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

Thursday, May 29, 2008

The Changing World: Pirates

On the latest episode of the The Changing World from the BBC's World Service, Nick Rankin explores the myths and realities of pirates--their romantic images as well as piracy against the contemporary cargo ships that move ninety percent of the world's trade.

The show is entertaining as well as informative and comprehensive in its examination of piracy. Nick Rankin's interviews include David Cordingly and Professor Jeffrey Richards from Lancaster University discussing the facts and fictions of historical piracy before covering the threat of contemporary pirates off the coast of Somalia.

The show then goes further to examine intellectual theft: the piracy of today and tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Steamship Historical Society Announcement

Dear Friends,

President Bob Cleasby asked me to share this important, historic news with you today: everyone now can access close to 40,000 images right from our website homepage. Simply direct people to and click on the link leading to the Image Porthole. Non-members simply click "Guest" and "Enter" . We are still tweaking, adding features, and finalizing our special Members Only section of our website. Once these are complete over the next several hours and coming days all of our members will have direct access to important data, documents, and membership info. This is a milestone day for SSHSA-Gang Way!!!!!!!!



Matthew S. Schulte, Executive Director
The Steamship Historical Society of America
1029 Waterman Avenue
East Providence, Rhode Island 02914

(401) 274-0805

El Niño and Magellan

The news about anthropologists Scott M. Fitzpatrick and Richard Callaghan's upcoming paper on the possible influence of the El Niño phenomenon on Magellan's route has been covered in many sources, but the Discovery Channel's article is worth a read. Not only do they illustrate the article with a beautiful 16th century map, but go to the trouble to create links to some excellent sites, such as Fordham's article on the voyage in their Modern History SourceBook.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Australian maritime museum under attack

A Chermside man has been remanded in custody after allegedly climbing the mast of the HMAS Diamantina and threatening police at the Queensland Maritime Museum at South Bank last night.

Thomas Daniel Elborne, 28, appeared in Brisbane Magistrates Court this morning after an incident about 9pm last night.

A Police Media spokesman said police were called to the Queensland Maritime Museum after reports from security that a man had climbed a fence into the area.

It is alleged the man attempted to light fires and proceeded to climb the mast of a ship in the dry dock.

Elborne allegedly threatened police before coming down from the mast.

He was charged with three counts of serious assault and one count each of wilful damage, threatening violence, carrying dangerous goods on vehicle, trespassing and unregulated high-risk activities.

He was ordered to appear in court again on July 7.

The HMAS Diamantina is a River-class frigate that served in World War II. Built by Walkers of Maryborough, it was the vessel that accepted the surrender of Japanese forces at Nauru and Ocean islands in 1945.

After the war, it served as an oceanographic ship and discovered the deepest point in the Indian Ocean - now known as the Diamantina Trench.

It was consigned to the dry dock at South Bank in 1980, and is now a popular tourist attraction.

CFP: 12th North Atlantic Fisheries History Conference / Norfolk, VA /

North Atlantic Fisheries History Association (NAFHA)
Old Dominion University, Department of History

First Announcement

12th North Atlantic Fisheries History Conference
August 2009 in Norfolk, VA (USA)

The North Atlantic Fisheries History Association (NAFHA) and the Department
of History at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA invites you to
participate in the 12th North Atlantic Fisheries History Conference to be
held in August 2009 in Norfolk, VA (USA). This meeting is designed to
stimulate scholarly exchange between researchers at all levels (from
graduate students to senior scholars) and all disciplines which relate to
the long-term development of fishing activity and its impact on the marine

Proposals for papers and sessions relating to any aspect of the history of
the North Atlantic fisheries are welcome. However, contributions addressing
the special theme of the conference - Fisheries Management in a Historical
Perspective - are especially encouraged. Session proposals should include
an outline of the theme, a short description of the thematic scope and a
list of participants already contacted by the session organizer.

Although a general "Call for Papers" will be issued in late summer/early
autumn 2008, proposals submitted ahead of the call are encouraged.
Proposals, and requests for further information, should be submitted to

The North Atlantic Fisheries History Association (NAFHA)
is an international, interdisciplinary organization that aims to enhance
our knowledge and understanding of the historical development of the
fisheries conducted in the North Atlantic. NAFHA meets its aim by fostering
research activity, chiefly through the promotion of conferences that bring
together established and emerging scholars to examine socio-cultural,
economic, political and environmental aspects of commercial fishing
activity over the last millennium. The findings of these conferences,
together with monographs and reference works, are disseminated in the
Association's publication series, Studia Atlantica. For further
information, visit

The History Department at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA
is one of very few North-American university departments with a dedicated
focus on maritime history. Research at the department deals with a variety
of topics related to fisheries history of the Atlantic region and maritime
history around the world, and faculty members include renowned specialists
in this field. Members of the department participate in the intercollegiate
interdisciplinary Maritime Consortium at ODU that brings together scholars
from various disciplines including the humanities, sciences, social
sciences and professional schools who are dealing with maritime affairs.

