The Eaton Portrait

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

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whale-trp200Leviathan: A Journal of Melville Studies appears three times a year in March, June, and October. We welcome articles, notes, reviews, and creative writing on the life, works, and influence of novelist and poet Herman Melville (1819-1891). Click here for more information.

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.


Co-sponsored by the New Bedford Whaling Museum, The Melville Society,
Mystic Seaport, and the Nantucket Historical Association

June 30 - July 3, 2014
New Bedford, MA


Held in conjunction with the return of the 1841 Whaleship Charles W. Morgan
to New Bedford during her 38th Voyage

The New Bedford Whaling Museum, Mystic Seaport, Nantucket Historical Association, and The Melville Society are pleased to announce the program for the 38th Whaling History Symposium, which is being co-hosted by all four institutions. This year the Symposium will be held Monday-Thursday, June 30-July 3, 2014, to coincide with the return of the 1841 Whaleship Charles W. Morgan to New Bedford. The Morgan is making a historic 38th Voyage and will spend nine days in New Bedford. The Whaling History Symposium, first established in 1975, brings scholars, writers, artists, museum curators, and local historians to New Bedford from all over the country and abroad to share interests in whales, whaling, Herman Melville, Moby-Dick, maritime history, nautical lore, and the many intriguing facets of whaling heritage worldwide. This time around, the Charles W. Morgan is the focus, but the topics covered will be wide-ranging and deeply engaging.        


(to be updated as new information is received)


Topic: Whaling Ports, Whaling People
Location: State Pier, Building 2
Chair: Mary K. Bercaw Edwards

 9:30-10:15      Peggi Medeiros, Fletcher Christian's Great Grandson George, Honour Matthews
                        Earle, Assistant Navigator, and Captain James Earle: The Morgan’s Most 
Fascinating Trio

10:15-11          Bill Tramposch, Butler Point: A “Safe” Harbor in Northland New Zealand

11-11:45          Betsy Tyler, Ship of Fools: Wine, Women, and Mutiny on the New Bedford
Whaleship William Gifford

Topic: Whales and Natural History
Location: State Pier, Building 2
Chair: Wyn Kelley

1:00-1:45         Christopher Sten, Melville's Whale, Autism, and the Question of Animal Intelligence

1:45-2:30         Dale Peterson, Moby-Dick and Animal Minds

2:30-3:15         Jennifer Baker, The Aesthetics of Natural Science in Moby-Dick


Topic: Whaling and Melville
Location: State Pier, Building 2
Chair: Jennifer Baker

 9:30-10:15           Mary K. Bercaw Edwards, Herman Melville’s Whaling Years

10:15-11:00          Jason Hine, Melville, Whaling, and the Galápagos

11:00-11:45          Wyn Kelley, The Poetry of Whaling

Topic: Whaling and Moby-Dick in Film and Popular Culture
Location: State Pier, Building 2
Chair: Christopher Sten

1:00-1:45         Timothy Marr, The Continuing Migrations of Moby-Dick through
 Popular Culture

1:45-2:30         Fred Calabretta, Whaling in the Movies

2:30-3:15         Jaime Campomar, "Rendering Whales into Movies: the 1956 Film
                        Adaptation of Moby-Dick."

3:15-4:00         Vanessa Hodgkinson, The Handsome Cabin Boy


Gallery Opening with talks by Curator Robert K. Wallace

Time: Evening (probably 5 or 5:30 pm)
Location: Center Street Gallery

The Cape Verdean Cultural Minister will speak on Whaling and the Cape Verde islands following the gallery talk


Topic: The Enterprise of Whaling
Location: State Pier, Building 2
Chair: Timothy Marr (The Melville Society and University of North Carolina)

 9:30 - 10:15 a.m.         Steve Purdy (Mystic Seaport), A Great American Enterprise:
                                     19th-Century American Whaling and the Industrial Revolution

10:15 - 11:00 a.m.        Judith Lund, Saints and Sinners: Whaling Masters Good and Bad

11:00 - 11:45 a.m.        Robert E. Harding, Philip Cummings, Dartmouth Martyr, and
                                     The House He Built in 1702

Topic: Whaling around the World
Location: State Pier, Building 2
Chair: Robert K. Wallace (The Melville Society and Northern Kentucky University)

1:00 - 1:45 p.m.           Laurie Robertson-Lorant (New Bedford Historical Society,
                                    The Melville Society,and Bridgewater State University), Bringing 
                                    New Bedford's History Home to Us: The Charles W. Morgan
                                    Maritime New Bedford and the Antislavery Movement

1:45 - 2:30 p.m.           Márcia Dutra (University of the Azores), Western Islands – The impact
                                    of the American Whaling in the Azores

2:30 - 3:15 p.m.           Hayato Sakurai (Taiji Historical Archives), Great Forbidden Fish: Manjiro
                                    and Whaling Rights in 19th-Century Japan

3:15 - 4:00 p.m.           Diane Duprey (Bristol Community College), Charles W. Morgan--The
                                    Man and His Ship



Topic: Whaling Heritage
Location: State Pier, Building 2
Chair: Christina Connett (New Bedford Whaling Museum)

 9:30 - 10:15 a.m.         Bradley Barr (NOAA), New Bedford and the Global Whaling 
                                     Heritage Landscape

10:15 - 11:00 a.m.        Michael P. Dyer (New Bedford Whaling Museum), llustrated Whaling
                                     Journals of the 19th Century

1:00 - 11:45 a.m.          Anthony Ucci (Bristol Community College), Architecture of the
                                     Whaling City

