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

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Deterioration of the digital?

There's a very interesting article at, At Libraries, Taking the (Really) Long View. Aimed at a general audience, the article is nonetheless interesting for those in the field, beginning the detailed discussion of digital preservation with the story of the tapes from NASA's Viking landers in 1975. The article is rich in links to current projects so is more than just background reading--it's a gateway to exploration of the topic.

At the conclusion of the article we learn what the biggest obstacle to digital preservation is--would you be surprised to learn that it's human beings?

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Surf's up!

To celebrate its "Summer Surf" film series, the Library of Congress has posted an an interview with John Severson, founder of Surfer Magazine and director of "Pacific Vibrations." In a short interview, they cover a lot of ground (or water): surfing, making surfing films, making films today, and where the genre is headed.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


The U.S. Navy is seeking a Cultural Resource/Collecting Management Specialist at Twentynine Palms, CA, with a first cut-off date of July 30, and final closing date of Aug. 6.

Note: You can also get to the job ad if you go to the main recruitment site, select "Search for Jobs," and search by the job title.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Sustainable seafood resources

Trevor Corson (author of one of my favorite books, The zen of fish) maintains a very entertaining blog that is a great source of information on sustainable seafood, The Scrawling Claw. Recently he guided his readers to a new publication, Seafood solutions : a chef's guide available from the The Chef's Collective.

It's intriguing reading. Aimed at professional chefs, it's nonetheless of interest to those who consume seafood or who wish to keep abreast of fishery issues. It also has excellent bibliographies, mentioning the Pew Oceans Commission report of 2002 as well as a cookbook. Under "Further Resources" (on p.15) you'll find an excellent list of fisheries, seafood and aquarium websites, including the Monterey Bay Aquarium's which provides the popular Seafood Watch guides for consumers.

And if you're hungry, the last page points you to some restaurants.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Cooking for 100 aboard ship?

Then you need General mess manual and cookbook for use on board vessels of the United States Navy from 1904. The Internet Archive edition is available in several formats, including Adobe Acrobat .pdf, plain text, and even a flip book that allows you to turn the pages as they appear in the printed edition.

And it's not all beef broth and boiled oatmeal; in 1904 the sailors could still have plum duff:

Soak 25 pounds of stale bread in cold water and drain dry.
Add 25 pounds of sifted flour, 5 pounds of suet chopped fine, 3
pounds of raisins, 5 pounds of sugar, 4. pounds of currants, 2
pounds of prunes, 3 tablespoonfuls of salt, 1 teaspoonful of ground
cloves, 1 tablespoonful of ground cinnamon, and 1 wineglassful
of vinegar, and mix all thoroughly with cold water. Turn the
bags inside out, drop them into boiling water, render out slightly,
and drop into dry flour, dredging them thoroughly. Turn the
bags flour side in and fill them with the pudding, securing the
opening firmly, drop into the copper in which water is boiling
and cook for at least two hours. If there is sufficient time, the
pudding will be improved by boiling three or four hours.

The 1902 edition is also available online from the Navy Department Library, but only as a single web page, which takes a very long time to load.

The Internet Archive has other cookbooks; searching for cookery will bring up screens full, as it appears in many titles of older cookbooks as well as being the current Library of Congress subject heading term.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Expanded book coverage

I have been reading a lot about the decline of book criticism in traditional media outlets, chiefly on ArtsJournal (admittedly, a non-traditional media outlet). Newspapers that used to take in pride in their coverage of the publishing industry and quality of their book reviews have been reducing and even eliminating their book sections.

Where to turn? The radio. NPR is expanding their book coverage. According to an article in Publishers Weekly, NPR has hired six new book reviewers (including a graphic novel reviewer) and is adding weekly book reviews and more book-focused content. The PW article links to several reading lists already posted, and on NPR's sidebar, right there, with those topics we see on all media pages like "Business" and "Health & Science" is Books.