Norfolk, VA is a major seaport of the USA located directly at the mouth of
the Chesapeake Bay. A rich local history of fisheries in the Chesapeake Bay
and the Atlantic Ocean characterizes the region as well as maritime
industries, marine related research institutions and government agencies
like NOAA and the USCG.

Looking forward to seeing you in Norfolk, VA in August 2009

Dr. Ingo Heidbrink
-NAFHA Presidency-
Associate Professor - Department of History
Old Dominion University - Norfolk, VA
e-mail: or

><°> <°>< <°>< <°>< <°><
<°>< <°>< <°><
Dr. Ingo Heidbrink
Associate Professor
Dept. of History
8046 Batten Arts and Letters Building
Old Dominion University
Norfolk, VA 23529
tel. 757-683-3656 or -3949
fax. 757-683-5644
Skype: ingo.heidbrink

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Call For Papers:

"Rough Waters":
The United States' Involvement in the Mediterranean during the Late Eighteenth Century and Early Nineteenth Century"

International Conference organised by the Centre de la Méditerranée Moderne et Contemporaine, University of Nice, France

Nice, 17 - 18 October 2008

Scientific committee:

Silvia Marzagalli (professeur d'histoire moderne, CMMC, Université de Nice)

John J. McCusker (Ewing Halsell Distinguished Professor of American History
and Professor of Economics, Trinity University, San Antonio, USA)

Allan Potofski (maître de conférence habilité, Université de Paris 8)

James R. Sofka (Adjunct Faculty, Federal Executive Institute, Charlottesville

François Weil (directeur d'études, EHESS, Paris)

American naval operations during the two world wars, followed by the Sixth
Fleet's half-century of stable presence in the Mediterranean, amply demonstrate
the involvement of the United States in this space, and its acute interest is
bound to grow in the future. Beginning in the seventeenth century, New England
ships and sailors frequented the western rim of the Mediterranean, protected by
the British fleet. But the independence of the thirteen colonies created new
challenges for the United States: How to assure the security of the ships
against Berber corsairs? How to react to news of the enslavement of United
States citizens? How to organize an efficient consular service permitting the
circulation of information between distant areas, especially in light of the
limited means of communications during this epoch? Which products, which
marketplaces, which ports, deserved the particular attention of American
armatures and merchants? What commercial strategies to adopt in the
Mediterranean, above all, during the revolutionary and Napoleon's wars that
opened a golden age for the American merchant marine? This conference proposes
to study how the arrival of a new power in the Mediterranean modified the
balance of power of this space, and how the American political and economic
actors fit into the region's geopolitics. From the eighteenth to the beginning
of the nineteenth century, the majority of these questions remain largely
without a response, for reasons that have to do with historiographical fashions
that have privileged Atlantic studies, as well as with the difficulty in
retrieving and exploiting adequate source material.

The arrival of the United States in the Mediterranean was the last episode of
early-modern Europe's domination of the region's commerce by the Atlantic
powers. Incursions of Northern Europe's ships and merchants beyond the Rock of
Gibraltar after the thirteenth century modified the commercial and political
dynamic of the Mediterranean world in a radical manner. Starting with the
second half of the sixteenth century, the Atlantic powers took increasing
control of the navigation across the sea, and merchants established a growing
presence in the principal ports where they were prominent in the most lucrative
markets. The consolidation of North European commercial interests was
accompanied by intense diplomatic activity to establish privileged relations
with the nations of the Mediterranean rim, and to protect themselves against
the exactions of the Berber corsairs, eventually by the ratification of
successive treaties. These choices generated complex geopolitical
calculations: the Senate of Hamburg, imperial city and meeting place for
exchanges in the North Sea, preferred to relinquish all navigation in the
Mediterranean in order not to compromise its relationships with Spain, then
violently hostile to any agreements with the Berber corsairs, with whom the
Hanseatic city had developed close commercial relations during the sixteenth to
the seventeenth centuries. The English and Dutch, followed by the Swedes and
Danes, penetrated deeply in the Mediterranean and their merchants sought to
obtain advantageous commercial conditions with certain nations and to secure
reliable intermediaries along the coast and the islands of the sea. As the
United States began to develop national independence, its officers and
merchants blazed a path through this complex universe, while taking advantage
of the experience of Europeans by amassing increasing amounts of practical

