Fan of Full Fathom Five? Be sure to check it out at its new home!

Friday, September 28, 2007

Position: Assistant Archivist

The Nimitz Library, United States Naval Academy, is seeking an individual with energy, experience, initiative, flexibility, enthusiasm, good judgment, strong service orientation, and knowledge of history to appraise, arrange, and describe archival records and manuscript collections and to otherwise facilitate and enhance access to the official records and other holdings within Special Collections & Archives.


1. Engages in records appraisal and implements retention schedule for the Archives to ensure that all non-current permanently valuable Academy records are turned over to Special Collections & Archives.

2. Processes archival records and creates print and on-line descriptive aids for them.

3. Processes manuscript collections, creates print and on-line descriptive aids for them, and provides bibliographic access as needed.

4. Provides general and specialized reference service, instruction, and orientation as needed for all materials in Special Collections & Archives, including rare books, photographs, manuscripts, and archives, to midshipmen, faculty, staff, and other researchers to enable them to effectively use Special Collections & Archives materials.

5. Maintains contacts with the National Archives and Records Administration and keeps the Head of SC&A/Archivist informed of all pertinent matters relating to the USNA Archives' status as an affiliated archive.

6. Assists in the preparation of the annual Command History of the Naval Academy by collecting and organizing information for inclusion, and final assemblage to provide the Director of Naval History with a record of the Academy's yearly activities.

Full Time

Salary is $46,041 (first step of GS-1420-09 pay grade) or higher, depending upon experience and other qualifications.


To apply go to

Applications must be submitted online via this site.

Deadline for submission of applications is expected to be October 2, 2007

Questions about the position, about Nimitz Library, or about navigating the application process should be addressed to:

Jennifer A. Bryan, Ph.D.
Head of Special Collections & Archives/Archivist
Nimitz Library
U.S. Naval Academy
Phone: (410) 293-6904

Position: Museum Education/Grants Coordinator

The Lake Pontchartrain Basin Maritime Museum has an immediate opening for a Museum Education/Grants Coordinator. This is a nine month grant-funded position with the possibility of extension.

The Museum Education/Grants Coordinator will design, find funding for, and implement educational programs. Resources include a five year old museum, 1880s light keepers cottage, 1837 lighthouse under restoration, partnership with Southeastern Louisiana University, and potential for unique hands on programs. Supervision of staff and volunteers is required, as is some work on evenings, nights, and weekends.

Complete listing

Cruel Seas

Dan Krummes' Cruel Seas: Merchant Shipping-Focused World War 2 Nautical Fiction, 1939 to 2004 was published in
in 2004, but the companion website, Cruel Seas : World War 2 Merchant Marine-Related Nautical Fiction from the 1930s to Present keeps on growing. With the latest update, the web version contains 402 entries (compared with the 250 entries in the printed edition). Covered are short stories, novellas, and novels in English, published in the U.S., Canada, or Great Britain, that appeared in the popular press, from tony publications to pulp magazines.

Why go to the trouble to hunt down these stories to read when books about the WW2 Navy are so prevalent? From Dan's introduction:

It was little known at the time and barely-remembered today that American, Canadian and British merchant mariners suffered the highest casualty rates of any Allied forces, higher than soldiers, sailors or marines.

The stakes couldn't have been higher--the risk greater--to those who were the transportation backbone of the era. And remember--the library with which you're affiliated, be it local public library or massive academic library, probably has an interlibrary loan service to help you get copies of these stirring narratives!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

San Francisco Symposium

If you're on the West Coast on October 20th you might want to consider stopping by the San Francisco Maritime Museum. In celebration of 25 years of Library support, the Friends of the Museum Library will host a day-long symposium, tours, talks, exhibitions, booksignings and book sales.

