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

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

London Lives from Straddling the World of the Written Word

Joan Druett has featured yet another wonderful resource on her blog, Straddling the World of the Written Word, in her post, Handwritten Records of 18th century London Online. The site, London Lives, contains some maritime treasure.

The search box on the home page seeks name or reference ID, but if you select More Search Options (below the black Search button), you can then select Keyword search on the next screen (to the right of the green Search button). Here is the Keyword Search screen where you can search by occupations, such as sailor, seaman, captain or such words as frigate.

To browse tags, be sure to select the Lives link (on the left navigation pane), and you will see the fascinating tag cloud on the lower right of the screen, as well as a list of people, whose biographies have been written.

Genealogists may wish to consult the FAQ (located in the navigation pane on the left under "About This Project"), and historians may want to consult the Copyright and Citation Guide.

The site also reveals a wealth of information under About This Project, including their technical methods, which is fascinating for those considering or involved with similar digitization projects.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Crosscurrents on sea level rise, part 2

If you enjoyed KALW's Crosscurrents story on how Treasure Island's community's are planning on facing sea level rise, you may want to listen to their continuing coverage, Building by the Bay: Sea level rise shapes the Bay Area’s future. In this follow-up story, they explore Cargill’s Redwood City Saltworks site on San Francisco Bay, and the issues facing its future.

It's a short segment, and as usual, in addition to the audio, a full transcript is available on their website, heavy with links to related information.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Crosscurrents on Sea Level Rise & Treasure Island

Our wonderful local news show, Crosscurrents (from KALW News), recently aired a very interesting show, Sea level rise is a future challenge for Treasure Island. Treasure Island, which was built in San Francisco Bay as a WPA project, is now home to around 1400 people, and doesn't rise very high above the Bay--according the news story, one corner of the island is regularly flooded by winter waves.

The issue is not a new one for communities in and around San Francisco Bay; a SPUR report, Sea level rise and the future of the Bay Area : How will we adapt to rising tides? from Nov/Dec 2009 is but one publication on the issue. But the Crosscurrents site offers a detailed look at how one, small community is confronting the issue, with very helpful links, and a choice--you can listen to the audio, or read the entire transcript.

I found the story engaging and thought-provoking, and well worth a listen.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Anne-Emmanuelle Marpeau at Penobscot

Bob Holtzman has kindly written to alert us to a new exhibit at Penobscot Marine Museum, Inside the Box -- The Marine Art of Anne-Emmanuelle Marpeau, on exhibit through Sept. 10. Unfortunately, there's not much on their site about the exhibit, but The Gleason Fine Art website has a short article about Marpeau, mentioning the inspiration she finds in a line by Thoreau, "And I converse with many a shipwrecked crew."

This is from a poem called "The Fisher's Boy," which is available on the Thoreau Reader site:

The Fisher's Boy
by Henry David Thoreau

My life is like a stroll upon the beach,
As near the ocean's edge as I can go;
My tardy steps its waves sometimes o'erreach,
Sometimes I stay to let them overflow.

My sole employment is, and scrupulous care,
To place my gains beyond the reach of tides, —
Each smoother pebble, and each shell more rare,
Which Ocean kindly to my hand confides.

I have but few companions on the shore:
They scorn the strand who sail upon the sea;
Yet oft I think the ocean they've sailed o'er
Is deeper known upon the strand to me.

The middle sea contains no crimson dulse,
Its deeper waves cast up no pearls to view;
Along the shore my hand is on its pulse,
And I converse with many a shipwrecked crew.

Lovely thoughts to take along to a maritime museum--to keep in mind when engaging with the items on exhibit.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Astrodene's HNF Blog

There's a new blog in our list, Astrodene's HNF Blog, part of the large Astrodene's Historic Naval Fiction site. Although a commercial site, there is a lot of good information organized creatively. For example, with the books timeline you can browse titles by time period, going back to 1571. When you select a title, the site's commercial aspects are obvious with prominent Amazon buttons, but don't forget--your local maritime museum book store or independent book seller may offer these titles for sale as well, and titles may also be available used via sites such as ABEBooks or TomFolio.

The HNF Blog also points to another resource of interest, the free magazine, Chronicles, the eMagazine of History, which now contains a new column by Astrodene's David Hayes beginning with the June issue, and the issue before that starts out with two naval history articles. Chronicles has one of the best online flip-book features I've seen, loading quickly with a pleasant on-screen reading experience, yet also provides a free .pdf download for portability. And, authors, do check out their information for writers because they're actively seeking nonfiction submissions, and they pay.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Hard Luck Coast

The second book in JoAnn Semones' trilogy about shipwrecks along the California coast has been published, Hard Luck Coast: The Perilous Reefs of Point Montara." JoAnn tells us:

California writer John Steinbeck referred to the treacherous strip of shore between
Montara and Half Moon Bay as “the hard luck coast.” Along this foggy, final approach to San Francisco, vessels were forced to hug the shoreline, putting them in danger of its rocky outcroppings and unruly seas. Each shipwreck represents a separate, yet integrated piece of history, linking us to the past.

She also mentions that the lighthouse pictured on the book cover is only thirty feet tall, and is America's only "sentinel to have witnessed shipwrecks on two shores," apparently after a sojourn on Yerba Buena Island. A California State Park Property, the lighthouse houses a hostel where you can stay and contemplate this hard luck coast.