Wednesday, December 30, 2009
In 1939 Mystic Seaport became the proud holders of one of Tobin's sketchbook, preserved in the Manuscripts Collection and now available online.
Friday, December 11, 2009
The Collections Department at Mystic Seaport is a great place to start exploring topics for music of the sea. Visit our catalogs to get an idea of the breadth of music-related subjects held in our various collections.
The annual Sea Music Festival will be held at Mystic Seaport in June, 2010. The official call for papers, submission by February 28, 2010, can be found at:
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Take a stroll through our Hurricane Image Archive and I'm sure you'll join us in the Celebration.
*Jimmy Buffet, 1974.
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Alan John Villiers (1903-1982) was a distinguished Australian sailor, author and photographer with a passion for life at sea. His work vividly records the period of early-20th century maritime history when merchant sailing vessels or 'tall ships' were in rapid decline. The NMM Picture Library recently published a special collection of Villiers's photographs to its print sales website www.nmmprints.com. This collection, entitled 'Last of the Wind Ships', focuses on his voyages on square-rigged ships including the Joseph Conrad which is now preserved here at Mystic Seaport.
Friday, November 20, 2009
Hope your Holidays are passed in better circumstances than that of Carsten B. DeWitt, yeoman, on board the U.S.S. KEARSARGE who notes in his journal:
1863 November 26th weather fine and quite warm. This day is appointed as a day of Thanksgiving in most of the States of the United States. I would like to meet in the Family circle and see my Friends once again but circumstances does not permit and I must content my self with eating a Dinner worthy of the Day and hoping that the next one will see me free and in the enjoyment of a life of Freedom and amongst my Friends again.
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Weir's journal is both an engrossing tale of a young man's coming of age and also one of the most visually illustrative accounts of the whaling process. The journal contains over 30 illustrations of shipboard life. Log 164 is now online.
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
For Inuit takurngaqtaq literally means encountering something for the first time. This site is an exploration of takurngaqtaq between Inuit and First Nations, Whalers, Explorers and Traders. This journey is guided and supported by the knowledge and experiences of Inuit Elders and the exploration of history. A Historical Exploration toolkit provides context and supports for the research process as well as instructional modules for use by educators.”
Shirley Tagalik advised that if you select the Whaler section and then click on the whaler's trunk, a number of items pop out of the trunk. (The same happens if you select the Inuit pack.) When you click on an item, such as tools, a number of related artifact assets appear along the bottom of the page. You can click on each item for more information related to the item. The photo collection appears as photo assets.
Saturday, October 17, 2009
Digitizing manuscript material provides for global access (visitors to our site come from over 128 different countries), aids in preservation by reducing wear and tear on the original, and creates an archival copy for later generations to access.
More information and sponsorship level information.
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Art in Motion, in association with Mystic Seaport has released two new posters: "Chart the Course" and "Chart the Way".
Using images from the Chart and Map Collection as a background for Rosenfeld photos of Hustler and Columbia these new posters highlight two of our significant collections.
(And they can be purchased too! Proceeds support Mystic Seaport.)
Sunday, September 27, 2009
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Check it out at:
Thanks for the smoothly orchestrated update go to Mindy Matheson the Collections System Administrator and IT Director, Michael Lehnertz.
You can also email or post search results to your fellow researchers. For instance - see what the Library holds on the Charles W. Morgan.
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Search the Image Archive at: http://library.mysticseaport.org/ere/oindex.cfm. Results can be viewed in either List or Gallery views.
Or browse some selected ‘collections’
By Category: Instruments Scrimshaw Oil Paintings
By Topic: Canals Tugboats Bicycles
Please note - this resource is under continuing development (for instance you will see a few broken image links) but the visitors who have seen it appreciated it so much we felt it was time to make the announcement. Please send along your comments and suggestions to myself, email@example.com or any other members of the CRC staff. We’ll be working toward incorporating user input and adding more and more images to the archive.
Also - don’t forget our Digital Library collection of books, registers and manuscripts. Online at: http://library.mysticseaport.org/initiative/MsList.cfm
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
This months issue of "Classic Yacht" carries a story on just a few of the many gems in our vast collections. You can view the article, some great shots of collection pieces, as well as words of wisdom from the staff at: http://www.classicyachtmag.com/currentissue (article on page 96).
