A Forum for Discussions among Voyagers and Others related to the 38th Voyage of the Charles W. Morgan
From: Peter McCracken
Date: 2014 Sep 25, 22:46 -0400
Finding logbooks in general is a pretty big bugaboo for me. Here are some tools to consider.
I run ShipIndex.org, a website that helps people do research on specific ships. If you know the name of the vessel you’re researching, you can find out what books, magazines, websites, etc., mention that ship. There’s a free database and a subscription database. But the free database DOES include books by or about ships, via WorldCat. So if you search in the free database, you can find citations for books by ships – very often, these are logbooks. Sometimes locating the actual manuscript is not easy, however, and I’ve written a bit about how to take the information from WorldCat, then go to NUCMC, and find the holdings information, here: http://blog.shipindex.org/2014/01/using-worldcat-records-in-shipindex-org-part-2-finding-books-by-ships/
About 18 months ago I compiled a list of “Logbook bibliographies” on WorldCat, at https://www.worldcat.org/profiles/ShipIndex/lists/3051665, which might also be useful. It’s hardly complete, however, since the title that Rev Carr cited was not included. I’ve fixed that. Generally, these published lists seem to go out of date, but alas there’s not much else to use, so they’re at least better than nothing, even if some are over 50 years old.
I would love to someday create an online directory of these logbooks and journals, as I believe it would be quite useful. But for the time being, it’ll have to wait.
Visit ShipIndex.org at the following conferences:
Assn of College & Research Libraries, Booth 168: Portland, OR, 25-27 March 2015
I think you should look at Stuart Sherman's book Whaling Logbooks and Journals, 1613-1927: An Inventory of Manuscript Records in Public Collections (Garland, 1986), which gives a pretty comprehensive look at who owns what. Does anyone know if it's been updated lately?
Here's my vote for the best whaling collections in the US.
1. The New Bedford Whaling Museum/Kendall Institute, New Bedford, MA
2. The Nicholson Collection, Providence Public Library, Providence, RI
3. Nantucket Historical Association, Nantucket, MA
4. G.W. Blunt White Library, Mystic Seaport Museum, Mystic, CT
5. John Hay Library, Brown University, Providence, RI
6. Massachusetts Historical Society, Boston, MA
7. Phillips Library, Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA
8. Library of Congress, Washington, DC
9. Huntington Library, Los Angeles, CA
10. New London County Historical Society, New London, CT
On Thu, Sep 25, 2014 at 5:56 PM, Frank Reed <NoReply_FrankReed@fer3.com> wrote:
I used to have this information but can't find it anymore. Could anyone give me a "top ten" or "top five" list of institutions, museuns, and/or libraries holding whaling logbooks in the US? Numbers would be great, too, but not essential.
James Revell Carr, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Ethnomusicology
Department of Music Studies
School of Music, Theater and Dance
University of North Carolina at Greensboro