The Melville Society is dedicated to the study and appreciation of the nineteenth-century American author Herman Melville, writer of Typee, Moby-Dick, and Billy Budd, such short stories as “Bartleby” and “Benito Cereno,” and several volumes of poetry, including Battle-Pieces and the epic Clarel
We publish the award-winning journal Leviathan which all members receive three times a year and which offers scholarly articles, book and art reviews, Society news, and Melville-related events. Membership is open to all. For information about Leviathan and joining The Melville Society click here.

The Eaton Portrait

Herman Melville JOEaton 95ppi 250wBy permission of Houghton Library, Harvard University: 61Z-4

click for larger image

Melville Electronic Library

mel-thumb-crpd-3The Melville Electronic Library is an online resource for Melville texts. Housed on a Hofstra University server, MEL is being developed and maintained by a group of Melville scholars and digital specialists.

Johns Hopkins University Press

jhup-logoTo join the Melvillle Society and subscribe to Leviathan, visit Leviathan's Johns Hopkins University Press journal site by clicking here.

Melville Society Cultural Project

Melville Society and New Bedford Whaling Museum Cultural Project The New Bedford Whaling Museum in collaboration with The Melville Society is the established home of the Melville Society Cultural Project and Melville Society Archive. The Melville Society Archive is housed at the New Bedford Whaling Museum's Research Library, where significant works from this collection are also on display. The Melville Society Cultural Project also sponsors a book donation program and presents exciting annual events including the Moby-Dick Marathon and a Birthday Lecture.

Herman Melville's Arrowhead

BHS FB HM portraitHerman Melville's Arrowhead Facebook Group page of the Berkshire Historical Society. Celebrating historical Berkshire County and Herman Melville's Arrowhead, the farm and home where Melville lived while writing Moby-Dick.

Series II:

Jay Leyda left a box of papers with a friend during his peripatetic life. The contents of this collection comprise a wide assortment of materials and subjects of interest to Jay Leyda. One folder, labeled “Melville Log,” contained material concerning Leyda’s research and planning of that work, but also contained a variety of unrelated material. The rest of the papers range over a variety of subjects and were apparently packed randomly into this box.

In creating this finding aid, I have kept the papers in the “Melville Log” folder separate simply because Leyda labeled them in that manner. Scholars seeking information on Leyda’s research into Melville’s life and work should therefore seek it in both the “Melville Log” folder and the other Melville categories.

Much of the material contained herein is difficult or impossible to date with any certainty. Many of the individual sheets of paper have notes on several very different subjects related only by Leyda’s interest in them. I have categorized each piece according to its predominant subject, but those seeking minutia are encouraged to explore the entire collection carefully.

Detailed Container List

BOX 7: Emily Dickinson, Russian Composers, including Sergei Rachmaninoff,  Sergei Eisenstein, Jay Leyda (4 folders)

7: Folder 1

Emily Dickinson

Sub-folder 7.1.1 Photostats of materiel from Goodell manuscript (1 item)

Sub-folder 7.1.2 Copy of Susan Tolman’s “Journal for the Missionaries” (1 item)

Sub-folder 7.1.3 List of Dickinson poems with dates, locations (1 item)

Sub-folder 7.1.4 Text of and notes on essay “Prose Fragments” by Millicent Todd Bingham (1 item)

Sub-folder 7.1.5 Script for CBS Radio Division “Invitation to Learning” April 24, 1955, on Emily Dickinson (1 item)

Sub-folder 7.1.6 Collected articles on Emily Dickinson (4 items)

Sub-folder 7.1.7 Dickinson poem transcripts (1 item)

7: Folder 2

Russian Film and Music

Sub-folder 7.2.1 Articles and notes on Eisenstein and Soviet Film (21 items)

Sub-folder 7.2.2 Copies of letters from A. Skryabin [sic] (1 item)

Sub-folder 7.2.3 Various letters, notes, articles, and a copy of music in letters from Rachmaninoff (14 items)

Copy of letter from Joseph Reither introducing himself as member of Bd. of Advisors of Rachmaninoff Society re: ms. of bio. on Rachmaninoff by Leyda and Bertenson and expressing interest of editors (at NYU Press?) in seeing ms.