Friday, August 28, 2009
The ever popular Silas Talbot (Mystic Seaport mss Coll. 18) is one of the early U.S. Naval Commanders featured in Lou Norton's new book Captains Contentious: The Dysfunctional Sons of the Brine . Along with Talbot, this book also looks into the characteristics of Dudley Saltonstall, Joshua Barney, and John Paul Jones and into how their reckless bravado and frequent antagonism toward their fellow officers shaped the new institution.
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Last weekend Hurricane Bill skirted the nearby coast giving us lots of good surfing waves. This weekend we're waiting to see what Danny will bring - and thinking about Hurricanes past. If you want to see what a real hurricane can do - take a look at our photos from the 1938 Hurricane.
Monday, August 24, 2009
Deadline: October 15, 2009
Eligibility: Undergraduates of any major in good academic standing at an accredited college or university are eligible. High school seniors may also submit. Must be interested in spending a future semester at Williams-Mystic, either spring or fall (based on choice and availability), as part of your college career.
The Essay: Submissions of either fiction or nonfiction should be between 1,000-5,000 words.
Submissions may be about any topic and in any genre as long as the ocean or a major body of water is the primary setting or aspect of concern. The essay may be nature writing, environmental or political activism, literary or historic scholarship, or simply good storytelling. (Sorry, no collections of poetry in 2009.)
More information: www.williams.edu/williamsmystic, firstname.lastname@example.org
Friday, August 21, 2009
Thank you very much for your help during our research trip to study pirates this summer. As we are researching the changing meanings of "pirate" throughout history, several aspects of your collections were very helpful to us. On the matter of evolving legal and policy responses to and understandings of piracy, the transcripts of Civil War era trails of Confederate privateers on charges of piracy provided us with excellent empirical evidence of the disputer meaning of 'pirate' during this time.
Equally illuminating in terms of popular cultural understandings of piracy were your collections of pirate stories for children which help us trace the course of the romantization and de-fanging of portrayals of pirates through the end of the 19th and early 20th centuries. We really appreciate your help in locating and providing these text for us.
Researchers from American University
Friday, August 7, 2009
Friday, July 24, 2009
But... that's not the only reason to read this newest maritime work. According to Nathaniel Philbrick it is "at once a penetrating work of literary analysis and a riveting historical narrative ... reveals the salty survival tale at the heart of Shakespeare’s New World masterpiece, The Tempest."
The book focuses on William Strachey, an English writer whose works are among the primary sources for the early history of the English colonization of North America, and the 1609 shipwreck of the Sea Venture on the uninhabited island of Bermuda. The survivors eventually reached Virginia after building two small ships during the ten months they spent on the island.
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
Legends of the Lake looks at the appreciation, beauty, and historical connections that lie beneath the surface of the mahogany rich wonders of classic wooden boats. Set at the Concours d’Elegance in beautiful Lake Tahoe, this 30-minute high-definition, documentary addresses the passion wooden boat owners have for their craft, familial connections, legendary speed kings, hydroplane racers and a history that tie generations together
Pictured here is BABY GAR IV, 1924, #13265F, a view of Gar Wood (r) and Orlin Johnson (l), at the Free-For-All Race during Buffalo Races. Our record says that "Men seen wearing formal dress, bowties, and jackets with tails. The formal dress was worn in protest of the comment made that Gar Wood 's racing was not for "gentlemen". Gar Wood was a famous hydroplane racer and boat builder. Orlin Johnson worked side-by-side with Gar Wood readying Wood's boats, testing them and racing them for many years. Orlin is pictured here as the mechanic."
Spanning the years from 1880 - 1980 the collection includes inboards and outboards that are steam, electric, gas, diesel and naptha powered and built by over 30 manufactures. Visitors can browse the engine photos, or browse the collection by Make, Type or Builder. There is also a search option.
Pictured here is one of the earliest engines in the collection, a small, single cylinder marine steam engine, Stephenson link reverse, with spoked hand wheel, shaft flange and pumps driven from the crosshead. Appears to be a Murray & Tregurtha product from the late 1800's to early 1900's.
According to Stan Grayson's book, American Marine Engines: 1885-1950 the first marine engine was developed “sometime in 1887 or 1888” by Henry Peterson who owned a fleet of Whitehalls operating on the San Francisco waterfront.
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
- The cumulative effect of British efforts to restrict and regulate New England's commercial expansion along the Atlantic contributed to a rising conviction among colonists that the British state actively opposed their right to use the sea for commercial purposes.
- The British 1775 "New England Trade and Fisheries Act", which restricted the fisheries was considered by members of the House of Lords to "declaring war [against the colonies]."
