variety of seals, penguins, and shorebirds. On King George Island chinstrap penguins are banded for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.


  • 1960

Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access

Not available through interlibrary loan. Contact AMNH Library Special Collections for terms of access.


1 Film Reel (42 minutes) : sound, color ; 16 mm.

1 Videocassette (U-Matic (42 minutes)) : sound, color ; 3/4 in.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

3/4 in., U-Matic, viewing copy


Original format: 16 mm. print.



Robert Cushman Murphy, director, photographer and narrator.

The penetration of the Bellingshausen Sea : Operation Deep Freeze, 1960
Iris Lee
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
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Repository Details

Part of the Museum Archives at the Gottesman Research Library Repository

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