The The tentative schedule is as follows:
8:30 a.m.: Collectors' Corner, a preliminary breakout for collectors to buy, sell, trade or barter items from their collections. (Collectors' Corner will be located in the Partners' Room on the 2nd Floor)
10:00 a.m.: Authors Steve Potash and Bob Chandler on Gold, Silk, Pioneers and Mail: The Story of the Pacific Mail Steamship Company, the Friends' latest publication.
10:30 a.m.: Dale Vinnedge and Andrew Skinner on west Coast whaling and the Library's Barbara Johnson Whaling Collection.
11:00-11:30 a.m.: toure of the Library and its various collections, including whaling, naval architecture, fine arts, and World War II.
11:30 a.m.: Kortum Award winner Robert Barde on "The Life and Death of the China Mail."
12:00 noon: Author Olaf Envig on Iron in Shipbuilding.
12:30-1:30 p.m.: Lunch and booksignings--Books will be available for sale and author signing, including Gold, Silk, Pioneers and Mail, by Steve Potash and Bob Chandler; Clipper Ship Captain and Glory of the Seas, by Michael Mjelde; Shanghaied in San Francisco, by Bill Pickelhaupt; Shipping and Culture: The Norwegian Fish Club of San Francisco, 1914-1996 and Iron in Shipbuilding, by Olaf Envig; and Steel Ships and Iron Pipe, by Dr. Dean Mawdsley.
1:30 p.m.: Dave Wood on "Navy Cruise Books of World War II."
2:00 p.m.: Kortum Award winner Michael Mjelde on "The San Francisco Waterfront in 1872."
2:30 p.m.: tours of the Library and its various collections, including whaling, naval architecture, fine arts, and World War II.
3:00 p.m.: Kortum Award winner Louis Hough on the steam schooner Adeline Smith.
3:30 p.m.: Author Bill Pickelhaupt on Shanghaied in San Francisco.
4:00 p.m.: optional tour of "The Sailor's Den," the new public Maritime Library Reading Room in the Park's Visitor Center, at the corner of Hyde and Jefferson Streets, followed by wine and cheese in the Visitor Center.

The cost of the symposium is $35.00 in advance, $45.00 at the door. For information, call 415-561-7040, or contact the Friends at To sign up online, see the Symposium invitation and be sure to follow the link to the reply card. You can also pay for your registration online at our store.

More on Aubrey

This came to my inbox this morning:

On September 24th on Bloomberg Radio® , "Bloomberg on the Economy" host Tom Keene spoke for an hour with Author David Cordingly about his new book,
Cochrane: The Real Master and Commander Lord Thomas Cochrane was a captain in the Royal Navy and David Cordingly spoke on the economics of the Napoleonic Wars, Pirates of the Caribbean and piracy, and the end of the sailing era for England. Cochrane was the inspiration for the character Jack Aubrey in Patrick O'Brian's series of Aubrey-Maturin historical novels. We thought you might find the interview of interest. Please feel free to follow the link below to listen to their conversations:

"Bloomberg on the Economy" is podcasted at and also on iTunes under Business News.

Hope you enjoy listening.

Heidi Tan
Bloomberg LP
T: 212.617.5375
F: 917.369.4347

Thanks for the great lead Heather!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Call for Participation

October is going to be a great month for maritime symposiums what with the International Congress of Maritime Museums in Malta and the 8th Maritime Heritage Conference in San Diego.

I'm unable to attend either conference but it sure would be good to have some news on the conferences from the front. Would anyone who is attending either like to volunteer to send along some updates? Readership of Maritime Compass averages 100/day so anything you have to say will reach a large and self-selected group.

PS. As always, if you'd like to contribute any other maritime stories at any other time, please also feel free to send them along.

The Art of Wood Carving in America

November 3-4, 2007 the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts will be hosting a two-day symposium featuring new research on the art of 18th and 19th century American wood carving.

The program lists one exclusively maritime presentation on The Shipcarvers Art by Ralph Sessions, as well as other topics with maritime influences. All the sessions, as well as the tours look really interesting. or Google Books?

Online text & e-book sites are rich with maritime books. I've mentioned Project Gutenberg, which started in the 1970s and is a favorite site of mine due to their commitment to providing high quality electronic editions that are easy to read online and/or download. But most people are probably more familiar with Google Books. What's the difference? Google Books has quantity, and opinions about the quality vary. Check out these reviews:

But behind Google Books lies which increases its utility. The Google Book Search horatio lord nelson results in several interesting texts, including the 1846 edition of The Dispatches and Letters of Vice Admiral Lord Viscount Nelson: With Notes. The chances of my buying this book are slim, and I'd rather not read it online or take the trouble to download it--no problem. If I look at the links down the right side, and I choose "Find this book in a library," I'm taken to the record for this book.

