Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Pathfinder: Shipwrecks

(by Gina Bardi, Reference Librarian)

Due to the great work NOAA is doing locating wreck sites in the Gulf of the Farallones Marine Sanctuary there has been a lot of interest in the subject of local shipwrecks. The following is a list of material available at the San Francisco Maritime Research Center on the subject of shipwrecks along the California Coast along with some online resources.  Also included is material on subjects related to shipwrecks such as underwater archaeology and the Life-Saving Service.  This is by no means an exhaustive list, rather it is to give the researcher a taste of the collection.  To do further research, please see our Keys catalog. To see anything on this list, please contact Reference Librarian Gina Bardi: gina_bardi@nps.gov

Books on Shipwrecks
Delgado, James P. Shipwrecks at the Golden Gate: A History of Vessel Losses from Duxbury Reef to Mussel Rock. Lagunitas, CA: Lexikos, 1989. Print.

Delgado, James P. Submerged Cultural Resource Assessment: Golden Gate National Recreation Area, Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary, and Point Reyes National Seashore. Santa Fe, N.M: Southwest Cultural Resources Center, 1989. Print.
Also available online

Gibbs, Jim. Disaster Log of Ships. Superior Pub. Co., [c1971]. Print.

Jackson, Walter A. The Doghole Schooners: The Ship Builders, “Dog-Hole” Captains, Wrecks and Locations, Ports of Call, Ship Owners and the Schooners of Early Coastal Shipping. Mendocino, CA: Bear & Stebbins, 1977. Print.

James, Rick. West Coast Wrecks & Other Maritime Tales. Raincoast Chronicles 21. Madeira Park, B.C: Harbour Pub, 2011. Print.

Marshall, Don B. California Shipwrecks : Footsteps in the Sea. Superior Pub. Co. c1978. Print.

Pelkofer, Marilyn Ann. California Shipwrecks : Historical Profiles. Submerged Cultural Resources Unit, California State Lands Commission, 1993. Print.

Rockwell, Mabel M. California’s Sea Frontier. McNally and Loftin, 1962. Print.

Simpson, Glenn D. Evaluating Shipwreck Significance in the Humboldt Bay Region.  n.p., 2001. Print.

White, Michael. Shipwrecks of the California Coast: Wood to Iron, Sail to Steam. Charleston, SC: History Press, 2014. Print.
Collections of Stories
While some of the books on overviews include stories, these titles are more sensational and often include first person accounts. They are not California specific rather they are international in scope.
Baldwin, Hanson Weightman. Sea Fights and Shipwrecks; True Tales of the Seven Seas. 1st ed. Garden City, N.Y: Hanover House, 1955. Print.

Colter, John R. The Desert Island Adventure Book; True Tales of Famous Castaways Told by Themselves. New York: Macmillan, 1933. Print.

Kephart, Horace. Castaways and Crusoes; Tales of Survivors of Ship-Wreck in New Zealand, Patagonia, Tobago, Cuba, Magdalen Islands, South Seas and the Crozets. Outing  Adventure Library, No. 2. New York: Outing Publishing Company, 1915. Print.

Martingale, Hawser. Wonderful Adventures on the Ocean: Being True Descriptions of Battles, Tempests, Shipwreck, and Perilous Encounters: Also Lively Yarns and Curious Stories Spun in the Forecastle over Hard Tack and Salt Junk, or in the Dog Watches. Boston: Cottrell. Print.

Snow, Edward Rowe. Edward Rowe Snow Disaster at Sea: Three Volumes in One. New York: Avenel Books, 1990. Print.

Thrilling Narratives of Mutiny, Murder, and Piracy, a Weird Series of Tales of Shipwreck and Disaster from the Earliest Part of the Century to the Present Time, with Accounts of Providential Escapes and Heartrending Fatalities. New York: Hurst & Co. Pub, 18. Print.

Specific Wrecks
Beckwith, Herbert. San Francisco Call-Bulletin clipping file on the “Ohioan”, 1936-1938. 1987. Print.

Delgado, James P. Documentation and Identification of the Remains of the 1882 Schooner Neptune at Fort Funston, Ocean Beach, Golden Gate National Recreation Area, San Francisco. National Park Service, Golden Gate National Recreation Area, 1983. Print.

---. Great Leviathan of the Pacific”: The Saga of the Gold Rush Steamship Tennessee. Diss. East Carolina University, 1985.

---. Shipwreck Survey of a Portion of Ocean Beach, Golden Gate National Recreation Area, San Francisco, California to Locate the Remains of the United States Revenue Cutter C.W. Lawrence. San Francisco: U.S. Dept. of the Interior, National Park Service, Golden Gate National Recreation Area, 1984. Print.

