Herman Melville - J.O. Eaton Portrait - 1870 - by Permission of Harvard University
Portrait by Joseph Oriel Eaton, 1870, by permission of Houghton Library, Harvard University [*61Z-4]
(click to view larger image)


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.

New Bedford Whaling Museum

You are invited to join The Melville Society

Starting with our March issue of Leviathan (15.1), Johns Hopkins University Press (JHUP) will not only publish Leviathan but also handle membership and subscription dues for the Melville Society. This is wonderful news!   Beginning with the new year, members will pay their annual Melville Society dues of $30 directly to JHUP. As always, your subscription order doubles as your membership dues. Simply go to the JHUP website (http://www.press.jhu.edu/journals/leviathan/) and place your 2013 order.  If you prefer to wait, JHUP will market to you directly. You can then pay with a check, or use Visa, Mastercard, Discover, or American Express credit cards. JHUP will update the Society on all subscription renewals, so we will also know to renew your membership and update your address information for our semi-annual Melville Society mailings. You can also send orders by mail with payment to:

Johns Hopkins University Press 
P.O. Box 19966 
Baltimore, MD 21211-0966 USA

About the Change: The Melville Society has had a rolling membership philosophy, often mailing the Journal to friends several years behind in dues.  JHUPs very different subscription philosophy may mean a few more dollars at the outset for many of us, but we hope you find our society well worth the commitment.   A few members are paid through 2013 right now, and the Melville Society will pay JHUP directly to make sure that these valued members receive all three 2013 issues of the journal. The treasurer will confirm paid status with these members by mail under separate cover.

Thank you for your continuing support of The Melville Society in 2012. You are an important part of the second oldest single-author society in the United States! Annual dues are $30, and your membership remains an incredible bargain.  Here is what you get:

  1. Three issues of our award-winning journal Leviathan, which offers scholarly articles, book reviews, Society news, and Melville-related current events
  2. Announcements of our annual programs and panels at the Modern Language Association and the American Literature Association
  3. Invitations to our biennial international conferences.  Recent venues include Lahaina, Maui; Poland; Jerusalem; and Rome in 2011. 
  4. Access to the Melville Society Archive, a collection of over 2000 books on Melville at the New Bedford Whaling Museum Library
  5. Updates on the Melville Society Cultural Project, which since 2001 has presented lectures, curated exhibits, organized conferences, and collaborated with local organizations in New Bedford, Massachusetts

The Society and the Cultural Project offer four giving opportunities and we strongly encourage you to consider a gift at this time.  They include:

  1. The Melville Society Cultural Project, which sponsors the Melville Archive in New Bedford, the Book Donation Program for international scholars, and lecture series and exhibitions
  2. The Walter Bezanson Fellowship, which supplements funds from the Melville Society Cultural Project to support scholars to work in the Melville Archive, located in the Library of the New Bedford Whaling Museum
  3. The Society's Book Donation Program for international scholars, which accepts books related to Melville as well as donations to pay for postage
  4. The Hennig Cohen Endowment, which awards an annual prize for the best Melville essay by a new scholar
  5. The Murray Endowment, which supports Society publications and other general activities.

The Melville Society is dedicated to the study of the life and works of Herman Melville, and their cultural impact since the nineteenth century.  The organization enjoys the fellowship of over 500 scholars, artists, teachers, writers, readers, and enthusiasts throughout the world.

All members receive our award-winning journal Leviathan, which is published three times a year with Wiley Publishing, and offers scholarly articles, book and art reviews, Society news, and Melville-related current events

The Society arranges programs and panels at the annual conferences of the Modern Language Association and the American Literature Association

Since 1997, we have sponsored biennial international conferences in Volos, Greece; Mystic Seaport, Connecticut; Hofstra University, New York; Lahaina, Hawaii; New Bedford, Massachusetts; Szczecin, Poland; Jerusalem; and Rome. Join us in 2013 at our next gathering in Washington, DC.

The Melville Society Cultural Project, in affiliation with the New Bedford Whaling Museum, promotes lectures and exhibitions

The Melville Archive, a growing collection of primary and secondary sources, is located at the museum’s Kendall Institute

With support from NEH and Hofstra University, we are creating an innovative online critical archive, the Melville Electronic Library (MEL)

The Society awards the annual Hennig Cohen Prize for the best essay in Melville studies

The Walter Bezanson Fellowship offers an annual two-week fellowship for study in the Melville Archive, located in the Library of the New Bedford Whaling Museum

The Society’s Book Donation program supplies Melville texts for international scholars and libraries abroad

The Society's main business is conducted through its Executive Committee.  Headed by our Executive Secretary, the EC coordinates all programs and events, supervises its print and digital publications, plans its cultural outreach activities, and curates its archive.

Each officer is openly elected by all members of the Society and serves a three-year term.  Also serving on the EC are the annually-elected Program Chairs for the MLA and ALA conferences, and the Society's President, an honorary official chosen once a year.


For further governance details, click here to see our By-Laws.



From the Galleries

MEL Camp 2010 Hofstra Univ
(click for slideshow)
MEL Camp 2010 Hofstra Univ

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.

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.