We intend to analyze how the young American republic comprehended and invested
in the Mediterranean Sea just after Independence. Also, we will examine how
the geopolitical interests in this space were represented to shape policy
orientations in a decisive manner. If diplomatic aspects and Jefferson's
Barbary War (1801-1805) have attracted the attention of scholars, the economic
aspects and the implantation of a consular service still remain neglected. This
conference will allow researchers to take stock of our understanding of
Mediterranean history and to open up new directions in historical research. It
has as an ambition to serve as a basis for future scholarship, notably, on the
consular service and on the circulation of information about the Mediterranean
outside of the immediate area: these will constitute the two major themes of
research engaged by the Centre de la Méditerranée Moderne et Contemporaine in
Nice, France in its program for 2008-2011.

We particularly encourage submission of paper proposals on diplomatic aspects,
on the attitude of different European and Northern African powers towards
American presence within the Mediterranean, on economic issues and
entrepreneurial strategies at work, as well as on the representations of the
Mediterranean world in the US.

Paper proposals (in English or French) should be sent by e-mail to Silvia
Marzagalli, by 10 June 2008 Please provide your
institutional affiliation, a full address, and a short summary of the intended
paper (150-250 words).

Position: Project Cataloger

Mystic Seaport Museum, Inc.

REPORTS TO: Collections Cataloger
DEPARTMENT: Collections and Research
DATE: May, 2008

10 month, grant-funded position, responsible for the processing and cataloging of recently acquired items including historic photographs, ship models, boat parts, tools, clothing, furniture and miscellaneous items, providing physical and intellectual access to the Curatorial Department collection at Mystic Seaport. Please send resume, cover letter and three references to Human Resources Office, 75 Greenmanville Ave., Mystic, CT 06355. For an application or additional information, please call the Human Resources Office at 860.572.5346 or visit our website at Mystic Seaport is an EOE/AA employer.
• Examine, number, measure and describe artifacts, research artifacts and associated people, vessels and subjects.
• Enter detailed catalog data and cross references into Museum’s database program, Mimsy XG using appropriate formats and standards.
• Work with photography staff, collection managers and photographic service provider to coordinate object photography, creating film and digital images.
• Observe present and emerging metadata and cataloging standards and best practices as applied to the Mystic Seaport collections, and the coordinated use of these standards within collections cataloging.
• Participate in Subject Headings and Vessel Authority Cataloging meetings.
• Ability to participate and thrive in a team setting,
• Bachelor’s degree and 4 years museum experience (or equivalent).
• Familiarity with museum practices and standards.
• Proficient with general computer programs.
• Detail oriented and able to handle and work with fragile objects with great care.
• General knowledge of American or maritime history and terminology.
• Current knowledge of applicable Museum metadata standards and practices related to metadata creation and authority control, including AACR2 (RDA), DACS, TEI and LCSH.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Happy Birthday Jerome K. Jerome

On May 2nd, 1859, Jerome Klapka Jerome was born in Walsall, Staffordshire, England. According to the wonderful Jerome K. Jerome Society Website, he confided to his friend these four ambitions:

  1. To edit a successful journal.
  2. To write a successful play.
  3. To write a successful book.
  4. To become a Member of Parliament.

Although never becoming a Member of Parliament, he achieved his other three goals, and became very well known for his novel, Three men in a boat, to say nothing of the dog. This book continues to be popular and to exert its influence--for example, upon Connie Willis' very entertaining To say nothing of the dog.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Position: Museum Technician, FT Temp

San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park is seeking a temporary, full-time museum technician.

Salary range: 20.66 - 20.66 USD Hourly

Open period: Tuesday, April 29, 2008 to Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Major Duties: Major duties of this position include performing specialized cleaning of objects and historic furnishings on display at the Maritime Museum Building, Park Visitor Center, Hyde Street Pier, and in museum storage facilities. Incumbent performs curatorial housekeeping on museum storage facilities, maintains day-to-day inventories of objects, and assists in completion of Annual Inventory of Museum Property. Other duties may include 1) monitoring temperature, humidity, light, and pests in exhibit and storage areas, 2) preparing objects for storage, including stabilization and moving of very large industrial artifacts with forklifts, pallet jacks and other lifting/moving devices, 3) cataloging museum collection objects, and 4) assisting in the preparation of objects for exhibits.

See the full announcement on USAJobs.