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

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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.

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 5: Herman Melville (13 Folders)


5: Folder 1

Melville Log Material

Sub-folder 5.1.1 Gilman responses to Leyda queries concerning Melville Log (1 item)

Sub-folder 5.1.2 Ships’ logs, notes (1 item)

Sub-folder 5.1.3 Vessel sailings: Hawaii during Melville’s stay (1 item)

Sub-folder 5.1.4 Newspaper notes (1 item)

Sub-folder 5.1.5 Typee mention in Life Illustrated editorial (1 item)

Sub-folder 5.1.6 New York Historical Society Checklist (1 item)

Sub-folder 5.1.7 Melville family activity (3 items)

Sub-folder 5.1.8 Wise Journal entries     (1 item)

Sub-folder 5.1. 9 UNITED STATES, frigate, copies of journal entries (1 item)

Sub-folder 5.1.10 Corrections of The Melville Log (11 items)

Sub-folder 5.1.11 Questions on The Melville Log (32 items)


5: Folder 2

Possible Melville Sources

Sub-folder 5.2.1 Illustrations, plates, notes (1 item)

Sub-folder 5.2.2 Montgomery, James: Poem, “The Pelican Island,” 1827 (1 item)

Sub-folder 5.2.3 Leviathan reference, 1849 (1 item)

Sub-folder 5.2.4 Encyclopedias, dictionaries, travelogues (1 item)

Sub-folder 5.2.5 Books Melville Read (26 items)



5: Folder 3

Melville’s Lectures

Sub-folder 5.3.1 Tremont Temple lecture 3/5/1857: typed copy of text in Catherine Gansevoort scrapbook (1 item)

Sub-folder 5.3.2 Review of 11/25/1857 lecture in Lawrence Courier, other notes (1 item)

Sub-folder 5.3.3 Leyda reconstruction of Melville’s South Sea Lecture (1 item)


5: Folder 4

Reviews of Melville’s works

Sub-folder 5.4.1 Review copies (4 items)

Sub-folder 5.4.2 Lists of Reviews (7  items)


5: Folder 5

Melville Family History and Correspondence

Sub-folder 5.5.1 Miscellaneous notes (7 items)

Sub-folder 5.5.2 Melville Family History (23 items)

Sub-folder 5.5.3 Elizabeth Melville correspondence (2 items)

Sub-folder 5.5.4 Thomas Melville correspondence (1 item)

Sub-folder 5.5.5 Lemuel Shaw correspondence (4 items)

Sub-folder 5.5.6 Excerpts from Melville family letters (1 item)


5: Folder 6

Copies of Melville Texts

Sub-folder 5.6.1 Copies of manuscript versions of Melville poems (1 item)

Sub-folder 5.6.2 Copy of poem “Admiral of the White” given to “Tom” by Melville (1 item)

Sub-folder 5.6.3 Notes on drafts of Melville poems (1 item)

Sub-folder 5.6.4 Copy of poem “Restless, restless”; notes on Mardi draft (1 item)


5: Folder 7

Melville Family: General

Sub-folder 5.7.1 Various notes, Thomas Melville article quotation, printed sources for Melville (6 items clipped together by Leyda)

Sub-folder 5.7.2 Melville Family tree; review of Pierre (2 items)

Sub-folder 5.7.3 Copy of Kate Metcalf list of Melville family dates, letter from New York Historical Society on Melville’s books, including Obed Macy (1 item)

Sub-folder 5.7.4 Notes on letters from Lizzie, Herman Melville (1 item)

Sub-folder 5.7.5 Notes on Arthur Stedman (1 item)

Sub-folder 5.7.6 Transcript of wills in Suffolk County Probate Records (1 item)

Sub-folder 5.7.7 Data from Heflin’s Button article (1 item)

Sub-folder 5.7.8 Thomas Melville note, other notes (1 item)

Sub-folder 5.7.9 Mrs. Metcalf’s note on diary (1 item)

Sub-folder 5.7.10 Excerpt from January 1847 article in Scientific American on the Somers (1 item)

Sub-folder 5.7.11 Peter Gansevoort descendants (1 item)

Sub-folder 5.7.12 Draft of letter re: Peebles Family, alphabetical list of names (2 items)

