Archive | October 9, 2015

YesterWeird: Whaling Ship Log Books: O, Solitude Where Are Thy Charms!

Screen shot 2015-10-08 at 11.31.28 PMHere’s a link to the Nicholson Whaling Collection at the Providence Public Library. It has a huge archive of whaling vessel logbooks full of squirrelly handwriting and cryptic doodles.

Screen shot 2015-10-08 at 11.39.50 PMI’ve only poked at the thing haphazardly, but one of my favorites is the log of the Levanter out of Boston, MA from 1861. It’s reel #397 if you scroll down. The ship’s master is listed as simply “Clifford”. The picture above comes from that log as do the following doodles, including a ship board obituary:

Screen shot 2015-10-08 at 11.45.28 PMScreen shot 2015-10-08 at 11.47.00 PMScreen shot 2015-10-08 at 11.49.00 PM

The files are big and take a while to load. I suggest if you want to peruse them that you view the PDFs at 25% their size. It makes scrolling easier.

This is one of those things I have no idea what use I have for it, but take great joy in knowing exists.

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