This is an advantage to approaching and library records through Google Books. If I had started with this book's record on, I might easily miss finding the free, electronic edition. And if I were interested in buying this book on the used book market, I see more options via Google Books--again, on the right, just above the "Find this book in a library" link, there are various book buying sites including my favorite, ABEBooks which includes many independent booksellers that belong to professional booksellers' associations and has a large presence of booksellers outside the United States. (And if you're a researcher who's been using Amazon to view excerpts and sections of books, Arstechnica's article on Google Books' new features, the snipping tool and the personal library, might convince you to give these features a try.)

And there is actually a Google Books "front end" to from Google's advanced book search, turn on the radio button for "Library catalogs," and you're searching

Monday, September 24, 2007

Finding Maritime Information:

Did you know that the largest database of library collections in the world in now available to you for free? Yes--free. No signup, no strings attached. is the free, public interface to the database of over 88 million titles provided by OCLC, an international, nonprofit, library cooperative. Thousands upon thousands of libraries all over the world participate; your local library may or may not participate in; not every library does. But most major academic collections, public libraries, and library consortia are represented.

Let's get specific. If I search for Niven's book on American President Lines in, I see not only the libraries that own this item, but if I put my zip code into the "Enter Location Information" box, they're listed in geographic order with the participant library that's closest to me first. With most libraries, I can click that library's name to be taken directly to their online catalog to see if the book's actually on the shelf. And, with my local library, I can then request that the item be held for me.

Want to ask your local library to interlibrary loan this book for you? Under "Share it" you can select "Link to this page" to generate a short link to email your interlibrary loan request. Did you use this book in your research? Under "Citations" you can export the information in popular bibliographic citation formats. Know something about this book? Click on "Reviews" and add a review. Yes--you can add a review, yourself. Love this book? Under "Get it" there's a link to Amazon, which is duplicated on the lower right of the page if you scroll down.

Want to get fancy? You can build and maintain public and private lists of books inside the bottom of the page, look for the tiny row called "You," and select "My Worldcat." Want to break free of the English-speaking world? Interfaces are available in German, Spanish, French, Dutch, and Chinese.

Want to try it now? Here's my search box (just change the zip code when you get to your search results if you don't live in San Francisco!):

Search for an item in libraries near you: >>

Like it? You can get browser toolbars and plugins of your own.

Friday, September 21, 2007

The real Jack Aubrey?

A new biography of Thomas Cochrane, the tenth Earl of Dundonald, came out this week: Cochrane : the Real Master and Commander, by David Cordingly, former Keeper of Pictures and Head of Exhibitions at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, and author of Under the black flag: the romance and the reality of life among the pirates. NPR's Talk of the Nation not only aired an interview with Cordingly, but they've posted the audio of the interview as well as the Prologue from the book. The interview is great listening--it's a short segment (10 or 15 minutes)--and Cordingly and the host discuss not only Cochrane's naval career, but his importance to maritime and romantic literature: his life was an inspiration not only for Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey/Maturin novels, but for Forester's Horatio Hornblower. In his time, he embodied the romantic hero and his influence was felt far and wide--he even drew praise from that quintessential romantic poet, Lord Byron.

Cochrane: The Real Master and Commander

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Editoral rant on the use of superlatives

The documents, objects, artifacts, photographs, etc. related to maritime history are stored in a variety of respected institutions throughout the United States and the World. There are many top level maritime museums, and world renown non-maritime institutions that hold vast, important, extremely significant works and collections of works relating to man's involvement with the sea.

The use of the phrases "best research resource of its kind in the western hemisphere", and "largest maritime collection" aside from making unverifiable claims, does a disservice to the researcher, the maritime museum community, and academic libraries and institutions throughout the world whose mission it is to preserve and make these resources available, not to claim bragging rights.

Editorial note on editorial rant: I realize this applies not just to the previously mentioned institution, and that members of my own have also, and often made this same type of misleading statement...and I object to it in all cases.

The Story from Mariners

Here's the post on the Mariners Museum Website about the move:

Look like it will not be happening until summer plan your research accordingly.

