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O’Neill Library Lobby Exhibits

Father Linehan at Operation Deep Freeze

June 03 - July 08, 2013

exhibit poster

In 1954, Boston College alumnus Fr. Daniel Linehan, SJ, Founder of the Department of Geophysics and Director of Boston College’s  Weston Observatory,  was invited to participate in U.S. Navy  Operation Deep Freeze to Antarctica.  Over the course of three Southern Hemisphere summers, he conducted the first  seismic ice measurements of the Antarctic, determining that rock was reached under a thickness of 8197 feet of ice at the South Pole.  He also served as Catholic chaplain on board the USN Atka, participated in the  rescue of  a dying helicopter pilot, celebrated the first mass at the South Pole and delighted in the antics of penguins.  His meticulously-written journals  detail every aspect of  Deep Freeze life, including capsule reviews of every B movie shown nightly  on board  to the crew. 

The  US Navy awarded Fr. Linehan the Distinguished  Public Service Award in 1959 for his work with Operation Deep Freeze, and the Linehan Glacier was named in his honor.

The Burns Library maintains an extensive collection of Fr. Linehan’s writings as well as artifacts relating to his religious and scientific work. This exhibit highlights materials representing his work in Antarctica.

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There are four horizontal cases in the O’Neill Library Lobby.

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