Dig around. The site is delicious. Reviews, podcasts, newsletters to sign up for, links to programs, and purchasing links that support NPR and public radio. There is plenty for maritime readers; start with Sunken Treasures in their 3 Books series.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


The U.S. Coast Guard in New London, Connecticut is seeking a museum curator, closing date Aug. 12, 2008.

Note: the job is posted on the U.S. government's USAJobs site, and can take quite a while to load.

Monday, July 21, 2008

U.S.'s Most Endangered Historic Places

The lead article of the latest issue of the National Trust for Historic Preservation's Preservation Magazine is America's Eleven Most Endangered Historic Places. On the list:

California's State Parks: California's state park system is one of the country's largest and most successful. Unfortunately, the system remains drastically underfunded and at risk of deterioration—a result of more than $1 billion in deferred maintenance.

What does this have to do with the sea? California's Underwater Parks site explains. Not only an outline of the rich marine and cultural resources within the state's park system, with links to California's underwater parks, the site includes links to articles on California's maritime heritage that are thorough, well-written, and make wonderful reading. The expected is covered, with essays on shipwrecks and historic vessels, but the unexpected also surprises: scroll down to find the article about the airplane.

And keep in mind when you're following the links that these are some of the resources on the endangered list.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Searching for early Americans

The Pittsburgh-Tribune Review published an article this week, Search for first Americans to plunge underwater, by Allison M. Heinrichs about James Adovasio's participation in an upcoming expedition in the Gulf of Mexico. Unlike many underwater expeditions the attract media attention, Adovasio, the director of the Mercyhurst Archaeological Institute, won't be searching for wrecked ships--he'll be searching for evidence of early occupation in North America, such as tools or the remnants of the plants and animals that were eaten. And he'll be searching 120 to 360 feet underwater.

He won't be alone; the project is supported by many institutions, including NOAA and the Texas Archeological Research Laboratory at the University of Texas at Austin, which will be sending C. Andrew Hemmings, research associate. An article about Hemming's participation in the project is not just interesting to read, but has links to more information about the Clovis culture that Hemmings and Adovasio are investigating. If you follow the link to the virtual museum exhibit, Clovis Reconsidered, you'll be taken far away from saltwater--far from maritime pursuits--but pursuing the trail of people through remote history is a reminder that the border between the land and the sea is not a solid, defined line. The saltwater moves and changes; the coast today will not be the coast tomorrow. Many lands of our ancestors are submerged today, and the ocean beds when the dinosaurs roamed? The Badlands in the center of a continent.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Position: President - New Bedford Whaling Museum

The President/CEO is responsible for the leadership of the organization and for defining and articulating its vision and mission. The individual will work to insure the continued position of the organization as the preeminent whaling museum in the country and the leading cultural facility in the region. Reporting directly to the Board, the President will have responsibility for the creation and implementation of the organization’s strategic goals, the development and administration of its program activities, the direction of the day-to-day administrative functions, the responsibility for senior management and staff, and the financial well-being of the organization. Much of the President’s energy will be spent enhancing and building connections with a wide variety of constituents to strengthen the museum’s presence and exposure in the community. Strategic alliances with community-based organizations, industry, political leaders, and individuals will be essential to maintain and enhance the profile and effectiveness of the organization through shared information and resources. The continuation of the organization as one that is open and inclusive and representative of the multiple cultures that have shaped the region and are representative of the whaling industry is essential.

Full description

The Grog Ration

The July/August issue of The Grog Ration is out. A bimonthly periodical, it's of interest to anyone wanting to learn more about the history of medicine at sea. And it's free.

Issues contain original articles and historic photos on a breadth of topics, and the current issue is no exception: "In the eye of the storm : the story of a Navy dentist and the racial unrest in the fleet during the Vietname War Era" by John Sherwood, "A Navy physician-poet in context," profiling Captain Frederick Foote, excerpts from "Thulia : a tale of the antarctic" from 1843, as well as shorter articles, the Navy medical history quiz, and the Navy Medical History Crossword Puzzle no.1--if you turn in your answers by Aug. 5, 2008, you're eligible to receive a special prize! How many maritime periodicals offer that?

