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

Friday, November 30, 2007

Lovely as hope

"And o’er them the lighthouse looked lovely as hope,—
That star of life’s tremulous ocean."
--Paul Moon James

Tomorrow it will be December. Here it's cold. (OK, we think it's cold--it's a "San Francisco" kind of know, when we Bay Area folks are wearing wool and thick gloves, but the tourists from places who have "real" winters are in shorts!) It's a time when we're hoping for rain--for storms that will soak and drench our parched hills--for weather made for lighthouses.

Does the weather also whisper "lighthouses" in your ear? The National Park Service's Maritime Heritage Program has posted a Lighthouse Reading List. There's history, guidebooks, east coast & west coast. It is very U.S.-centric, but does have a citation to the Gulf of Mexico (which is a frequently overlooked U.S. coast.)

Want to get more technical? Texts relating to history, preservation, and conservation are also available on the Maritime Heritage site's Lighthouse Heritage section.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Position: Manuscripts Cataloging Associate

Mystic Seaport Museum Inc. is looking for a Manuscripts Cataloging Associate. This is an entry-level, two year, grant funded position for 35 hours/week.

The Manuscripts Cataloging Associate will be part of the Collections Cataloging Team and have the day-to-day responsibility for arranging the items in the Manuscript Collection as well as the production of the descriptive registers and records. He or she will also inventory gifts to the Collection and assist in their registration.

Qualifications include Current knowledge of applicable Library Metadata formats and schema, especially MARC and EAD, either through enrollment in MLS program or 2 years equivalent experience, as well as knowledge of applicable Library and Museum metadata standards and practices related to metadata creation and authority control, including AACR2 (RDA), DACS, TEI and LCSH.

An Application can be downloaded from the Human Resources Department
Questions about the position should be directed to:

Kelly S. Drake
Associate Director of Collections Access
Manuscripts, Ships Plans and Archives Librarian
Collections and Research Department

Mystic Seaport
The Museum of America and the Sea
75 Greenmanville Ave PO Box 6000
Mystic, Connecticut 06355

(860) 572-0711 x5065

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

CFP: 2008 NASOH-CAMM Conference

“Defining the Maritime Edge: The History and Archaeology of Inland Environments, Coastal Encounters and Blue Water Connections,” the 27th Annual Conference of the North American Society for Oceanic History (NASOH) co-sponsored by the Council of American Maritime Museums, will be hosted by the University of West Florida in Pensacola, Florida, May 7-11, 2008. The Conference Program Committee invites proposals for papers and sessions exploring all aspects of history and archaeology related to saltwater or navigable freshwater environments. Suggested areas of research include, but are not restricted to, archeology and anthropology, arts and sciences, history, or museum exhibitions. Proposals that identify the unique characteristics and influence of coastal and inland waters and explore their interfaces with the larger Continental or Oceanic Worlds are especially encouraged.

The Program Committee welcomes the submission of individual papers and full sessions, preferring panels with three papers and a chair. Proposals should include a brief abstract for each paper or a one-page abstract for panels and brief C.V.s for each participant, including chairs. Graduate students are strongly encouraged to submit proposals for presentations. Accommodations for PowerPoint presentations will be provided; however, any other requirements, including audio-visual equipment, special outlets, or accommodations for disabilities should be included in the proposal. Scholars interested in chairing sessions are welcome to send a brief C.V. to the Program Committee Co-chairs.

Please note that all participants must register for the conference. Specific questions may be directed to Program Committee Co-Chair, Bill Thiesen at The deadline for submissions is January 31, 2008.

