Papers of George de Boer (U DDB)
Hull-born George de Boer
attended both St George’s School, Hull (see U DDB/1/2) and Hymers
College, Hull (see U DDB/1/3). In 1939 he was awarded a scholarship
to St John’s College, Cambridge to read geography, but his studies
were interrupted by World War II. He originally enlisted, but later
registered as a Conscientious Objector (see U DDB/1/5). During the
War George de Boer worked in agriculture, Civil Defence in Hull and
with urban planner Max Lock on the Hull Regional Survey (see U
DDB/1/8). George de Boer continued to study in his spare time and
in 1944 published his first paper ‘A system of glacier lakes in the
Yorkshire Wolds’ in the Proceedings of the Yorkshire Geological
Society (see U DDB/3/7/7).
After the war George de Boer finished his studies and returned
to Hull as Assistant Lecturer in the Department of Geography at
Hull University College (became Hull University in 1954). He
continued to teach physical geography for the next 38 years in
various posts at Hull. He taught geomorphology, the study of the
physical features of the surface of the earth and their relation to
its geological structures, in lectures, practicals and field
courses and undertook expeditions to the Lake District and Norway
for research. He was involved with numerous associations and
societies holding various roles including President, Secretary and
Vice-President (see U DDB/1/6 and U DDB/1/7).
George de Boer published numerous articles,
papers, books and chapters, both alone and collaboratively. The
collection contains extensive material that he collected as
research for his many publications based on Spurn and its geology
for both an academic and wider audience (see U DDB/2 and U DDB/3).
He focussed on the historical evolution of Spurn Head and in 1964
published ‘Spurn Head: its history and evolution’ with others
related to Spurn lighthouses and early maps following. His academic
interests lead to his involvement with the Yorkshire Naturalists’
Trust (YNT) and in his subsequent role as Chairman of the Spurn
What can the collection be used for?
multi-faceted collection can be used to study the geomorphology and
history of the Holderness coast, Sunk Island and Humber region.
Extensive material shows the evolution of Spurn, including its
buildings, recreational use and habitat so can be used to
understand established patterns and inform future research. It also
provides an insight into the wartime history of Hull’s town
planning and YNT’s association with local authorities and residents
in their protection of Spurn Nature Reserve, giving an awareness of
how a voluntary organisation works towards its objectives.
Areas of study include local history, environmental and earth
sciences, geography and history.
What records will I find in the
The collection contains material
collected over a lifetime of study and involvement with
associations and societies. It comprises minutes of meetings,
newsletters, research notes by various authors, correspondence,
draft and printed publications with comprehensive references,
photographs, slides, maps, plans and cross sections. Many of the
items have handwritten annotations and additions.
How do I
access the Collection?
The collection is
available for anyone to use and has been given the unique reference
number U DDB.
Due to the personal and sensitive nature of
some of the material certain closures have been placed on parts of
this collection - this is clearly identified on the catalogue
entries available in the searchroom or via our
U DDB/1 Personal and professional life
U DDB/2 General research material
U DDB/3 Publications with research material
U DDB/4 Yorkshire Naturalists’ Trust and Spurn Management
Access to unrestricted material will be granted to any accredited
reader. However, access to some of the material in this collection
is restricted under the terms of the Data Protection Act. Access to
material closed under DPA may be accessible for research, according
to the exemptions set out within the DPA. For any enquiries
relating to research access, please contact Archivist Simon
Wilson firstname.lastname@example.org for
Is there other material relating to
George de Boer and his work?
material is held at Hull History Centre. The catalogue
contains an extensive list of some of these, but includes the
organisations he worked with, Second World War material with
post-war town planning, school records and local history
information. For example Records of the Humber Ports of the British
Transport Docks Board, later Associated British Ports (C DPD),
Records of the City Planning Office (C TPP), Records of Humber
Conservancy Board and the Ministry of War Transport (U DX226) and
Ravenser Odd: lost port of the Humber (U DX233).