- The fishing industry enabled the quick mobilization of the first American navy both with manpower and privateers.
- Fishing vessels smuggled in most of the ammunition used by American forces.
- Fishermen filled the ranks and provided invaluable and unique services.
And did you know, that during the famous crossing of the Delaware in 1776 General Henry Knox recalled that the crossing was led by the "fishermen of marblehead, alike at home upon land or water."
Just goes to show, once again, that American history is maritime history.
research center where everything maritime, from manuscripts to fine art, exists together in one location. The Mystic Seaport Collections Research Center is not just a library, or an archive, or a museum, it is all of these things.
In addition to a great description of all the resources contained in the Research Center the article also features a favorite image from the collection: The Crossing the Line Ceremony from "A picturesque voyage to India : by the way of China." by Thomas Daniell, B.A., and William Daniell, A.R.A London :1810
ILoveLibraries.org, is the American Library Association's (ALA's) website for the public, designed to keep America informed about what's happening in today's libraries, which are found in public, school, academic, corporate and institutional settings.
Monday, June 29, 2009
Fear not fans of the Collections! The following items both preserve and tell more of the story:
HFM 31; Maps of Oyster Grounds, 1910,1920 and 1924 -
The Life History of the Oyster: Goodes
Records of Jeremiah Smith & Sons (Coll. 185)
Collection of Charles E. Palmer (Coll. 149)
Collection of Howard W. Beach (Coll. 139)
Eric T. Ball Papers (Coll. 73)
Oystering Collection (Coll. 121)
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
There will be over 600, mostly nautical books for sale. The sale is styled as a "Dutch Auction" with prices being reduced as the day goes on from $10 at 11 a.m to $2 at 3 p.m. There will also be 125 special books starting at $15.
There will be over 300 nautical quarterly magazines for $3 apiece and some 500 free periodicals and other free books at both entrances to the Museum.
Friday, June 12, 2009
Thursday, June 11, 2009
and can be viewed in the Collections Research Room. Pictured on the left is another harbor sketch by Skiddy showing the Bay of Pisco on the coast of Peru.
William T. Skiddy was an artist, naval architect, Captain and an entrepreneur. In 1805 at the age of ten he signed on as a cabin boy aboard the packet ship the ROSE-IN-BLOOM. After a voyage to Charleston, S.C. he returned to New York City and become an assistant steward for his step-father, John R. Skiddy, a ship captain of Stamford and New York.
With the exception of his three years of schooling in France he stayed in the merchant service until 1812. He then spent eight months as a prisoner of war when the crew of the Brig STEPHEN was captured by the British frigate ANDROMACHE. The day after his release he joined the US Navy and received his Midshipman's commission from President Madison. Captain James Lawrence ordered him to report to the HORNET as a master-mate where he served under the command of Captain James Biddle for the duration of the war.
In 1816 he returned to merchant service where he was given the command of the ship MARIA THERESA. He was in the South Pacific during the blockade of Callao by Lord Cochrane, at which time he ran the blockade and brought away the Spanish Viceroy of Peru.
During his many voyages along the Pacific coast he surveyed and charted many of the ports he visited including the Gulf of California chart selected as this months Staff Pick.
In 1844 he entered into the naval construction business with his half-brother Francis. Soon after he was appointed by the US government to superintend the construction of the Collins steamers, which were used as mail steamers.
During his life at sea, Capt. Skiddy kept a journal, and at some point in his life he transcribed them into two volumes entitled "The Ups and Downs of a Sea Life from 1805" which are excellent description of life at sea are also part of Mystic Seaport's wonderful collections.
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
Among the highlighted objects on display are Mystic Seaports’ own whale boat (1958.690), and a highly detailed model cutaway of the modern factory trawler “Alaska Ocean” by recent exhibitor and world class model maker Erik R. Ronnberg Jr.
If you can’t make it to Washington soon, the companion Web site to “On the Water” contains the same historical content as the physical exhibition. The site also features a searchable database that provides additional information and photographs for selected artifacts in the exhibition. Multimedia resources and educational activities, including an associated Flickr group where visitors can upload their own maritime-related imagery, round out the online experience.
Monday, June 1, 2009
The Consortium, which includes institution such as the Baker Library (Harvard, the Boston Athenæum, Bostonian Society, Maine Historical Society and the Mass. Historical Society hands out 10 $5,000 Fellowships each year with fellows required to visit at least 3 institutions for two weeks apiece for research.
