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

Monday, March 31, 2008

Chronicling America

The Library of Congress (as part of the National Digital Newspaper Program) and the National Endowment for the Humanities recently added More than 79,000 newly digitized newspaper pages to their site, Chronicling America. If you're wondering what's there, follow the See All Available Newspapers link on the left for a chart of the available papers, with earliest and latest dates, sorted by state. (The chart is also available in a quick-loading text file.) From here, you can click on the little chart symbol in the left-hand column, which will take you to calendar pages from which you can browse particular issues. This is a great way to browse an individual paper by date, page by page, if you have the time and a high-speed internet connection; I started with the S.F. Call for Jan. 1, 1900, and came across news of foreign navies, "Battle in a Chinese Junk," and "New Ships Built During the Year."

For maritime information for a particular city, you can also select the View Newspaper Pages link on the home page. This takes you to a page where you can select particular city pages from a state-by-state sorted list, where you can search and easily choose date range limitations. When your search results are displayed, you can sort them by date (which genealogical researchers might find helpful). I searched for the term shipping just to have some fun, and retrieved pages from UC Riverside that were absolutely delightful--the comics! "The Adventures of Handsome Hawtrey and Faithful Fritz"--my search on shipping hit on the word ship in the captions.

The navigation is easy; links at the top of the frame allow you to zoom, move the page, view text only or pdf, download the page, or move from that page to other pages in that paper or through your search results. You can even select a link to display the page in basic HTML, if your browser is having difficulty displaying the default advanced HTML page.

Monday, March 24, 2008

1 Down, 2 Up and then some

One of Maritime Compass's fans recently alerted me to the comings and goings of West Coast Maritime Museums.

For those of us who have been following the trials and tribulations of Seattle's maritime museum, it appears that all has ended sadly. The Odyssey Maritime Museum is set to close.

Meanwhile across the Sound in Bremerton, the Puget Sound Navy Museum held a ribbon-cutting ceremony to officially open the doors of the museum after being moved to its new location on the Bremerton waterfront Aug. 24.

While further North, the City of North Vancouver welcomes the provincial government's announcement of its official support of plans to establish a National Maritime Centre for the Pacific and the Arctic on the City's historic waterfront.

Back down south the Tahoe Maritime Museum’s staff is already preparing for the renovated museum’s grand opening celebrations this coming May.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Conference - Pacific Passages: Connecting East, West, and Center in the Pacific Basin

Histories of the Pacific, histories in the Pacific, histories around the Pacific-the proliferation and increasing prominence of Pacific history
offers various ways to conceptualize its geographies and understand its peoples. This conference examines different approaches to Pacific
histories and cultural encounters throughout the Basin and also considers oceanic frameworks as a historical methodology.

Friday, April 4, 2008

8:30 Registration & Coffee

9:30 Welcome Robert C. Ritchie (The Huntington)

Remarks David Igler (University of California, Irvine)

Session 1 Oceans Connect: The Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans as Historical Frameworks

Moderator: Carole Shammas (University of Southern California)

Alison Games (Georgetown University)
"Transoceanic Connections in the Seventeenth Century"

Rainer Buschmann (California State University, Channel Islands)
"Caught between Fluidity and Insularity: Pacific Identities in the Eighteenth, Nineteenth, and Twentieth Centuries"

Sugata Bose (Harvard University)
"Turbulent Passages from the Indian Ocean across the Pacific: Negotiating the Cross-Currents between Oceanic and Global Histories"

12:30 Lunch
1:30 Session 2 The Local and Global: Indigenous Communities and Outsiders

Moderator: Nigel Rigby (National Maritime Museum)

David Howell (Princeton University)
"Homeland Security: Preparing for Foreign Invasion in Late Tokugawa Japan"

David Igler
"Captive Taking and Other Conventions of Contact on the Northwest Coast"

Bronwen Douglas (Australian National University)
"Race and Encounters in Oceania: Science, Agency, and the Vacillations of a Nineteenth-Century Naturalist"

Saturday, April 5, 2008

9:00 Registration & Coffee

9:30 Session 3 Race, Migrations, and Rights around the Pacific

Moderator: Adria Imada (University of California, San Diego)

Andrea Geiger (Simon Fraser University)
"Cross-Pacific Debates about the Contours of Race and Class: Meiji-Era Japanese Immigrant Challenges to North American Categories of Exclusion"

Manuhuia Barcham (Massey University)
"Empire and Indigenous Sovereignty: Arguments over the Treaty Option"

David A. Chappell (University of Hawaii, Manoa)
"A 'Headless' Native Talks Back: Nidoish Naisseline and the Kanak Awakening in New Caledonia"

12:30 Lunch
1:30 Session 4 Borders, Empires, and Security

Moderator: Margarette Lincoln (National Maritime Museum)

Arturo Giraldez (University of the Pacific)
"The Military Revolution in Asia: The Case of the Philippines in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries"

Adam McKeown (Columbia University)
"The Pacific from Basin to Border, 1850-1930"

Ryan Jones (Columbia University)
"The Pacific: Russia's First Globalizing Experience"

This conference is funded by The John Haskell Kemble Endowment

Pacific Passages:
Connecting East, West, and Center in the Pacific Basin

Name(s): _____________________________________________________

Address: _____________________________________________________

Email/Phone: _____________________________________________________

Affiliation: _____________________________________________________

Conference registration and meals by reservation only. No confirmation
be sent.

