History of Oceanography

Official Website of the International Commission of the History of Oceanography

ICHO Bibliography

The Cumulative Bibliography on the History of Oceanography (CBHO) was published annually in the History of Oceanography Newsletter beginning in 1987 and through 1997, in order to gather in one place the scattered literature on the history of oceanography. The CBHO was compiled from 1987 to 1997 by Jacqueline Carpine-Lancre, Librarian of the Musee Oceanographique in Monaco and Secretary of the Commission of Oceanography of the International Union of the History and Philosophy of Science, Division of History of Science. 1998 – 2001 were compiled by Deborah Day, Scripps Institution of Oceanography Archivist. CBHO includes all works on the history of oceanography, except biographical items like biographies and obituaries. There is no comprehensive bibliography on the history of oceanography before 1987.

A PDF of the CBHO (last updated in 2001) is available here.


The International Commission for the History of Oceanography has hosted and published eight conference volumes on various topics over the past fifty years. A bibliography of the volumes is below. A downloadable copy, including essays and titles, is available here.

ICHO Conference Volumes:

“Premier Congrès International d’Histoire de l’Océanographie, Monaco – 1966.”  Bulletin de l’Institut Océanographique.  Fondation Albert 1er, Prince de Monaco. 3 vols.  Numéro spécial 2, 1968. [ICHO 1]

Rutherford, W.H. (Ed.) (1972). Second International Congress on the History of Oceanography. Challenger Expedition Centenary, Edinburgh, September 12 to 20, 1972. Proceedings, 2 vols.  Proceedings of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. Section B, Biological Sciences, vol. 72 and 73 (1972).  [ICHO 2]

Sears, M[ary] and D[aniel] Merriman.  Oceanography: The Past.  Proceedings of the Third International Congress on the History of Oceanography held September 22-26, 1980, at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Woods Hole, Massachusetts, USA on the occasion of the Fiftieth Anniversary of the founding of the Institution.  New York: Springer-Verlag, 1980.  [ICHO 3]

 Lenz, Walter and Margaret Deacon, eds., Ocean Sciences: Their History and Relation to Man:7 Proceedings of the 4th International Congress on the History of Oceanography Hamburg 23.-29. 9. 198, Deutsche Hydrographique Zeitschift, Ergänzungheft, Reihe B, No. 22. Hamburg: Bundesamt für Seeschiffahrt and Hydrographie, 1990. [ICHO 4]

Benson, Keith R., and Philip F. Rehbock, Oceanographic History: The Pacific and Beyond.  Seattle/London: University of Washington Press, 2002. [ICHO 5]

No volumes published for ICHO 6 (Quindao-1999) or 7 (Kaliningrad-2003).

Groeben, Christiane, ed. Places, People, Tools: Oceanography in the Mediterranean and Beyond.  Proceedings of the Eighth International Congress for the history of Oceanography (Stazione Zoological Anton Dohrn, 2013). [ICHO 8]

— compiled by Penelope K. Hardy, 6 December 2016