The Whalers’ Memory Bank is a major project capturing the human stories of ex-whalers and their families. The project was launched in July 2023 and is funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund. It will run for two years, during which the South Georgia Heritage Trust and South Georgia Museum will be working alongside a number of former whaling communities in Scotland to create The Whalers’ Memory Bank. The Memory Bank will be a living, growing digital time capsule where veterans of the whaling industry, their families and communities can come together to contribute and share their stories with a wider audience.
The story of modern whaling in the Southern Hemisphere is a controversial one and some British companies played a key role in the industry. These companies had a largely Scottish workforce and attracted many working-class men to work half a world away on South Georgia with the promise of adventure and good wages. Now, only a dwindling number of men survive that have first-hand memories of this industry. They are the last generation to be able to share their stories, knowledge and personal collections before they are lost forever.