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.

Moby-Dick Short-Film Competition
March 29, 2012

Brooklyn musician Patrick Shea is hosting a Moby-Dick short-film competition. Entries are due by February 15, and will be screened before their performance on March 29 at a Manhattan club called Pianos.

Over the past three years, Shea has written and recorded one song for every chapter of Moby-Dick, interpreting the chapters both through his own experience, and through the conventions of various genres of pop music. He posted one song each week to his blog, http://callmeishmael.org .

Shea has also formed a band to play his songs in live performance. In March 2012, the band will play a series of shows at Pianos, a club on Ludlow Street on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. They will play every Thursday night from 7:00 to 10:00.

Each night will highlight a different aspect of the project. They will host a Conceptual Music Night  on March 1 (pop songs about unconventional things), a Nautical Night on March 8 (whaling history and sea chanties), Academic Night on March 15 (a talk preceding the show), Queequeg Night on March 22 (highlighting friendship, our joint stock world, and tattoos), and finally, Film Night on March 29 (highlighting the interpretive representation of one piece of art by a different artist in a different medium).

Anyone and everyone can submit a short film for consideration. Your film can be related to Call Me Ishmael songs (i.e.; a music video or a filmic representation of a song) or not -- you can do whatever you want, as long as it's about Moby-Dick.


1) Your film must be about Moby-Dick in some way.

2) Your film must be 1 minute or less.

3) Your film must have a budget of $100 or less.

4) Submissions are due by February 15.

The band will screen as many of the best entries as they can in an hour, and the audience will vote on a winner.


1st place -- 1/2 of 1/3 (or 1/6) of that night's donations taken at the door

2nd place -- 1/4 of 1/3 (or 1/12) of that night's donations taken at the door

3rd place -- 1/4 of 1/3 (or 1/12) of that night's donations taken at the door

Shea will view and consider entries as you submit them. Once all the submissions are in, he'll let you know if you made the final screening. 

To submit your work:

1) Export your film. Codec, H.264; Data Rate, 5000 kbps; Frame Size, 720x480. Audio Codec, AAC; Data Rate, 256 kbps; Sample Rate, 44.1 kHz.

2) Compress (.zip) a folder containing your film (use your email address as the name of your file), as well as an .rtf or .pdf containing your name and contact info, the name of your film, a one sentence description of the film for the program, and a one sentence description of you for the program.

3) Either use SendSpace or a similar download option, and email a link for download to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

4) All submissions are due by February 15.

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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.