Holly, David. Sea tragedy survivor, USS Benevolance AH-13, August 25, 1950. Print.

Knight, Donald G. Agony and Death on a Gold Rush Steamer: The Disastrous Sinking of the Side-Wheeler Yankee Blade. Ventura, CA, U.S.A: Pathfinder Publisher of California, 1990. Print.

Layton, Thomas N. Gifts from the Celestial Kingdom : A Shipwrecked Cargo for Gold Rush California. Stanford University Press, 2002. Print.

Meeker, Lionel. “Collision : USNHS Benevolence, SS Mary Luckenbach : Analysis and Comment.” Nautical brass (1984) (1990): vol. 10, no. 4 (July/Aug. 1990), p. 8–16. Print.

O’Starr, Max. Immigrant steamer. The story of the Rio de Janeiro. The life, death, and the wake of a ship. San Francisco, 1975.

Shapreau, Carla J. Case Notes : The Brother Jonathan Decision : Treasure Salvor’s “Actual Possession” of Shipwreck Gives Rise to Federal Jurisdiction for Title Claim. Oxford University Press, c1998. Print.

Stocking, Fred M. The Wreck of S.S. Tennessee: Or, “How We Gave a Name to Tennessee Cove.” San Francisco: Golden Gate National Recreation Area, 1984. Print.

Books on subjects related to shipwrecks
Maritime Archaeology
I kept these resources to material published in the last 20 years with a few exceptions.

Babits, Lawrence Edward, and Hans Van Tilburg, eds. Maritime Archaeology: A Reader of Substantive and Theoretical Contributions. The Plenum Series in Underwater Archaeology.
New York: Plenum Press, 1998. Print.

Catsambis, Alexis, Ben Ford, and Donny Leon Hamilton, eds. The Oxford Handbook of Maritime Archaeology. Oxford ; New York: Oxford University Press, 2011. Print.

Cussler, Clive. The Sea Hunters. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1996. Print.

Delgado, James P., ed. Encyclopedia of Underwater and Maritime Archaeology. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1998. Print.

Fleming, Robert M. A Primer of Shipwreck Research and Records for Skin Divers, Including an Informal Bibliography Listing over 300 Sources of Shipwreck Information. Milwaukee, Wis: Global MFG. Corp, 1971. Print.

Gould, Richard A. Archaeology and the Social History of Ships. Cambridge, U.K. ; New York: Cambridge University Press, 2000. Print.

Green, Jeremy N. Maritime Archaeology: A Technical Handbook. 2nd ed. Amsterdam ; Boston: Elsevier/Academic Press, 2004. Print.

Hicks, Brian. Raising the Hunley: The Remarkable History and Recovery of the Lost Confederate Submarine. 1st ed. New York: Ballantine Books, 2002. Print.

James, Stephen R. Underwater Archaeological Investigations “Docks Area” Sacramento, California. [Austin, Tex: Espey, Huston, & Associates, Inc.], 1986. Print.

Journal of Maritime Archaeology. New York, NY: Springer, 2006. Print.

Lenihan, Daniel. Submerged: Adventures of America’s Most Elite Underwater Archeology Team. 1st ed. New York: Newmarket Press, 2002. Print.

Skowronek, Russell K., and Charles Robin Ewen, eds. X Marks the Spot: The Archaeology of Piracy. New Perspectives on Maritime History and Nautical Archaeology.Gainesville, Fla: University Press of Florida, 2006. Print.

Life Saving Services
Bennett, Robert F. Sand Pounders: An Interpretation of the History of the U.S. Life-Saving Service, Based on Its Annual Reports for the Years 1870 through 1914. Washington, D.C: U.S. Coast Guard Historian’s Office, U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters, 1998. Print.

Lyle, D. A. Report on Foreign Life-Saving Apparatus. Washington, [D.C.]: U.S. Govt. Print. Off, 1880. Print.
Also available online.

Noble, Dennis L. That Others Might Live: The U.S. Life-Saving Service, 1878-1915. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1994. Print.

Rogers, Henry J. Rogers’ Life-Saving Signal Book: Or Appendix to the American Code; for the Use of Life-Boat Stations and Vessels in Distress, Also for Making International Communications between Vessels of Different Nations, at Sea, or off the Coast, during Periods of Calms, Light Winds, Storms, or Rough Weather. New ed. Baltimore: New York: H. Rogers ; E. & G. W. Blunt, 1856. Print.