Copy of a letter (unsigned but presumably from Jos. Reither) re: ms. of bio and McGraw Hill’s interest in publishing it.

Copy of a letter from Leyda to JR re: Rachmaninoff bio.

Copy of a letter from JR to Leyda.

Copy of a letter from Leyda to JR re: Edison Museum recordings of Rachmaninoff and discovery of “missing cadenza.”

Copy of a letter from Leyda to “Mr. Reither” re: choosing between 2 presses.

Copies of 3 short reminiscences with title page “Missing Rachmaninoff”: 1) death of Rachmaninoff (Scarsdale 1943); 2) anecdote about John Berryman and meeting of Culture Club with recordings of Rachmaninoff, “Chaikovsky,” and Mahler (Iona School 1943); and 3) reminiscence about meeting with old school mate James Morgan at Russian Tea Room and going to see NYC Opera performance of Prokoffiev’s “Love for Three Oranges” [title page not numbered but all subsequent pages are numbered consecutively 1-11].

A second partial copy of the above, pp. 1-5 only.

7: Folder 3

Personal and Business Papers

Sub-folder 7.3.1 Original Memorandum of Agreement for writing of Sergei Rachmaninoff: His Life and Music (1 item)

Sub-folder 7.3.2 Military service records (7 items)

Sub-folder 7.3.3 Various contracts, financial records (7 items)

Sub-folder 7.3.4 Letters regarding the publication of others’ works (4 items)

7: Folder 4


Sub-folder 7.4.1 Dramatic dialogue (1 item)

Sub-folder 7.4.2 Notes on various nineteenth-century authors (1 item)

Sub-folder 7.4.3 Leyda review of The American Renaissance by F. O. Mathiesson (1 item)

Sub-folder 7.4.4 Copies of correspondence, articles, and anecdotes (10 items)

Sub-folder 7.4.5 Miscellaneous research notes (5 items)

Sub-folder 7.4.6 Various research and personal notes; spiral notebook (28 items)

Sub-folder 7.4.7 Miscellaneous collected articles (35 items)

Sub-folder 7.4.8 Assorted material of a more random nature than is usual even for Mr. Leyda (70 items)


   Subscriptions and Membership

join now solid blue

   Click the Whale Below to Donate

 whale shadow 85

The Melville Society on Facebook

FB logo PNG clear blue

 Visit for Details about Upcoming Events and Melville-Related News


Fellowships and Scholarships

Melville Society Archive
Walter E. Bezanson Fellowship
The Melville Society, under the auspices of the Melville Society Cultural Project in New Bedford, offers an annual fellowship to help a scholar undertake research on Herman Melville at the Society’s Archive in the Research Library of the Whaling Museum in New Bedford, Massachusetts.


Click here for more information and application details.


New York Public Library
Short-term Research Fellowships


Graduate students or other affiliated academics whose work would benefit from visiting the Manuscripts and Archives Division to view collections such as the Gansevoort-Lansing collection, and Duyckinck family papers are encouraged to apply.


Click here for more information and application details.

From Our Photo Collections

9629258469 Dc36ca3a2b B
click to start slideshow

Woodlawn Cemetary

WoodlawnWoodlawn Cemetary - final resting place of Herman, his wife, Elizabeth, and other family members. Click here to view photos of the gravesites.

125th Anniversary Celebration

125th Woodlawn

A celebration of Melville's life at Woodlawn Cemetary on the 125th anniversary of his passing.

Lansingburgh Historical Society

Melville House

Melville lived for nine years in this Lansingburgh house. It was here that he wrote Typee and Omoo

Berkshire Historical Society

ArrowheadMelville's Arrowhead home and farm in Pittsfield, MA where he wrote Moby-Dick and lived for most of the 1850s.