Call for Papers

Position: Boatswain's Mate USS Constellation Museum

The USS Constellation Museum, located in Baltimore, Maryland, is pleased to offer, to qualified candidates, the opportunity to apply for a position on the Ship's Crew with a rating of Boatswain's Mate. An intermediate position of seniority within Constellation's Ship's Crew, the Boatswain's Mate reports directly to the Museum Interpretation Coordinator and works with other crew members and the general public who visit the USS Constellation Museum. Being an effective co-worker, possessing a positive work ethic, and employing superior communication skills are traits essential for this position.
A Boatswain's mate assists with and supervises the completion of daily clean-up and preventive maintenance in the museum and on board the ship; assisting with and supervises special events, day programs, and overnight activities; learns and provides public presentations, tours, day programs, and overnight activities. A Boatswain's mate works closely with Ship's Crew members to develop their ability to learn and deliver presentations and to become more effective museum employees. A Boatswain's mate maintains and, while on duty, wears a Civil War era naval enlisted uniform.
Applicants must be at least 21 years of age, have graduated from an accredited high school or received a GED equivalent, have completed at least one full year of college, and be available up to 40 hours per week.
Job Description: The USS Constellation Museum is the steward of USS Constellation, the only surviving Civil War era naval vessel and the last sailing warship built by the United States Navy. (abridged).
The Boatswain's Mate position is a challenging position and an intermediate-level position in the museum's interpretive staff, Ship's Crew. Duties include, but are not limited to, providing frequent public presentations in a variety of programs aboard ship about subjects associated with USS Constellation and her century of service; representing the Museum, both on board and off-site as a docent and spokesperson for museum interpretive and education programs; and as directed, overseeing certain aspects relative to Ship's Crew, including its conduct, performance, appearance, and welfare during normal hours of operation, special and catered events. Among these oversights are ensuring high standards of staff conduct and proficiency, complying with and occasionally writing the daily plans, and cleaning and securing the ship and museum building. Overall, premiums are placed on the Boatswain's Mate's verbal and written communication skills, leadership ability, cooperative spirit, and can-do attitude.
Direct responsibilities include, but may not be limited to:
· Carrying out all Museum policies and the directives of the Director of Museum Interpretation and Education, the Interpretation Coordinator, the Education Coordinator, and the crew supervisors
· Learning and providing presentations and tours associated with interpretive, education, and overnight programs
· Learning and implementing the Museum programs by developing a thorough knowledge of USS Constellation and associated information to include:
~ Developing and maintaining a working familiarization of related nautical and naval historical subjects
~ Mastering all presentations and tours
~ Maintaining and wearing while on duty a Civil War era sailor's uniform
~ Answering visitor questions and the questions of junior interpretive staff
· Assisting with and sometimes supervising the opening and closing routines and catered and special event crews
Coordinated Responsibilities include, but may not be limited to:
· Working with the Director of Special Events before, during, and after catered and special events to ensure that the needs of the client and museum are met
· Working with and sometimes supervising staff and programs in both the interpretive and education departments
· Working with and supervising Crew Members who work with the Ship's Manager as directed
· Working with the Education Coordinator in preparing for, conducting, and post-event activities relative to shipboard day programs, off-site programs, and overnight programs
General Responsibilities include, but may not be limited to:
Practicing safe and efficient work habits realizing that you are a role model for ship's staff, apprentices, interns, volunteers, and the visiting public
Being an effective leader who promotes and reflects a positive work ethic and good morale among ship's staff, apprentices, interns, and volunteers
Being an effective spokesperson for the USS Constellation Museum, the National Historic Seaport of Baltimore, and the Living classrooms Foundation
Such other duties as assigned by the Director of Museum Interpretation and Education or the Interpretation Coordinator
Salary: $10 an hour with 10% raise after 6 months
Benefits: Worker's Compensation
Full medical after six months
Please send resume and cover letter to:
Director of Museum Interpretation and Education
The USS Constellation Museum
Pier 1, 301 East Pratt Street
Baltimore, Maryland 21202-3134
Alternately, you may e-mail your information to: and put Boatswain's Mate Search in the subject line. Complete job description and salary/benefit information available upon request. The USS Constellation Museum is an equal opportunity employer.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Good News For Independence Seaport

The AP wire is carrying a story on their recent acquisition of a cheval-de-frise, an iron-tipped log once embedded in the Delaware River, to gore the hulls of British warships menacing Philadelphia in the mid-1770s.

New Fellowship to be Established

According to Boston Business Journal, the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Mass., announced Monday it has received a $100,000 gift, which will establish the "The Frances E. Malamy Research Fellowship of the Peabody Essex Museum's Phillips Library" -- supporting independent scholarly research using the library's archives and manuscript collection.

More information on PEM fellowships is available at:

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

From span to the South Seas

I have to confess I love dictionaries, and look forward to receiving my Oxford English Dictionary's word of the day. When the word "span" showed up with the earliest quotation from Falconer's Dictionary of the Marine, I wondered if I could find an online edition--not only did I find William Falconer's Dictionary of the Marine, but the address in my browser caught my eye: "" "Southseas?"

The South Seas : Voyaging and Cross-Cultural Encounters in the Pacific (1760-1800) site is fantastic. From the The National Library of Australia and The Australian National University Centre for Cross-Cultural Research, this is only the first phase, yet it's breadth of resources is staggering:

  • Voyaging Accounts
  • Voyaging Maps
  • South Seas Companion
  • Cultural Atlas
  • Indigenous Histories
  • European Reactions
  • Reference Works
  • Research

It's under "Reference Works" that you'll find Falconer. Think you know what 'span' means? Check out how language changes--and doesn't change--over time. And there's a wealth of fun words (like snotter) and beautiful words like sweeper of the sky.

But the generosity of the NLA doesn't end there--they have also posted the plates from the copy of Falconer belonging to the carpenter on H.M.S. Discovery.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

The Floggings Will Continue Until Moral Improves

There is no word more inherently maritime than Flogging. Just that word alone immediately brings to mind the image of a grand sailing vessel far out at sea with a sailor stripped to the waist and tied to the mast. Yes, its not PC. But honestly, there is a human fascination with this unique form of discipline. There is a story that I almost always tell to visiting groups that is met with great interest by both fifth graders and elderhostelers alike. When I first started working in the Manuscript Collection at Mystic Seaport (after arranging the Seawanhaka Yacht Club papers), one of my jobs was to read, index and catalog the logbooks. The first log was that of the Vesper, a whaler sailing from New London to the Pacific. For a few months of the entries recorded little more that lat, long, wind direction, sails set, sails lowered, etc. And then there was a flogging. I ran breathlessly around the Library telling everyone and anyone who would listen that here recorded in this weathered, very real volume was a real flogging. I was rather incredulous when they did not seem to share my enthusiasm, and soon returned to reading. In addition to two more floggings, an abduction of native women, a mutiny, and a knifing, there were lots of other interesting things that happened on the Vesper, and I came to understand why my colleagues were not so impressed with the flogging. "Oh yeah, another flogging. You're at sea, floggings happen." And while we have become immune, they still continue to fascinate the neophyte.

Which brings me to this photo which I took last month in Colorado. Hey, if they can do daily hangings, why can't maritime museums have a scheduled daily flogging. Aside from the serious issue that this activity would exclude the women interpreters/actors, there really shouldn't be any other obstacles. Its not like we would have to spend any addition funds building a gallows with a fake trap door mechanism. We already have a whale ship with masts. We don't even have to invent the episodes. There are plenty of recorded instances museum staff would merely have to reconstruct. And think of the publicity it would generate, as well as the gate numbers!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Holding History in Your Hand

I pulled the following off H-Maritime. It looks like a really interesting 'kit'.
One of those ones you wish they had when you were in school.

The Museum of Underwater Archaeology  (MUA) is pleased to announce that
"Holding History in Your Hand" classroom learning kits are now ready for
shipping world wide. Due to the generous contributions of materials we
can now offer these kits to classrooms to keep for future use free of
charge. We do require nominal shipping costs.* The kits include modern
artifacts similar to those found on many historic shipwreck sites and
supporting documents such as a lesson plan and artifact analysis guides,
videos to supplement class discussion, book marks, word searches and
more. Instructions for adapting the kit to various age groups from 10
to 18 years are included. For further information please see our
updated brochure at:

The MUA staff has conducted the "Holding History in Your Hand" exercise
for hundreds of school children with great success. We look forward to
sharing this activity which teaches students how underwater
archaeologists learn about our past through material culture.