Shanks, Ralph. The U.S. Life-Saving Service: Heroes, Rescues and Architecture of the Early Coast Guard. Petaluma, CA: Costadno Books, 1996. Print.
Shanks, Ralph C. “The United States Life-Saving Service in California.” Sea letter (1977): n31. p12. Print.

United States. Annual Report of the United States Life-Saving Service. Washington: Gov. Print. Off. Print.
also available online.

U.S. Life-Saving Service Heritage Association. Life Line: Newsletter of the U.S. Life-Saving Service Heritage Association. [Caledonia, MI: U.S. Life-Saving Service Heritage Association. Print.

Our Archival photographic collection contains hundreds of images of shipwrecks.  Listed below are a few of the more notorious shipwrecked vessels in our archives.
Aberdeen: Steam schooner, built 1899. Wrecked June 23rd, 1916.
Atlantic: Bark, built 1851. Wrecked December 16th, 1886.
Benevolence: Hospital ship, built 1944. Wrecked August 25, 1950.
City of Chester: Steamer, built 1888. Wrecked August 22nd, 1888.
City of New York: Steamer, built 1875. Wrecked October 26, 1893.
City of Rio de Janeiro: Steamer, built 1878. Wrecked February 22, 1901.
Frank H. Buck: Tanker, built 1914. Wrecked March 6th, 1936.
The Ohioan: Freighter built 1914. Wrecked October 7th, 1936.
Polaris: Four-masted schooner, built 1902. Wrecked January 16, 1914.
Reporter: Three-masted schooner, built. Wrecked March 13th, 1902.

Historical Documents
The John Lyman Papers
This collection includes a blueprint of a large format map titled “Strandings and Wrecks of Vessels of the Coasts of California, Oregon and Washington”. This highly detailed map includes vessel names, dates, cause of wrecks and casualties.

HDC 559
San Francisco Marine Exchange Records
The San Francisco Marine Exchange collection {HDC 559} consists of [12] Ledgers, scrapbooks of marine disasters, mishaps, and total losses.

The Jane Proctor Letter
Letter written by Mrs. Proctor in 1901 when she was a nurse in the Army Hospital on the Presidio of San Francisco. It describes her reaction to the wreck of the CITY OF RIO DE JANERIO.

HDC 1099
Irwin T. McGuire letter
A survivor's account of the collision and subsequent sinking of the hospital ship Benevolence under the Golden Gate Bridge.

HDC 1276
Leo J. Wright historic scrapbook
One scrapbook of newspaper clipping, ca. 1900-1930. The articles are mainly , but not exclusively concerned with disasters at sea, especially in the Pacific.

HDC 1310
Herbert Meyers scrapbooks
This collection consists of 83 scrapbooks of clippings and photographs collected by seaman Herbert Meyers.  They document maritime disasters on the Pacific Coast and worldwide from 1892 to 1973.

HDC 1393
South Coast, Brooklyn, Nevada, Iowa shipwreck ledger
The South Coast, Brooklyn, Nevada, Iowa shipwreck ledger collection consists of one ledger, titled “Record of Lost Vessels and Departed Seamen,” 1930 to 1936.

We have many plans in our collection of vessels that have wrecked.  Looking at plans of a vessel might help in the understanding of how and why the accident occurred. We also have plans of support vessels such as coast guard cutters and lifeboats.

Online resources
California State Lands Commission. California Shipwrecks. 2010. Web. 27 Mar. 2015.
This site is a database with shipwreck listing all along the coast of California. It’s wide but not very deep. You won’t find sensational accounts or much background information, but latitude and longitude of wreck, when built, when wrecked, captain and measurements of vessel.

Levy, D. Blethen Adams. Shipwrecks in Pacific Waters. The Maritime Heritage Project. Web. 24 Mar. 2015.
Reports, newspaper accounts, photos and other material on shipwrecks near our coast.

National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration. Wrecks and Obstructions Database. Office of Coast Survey. Web. 30 Mar. 2015.
        An informative site especially for boaters, this site contains information on wrecks and submerged obstructions in U.S. maritime boundaries.

Sanctuaries Web Team. National Marine Sanctuaries. National Oceanic & Atmospheric Adminstration. Web. 21 Mar. 2015
        This site outlines information about the 14 Marine Sanctuaries, home to many shipwrecks,  in the United States.   

University of California Riverside. California Digital Newspaper Collection. Web. 26 Mar. 2015.

