We are pleased to present a revised and updated website that now features Melville Society Blogs with contributions from the site edtior as well as from guest blogger, Robert Wallace, and the blog of the New Bedford Whaling Museum. Professor Wallace has generously shared his blog, which features richly illustrated essays and narratives related to the recent international conference in London and his several excursions to London art museums. The New Bedford Whaling Museum blog was included in the former version of our website, but not as an easy to read, full-column blog, but in a compressed, narrow module tucked away in the left sidebar.
The Melville Society Facebook page has been growing in the number of participants for the past six or so years. But being separate from the website, its many interesting, thoughtful, and informative posts may or may not be read by visitors who only frequent this website. To make it easy to keep abreast of the Facebook postings, we have installed a newsfeed module in the right sidebar that continuously updates and shows the ten most recent Melville Society Facebook posts. The module includes a link to the live Melville Society Facebook page. To further integrate the website with other social media, we now include at the bottom of each article a row of colorful link-icons that enable sharing not only with Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, and Gmail, but various other social media platforms as well.
All of the Melville Society photos are hosted on the Melville Society Flickr page. But you do not have to go to the Flickr page to view them. The Melville Society website "Photos" page contains photo albums or collections that are synchronized with all of the Melville Society photo collections hosted by Flickr. You can view the photos on our website's "Photos" page one at a time or as a slide show. To view a website photo on Flickr, just click the chain-link icon in the lower right of the photo. When viewing the photos on Flickr you can download them at a resolution of your choice. In addition to our website's "Photos" page, there is a random image module in the right side bar that displays photos taken during the past twenty years or so. Clicking on the image in the module opens up a slide show.
Except for the blog and photos pages, our website now features in the header a slideshow that transitions between photos every five seconds. The photos are of Melville's home and farm at Arrowhead in Pittsfield, Massachussetts, and places he visited, or may have visited or seen. The slideshow replaces the static photo of a shelf of books published before 1891 that Melville may have owned or read. You can override the automatic transitions and move to the next picture by clicking one of the dots in the lower right. You will probably easily identify most of the photos; here is the complete list – Arrowhead, Shaker Village, Seaman's Bethel, three different views of Mt. Greylock, Hawthorne's Little Red House, the view from the Devil's Pulpit at the top of Monument Mountain, the Monument Mountain trail head, Balance Rock, Broadhall, Boston Harbor, the USS Constitution, Walden Pond, the Pantheon, Lake Pontoosuc, a mosque, and, of course, a whaling boat and a whale skeleton.
The donations and payment page has been revised to include two Paypal buttons: one with a dropdown menu; the other with a field in which a visitor can type in the purpose for the payment. These two buttons are now placed in the article itself; they were previously published in separate modules in the right sidebar.
We plan on making more revisions, improvements, and additions to our website and welcome your comments and suggestions. We are forming a Melville Society communications committee to oversee the development, use, and maintenance of the website and its further integration with social media. With the imminent bicentennial of Melville's birth, we want to focus on optimizing our use of digital media. The already high interest in the life and works of Herman Melville is sure to grow at an accelerating rate during the next two years as we approach Melville's bicentennial on August 1, 2019. We hope you enjoy the new features and look of the website.