News: Eli Simpson Archive Online

Image from BCRA/101Y/A/1 Eli Simpson Collection Vol 1: cavers in Gaping Ghyll, Easter 1934.

The British Geological Survey (BGS) has recently made available online the first part of the Eli Simpson Archive, an extensive collection of material covering caves and caving in Yorkshire and Derbyshire. The archive was compiled by Eli Simpson (1884–1962), the founder of the British Speleological Association (now the British Cave Research Association (BCRA)), with contributions from other members.

The archive consists of 100 large-format record books containing a mixture of maps, surveys, photographs, exploration accounts, newspaper cuttings and published articles, dating from 1920 to the 1960s.

Volunteers are scanning the archive so that it can be made available online. Eight albums are available at present, seven containing photographs of Yorkshire caves from 1933 to 1958. The eighth has pictures of Simpson’s Rolleiflex camera. The archive is easy to use and the albums have been beautifully reproduced, providing a fascinating insight into caves and caving from that period.

The second release of material from the archive will be the volumes covering Derbyshire, which are currently being released.

The archive is available on the BGS website here

With thanks to Bob McIntosh for drawing this to our attention.