You can read primary accounts of shipwrecks and their aftermaths at this full text newspaper site.  Search by vessel name and narrow your date range to the wreck date. Sometimes wrecks were reported on for weeks, months or years afterwards if there were lawsuits involved so be sure to search for at least a few years after the actual wreck date. 

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

National Poetry Month: C. Fox Smith

(by Diane Cooper, Museum Specialist)

A poet must master not only the ability to create images with words but also to create a cadence and a rhyme that does not sound sing-songy, forced, or contrived. A maritime poet must also master the language of the sea and the sailor and knew the ways of those who sail the seas. During the first half of the twentieth century, Cicely Fox Smith, mastered all of those skills to become one of the most enduring, and yet unknown, maritime poets Britain ever produced.

In 1899, her book of poetry called “Songs of Great Britain” appeared in the British literary markets to favorable reviews. By 1904 she had published her fourth volume of poetry earning herself a place in the book Women Poets of the Nineteenth Century. The editor, Alfred H. Miles, had this to say about the young poet.

                        The publication of four successive volumes of verse by a writer who has
                        not attained to twenty-four years of age is surely phenomenal, and one
naturally looks for signs of haste and immaturity in work produced so
early and with so much rapidity. The work, however, if not perfect will
bear scrutiny, and its examination only increases one’s wonder at both
the quantity and the quality of the output.

Cicely (pronounced sigh-sli as in precisely) Fox Smith, born 1 February 1882 in Lymm, Cheshire, England, received her education at Manchester High School for Girls and obtained her sense of adventure wandering the moors near her childhood home.

Cicely chose travel to Africa as her dream, but in 1911 she settled instead for a trip with her mother, Alice Wilson Smith, and her sister, Margaret (Madge) Scott Smith, on a steamship bound for Canada where they visited her older brother, Richard Andrew Smith. Eventually Cicely ended up in the James Bay neighborhood of Victoria at the southern tip of Vancouver Island in British Columbia. Here she worked as a typist from 1912-1913, first for the BC Lands Department and then for an attorney on the waterfront.

Along the waterfronts of Victoria, Cicely Fox Smith found her maritime voice.  She roamed the wharves and alleys during her spare time, talked with residents and sailors, listened to their stories, and learned the ways of the sailor and the sea. She also haunted the local lumber yards with their docks where sailing ships still arrived in port to load lumber and then transport it around the world. The men who sailed these vanishing vessels shared their stories and love of the sea with her.

The knowledge she gained from these sea-going men permeates the maritime themed poems and prose she wrote after her return to England late in 1913, just before the outbreak of World War I. Publishing under the byline of “C.F.S.” or “C. Fox Smith,” her poetry concerning ships, the sea, and the sailors life lead many readers to believe that she was a sailor and, therefore, a man, who had spent years working aboard sailing ships. Initially she published her writings in numerous well-known magazines of her day, including Canada Monthly, The London Mercury, The Nautical Magazine, The Spectator, The Times Literary Supplement, The Daily Colonist (British Columbia), The Register (Australia), Nelson Evening Mail (New Zealand), and Punch. Later she republished most of these poems in her volumes of poetry.

Cicely wrote more than just poetry. During her lifetime she penned three romantic novels, numerous short stories and articles, as well as several books describing “sailortown.” As a compiler, she published a volume of traditional sea shanties she collected over the years and edited a collection of sea poetry and prose written by author authors. During the latter years of her life she wrote children’s sea stories with her sister, Madge, travel books, history books, a book about ship models, at least one biography titled Grace Darling, contributed and edited many collections, and contributed literary reviews to Punch magazine and the Times Literary Supplement. Her brother, Phil Wilson Smith, well-known for his etchings and oil paintings, illustrated many of her poetry and prose books.

In 1937 Cicely finally realized her life-long dream to visit Africa when the Union-Castle Mail Steamship Company offered to sail her around the continent’s coast, with stops in many of the harbors along the way, as their guest. Her experiences during that memorable trip appeared in All the Way round: Sea Roads to Africa.

The Spectator hailed Cicely works as “combining a mastery of sea-lingo with perfect command of sea rhythms.” Other literary reviews of Cicely Fox Smith’s poetry and prose, which appeared in her 1919 publication Songs and Chanties, appear below.