Friday, May 29, 2009
Slideshow of images from the exhibit.
Thursday, May 21, 2009
The book also relates how it was "a young man at Connecticut's Mystic Seaport" that helped Pete find naval architect Cy Hamlin and design the iconic Hudson River Sloop Clearwater.
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Friday, May 15, 2009
Formally posed image of Cornelius Vanderbilt III (1873-1942) standing posed on the deck of, most likely, his new steam yacht, NORTH STAR, which was bought in 1903. Commodore Vanderbilt is dressed in formal yacht clothing holding a telescope crooked in one arm. Commodore Vanderbilt was commodore of the New York Yacht Club from 1906-1908. B.1984.187.457
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Thanks go to Michael O'Farrell for lining up the "Show", and Maribeth Bielinski and Krystal Kornegay for doing all of the research and the legwork.
Monday, May 11, 2009
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
They were particularly interested in items relating to China Trade such as the Opium papers in the Howard A. Krumwiede Collection and the early folios. (As are we all!)
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
The Fisherman's Cause: Atlantic Commerce and Maritime Dimensions of the American Revolution is described as "In the first book-length examination of the connections between the commercial fishing industry in colonial America and the American Revolution, Christopher Magra places the origins and progress of this formative event in a wider Atlantic context. The Fisherman's Cause utilizes extensive research from archives in the United States [including Mystic Seaport], Canada, and the U.K. in order to take this Atlantic approach."
Friday, May 1, 2009
Monday, April 20, 2009
Thank you for your understanding and patience.
The Collections Research Center Staff
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
I was lucky enough to attend many of the sessions represented in the book. They were good then, but it is excellent now to have such detailed scholarship in print. From Jason Mancini's exploration of the previously hidden nature of Native American involvement in maritime occupations from 1713-1861, to Deanne Nuwer's discussion of the vital role played by women in Biloxi's seafood industry from 1863 to the present, the papers represent the range and depth of the maritime experience and the historical work undertaken to understand it.
Friday, April 10, 2009
Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Who knew that sea slag would be retro! This new book explores popular terms such as "cut and run" which evolved from the habit of sailor who needed to leave the harbor so quickly, they would cut the lines and run, and many others.
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Philip LeBoutillier Collection (Coll. 352): 1932-1953, consists of four scrapbooks and loose papers containing newspaper and magazine clippings, letters, photographs, brochures, sail race results and banquet menus as well as racing history pertaining to several yachts owned by yachstman, businessman and philanthropist Philip LeBoutillier (1880-1972) including STORMY WEATHER (built 1934), VIKING (built 1930), ALSUMAR (built 1930) and NANCY (built 1932).
Philip LeBoutillier (Oct. 20, 1880 - Feb. 1, 1972) was a New York yachtsman, businessman and philanthropist whose 54-foot yawl, STORMY WEATHER, won both the trans-Atlantic Newport-to-Bergen race and the Fastnet in 1935, and, in 1936, was the Bermuda Race Class A winner. Besides STORMY WEATHER, designed by Sparkman & Stephens in 1933/34, LeBoutillier owned and captained VIKING, a 49-foot cutter designed by F. Jay Wells in 1930; ALSUMAR, a 44-foot auxiliary sloop (30 meter class) designed by Sparkman & Stephens in 1930, and , as part of the Seawanhaka-Corinthian Syndicate, the six-meter sloop, NANCY, built in 1932.
Yachting lore has it that LeBoutillier had not decided on a name for what would become STORMY WEATHER as she was being built at the Henry B. Nevins Yard, City Island, New York in late 1933 and into '34. However, just before launching, LeBoutillier and friends were at a club in Montauk, Long Island, and listened as a young singer delivered a song that much appealed to him. He called the singer over to his table and asked her to sing it again. Lena Horne agreed, and the song, "Stormy Weather," made a name for LeBoutillier's new yawl as it did for Lena Horne.
LeBoutiller also had been asked by the original owner of ALSUMAR not to keep that sloop's name because it was derived from the names of the first owner's wife and two daughters. LeBoutillier politely declined to accede to the first owner's wishes, saying he was superstitious about changing the original name of a horse, a dog or, as it happened, a boat.