Conference registration fee 25.00
(Graduate students free)

Buffet lunch (April 4) 16.50

Buffet lunch (April 5) 16.50

Vegetarian (circle one) Yes No

Total ______

Please return form and check payable to "The Huntington"
by March 28, 2008.
Mail to Susi Krasnoo, The Huntington, 1151 Oxford Road, San Marino CA

Friday, March 14, 2008

Sept. 12, 2008, deadline for submissions

The deadline for submissions for the Sixth Karl Kortum Award for Maritime History has been announced: Sept. 12, 2008. The $1000.00 award is given biennially by the Library Friends, and to be eligible, research which is unpublished at the time of submission must draw on the oral history collections of SF Maritime NHP. (Truth in advertising: that's my employer.)

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

New guide to imaging equipment

Trudy Levy, consultant and imaging coordinator for California's Califa Library Project, has written a new guide to imaging equipment to help libraries in planning digitizing projects. The guide covers flatbed scanners, film scanners, and digital cameras, and doesn't just recommend, but includes the reasons behind the recommendations--making interesting reading for anyone considering such purchases. It's also short and sweet; rather than comprehensive reviews of everything available, it tells you what's the best and why.

Monday, March 10, 2008

What's your official state book?

Usually I just link to the cool posts at 'Sea-Fever', 's excellent maritime blog but today his post is so relevant to the interests of Compass folks that I have to add a little teaser to make sure readers follow the whole story.

"At the same time that marine scientists sighted a white killer whale off the Aleutian Islands of Alaska last week, a group of fifth graders were testifying to members of the Massachusetts legislature about a bill up for consideration that would make Moby-Dick: or,The Whale by Herman Melville the official book of the states of Massachusetts."

How cool is that! Heck I didn't even know states had official books so while I'm off to find out Connecticut's, you can read the post.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Finding Odysseus' Home

The question of where in the modern world Odysseus' Ithaca lies calls to us as strongly as ancient Ithaca called to that wandering hero, but we've never been certain of its location. Now we have more evidence to consider: an ancient tomb has been found on the island of Lefkada. Mycenaean era tombs are very rare in the western Ionian Sea islands, and until now were unknown on Lefkada. This discovery could revive debate over the location of ancient Ithaca: is it modern Ithaki, Lefkada, neighboring Kefallonia, or elsewhere?

If this discovery inspires you to pick up a copy of The Odyssey, my favorite English translation is Richmond Lattimore's.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Land navigation

If you can't make it to Mystic's Celestial Navigation Weekend, you can still celebrate the science of knowing where you are. Knowing your latitude and longitude is the first step to learning how to determine your local time, and March, the time of the spring equinox, is a great time to do it. As the world wakes from winter, tracking the sun's movement north towards the summer solstice is as important to gardeners wondering where the best patch of sun will be in the yard as it was to mariners surrounded by the sea.

Sundials on the internet lists sundial vendors and how to set them up, but more fun are their six sundial projects for you to make. They also have a good explanation of the difference between local time and standard time, tools for determining your latitude and longitude, and instructions for determining true north.

And don't stop with sunset; the night sky is one of our oldest navigation tools. The National Maritime Museum at Greenwich posts a wonderfully readable monthly article about what to look for in the night sky, with links to printing sky maps. More observatories can be found via the Librarian's Index to the Internet: choose the category, "Science," then "Astronomy," then "Observatories."

Saturday, March 01, 2008

CFP: Celestial Navigation Weekend

Through March 31, 2008, The Planetarium at Mystic Seaport in conjunction with the "NavList" are accepting proposals for presentations to be made during the three-day event. Appropriate topics include: traditional navigation techniques including Sumner Lines, lunar distance observations, Noon Sun sights, etc.; unique personal experiences in celestial navigation, for example, emergency navigation; anything related to the fiftieth anniversary of the modern Nautical Almanac; other aspects of traditional position finding. Please note: elementary navigation lessons, topics focused on the period before the year 1750, and modern electronic navigation tools like GPS are specifically excluded. Drop us an email through the web site listed below, and we will happily consider your topic for our program. Talks or presentations should range from 15 minutes to one hour in length. A standard digital projector will be available. Some of the topics of presentations from the "Navigation Weekend" two years ago are listed here: