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

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Darwin's private papers and more

Cambridge University Library, which holds all the Darwin papers, has announced the largest release in history--some 20,000 items and 90,000 images, including the first draft of Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species. For details, see the What's New section of Charles Darwin online.

Many items are available in a variety of formats--text versions which load quickly and may be searched, and many with additional page images. They've even just released an audio book of Darwin's Beagle Diary, with a link to a text version if you wish to read along.

The site is also rich in materials about Darwin, including information on the Census of the Extant Copies of the 1st Edition of Darwin’s On the Origin of Species with instructions on participation. And coming in 2009 is the 150th anniversary of the publication of On the Origin of Species (November 24, 1859) and the 200th anniversary of Darwin's birth (February 12, 1809)--will you be celebrating Darwin 2009?

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Happy Poem in Your Pocket Day

Today is the first national Poem in Your Pocket Day! Part of National Poetry Month, Poem in Your Pocket Day has been celebrated every April in New York City, and this year has gone national--will you help make it international?

Celebrating is simple: pick a poem, carry it around, read it and share it. If you need a poem, there's a wealth of poetry, including poems about the sea, at the Academy of American Poets website (the sponsors of National Poetry Month), even a selection of poems in .pdf specially formatted for folding up and carrying in your pocket including one that tells us, "Science, ships, politics, cities, factories, are not nothing..."

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Mystic Seaport Leader Announces Retirement

Museum Set to Begin Nationwide Search
Mystic Seaport President and Director Douglas H. Teeson announced Monday to the Museum’s staff, volunteers and trustees his plans to retire in the coming year.

Teeson, who has led the nation’s premier maritime museum for the past seven years, will continue in his current role until a successor is chosen. A nationwide search for the Museum’s next CEO will begin soon. Once a successor is in place, Teeson plans to continue serving the Museum in an emeritus role, focused on fundraising.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Boat Design Quarterly

It's back! Issue no. 31 (Feb. 2008) of Boat Design Quarterly is out. The last issue came out about a year ago, but the editor states in the latest issue that subscribers will receive the full four issues for each subscription, that they will publish on a more reliable schedule, and that back issues are still available.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Not of National Significance

The latest issue of California History magazine from the California Historical Society contains a heartbreaking article, "Not of National Significance: Failed National Park Proposals in California" by Lary M. Dilsaver, professor of Historical Geography at the University of South Alabama. The article discusses many natural maritime resources, such as Point Conception, as well as cultural maritime resources including the Angel Island Immigration Station and the USS Potomac.

Why read the article? Because many of the proposals are still active.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

The lighter side of preservation

Being the first of the month, this is the day when many conservators and preservation staff, including myself, perform the necessary yet often tedious task of checking the hygrothermographs, delicately changing the paper in them, doing the light meter readings, compiling all this data on our collections facility's environmental condition, etc. So I sent out the following email:
...the Library Friends installed new, automated hygros that download their data through a wireless connection, and a volunteer is doing the compilation and reporting! Cool, huh!

It worked; at least one person (the day is young) didn't notice that this message was sent on April Fool's Day.

How was your April Fool's? Although a solid component of many communities, information on practical jokes is hard to collect--necessarily fleeting by nature, the setups are temporary, and the victims often reluctant to share their experiences.

How about you? Ever observed April Fool's day aboard ship? Ever been around what the folklorists call the "initiation ritual?"

Update: A colleague tells me that at the air museum where she used to work, people were sent out for "prop wash." (Other people, of course!)