At the height of his business career, LeBoutiller was president of Best & Co., a department store specializing in women's clothing and children's wear. He was known for his generous wage and salary policies and for promoting from within. As the New York Times said in its obituary of LeBoutillier, published on Feb. 2, 1972: "He set up one of the first pension plans for employes as early as 1919, and few workers left Best & Co., with many continuing after marriage and with the arrival of children."
LeBoutillier was also regarded for his philanthropy, particularly his work for underprivileged boys. According to the Times, he raised $600,000 for the Boys' Club of New York, and was an organizer of the National Child Labor Committee, a group opposed to child labor.
He resided on East 70th St. in New York and Lake Placid, NY, and died in a nursing home in 1972 in Greenwich, CT.
Noank Shipyard Collection (Coll. 353): 1943-2000, of the Noank Shipyard in Connecticut. Includes a variety of manuscript materials and newspaper clippings. The manuscript materials contain information concerning boating safety legislation and taxes, correspondence, bills of sale for vessels purchased by the yard and miscellaneous drawings and notes. The clippings cover topics including Noank and Groton, Connecticut history, the development of the shipyard and its purchase by Donald Singer in 1964, the EMMA C. BERRY, the Noank Historical Society and their work, Tropical Storm Doria, the beaching of a whale in Noank, other miscellaneous boats and topics, zoning disputes over the expansion of the yard and finally its sale.
The Noank Shipyard was originally organized by brothers John and Robert Palmer in 1850. Both had previously worked with their father John Palmer Sr.at various locations around Noank. The new shipyard was officially named "R. & J. Palmer" but was generally referred to by locals as simply the "Palmer yard." Robert took full control of the company in 1879 after his brother's death and then brought his own son Robert Jr. into partnership in 1880. The yard was then officially renamed Robert Palmer and Son Shipbuilding and Marine Railway Company. During the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries the shipyard was the largest facility for building and repair of wooden vessels in southern New England, employing over 300 men. The yard specialized in building railroad car floats, schooner barges, and dump scows as well as fishing smacks. Robert Palmer and Son went out of business in 1914 with the passing of the Robert Jr. who was also known in Noank as "Deacon" Palmer because of his close and active connections to the Noank Baptist church. During World War I the yard was reactivated by the Groton Iron Works but fell into general disuse until another resurgence of activity during World War II. After the second world war the yard once again fell into disrepair until Donald Singer purchased it in 1964. Singer turned the old shipyard into a model marina catering to the post war boom in pleasure boating. After a series of zoning disputes Singer sold the Noank shipyard in 1980. Today, under new ownership, the Noank Shipyard is still a very active marina and repair facility and remains, as was the case with it's predecessors, a focal point of life in the village of Noank.
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Monday, March 16, 2009
This weekend he posted on the National Rowing Hall of Fame, located in the G.W. Blunt White building.
Monday, March 9, 2009
Friday, March 6, 2009
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
Saturday, February 28, 2009
Society of Oceanic Historians (NASOH) is now live. Please visit www.nasoh.org
for full registration details.
Thursday, February 26, 2009
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Thursday, February 19, 2009
By the mid-19th century, an intrepid, reckless group of men ruled the ocean. Known as “wreckers,” they earned their living by rescuing and raising sunken ships, even in the face of monstrous waves and fierce weather. To some, they were heroes, helping to rescue both passengers and ships with courage and skill. To others they were ruthless pirates, who exploited these shipwrecks purely for their treasure.
Powers introduction gives a shout out to Amy German and Wendy Schnur for their assistance in researching the book, especially their help with material on Merritt, Scott and Chapman, of which there is a great deal in the Collections.
Sunday, February 15, 2009
the definitive work on women lighthouse keepers.
Lighthouses are an endearing symbol of our nation's nautical past. However, these structures are quickly disappearing from the landscape and with them often go their history and the important part that they played in the development of the United States. The stories of the men and women who cared for these structures during their times of use are also lost. This book examines the often overlooked role of the female lighthouse keeper. Female keepers were women who took on a traditionally masculine position. They held a government job and performed intense physical labor at a time when women were considered incapable of such jobs. This study examines the history of individual female lighthouse keepers and the contributions they made within the context of maritime history and public policy, as these issues related to American and British society over the last 200 years. It also considers the affects that governmental changes had on these women and what role they have played in popular culture both in the past and today.
As a past, fascinating, and informative presenter at the Maritime Lunchure, Bethany graduated from Gettysburg College in 2006 where she majored in History. In May, 2008 she graduated from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County with a Masters in Public History. She currently works at Mystic Seaport where she continues to research women and the sea.
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