1:00 - 1:45 p.m.            Pamela J. Cole (Bristol Community College), Elder Moses How:
                                     He Was the Second Chaplain of the Seamen's Bethel and
                                     He Tried

1:45 - 2:30 p.m.           Barbara Bedell (Author of Colonel Edward Howland Robinson Green
                                    and the World
He Created at Round Hill), The Charles W. Morgan
                                    at Round Hill

2:30 - 3:15 p.m.           Robert Demanche and Donald F. Tucker (Co-authors, The Last of
                                    the Fairhaven
Coasters), Precious Cargo in Tow: Captain Claude S.
                                    Tucker and the Morgan's Farewell Trip t
o Mystic




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Melville Society Facebook Posts

Greg Lennes The Cape Cod Museum of Natural History in Brewster, MA presents JMW Turner’s Whaling Pictures & "Moby-Dick" with Storyteller, Tom Lee on Saturday, March 24th.
Mindy Wallis The New Bedford Whaling Museum, in partnership with Mystic Seaport, has developed the world's most comprehensive whaling history database and it is now available for all to use at Researchers, genealogists, students, teachers, and history buffs alike will find it to be the most robust and useful repository of whaling history documentation and scholarship.
Whaling History – Connecting All Things Whaling William Bradford, The Port of New Bedford from Crow Island, 1854, oil painting. New Bedford Whaling Museum, 1975.18 Whale oil provided fuel for lighting and lubrication for the gears of the industrial revolution, until it was replaced by petroleum products in the mid-nineteenth century. The whali....
Greg Lennes Scenes from Pittsburgh Opera's "Moby-Dick"
Pittsburgh Opera: Moby-Dick - “Death to Moby Dick!” Captain Ahab (Roger Honeywell) incites the Pequod's crew into swearing that they will hunt and kill the white whale Moby-Dick, which previously took off his ...
Greg Lennes Melvillean TV: Moby-Dick's Captain Ahab appears as a character on ABC's TV series "Once Upon a Time" on the March 16th "Knightfall" episode. Here is a video excerpt - farfetched:) Did the screenplay writers ever read "Moby-Dick?" - probably not!
Greg Lennes "I may here remark by the way — what I subsequently learned — that all the islands of Polynesia enjoy the reputation, in common with the Hibernian isle, of being free from the presence of any vipers; though whether Saint Patrick ever visited them, is a question I shall not attempt to decide." (From "Typee" - Chapter 7)
Greg Lennes "Common Threads is a free annual publication and outreach program produced by Mass Poetry, with a goal to broaden the audience for poetry and support poets and poetry in Massachusetts by helping thousands of people across the Commonwealth come together in small, local groups to read and discuss poetry." For 2018 one of the featured poems in its publication is “Billy in the Darbies” by Melville. According to the editor Alan Feldman the poem "is probably the best poem Melville ever wrote."
Greg Lennes Today in Melvillean History: On March 17, 1846 Melville's "Typee: A Peep at Polynesian Life" was published by Wiley & Putnam in America. In London John Murray had published it in late February under the title "Narrative of a Four Month's Residence among the Natives of a Valley of the Marquesas Islands." "Copies were issued in printed wrappers (two volumes) and in blue, brown, green and slate blue cloth, gilt (one volume) as part of Wiley and Putnam's “Library of American Books” series.... The edition was 2,000 copies, of which 1,498 were bound in cloth and 496 in wrappers (the other six copies were defective sets of sheets)." (From "A Checklist of Herman Melville First and Major Editions" by Kevin McDonnell)
Typee : a peep at Polynesian life. During a four months' residence in a valley of the Marquesas The BookReader requires JavaScript to be enabled. Please check that your browser supports JavaScript and that it is enabled in the browser settings. You can also try one of the other formats of the book.
Eileen Valentino Flaxman You can open Moby-Dick just about anywhere and along with spectacular narrative and stunningly beautiful prose, you're likely to find something philosophical that can apply to your 21st century life. I was inspired by a few … Chapter 45 - The Affidavit We fear what we do not understand. Ignorance is not bliss but an instigator, with stories, fables, even downright lies filling in the blanks and believed true. Men are moved by such things. From ear to ear, from man to man, from ship to ship . . . Careers made Lives changed, Leaving carnage in its wake. Chapter 98 - Stowing Down and Clearing Up Tis in whaling as in Life, there is no rest, for one thing follows another. No matter how arduous, still harder tasks will come and often a man just catches his breath when along comes another. So what is the point, exactly? Like Pythagoras - and sometimes feeling like Sisyphus - we discover, we learn, we teach and we work. Over and over and over again. From my collection
Greg Lennes Mt. Greylock
Herman Melville's Arrowhead We've run this quote before, but not in mid-March! Photograph of Mt. Greylock taken this morning, from Arrowhead.
"I have a sort of sea-feeling here in the country… My room seems a ship’s cabin; and at nights when I wake up and hear the winds shrieking, I almost fancy there is too much sail on the house, and I had better go on the roof and rig the chimney.”
Herman Melville writing to Evert Duychinck from Arrowhead, December, 1850.
Colin Dewey This Saturday in San Francisco!
San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park Breaching this Saturday in the Maritime Museum’s Blue Room: “Does the Whale’s Magnitude Diminish? Maritime Labor and the Environment in Melville’s Moby-Dick." Join Associate Professor Amy Parsons’ free gam at 1pm, and learn how the classic American novel frames the environmental and human cost of the industry’s tremendous riches during “the golden age of whaling.”


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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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.