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

Thursday, January 28, 2010 is an amazing resource. It began life as the Index to Ships in Books, which was amazing in itself, but its new incarnation is so much more.

It's a gateway to information about vessels. According to Peter McCracken, who was kind enough to write to alert me to the new, it tells you what books, journals, databases, CD-Roms, websites, and more, mention particular vessels. There are two levels of access: free to anyone, without cost or registration, are over 140,000 entries, but for under $10.00 per month, one can access the premium database which contains over 1.24 million citations.

When you search for a vessel, the free, full citations are mixed with the brief mention of citations available in the premium database. I like this a lot. I can "see" what I'm "not seeing." And the citations are nicely displayed--when searching: sea foam the citation list was organized by type of vessel and then chronologically--I could scan through the barks, brigs and schooners down to the steam schooner of interest. Links are included into resources such as Worldcat (to find information in libraries) or to ABEbooks to purchase items.

I also like the search interface. Searching sea foam retrieved exactly vessels named Sea Foam. No quotes needed, no retrieved items such as Seaborn Foam. The exactness of the results need to be kept in mind--this is not a library catalog with cross references. If you look for Balclutha, "Balclutha (Museum ship)" is the same vessel as one or more of the "Baclutha (Ship)" entries--and you haven't retrieved anything under "Pacific Queen."

Some periodicals are included--I can't wait for them to get more. And institutional subscriptions are in the works, and will be available in the future--contact Peter if you're interested. The folks behind are two of the same folks who founded Serials Solutions, so they are familiar with what libraries and museums are seeking in institutional access--so stay tuned!

I've listed in our blog roll, here--their blog is worth reading, especially if you're interested in metadata. (From the blog, you can use the search box on the left to search the database.) The index is also on Twitter and Facebook, which is mentioned on the "Contact Us" page.

I heard on the radio this morning that today was National Have Fun at Work Day, and I wasn't sure how I could make that did it. This database is fun.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Popeye cartoons and radio shows

Love him or hate him, one of the most known fictional sailors is Popeye. Starting as a character in the Thimble Theater comic strip in 1929, he later appeared in cartoons, films, books--and on the radio.

The Internet Archive has made many Popeye cartoons available--there is a media type limit available via a pull-down list to the right of the search box on their home page--you'll find "Animation and cartoons" under the "Moving Images" type.

Likewise, you can limit your search to "Audio" to find audio recordings, including six episodes of Popeye the Sailor from their Old Time Radio collection.

And if you want everything they have related to Popeye, leave the limit set to "All Media Types," then use the links on the right of the page to group your results conveniently by Media Type or Collection.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Polar ice, polar bears

Two new programs are available relating to polar regions. The Library of Congress has posted On Thin Ice: Changing Ice Cover on Polar Oceans, a 65 minute lecture by Thorsten Markus, head of the Cryospheric Sciences Branch at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. He not only addresses recent findings in the context of global climate, but addresses why the southern and northern regions react differently to climate change.

Focusing on the northern regions, Rose Aguilar converses with Richard Ellis, author of Thin Ice: The Changing World of the Polar Bear on KALW's locally produced Your Call Radio (a one-hour show, broadcast on Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2010). The show is fascinating, not the least due to Ellis' multifaceted career as a marine conservationist, painter, and author.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

History of Nautical Science Symposium

Freshwater, the XVth Symposium and Reunion for the International Committee for the History of Nautical Science will be held in Veszprém, Hungary, September 24 - 26, 2010. The website has the call for papers (deadline March 1, 2010) as well as the preliminary program.

(My thanks to Dr. Zsolt G. Török for sending along the conference information.)