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

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Nautical paper plates of yesteryear

"Paper plate ad, couple at dock," from George Eastman House's Flickr photostream.

More information on the George Eastman House photography collection is available at their website.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Sea Eagles

They may be re-introduced to England, according to a recent article in ScienceDaily. The decision is still pending, but should be made in 2009.

Should the cry of the sea eagles be heard again over England's cliffs, the words of the poet of The Seafarer will come to life:
Storms there beat the stony cliffs,
where the tern spoke,
always the eagle cried at it,
no cheerful kinsmen
can comfort
the poor soul.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


The Library of Congress has posted a new Tracer Bullet (a "pathfinder," for all you librarians out there) on Archaeoastronomy. It's a fascinating discipline, involving history, archeology, anthropology, etc. From the Tracer Bullet:

Archaeoastronomy is the interdisciplinary study of prehistoric, ancient, and traditional astronomies within their cultural context. Its sources include both written and archaeological remains and it embraces calendrics, practical observation, sky lore, celestial myth, and more. Its true scope establishes it as an "anthropology of astronomy."

How does this relate to maritime history? Well, the only photo included is The Antikythera Mechanism, discovered on a sunken Greek ship.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Cruise Travel & Popular Science

When I heard that Google Book Search was adding magazines, I was very happy to find Thomas Gruber's list of titles. Of particular interest to the maritime world:

Searching is via the usual Google Books interface,, and when you retrieve a magazine article, the screen will often say things like, "Read this book." There is searching help available just for the magazines, which says:

Once you've found a magazine that interests you, you can browse other issues of that magazine from the "About this magazine" page. Click on the "About this magazine" link at the top left of the screen, and scroll down to the section marked "Browse all issues." You can then explore different issues of the magazine by clicking on a decade that interests you, and then scrolling through the individual issues from that time.

However I didn't find the "Browse all issues" displayed consistently--perhaps Google's not sure which "books" are "magazines."

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

The Naval History Society Collection, 1721-1995

Celia Hartmann, Project Archivist, Naval History Society Collection at the New-York Historical Society has sent along exciting news:

The New-York Historical Society has made available the finding aid for its newly processed Naval History Society Collection. You can find it at
where it is fully searchable.

The Collection consists of 53 individual collections, many named for renowned naval officers or vessels. These include correspondence, letterbooks, journals and diaries, lectures, essays, account books, biographical writings, genealogical information, scrapbooks, orders, notes, articles and clippings, photographs, manuscripts, and ships' logs, as well as the organizational records and correspondence of the Naval History Society itself.

The majority of the collections document American naval engagements and commercial maritime pursuits, personalities, and vessels; a few collections of British and French documents are included. The Collection as a whole provides primary sources on American naval involvement in hostilities from the American Revolution to the Spanish American War, as well as routine commercial and naval shipboard life, naval design, navigation, education and officer training. The Society's records document the founding, management, and activities of a collecting and publishing organization in the first third of the 20th century.

Processing of the Collection was made possible by the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation.

The finding aid is a thing of beauty; easy to navigate, each of the series is linked to the relevant container list. Related material is covered, and under "Access restrictions," it's noted that microfilms of portions of the collection are available via interlibrary loan! The access points are easily browsed, and also hyperlinked, covering names, subjects, and even document types.

The only item that seems missing in the finding aid is a link for further information, so researchers take note: Celia will be there to answer questions until the end of the month. After that, contact the reference staff at the New York Historical Society. (If their website is unavailable, try phoning 212-873-3400.)

ETA: The finding aid now has a link for further information: select List of Finding Aids to see more finding aids, a link to the institution's home, etc. (Feb. 25, 2009)

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Old magazine articles

Our friends at the Casco Bay Boaters Blog have sent along a fantastic link to the There is a lot there of maritime interest; the browse list on the home page includes links to Titanic articles and U.S. Navy uniform articles. You can also search by keywords, and the resulting list of articles includes long summaries that make it easy to select a pertinent resource. The articles I viewed were all Adobe Acrobat .pdf files, preserving the look of the original hardcopy, and many had links to relevant film clips.

The site is also good for popular coverage of related topics: business, arts, world affairs, etc. It's not a comprehensive collection, but a very nice selection.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Limelight on research for historical fiction

Julian Stockwin's article, Using the Internet in writing historical fiction has some great websites of interest to maritime authors and researchers. A feature of Limelight from Intute: Arts & Humanities, the article lists resources not only of use in maritime history research, but some leads for aspiring authors on such topics as how to submit a manuscript to a literary agent.

And if you haven't explored Intute: Arts & Humanities, set aside some time to head over there. It's amazingly well-organized and easy to use, and includes fascinating blog. (Don't miss the recent entry on Intute's hosting of the Port database.)