Issues are distributed as Adobe Acrobat (.pdf) files via email; to subscribe, or inquire about submission guidelines, email Andre.Sobocinski (at)

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


On this side of the pond, the USS Constitution Museum in Boston seeks a Director of Museum Learning, closing on July 18, 2008.

And across the pond, the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich seeks a Trusts and Statutory Grants Manager, closing date July 30, 2008.

Monday, July 14, 2008

New titles at Project Gutenberg

Several books of maritime interest have been added to Project Gutenberg:

As We Swept Through The Deep by Gordon Stables, 1894.
The sailor's word-book by W.H. Smyth, 1867.
With Cochrane the Dauntless by G.A. Henty, 1897.

And not a maritime title, but of interest those involved with historic photography, is American Handbook of the Daguerrotype by Samuel D. Humphrey, 1858.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Into the Blue

Thanks to Michael D. Barton, I've discovered the Royal Society Library podcasts. Many are offered as mp3 audio as well as m4v video, as is one of particular interest to maritime folks, Into the blue: voyages of discovery 1700-1850 by Rupert Baker, about the voyaging fellows of the Society.

I listened to the audio, and didn't feel that I was missing much, since he includes descriptions of the contents of the visual presentation. The lecture was a fascinating half-hour that began with the nautical connections of the Society in the 17th century, and continued with specific stories about particular people and expeditions. Baker seems to assume no prior maritime knowledge, but specialists may wish to tune in to learn about the Royal Society connections and related resources.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008


There are new listings on the National Maritime Museum Job Opportunities page: Storage Project Co-ordinator (5 year fixed term contract), Assistant Registrar - Loans In (2 year fixed term contract), and Security Officer.

And don't forget to check the Underwater Archaeology & Maritime History Jobs blog if you're interested in a maritime museum position (now appearing in our list of Related Blogs & Resources).

Monday, July 07, 2008

Infrastructure and Public Works

Interested in harbors? Bridges? Take a look at the new Science Tracer Bullet from the Library of Congress, Infrastructure and Public Works. The list of subject headings is linked directly to the LC catalog; for example, the subject heading harbors retrieves screens and screens of resources--not just books. (These subject headings can also be used in other catalogs that use the Library of Congress subject heading system, such as Worldcat.)

There are also bibliographies of basic, additional, and specialized texts, so if you'd like to begin learning about maritime facilities as a component of a larger infrastructure, these items will get you started while giving you new directions for further reading. Specialized texts, technical documents, and dissertations are also listed, as are professional societies and selected internet resources.

There are many other Science Tracer Bullets that touch on maritime subjects; find them through the very small link at the upper left of the page, "Home >> Tracer Bullets."

Thursday, July 03, 2008

The Dispersal of Darwin

Michael D. Barton has taken the time to add a list of wonderful links to Darwin and Wallace resources in the comments section of the LII and Darwin post. In it he mentions his blog, The Dispersal of Darwin which is not to be missed. In addition to covering current events related to Darwin, he takes the time to list additions to The Complete Works of Charles Darwin site with complete citations and links to texts. He also mentions plays, posters, Beagle resources, zoology databases--everything from the occasional newspaper article to comprehensive resources. And it's not just current awareness, and not just Darwin--interested in science? Scroll down the page to find science journals, magazines, radio shows and even cartoons.

His tags are not alphabetized for easy browsing, and the page is long (yet very rich in content), so the "find" feature of your browser may be handy for finding tags such as "Beagle" and "Exploration."

Thanks to Michael for the great resource!

Tuesday, July 01, 2008


The Underwater Archaeology and Maritime History Jobs blog has several announcements in maritime museums:

  • Shipwright, Australian National Maritime Museum, closes July 4 (Sydney, Australia)
  • Manager, Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, closes July 8 (Halifax, NS, Canada)
  • Director of Museum Learning, USS Constitution Museum, closes July 18 (Boston, Mass.)

This wonderful resources doesn't just list jobs--don't miss the National Maritime Museum fellowships and internships listed in the June 28th entry.