Library on the move.

Mariners Museum announced yesterday that they will move the "maritime history library to the new $30 million Paul S. Trible Library at neighboring Christopher Newport University. The relocation will not only provide the museum with a long-sought, state-of-the-art archival and research space, but also give CNU its first important scholarly library collection."

If anyone has details on when and how this will effect researchers, and exactly what collections are moving please post. Other than that I'll get in touch with someone down there and get more details.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007


One of my favorite e-book sites, Project Gutenberg, just released the 1919 edition of Babcock & Wilcox's classic title: Steam : its Generation and Use. This title is still in print and no stranger to electronic publication; the 41st edition was just released with the complete text on an accompanying CD. The longest continuously published engineering text of its kind, the editors at Project Gutenberg have done a wonderful job. Be sure to see the "Readme" file from the book's main site for information on errors that they have corrected (while allowing for display of the original text), and don't miss the separate List of Illustrations.

Attentive readers might realize by now that this isn't Kelly writing--it's Heather! I'm a new contributor, and spend my days working in a maritime history library in an odd mix of high technology and old-world, traditional book repair. I hope to bring you news of maritime books--newly written as well as old books newly available--so be sure to send along your book news!

Pop Culture and the Pirate - Avast!

As a maritime blogger I would be remiss if I failed to mention that today, September 19th is national(or is it international) Talk Like a Pirate Day.

While I vaguely knew it was coming this morning's reminder actually came from a well known web standards blogger, Jeffery Zeldman who devotes today's entry to the 10 most inappropriate remarks to make on Talk Like a Pirate Day.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Great web resource

Archivist-historian David Mattison’s, Ten Thousand Year blog led me to the excellent resources at the Washington State Library. "The Washington State Library has a remarkable collection of digitized historical books, maps and newspapers through its Washington History site. You can search the newspapers, which date back to 1852, by keyword as they’ve been OCRed or you can locate a specific title. The browse interface is innovative in that you’re shown a popup window with a hyperlinked title of each item on a page. Much of the content deals with British Columbia, Canada. The newspaper images, at least from one of the titles I examined from 1866, are extremely clear, even at 300% magnification. In order to view the maps and newspapers you have to download and install, if you don’t already have it, the free LizardTech DJVu browser plugin."

I did a few searches and found some great info on late 18th century coastal trade.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Postition Announcement - Executive Director - Mystic Seaport

Mystic Seaport Museum, located in Mystic, Connecticut, currently is seeking to add a new Executive Director. Driven by the exciting goals of the transformation of the Mystic Seaport Museum, reporting to the President & CEO, who will be devoting an extensive amount of his time and energy to the Museum's on-going capital campaign, and working alongside the senior leadership and the Board of Trustees of the Museum, this newly created position will provide both the visionary leadership and extra expertise necessary to take Mystic Seaport to the next level. Mystic Seaport’s transformational plans are aimed at strengthening the institution’s capabilities as a cultural and educational asset.

The Executive Director will be primarily responsible for the Museum’s day to day operations as well as serve as a key participant in strategy formulation and execution. As the chief programming officer and the senior museum professional on staff, the Executive Director is responsible for all aspects of the visitor experience including: exhibiting, public, educational and school programs, community and cultural initiatives, distance learning, volunteers and special events, as well as curatorial, library, collections management and research, and all related support and ancillary operations including food and retail sales, and special events, along with the leadership and management of attendant staff in each area. Given the breadth and diversity of responsibilities and constituencies involved in this position, outstanding leadership skills, a passion for the sea and experience in museum management are essential. The Executive Director should be an excellent communicator who embraces and encourages a team environment and has the ability to interact effectively with donors. Founded in 1929, Mystic Seaport is the nation’s leading maritime museum, attracting more than 300,000 visitors annually. Mystic’s assets include four National Historic Landmark vessels, an operational preservation shipyard, an interactive 19th century seafaring village and the Nation’s most extensive (non-Naval) maritime library, and the Rosenfeld photographic collection. Mystic Seaport also offers visitors educational programs for all ages, ranging from summer day camp and sailing lessons to higher education programs, including the undergraduate level Maritime Studies Program in partnership with Williams College. It is not only an institution of great historical prestige but one that is also embarking on very exciting changes for the future to continue to best serve the community, locally and nationally. For additional information on Mystic Seaport, please visit their website at

