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

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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.

The Eleventh International Melville Society Conference

Melville’s Crossings

King’s College London, June 27-30 2017

Click here to register and obtain more information.

Liverpool docks
Liverpool Docks

When Herman Melville came to London in 1849 as a suddenly successful travel writer, lauded on both sides of the Atlantic, he entered into a complex cultural economy that would define his later work. Although he was ostensibly in the old world to hawk his new book, he benefitted from the trip in ways that were less professional than aesthetically transformative. As he browsed the bookshops and witnessed, alternately, the grand imperial splendour of Victorian London and the rankness of uncontrolled industrialisation, he picked up a series of crucial scenes and literary topoi that would shape his future work. From Thomas Carlyle to the bachelors of Temple to the art galleries to the phantasmic world of poverty that percolated into Israel Potter, Melville’s second trip to Britain gave him the raw source material that launched the second phase of his career.

At the 2017 Melville Conference, we want to explore questions that emerged from his trips to London and Great Britain. Located by the Thames in the heart of the city, a mere ten minutes walk from 25 Craven Street where Melville stayed in 1849, King’s College London’s location will act as a starting point for a series of broader conceptual problems and issues. As a starting point, the London setting will allow for the reconsideration of the place of a number of problematic and less-discussed transatlantic texts and figures in Melville’s oeuvre: from Redburn to Israel Potter to “The Paradise of Bachelors,” to Gansevoort Melville and Herman’s British sailing companions, the conference offers the chance to cast light on some more obscure moments of his life and works.

There are also wider conceptual issues at stake. For us, the word “crossings,” more than any other, defines how Melville related to Great Britain. Crossing the Atlantic generated a series of other critically complex crossings: these include gender transgression, racial reversals, national boundary blurring, questions of copyright violation and illicit book circulation, class inversions, Atlantic literary collisions, textual crossings out, political reformations, and much more besides. In the spirit of the conference, we will welcome responses that consider the transatlantic frame of the long nineteenth century more generally, as well as papers that engage with the dynamics of transgression implied by the word “crossing.”


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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

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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.