Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Digging for Gold at the Research Center: Movie night!

(by Gina Bardi, Reference Librarian)

As winter has descended upon us (or so I am told- it’s still around 60 degrees in San Francisco) people start looking for more indoorsey activities. As the months of forced home imprisonment grow longer, your entertainment options run out.  Can you really watch that same action film one more time without screaming? Will your spouse make good on that threat to walk out the door if you rewatch that beloved tv show from the 90’s from the beginning for the third time? Have you really watched everything in your queue even the things that you just put there to impress other people, never actually intending to watch? Well, then we here at the Maritime Research Center have a real treat for you.  A search of our catalog turns up 27 movies available for streaming for free. That’s right 27 movies you can watch right now for free and I can almost bet anyone that you haven’t seen most of them. Ever wonder what Fisherman’s Wharf looked like in 1897? I bet you do because you are reading a maritime themed blog!  So check out this Edison film of a felucca taking in her sail. Need something a bit more substantial? How about a film that shows World War II tankers built here in the Bay Area at Marinship?  Something lighter? Why there’s always Mabel and Fatty Viewing the World’s Fair at San Francisco, Cal? A Mack Sennet production staring Mabel Normand and Fatty Arbuckle made in 1915, this film features many maritime topics such as the battleship Oregon, a Crowley ferry (#17), the former prison hulk, the Success and the Ferry Building.

Almost all of these films are on the Library of Congress website or the Internet Archive. If you are a fan of motion pictures, I highly recommend checking out the sites and just browsing. What else are you going to do? Pretend you haven’t seen every single British detective show on TV already?

So go make that popcorn! Or, if you really want to be authentic, make some hardtack to gnaw on and sit back and enjoy some good maritime entertainment. 

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Digging for Gold at the Research Center: National Maritime Day

(by Gina Bardi, Reference Librarian)

Did you know I take suggestions for posts? Especially ones that come from my boss, Keri! While digging through one of our “pam files” (you oldsters might remember them as vertical files from back in the day) on National Maritime Day (Friday May 22nd) she came across an article about the Queen of the Day contest at the National Maritime Day Program at Aquatic Park.  Now, as an American, I don’t know much about royalty, but I’m pretty sure Queens aren’t forced to swab decks or other any laborious tasks (although the image of Queen Victoria climbing the rigging of the Cutty Sark is an interesting one).

Crowning a queen wasn’t the only activity that day. Other articles mention events such as a life boat races, a Coast Guard rescue performance and something called “water clowns”…

Did you or your family attend any of these events back in the 60’s? Were you a Maritime Queen or a even a Water Clown (it’s ok, you can admit it)?  Let us know!  Any ideas for how we should celebrate National Maritime Day in 2015? We’re all ears. Just drop us a line. I’ll check back when I’m done doing my practice swabs on the deck.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Holiday 2014-2015 schedule

The Research Center's winter holiday 2014-2015 schedule will be:

Monday, December 22:  regular services
Tuesday-Friday, December 23-26:  closed

Monday-Tuesday, December 29-30:  regular services
Wednesday-Thursday, December 31-January 1:  closed
Friday, January 2, 2015:  regular services

Questions?  Contact us!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Research Center closed, Thursday Dec. 11, 2014

Due to severe weather and power outages, the Research Center, along with all Park facilities, has had to close today.

We will resume normal service tomorrow, Friday, December 12, 2014.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Panama-Pacific International Exposition, 1915

(by Heather Hernandez, Technical Services Librarian)

To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Panama-Pacific Exposition in 1915, we're digitizing and making freely available online some related items from our collections.  We're thankful for our intern Ellen Mizuhara's hard work on this project, ranging from researching relevant items and resources to the long hours spent scanning this scarce and fragile items.

Cliff House and Seal Rocks from Beach
From "Souvenir of San Francisco"

But wait--what does this have to do with maritime history?  A lot!  From images of the waterfront contained in publications to sponsored races, the Exposition was rich in maritime interactions.

Ocean Boulevard and Bathing Beach from Cliff House
From "Souvenir of San Francisco"
So we're proud to announce that with Ellen's assistance, our first offerings to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Exposition:

Mechanical Engineering at the Panama-Pacific International Exposition by G.W. Dickie: read the online copy or locate the hardcopy book in the Research Center

New York to San Francisco Power Boat Race Under the Auspices of the Panama-Pacific Exposition:  read the online copy or locate the hardcopy book in the Research Center

Official Souvenir view book of the Panama-Pacific International Exposition at San Francisco 1915: read the online copy or locate the hardcopy book in the Research Center

Seeing San Francisco, California: read the online copy or locate the hardcopy book in the Research Center

Souvenir of San Francisco, California, the "Queen City:"  read the online copy or locate the hardcopy book in the Research Center

Want to learn more?  Search the Keys Catalog for materials related to the Exposition, check out an online map of the Exposition from the Virtual Museum of the City of San Francisco, explore online titles about the Exposition from Project Gutenberg, from the Internet Archive, and from Books About California, and stay tuned--we'll be digitizing more items related to the Exposition in 2015!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Now available online: Cooking and Baking on Shipboard

(by Heather Hernandez, Technical Services Librarian)

Illustration of man in chef's hat ringing a dinner bell
Illustration from page 7

Have you ever wondered how to make cake for one hundred people?  Or have you wanted some simple, visual instructions for carving meat?  You can find all this and more in Cooking and Baking on Shipboard : Official War Administration Manual from 1945, which we've digitized and made available for free in multiple, searchable formats on the Internet Archive.

Over 358 pages, the book is richly illustrated with how-to photographs as well as clear drawings of everything from the basics to advanced techniques.  Definitions of cooking terms, advice on caring for equipment and for proper sanitation, and dozens of recipes and recommended menus are included.  We've made the book keyword searchable, but an extensive index at the end makes browsing easy.

So be sure to check it out online, or stop by the Research Center to see the hardcopy book.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Thanksgiving holiday 2014 schedule

The Research Center will be closed for the Thanksgiving holiday from Wednesday, November 26 through Friday, November 28, 2014.  We will resume normal service on Monday, December 1.