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

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Digging for gold at the library: Coast Seaman's Journal

Mirrored from Full Fathom Five:

(by Gina Bardi, Reference Librarian)

Sometimes when you come to the library, you know exactly what material will be the most useful for your research. Other times, the library seems to be laid out before you as a vast and uncharted landscape of great unknowns. Like a prospector, you must dig a little here and there with hopes of striking it rich. In this regular feature we will mine the collection for veins of information and see if we can make our research fortune.

Today we are digging for treasure in the Coast Seaman's Journal, a periodical started in 1875 by the Coast Seamen's Union. Our library has a run from 1875 to 1918 as the Coast Seaman's Journal and then from 1918 to 1929 in its second incarnation as the Seaman's Journal. We also have a few convention issues from the 1930's. I pulled volume 22 which covers September 23rd, 1908 to September 13th, 1909.

What does the Coast Seaman's Journal have to offer? Shall we grab the pick axe of our curiosity and begin to dig?

Someone who was working on maritime labor history would absolutely want to include this publication in their research (and if they didn't know it existed, a helpful reference librarian would point it out). Each issue is devoted to labor causes on both coasts and the Great Lakes. World events are discussed through the lens of labor. This journal provides startling clear insight into the mind of unions during the turbulent early years of their formation. There are also general news sections, sometimes maritime: "Mexico's first attempt to fortify her harbors with modern rifles will be undertaken at Santa Cruz" ("News from Abroad" 12). Sometimes not: "The Grand Parlor of the Native Sons of the Golden West, a California organization, has decided hereafter that no malt or spirituous liquors shall be used at the entertainments given by the order." ("Home News" 13). The good news is each volume is indexed at its start. The bad, or perhaps more amusing than bad, is the style in which they are indexed, which is by title of article and not by subject. One has to wonder what this refers to:

"Story, Strange, Hinted at"

And I defy you to read the entry:

"Sea-Coffins Doomed"

and not linger for a moment on its promisingly macabre content.

A boon for genealogists would be the "Information Wanted" section of each issue. Here, worried friends, family and lovers leave ads hoping to find what has become of their missing loved ones. A typical one from reads:

"John Widell, who has been on the Pacific Coast and in Alaska for about 18 years, is inquired for by his nephew, Bernt Valdemar Blomquist, Box 65, Seattle Wash. "

Or this heartbreaker with a $50 reward for information:

"Albert Dietrich, bluish eyes and prominent upper teeth, fair complexion, dark blonde hair, 13 years of age, 4 feet 8 inches tall, missing from his home, 1539 9th Avenue, Sunset, San Francisco, since November 27th, 1907, is inquired for by his parents."

Another feature is that of the "Letters List". Family and friends could send letters to sailors at sea care of the union offices and they would be held there until the sailor returned from their voyage. Each week a list of lucky sailors who have letters waiting for them would be printed. There are also regular inclusions of sea shanties, With the Wits (a joke section of dubious nature) and some wonderful advertisements.

I've only scratched the surface, so to speak, of what this journal offers. Please come by and peruse our collection of the Coast Seamen's Journal and see what you can dig up.

Citations:

"Home News." Coast Seamen's Journal 22.33 (1909): 13. Print.

"Index". Coast Seamen's Journal 22 (1909). Print.

"Information Wanted." Coast Seamen's Journal 22.26 (1909): 12. Print.

"News from Abroad." Coast Seamen's Journal 22.24 (1909): 12. Print.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Nautical Nursery Rhymes

Mirrored from Full Fathom Five:


This small treasure resides in the "Peterson, Peter H. (Capt.) Papers," (SAFR 18665, HDC 571) and expresses principles of seamanship in verse, such as:



Meeting on Opposite Tacks

On opposite tacks, when approaching too near,
The ship on the starboard has nothing to fear;
The one on the port tack has either to stay,
Or put up her helm and get out of the way.


For more on Taylor's Nautical School, the issuer of the booklet, see the promotional pamphlet, Taylor's Nautical School, San Francisco, in the Library collection at r V430.A4 T39, and Taylor's modern navigation, also in the Library at VK401.T3 1904.

Contributors: Keri Koehler, Collections Manager; Palma J. You, Archives Technician; Heather Hernandez, Technical Services Librarian.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Ship model conservation course, England

International Academic Projects is pleased to announce a 3 day
course 'Ship Models: Care, Conservation and Display' which will be
held at the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich and the Historic
Dockyard, Chatham, 11-13 October 2011. This is a new addition to the
2011 course calendar of International Academic Projects.

The course, aimed at collections managers, curators and
conservators, will be conducted by the curatorial and conservation
specialists of the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich and will
cover: the history of the making of ship models; the materials from
which models are made and issues concerning their handling and
movement; display methods; storage and display conditions; making
the materials required for restoration; and the use of plans,
paintings and photographs in the conservation process.

Course details and the proposed timetable are available at

http://www.academicprojects.co.uk/course-details.php?courseID=765

Places are also still available on several other courses offered by
International Academic Projects - including:

Conservation of Glass Objects
(London) 12 - 16 September, 2011

Making Replicas of Museum Objects
(Denmark) 6 - 10 June, 2011

Making Electroform Replicas of Museum Objects
(Denmark) 20 - 24 June, 2011

Digital Photography of Museum Objects
(London) 21 - 22 June, 2011

The Identification of Paper
(London) 4-5 July, 2011

Chemistry for Conservators correspondence course
(September - December 2011)

Please check No comments: Links to this post

Thursday, March 17, 2011

New in the SF Maritime NHP Library

Mirrored from Full Fathom Five, due to its lack of an rss feed:


New in the Library:

The Library's new accessions lists from the later half of February and the first half of March are now available.