Sub-folder 5.7.13 Dates of correspondence and articles (1 item)

Sub-folder 5.7.14 Note on James Billson, Mrs. Metcalf (1 item)

Sub-folder 5.7.15 Miscellaneous names, locations (2 items)

Sub-folder 5.7.16 Questions, comments (1 item)

Sub-folder 5.7.17 Notes and quotations, including Mrs. R. L. Stevenson on Typee and Omoo (1 item)

Sub-folder 5.7.18 Miscellaneous notes (1 item)

Sub-folder 5.7.19 Contacts in Pittsfield, Boston, and Cambridge, MA (1 item)

Sub-folder 5.7.20 Notes on correspondence, chronology (2 items)

Sub-folder 5.7.21 Notes, reminders, contacts (2 items)


5: Folder 8

Melville Biography

Sub-folder 5.8.1 Notes from American Clipper Ships on METEOR with marginalia (1 item)

Sub-folder 5.8.2 Anecdote from “Smith’s Sketch,” Melville at Balance Rock, music box (1 item)

Sub-folder 5.8.3 List of books (1 item)

Sub-folder 5.8.4 Notes on identity of “Long Ghost” (2 items)

Sub-folder 5.8.5 Lyrics for songs in Moby-Dick (3 items)

Sub-folder 5.8.6 Transcript of clipping listing Melville among passengers aboard ship SOUTHAMPTON (1 item)

Sub-folder 5.8.7 Miscellaneous notes     (2 items)

Sub-folder 5.8.8 List of people Melville met in Mediterranean (1 item)

Sub-folder 5.8.9 Notes on Henry Hayes Lockwood (1 item)

Sub-folder 5.8.10 Melville anecdotes (3 items)

Sub-folder 5.8.11 People known to Herman Melville


5: Folder 9

Melville’s Books and Papers

(5 items)


5: Folder 10

Melville’s Literary Work

Sub-folder 5.10.1 Note on Israel Potter source (1 item)

Sub-folder 5.10.2 Miscellaneous notes on scraps of paper (6 items)

Sub-folder 5.10.3 Notes on Hawthorne, Cramer, others (2 items)

Sub-folder 5.10.4 Notes on Hawthorne letter (1 item)

Sub-folder 5.10.5 Note on letter to Wiley and Putnam (1 item)

Sub-folder 5.10.6 List of Mardi reviews (1 item)

Sub-folder 5.10.7 Transcripts, notes on reviews of Mardi and Typee (1 item)

Sub-folder 5.10.8 Modern Language Notes (periodical) January 1944 with pieces on Melville (1 item)

Sub-folder 5.10.9 Notes on search for books owned by Melville (5 items)

Sub-folder 5.10.10 Notes on possible Typee source (2 items)

Sub-folder 5.10.11 Notes on and copies of Melville’s poems (7 items)

Sub-folder 5.10.12 Notes on Melville’s correspondence


5: Folder 11

Leyda’s Research

Sub-folder 5.11.1 Notes on possible sources (1 item)

Sub-folder 5.11.2 New York Library Handbook (1 item)

Sub-folder 5.11.3 Note on Clarel review (1 item)

Sub-folder 5.11.4 Correspondence with James T. Babb at Yale University Library (1 item)

Sub-folder 5.11.5 University of California Library notice with notes (1 item)

Sub-folder 5.11.6 Various notes (4 items)

Sub-folder 5.11.7 Notes on Ezra Ames (2 items)

Sub-folder 5.11.8 New York Public Library slips for Owen Chase Narrative and Redburn (2 items)

Sub-folder 5.11.9 Notes on John Paul Jones, John Marr (1 item)

Sub-folder 5.11.10 Notes on Hawthorne, Long Ghost (1 item)

Sub-folder 5.11.11 Notes on “mast-head meditations” (1 item)

Sub-folder 5.11.12 Notes on Clarel (1 item)

Sub-folder 5.11.13 Transcriptions of Melvilles’s Bible marginalia (2 items)

Sub-folder 5.11.14 Notes on text of Billy Budd (1 item)


5: Folder 12

Books: Reviews, Sales                                    

Sub-folder 5.12.1 Book reviews (2 items)