Best regards,

T Kurt Knoerl
The Museum of Underwater Archaeology

MUA kits designed for 35 students can be shipped inside the United
States for $5.00. International shipments cost $10. Payment can be
made by Paypal email invoice, check, or money order. Please contact us
by email for shipping costs for groups larger than 35 students at

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Offer Via Mariners's Museum

The Mariners’ Museum has been offered a few large runs of some popular, older maritime journals. As we already own copies, I have received permission from the potential donor to offer them to other maritime institutions. The only stipulations are that he does not want to break the collection up too much and the receiving institution will need to pay the shipping costs to acquire the items. Below is a list of the journals available. Please contact me, Jennifer Anielski, if you are interested in acquiring any of these journals. I can be reached via e-mail at

The Rudder

Complete years: 1896, 1897, 1898, 1933, 1934, 1935, 1936, 1937, 1938, 1939
1895 – Feb., Apr.-July, Sept.-Oct, Dec.
1907 – July, Oct., Dec.
1908 – Jan., Nov., Dec.
1909 – Feb.
1910 – Oct.
1911 – Sept.
1913 – Jan.
1915 – May
1916 – Apr., June-July, Oct., 20-Dec.
1921 – Jan., Feb. 23-Aug.
1924 – Mar., Nov.
1925 – Mar., fitting-out issue
1926 – 11 issues
1927 – 11 issues
1928 – 11 issues
1929 – 11 issues
1931 – Aug.
1932 – Aug., Sept.
1940 – All except Apr.
1941 – 11 issues
1942 – 11 issues
1943 – 11 issues
1944 – Jan.-July
1957 – Jan., show number
1969 – Apr.-Dec.
1970 – Jan.-May


Complete years: 1942, 1944-1946, 1956-1976
1915 – Apr., June 15-Oct.
1920 – Aug. (Resolute Keeps Cup)
1921 – Mar.
1922 – Mar.
1926 – July
1927 – Aug.
1929 – Jan., Feb. 30-Sept.
1931 – May
1932 – Mar.-May, Aug.
1937 – Apr., Sept., Nov-Dec. including America’s Cup issue
1943 – Mar.-Dec.
1947 – Jan.-July, Sept.-Dec.
1954 – Dec. only
1955 – Feb.-Apr., July-Dec.
1977 – Jan. Show Number only

Yachting Monthly

1928 – Apr.
1935 – Jan.-Feb., June
1936 – May, Aug.
1937 – July-Oct.

Oil spill resources

I've been off work for a few days. Back at work today, out of my window I see oil booms; on the bus I heard rumors. In my search for reliable information, I found some great articles out there on oil spills, and on the San Francisco Bay spill in general.

A good starting point is NOAA's Emergency Response Program Frequently Asked Questions about Oil and Chemical Spills. Parents and teachers, be sure to scroll to the bottom for science fair project ideas.

If you follow the link under "General questions," that will lead you to the excellent Incident News site which will lead to articles, reports and press releases, including those related to the M/V Cosco Busan incident.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Position: Director Baltimore Maritime Museum

The Living Classrooms Foundation is searching for a qualified individual to fill the position of Director of the Baltimore Maritime Museum.

The Baltimore Maritime Museum is the steward of USCG Cutter Taney, the USN Submarine Torsk, the Lightship Chesapeake, the Seven Foot Knoll Lighthouse, all located on Piers 3 and 5 in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, and their related histories and artifacts. The Director of the Baltimore Maritime Museum reports to the Living Classroom’s Director of the National Historic Seaport of Baltimore and is responsible for fulfilling the goals and objectives of the Living Classrooms Foundation and the National Historic Seaport of Baltimore as they relate to the Museum, its programs and operations. The Baltimore Maritime Museum is a tax-exempt, non-profit organization under the group exemption of the Living Classrooms Foundation.

The Baltimore Maritime Museum serves over 100,000 visitors and school children each year through its general admission experience and specialized educational programming.