We download these lists from OCLC, whose public interface is known as WorldCat.org. Although we catalog directly on OCLC, we do not have the type of subscription that would allow us to appear as a holding library on WorldCat.org, but you can see our holdings in the NPS Combined Library Catalog. (See our Catalogs & Finding Aids page for catalogs listing other Museum Collections.)

* Library New Accessions, Feb. 16-28, 2011 (.pdf file, 19Kb)
* Library New Accessions, Mar. 1-15, 2011 (.pdf file, 14 Kb)

Monday, March 14, 2011

Do you have traveling plans?

Mirrored below is Palma J. You's new post from over at Full Fathom Five, Do you have traveling plans?



We do! Prior to the digital revolution, marine engineering plans often needed to travel between builders, owners, consultants and architects. Document tubes were used to protect plans while in transport. I am currently processing a large (94 linear feet) collection donated by Pillsbury & Martignoni, Naval Architects and Marine Engineers of San Francisco who were in business during the first half of the 20th century. Most of the plans inventoried thus far relate to tugs, towboats, sport fishing boats, freighters, barges and passengers vessels. Very interesting, but I also find the storage tube an interesting pre-plastic artifact.

The two varieties of materials used in construction of traveling tubes for this marine engineering firm are aluminum and fiber board. The plans stored inside are circa 1943-1965. More on the plans stored inside the tubes next time!





--Contributor: Palma J. You, Archives Technician

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Full Fathom Five

There's a new blog from the Collections Department at San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park, Full Fathom Five, where I'm a contributing editor. The software that we use does not yet have an rss feed, so for the time being, I'll be mirroring posts over here. Do please check it out--we'd appreciate your input.

The debut post:

Welcome to Full Fathom Five

When Shakespeare has Ariel sing this song in Act 1, scene ii of The Tempest, he sings of transformation--of the ordinary becoming something beautiful at the end of its life:

Full fathom five thy father lies;
Of his bones are coral made;
Those are pearls that were his eyes;
Nothing of him that doth fade,
But doth suffer a sea-change
Into something rare and strange.
Sea-nymphs hourly ring his knell:
Ding-Dong.
Hark! now I hear them -- Ding-dong, bell.

Here in the Collections Department at San Francisco Maritime, what we collect, preserve and make available were often ordinary objects at the ends of their useful lives--sometimes, literally, from "full fathom five," in the case of objects retrieved from shipwrecks. Through our care, we give them new life as museum collections, and we help them to emerge into exhibits and into the arena of research, study, and enjoyment.

Join us in our journey, deep in the collections, through the rich and strange.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

UK ship models conservation course & conservation assistant position

The latest issue of the Conservation Distlist had news of interest to the maritime conservation community; an interesting course:


International Academic Projects is pleased to announce a 3 day
course 'Ship Models: Care, Conservation and Display' which will be
held at the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich and the Historic
Dockyard, Chatham, 11-13 October 2011. This is a new addition to the
2011 course calendar of International Academic Projects.

The course, aimed at collections managers, curators and
conservators, will be conducted by the curatorial and conservation
specialists of the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich and will
cover: the history of the making of ship models; the materials from
which models are made and issues concerning their handling and
movement; display methods; storage and display conditions; making
the materials required for restoration; and the use of plans,
paintings and photographs in the conservation process.

Course details and the proposed timetable are available at

http://www.academicprojects.co.uk/course-details.php?courseID=765

Places are also still available on several other courses offered by
International Academic Projects - including:

Conservation of Glass Objects
(London) 12 - 16 September, 2011

Making Replicas of Museum Objects
(Denmark) 6 - 10 June, 2011

Making Electroform Replicas of Museum Objects
(Denmark) 20 - 24 June, 2011

Digital Photography of Museum Objects
(London) 21 - 22 June, 2011

The Identification of Paper
(London) 4-5 July, 2011

Chemistry for Conservators correspondence course
(September - December 2011)

Please check http://www.academicprojects.co.uk for full
information or get in touch by email or telephone if you have any
questions.

Hannah Turk
Administrative Assistant
International Academic Projects
6 Fitzroy Square, London W1T 5HJ
+44 207 380 0800
Fax: +44 207 380 0500


And an interesting position announcement:


Preventive Conservation Assistant
National Maritime Museum
London

UKP18,000 - UKP22,000

With three historic sites housing a range of world-renowned
collections, the National Maritime Museum is a unique and
stimulating environment. With the opening of the brand new Sammy
Ofer Wing this summer, we are looking for an individual to join our
Preventive Conservation team to provide key support in the
preservation and care of our collections across all sites.

Your role will be to carry out cleaning and other housekeeping
duties in addition to assisting in the implementation of the Pest
Management Plan and Environmental Monitoring Strategy. We will also
need you to write method statements and reports, work with team
members on larger projects and suggest improvements to working
practices.

A good understanding of conservation, security and Health and Safety
relating to collections care is essential, along with the ability to
select appropriate cleaning options. A high level of manual
dexterity, experience of working with a range of hand tools and the
ability to work at heights are also important, plus strong
documentation and IT skills. A relevant qualification and experience
within a heritage environment would both be preferred.

For a full job description and details of how to apply, please visit

http://www.nmm.ac.uk/jobs

Closing date: 20 March 2011.

Birthe Christensen
Head of Conservation and Preservation
National Maritime Museum, Greenwich
London SE10 9NF
+44 20 8312 6504

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Happy birthday Kurt Weill


Kurt Weill was born 111 years ago today in Dessau, Germany. He composed the music for Seeräuber Jenny, known in English as "Pirate Jenny," one of the very famous songs from Die Dreigroschenoper (The Three Penny Opera) with lyrics by Bertolt Brecht.