“No one, not even Mr. Masefield, has written finer sea ballads or come closer to the heart of those who go down to the great waters.” -Spectator “The writer’s vocabulary of sea phrases is striking and characteristic; the technicalities proclaim a real sea lover, and the tone and colour are only excelled by the lilt of the verses.” –Navy “The sea songs have the breath and the sound and the motion of the waters in them.” – Manchester City News “It is not likely that many lovers of sea-songs have missed the voice of Miss Fox Smith, but if they do not know her ‘Songs in Sail’ let them read ‘Sailor Town’ – the dancing colours and fresh scents of the harbor, the rush of the sea and wind, the cheery pathos of the outward-bound, the sailor’s homesickness – all this is carried on the rhythm of her verses with a vividness hardly equaled by any other verse writer of the day.” – Times “In her I verily believe the quintessence of the collective soul of the latterday seamen has found its last resting-place, and a poignant voice, before taking its flight forever from the earth.” – Joseph Conrad

Cicely Fox Smith crossed the bar on 8 April 1954 at the age of 72, but her voice remains strong as her poetry and prose keep alive of the ways of the sailor and his sailing ships long after they have departed from the seas.

From her book Small Craft (1919):

‘Frisco City’s grand and gay
(Sacramento, Sacramento!)
And the roaring night’s as bright as day!
And many ships go, small and great,
In and out by the Golden Gate,
(And away O! Sacramento!)
Who was it called across the night?
(Sacramento, Sacramento!)
What was it flashed so keen and bright?
Who is it drives down ‘Frisco tide
With a six-inch blade deep in his side?
(And away O! Sacramento!)
Oh, don’t you see Blue Peter flying?
(Sacramento, Sacramento!)
Oh, don’t you hear the good wind crying?
Oh, don’t you hear the capstan chorus
And smell the open sea before us?
(And away O! Sacramento!)
We’ll miss you , running easting down
(Sacramento, Sacramento!)
With a following wind from ‘Frisco town:
We’ll miss you beating off the Horn,
One man less at the pumps forlorn
(And away O! Sacramento!)
No more time to spend on grieving
(Sacramento, Sacramento!)
All because o’ the man we’re leaving:
The salt tides drives his drowned bones
In and out o’ the Farallones
                                                            (And away O! Sacramento!)

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Ecology and climatology resources

(by Sara Diamond, Archives Specialist)

I am really excited to be going back to my old stomping grounds across the Bay today to present a poster at the Science for Parks, Parks for Science: The Next Century.  This conference is being held at U.C. Berkeley from March 25-27. I am presenting this poster at the Valley Life Science building on the Cal Campus today Thursday March 26. I will be talking it up from 4 to 6 pm:

Look for my new Flat Hat. 

The poster will travel next week to Oakland for the National Park Service’s George Wright Conference.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Behind the scenes in Technical Services: fixing the Romance of Piracy

(by Heather Hernandez, Technical Services Librarian)

As any reader knows, despite our best intentions, books are occasionally damaged.  Here in the Collections Dept., we do a lot of repairs on our collections materials, including repairs and stabilization of items upon receipt--a lot of items are in bad shape when they arrive, and we repair and stabilize them so they can be used for research by our users.

The books shelved in our main stacks are not only used by researchers in the Reading Room of the Research Center, but unlike our rare books, they also circulate to staff, and to researchers at other libraries via interlibrary loan.  (Rare books never leave the Research Center, and the decision process for their preservation is entirely different--they are preserved as acquired and often placed in protective enclosures.)  Sometimes we decide to simply replace a damaged stacks copy by purchasing one in better condition, but when we can't easily replace the copy, or repair is more efficient than replacement, we repair it.

One such item is our copy of the Romance of Piracy--the bottom of its spine was damaged.  This typically happens when a book is dropped.  This is a picture of the spine at the bottom of the book, showing the spine slightly detached from the front board (the front cover).  The book is held spine up in a finishing press, ready for repair:

Using an adhesive that is a mixture of wheat starch and methyl cellulose in water, which is fully reversible in water (should we ever wish to reverse the repair), I used a small piece of hanji paper to repair the spine, placing part of the hanji paper under the rumpled and partially detached spine piece, and overlapping a bit onto the front cover:

Then a piece of wax paper is placed on the repair, with waste paper behind that to absorb moisture, and the book is wrapped in a bandage to apply pressure to the repair, so it dries as flat as possible.  It's left like this overnight (and I'm always impatient in the morning to see how it came out!)

This is the dried repair, with the book back in the finishing press, so I can easily trim the hanji paper's little threads that hang below the bottom of the book:

The final step is coloring the hanji paper so that it blends with the rest of the book binding with some colored pencils--this is purely for aesthetic reasons.  The finished repair:

And, most importantly, the book is now sound, and opens and closes again as it should, and is ready  to be read again!

Want to know more about preservation, conservation, and caring for collections?  CoOL, Conservation Online has lots of information and links, including Conservation/Preservation Information for the General Public.