Sub-folder 5.12. 2 New York Times book review (1 item)

Sub-folder 5.12.3 Article on Moby-Dick, Jonathan Bourne Whaling Museum (1 item)

Sub-folder 5.12.4 Advertisement of first editions of nineteenth-century authors (1 item)

Sub-folder 5.12.5 Reviews of The Melville Log (2 items)


5: Folder 13

Melville Log Material not found in “Melville Log” folder

Sub-folder 5.13.3 People known to Melville



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Current Facebook Posts

Greg Lennes From Boston Globe: "Berkshire hills have provided inspiration to Hawthorne, Melville, Rowling."
Greg Lennes Melville in the News: The New York Times cited Melville when Kim Jong-un, the North Korea leader, called President Trump a ‘Dotard.’ Melville used it in a poem, The Maldive Shark." “Eyes and brains to the dotard lethargic and dull, Pale ravener of horrible meat.” In the poem the pilot fish leads the dull shark to food. It is the "eyes and brains to the dotard" that is the shark. In turn the pilot fish seeks protection from the shark in times of trouble. The Maldive Shark About the Shark, phlegmatical one, Pale sot of the Maldive sea, The sleek little pilot-fish, azure and slim, How alert in attendance be. From his saw-pit of mouth, from his charnel of maw They have nothing of harm to dread, But liquidly glide on his ghastly flnak Or before his Gorgonian head; Or lurk in the port of serrated teeth In white triple tiers of glittering gates, And there find a haven when peril's abroad, An asylum in jaws of the Fates! They are friends; and friendly they guide him to prey, Yet never partake of the treat- Eyes and brains to the dotard lethargic and dull, Pale ravener of horrible meat.
Eileen Valentino Flaxman Chapter 86 – The Tail “Woe to that sailor, whiskers and all” when the fluke of a whale upon him does fall and the oars and the crew around him do fly and he’s floatin’ on his back starin’ up at the sky Yea, a grudging respect is all he can feel for a wallop that lands with the weight of steel And the planks of the boat around him do sprawl “very much as a juggler tosses his balls” A mere man can offer little resistance Tis something to admire – but from a distance From my collection: a poem for every chapter in Moby-Dick . 2017-09-22T14:42:00+0000
Colin Dewey "FAYAWAY: Melville, Fantasy, and Fame." FREE! Saturday at 1pm. Final "Blue Room" lecture of the season. Presented by Colin Dewey, sponsored by Cal Maritime Dept. of Culture and Communication and the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park.
Blue Room Lecture Series - The Schooner Fayaway and Herman Melvi Blue Room Lecture Series - The Schooner Fayaway and Herman Melvi Blue Room Lecture Series - The Schooner Fayaway and Herman Melville’s Persistent Connections with San Francisco Bay

The National Park Service and California State University Maritime Academy are partnering to present a series of free lectures for the public in 2017.

The Blue Room Lectures will be presented by professors from Cal Maritime and will take place in the Maritime Museum at San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park (900 Beach Street, San Francisco, in the Blue Room.) A Q & A period will follow each talk.

Saturday, September 23, 2017, 1:00 PM: “The Schooner Fayaway and Herman Melville’s Persistent Connections with San Francisco Bay,” by Colin Dewey, Assistant Professor of English at Cal Maritime.
Hershel Parker Everything's up to date in the new NCE! 2017-09-16T14:11:22+0000
Hershel Parker I wonder how many will agree about the change since 2001. I see it in what is posted on this site. 2017-09-17T14:30:19+0000
Greg Lennes Here is the latest copy of "Leviathan" - Journal of Melville Studies - Volume 19 Number 2 June 2017:
Luis Velez This from last year:
A Melville Marginalia Mystery A researcher's reading of erased marginalia provides insight to Melville's thoughts on religion.
Greg Lennes From Washington Post: "On the trail of the author of ‘Moby-Dick’ in three New England towns" by Richard Selden.
On the trail of the author of ‘Moby-Dick’ in three New England towns In the ‘Melville Triangle,’ visitors learn about the author’s life and work — and, of course, whales.
Greg Lennes Melvillean Trivia- "Tom and Jerry" cartoon episode 122 - Dicky Moe 1962:)

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.