Responses may be sent to Victoria Reese at Heidrick & Struggles in New York at or by fax, 212-370-9035. Closing date for application is November 15th

Fellowship for the Study of the Public History of Slavery

Providence, RI - September 17, 2007 - The John Nicholas Brown Center announces a new fellowship for students seeking an M.A. in public humanities who are interested in working in museums and other cultural institutions on issues related to the history and legacy of slavery.
Fellowship recipients will be selected based on relevant experience in museums and cultural institutions, academic coursework on related topics, and an essay that outlines their experience and interest in this area of work. Successful applicants will receive a fellowship that covers tuition, stipend, and fees for the two years it takes to complete the M.A. in public humanities at Brown. Through a partnership with the National Museum of African-American History and Culture, the Center will coordinate paid internships for public humanities students. The fellowship especially seeks to prepare future professionals who can lead museums and cultural institutions to address controversial issues and initiate public discussions about slavery, retrospective justice, and the impact of the past on American culture.

The Center's fellowship program connects to Brown University's ongoing examination of the University's historic ties to the slave trade. This initiative began in 2003 with the appointment of the Steering Committee on Slavery and Justice, charged with studying the impact of the slave trade on the University and recommending institutional responses to the continuing legacy of slavery at Brown and in American society. Following the Committee's recommendations, Brown University has supported efforts to preserve and memorialize the history of slavery and advance the discussion of retrospective justice within museums, libraries, and historic sites.

About the M.A. in Public Humanities
at Brown University

The public humanities program at Brown University combines courses in humanities disciplines with hands-on learning. Students develop expertise in history, literature, archaeology, anthropology, media and performance, public policy, or art history; knowledge of the history, theory, and methods of the public humanities; and the practical skills to handle museum artifacts, create exhibits or Web sites, conduct oral histories, undertake historic preservation projects, and manage cultural programs. By combining the ideas and traditions of diverse communities with the methods and approaches of humanities scholars, students in the M.A. program broaden the ways that Americans understand their cultural heritage.

Students complete two years of courses, including three required classes and nine elective courses. In addition, students undertake two practicums, gaining professional experience by working in cultural institutions. In past years, students have completed practicums at museums (including the Smithsonian, Baseball Hall of Fame, and International Folk Art Museum), local historical societies, the National Park Service, and Providence's New Urban Arts program. Partial fellowships are available to most students in the program, in addition to financial support to attend workshops and conferences and for some student practicums.

The John Nicholas Brown Center supports the Department of American Civilization's M.A. in public humanities with a variety of programs, lectures, and workshops. In the Carriage House Gallery, students experiment with a variety of exhibit styles and techniques. Center staff and students work with cultural organizations and museums across the U.S. to enhance and expand their programs. Internationally, the Center is developing a partnership with the cultural heritage and management programs at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

For more information

M.A. program
Steering Committee on Slavery and Justice

For more information about the public humanities program, see jnbc. Applications for admission to the M.A. in public humanities are due by January 1, 2008. Application forms are available at:

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Close to Home

This morning's The Day newspaper reports on the arrest of a former director of facilities at Mystic Seaport for ordering more than $45,000 worth of copper wire for the museum, then selling much of it to scrap yards in New London and Essex and keeping the money.

Cindy Snarski, worked at the Museum for 2 years prior to being let go in June.

Editorial note: We're not thrilled about this development at Mystic Seaport, and I certainly didn't want to post this, but in all fairness felt that I was obligated to.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Job Posting: Director of Education & Interpretation

The USS Constitution Museum seeks an experienced, energetic professional to lead the Museum’s Education & Interpretation department at an exciting time. The Museum received IMLS’ National Award for Museum Service for its innovative national educational outreach program, and is completing an IMLS National Leadership Grant focused on family learning. The Museum is AAM-accredited and welcomes nearly 300,000 visitors/year. The position includes overseeing gallery interpretation, group visits, educational outreach, public programming, museum volunteers and teacher training. Join the senior management team, participating in NEH-funded exhibit development and strategic planning. The successful candidate will be familiar with current educational standards and object-based learning, with a proven track record of project management from idea to reality.
AAM Job Posting

NOTES: The Museum offers a competitive salary and a full benefits package. EOE.