The Director of the Baltimore Maritime Museum must have excellent communications, organizational and management skills, a knowledge of fundraising, marketing and merchandising, knowledge of historic ships, their
care and maintenance, a keen attention to detail, human resources experience, and the ability to oversee all aspects of the Museum’s operation including budgeting and finance, program development, staffing and staff
supervision, cash handling, collections care and security. The Director of the Baltimore Museum is the public face for the Museum and the spokesperson at events, meetings, and all other areas of public outreach. The Director also
recruits for and manages the Museum’s community advisory board and its subcommittees.

Qualified applicants must have a four year college degree and at least 5 years of related experience in a management and /or supervisory position. Salary range will be between $50,000 and $65,000 annually with final determination based on qualifications and experience. Salary package provides a range of benefits including medical, dental and a 403B retirement plan.
To apply please e-mail a resume’ a cover letter, and a sample of your writing skills, with at least 3 professional references to the following address:
Please place the title BMM Director Search in the subject line. No Phone Calls Please. Alternately, you may send materials by regular mail to:
BMM Director Search / Human Resources
Living Classrooms Foundation
802 S. Caroline St.
Baltimore, MD 21231
Application Deadline is 30 November 2007

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

USS San Francisco

A nice article has just been published on the USS San Francisco in a publication that might slip under the radar of maritime historians, the Argonaut (from the SF Museum and Historical Society). Written by Timothy G. Lynch, H-Net editor and professor at Cal Maritime Academy, The U.S.S. San Francisco : tale of a ship and the men who sailed her is 27 pages long with many illustrations, maps, and bibliographical references.

An article on "one of the most storied vessels in American naval history" will be sure to spark curiosity--the vessel participated in engagements at Pearl Harbor and Guadalcanal--but many pages are also devoted to the building, design, and daily life of the crew during war and peace, making this article intriguing to anyone with a devoted or budding interest in 20th century warships.

(Above image is no.80-G-40093, Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.)

Friday, November 02, 2007


Maritime Center/Nauticus, One Waterside Drive, Norfolk VA 23510. Work hours are 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM, Monday through Friday; may include holiday, weekend and evening hours. City of Norfolk employee.

Description This position is responsible for the general, day-to-day operation of the Education Department; supervision of its personnel (museum educators, presenters and docents) as well as contracted part-time staff; overall program direction; and management of all education activities (setting goals and objectives, curriculum-connections, special educational needs, and public programs) within identified time and budgetary parameters. A clear understanding of the desired “educational experience” as it relates to Nauticus’ mission is essential.

Essential Functions • Educational Program Management. • Coordinates the design, development and production of new education programs (both informal and classroom-based); • Stays current on new and emerging education models, state and national standards, trends, interpretive techniques and teaching/curriculum materials and makes recommendations and/or decisions appropriate to individual education programs. • Participates in the preparation of education-related grant proposals and related fund-raising campaigns. • Assigns section personnel to specific education responsibilities; reviews and coordinates all aspects of education planning, design and program development. • Coordinates educational events for teacher meetings, scout activities and special groups by communicating with school administrators to develop and present district-wide programs, and promoting activities to seek new audiences for Nauticus’ programs. • Prepares the section's annual budget and operating plan; regulates daily work schedules. Meets with senior staff and Nauticus administrators regarding the goals and objectives of the Education Programs Section. • Supervises personnel.

Full listing

What to read next?

I stumbled upon the UC Berkeley Summer Reading Lists, and they contain some real gems. Especially worth checking out is the 2005 list, "Great discoveries, voyages, and adventures, which contains novels and nonfiction, classics and contemporary books. The other lists are peppered with maritime books as well, and the short reviews are well written and engaging--perhaps because the writers are trying to interest you in reading the book more than in buying the book! These lists are sent to freshmen every summer, suggested & described by various people on campus, including faculty, librarians, and even students.

If you're looking for a smaller list, or more general books, don't miss H-Maritime's resources list, which consists of just five books, two of which are reference books. This site, though, will also point you to other resources, that will definitely lengthen your personal reading list--organizations, journals, programs--and some great online resources.