Another high tech craft

Roz Savage, past rower of the Atlantic, is now preparing for her third attempt of the Pacific. Fans can follow her adventure at

The San Jose Mercury reports on her recent capsizing.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Saturday, September 08, 2007

New Acquistion Anyone?

New York City saw a new kind of watercraft yesterday. Touted as a Wave Adaptive Modular Vessel, "Proteaus" is designed for everything from military uses to biological studies, ocean exploration and sea rescue.

The spindly catamaran is so efficient that it can travel 5,000 miles — farther than across the Atlantic — on one load of diesel fuel. No idea on how fast it can go, or how much storage space is required to archive it!

Full story

Friday, September 07, 2007

Position Announcement: Nimitz Library

Date Opens: September 4, 2007

Date Closes: October 2, 2007

Location: Nimitz Library, United States Naval Academy, Annapolis, MD

About Us: Would you enjoy working at an institution of higher education? Are you interested in contributing to our nations' future leaders. Then the United States Naval Academy may be for you. We are seeking high-energy, learning-oriented contributors to become members of the United States Naval Academy professional team.

About the Job: This position is located in the Special Collections and Archives, Nimitz Library, Academic Dean and Provost, United States Naval Academy (USNA), Annapolis, MD. The incumbent of this position engages in records appraisal and implements retention schedule for the Archives, ensuring that all non-current permanently valuable Academy records are turned over to Special Collections & Archives; processes archival records and creates print and on-line descriptive aids for them; processes manuscript collections, creates print and on-line descriptive aids for them, and provides bibliographic access as needed; provides general and specialized reference service, instruction, and orientation as needed for all materials in Special Collections & Archives, including rare books, photographs, and manuscripts, as well as archival documents, to midshipmen, faculty, staff, and other researchers using Special Collections & Archives materials; maintains contacts with the National Archives and Records Administration and keeps the Head of SC&A/Archivist informed of all pertinent matters relating to the USNA Archives’ status as an affiliated archive; and assists in the preparation of the annual Command History of the Naval Academy.


Making the AP Rounds - Bush Goes Naval

US President George W Bush has taken time out from meetings with other political leaders to visit Sydney's National Maritime Museum.

Following a meeting at his hotel with Labor leader Kevin Rudd, Mr Bush and his motorcade crossed the city to Darling Harbour, where the museum has a USA Gallery.

Among exhibits in the gallery is a bell from the US navy ship USS Canberra. The bell as presented to Australia by Mr Bush in 2001 to mark the 50th anniversary of the ANZUS treaty.

Hmmm, wouldn't it be nice if he visited a US Maritime Museum?

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Grant ++

The History Channel on Wednesday awarded the Wisconsin Maritime Museum a $9,034 "Save Our History" grant to partner with Manitowoc Lincoln High School and Kewaskum High School for a World War II oral history project.

"History Calls: Individuals Answer—Connecting Wisconsin Teens with the Greatest Generation" will help students learn about local World War II history by interviewing those who lived it — the submariners, shipyard workers, and family members who served on, built, or supported the 28 Manitowoc-built submarines.

The project will involve staff from the Wisconsin Maritime Museum and Digital Design Services in Green Bay with students and teachers from the two high schools.

Full Story

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Input Requested

As a few of you have mentioned, I've not been posting as much lately. Maritime activities have been slow and I've been bringing myself back up to speed on web development technologies - but for a maritime reason. A few months ago Mystic Seaport announced that we would be leading the development of a National Maritime Digital Library and thats where my spare energies are going.

The main part that we are focusing on right now is developing a maritime search engine using the Google Custom Search Interface. This will help maritime researchers, people working in subjects that might not naturally come to the top a web-wide search, to more easily find the information they need.

To that end we're requesting that any and all interested parties:
  1. Try out the search and make comments on the results
  2. Add the urls for maritime sites to the growing online list. (The "Add a new Web Resource" link is in the upper left hand corner.)- The results off your added link should show up immediately, please let me know if they don't.