Monday, December 9, 2013

Holiday hours

The Library will be closed from Saturday, December 21, 2013 through Wednesday, January 1, 2014, resuming normal service hours on Thursday, January 2, 2014.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Now online: Gilman & Co.'s list of whaling ships

(by Heather Hernandez, Technical Services Librarian)

The Library is continuing its pilot program to digitize and make available online items of various lengths, materials, and contents in the Library collection.  The latest item digitized, and now available online, is a fragile folded sheet published in Hawaii in 1854, Gilman & Co., ship chandlers and general agents, Lahaina, Maui, S.I. : ships supplied with recruits, storage, and money.

Chiefly columns of data about whaling ships, the columns include arrival date, ship name, master, from, months out, whole voyage, on board, this season, and remarks.  Printed on one folded sheet of thin blue paper, the entire item is now available online in color as images available in the Keys Catalog (just click on the "Images" tab of the Keys Catalog record to see them), and in multiple formats via the Internet Archive and NPS Focus.

Want to see the hard copy?  Just stop by the Library and ask to page this item.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Our gunning skiff in Oakland

(by Heather Hernandez, Technical Services Librarian and Kirsten Kvam, Registrar)

Local Public Radio station KALW has posted a photo of our gunning skiff, or Alviso duck boat (SAFR 13298), in Steven Short's article, "The only ghost town in the Bay Area--Drawbridge."  Our skiff is currently on view with several other items from our museum collection through February 23, 2014 in the Oakland Museum's exhibit, "Above and below: stories from our changing Bay."  It's a great opportunity to not only see our boat, but our cool shipwreck map, some of our diving gear, and some of our Niantic artifacts as well!

Want to learn more about Drawbridge and its history?  Drawbridge, California : a hand-me-down history is available in the Library.  Interested in obtaining a copy from another library or a bookseller?  If you follow that link (above) to the book's record in our Keys Catalog, you can then select the "More searches" link to the right of the catalog record detail, and choose "Worldcat."  It will take you to the records for this title and others on Drawbridge.

Edited to add:  Thank you to Judy Hitzeman's commenting on our Park's Facebook page with a link to our Museum Web Catalog record for the skiff!  --November 25, 1013

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Thanksgiving holiday hours

The Library will be closed for the Thanksgiving holiday, Wednesday, November 27 through Friday, November 29, resuming normal hours on Monday, December 2.

Friday, November 1, 2013


(by Heather Hernandez, Technical Services Librarian)

The next recipe in the Library's copy of The captain's table : 18 recipes for famous dishes served aboard the S.S. United States and S.S. America is for one of my favorites--zabaglione.  It's a very easy dessert to make, especially if you have leftover egg yolks, after having used the whites to top a meringue pie.
With this rich, fascinating dessert there is never a dull moment.

In top of double boiler over hot, not boiling, water, beat 6 egg yolks and 1/2 cup sugar until thick and pale colored. Gradually beat in 2/3 cup marsala and continue beating steadily until mixture foams and thickens. Place immediately in sherbet glasses. Serves 6.
With this recipe, the final in the book, we end our series on reprinting the recipes in the cookbook.  On the last page of the cookbook, we're told:
Although the recipes in this book are designed for home preparation, they taste even better aboard the S.S. United States--world's fastest ship--or the S.S. America.  The ocean's breeze is a sauce you cannot duplicate ashore.
No doubt!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The Skipper's Woes

(by Heather Hernandez, Technical Services Librarian)

"The Skipper's Woes," by An Old Salt, is the next poem, included in Nautical Nursery Rhymes by Billy Ringbolt, which resides in the Peterson, Peter H. (Capt.) Papers, (SAFR 18665, HDC 571).  Due to its length, we haven't reprinted it here, but it is available online from very interesting sources:

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Business as usual

All normal services in the Library will be resumed as of Friday, October 18, 2013.  Thank you for your patience as we restart services after the federal government shutdown.

Questions?  Call 415-561-7030.

Library resuming services

The Library is resuming normal services--please call 415-561-7030 for more information.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Library closed

Because of the federal shutdown, the Library is closed.  This blog will be inactive until we get back.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Anniversary of San Francisco's Aquatic Park

(by Edward LeBlanc, Archives Specialist)

Dedication of Aquatic Park in 1939 from the Living New Deal website

January 22, 2014 is the 75th anniversary of the dedication of Aquatic Park.  On that day in 1939, the Works Progress Administration formally turned over Aquatic Park to the City of San Francisco in an extravagant public celebration, despite the unfinished Bathhouse and the many proposed structures throughout the Park that were never built. Still, thousands flocked to Aquatic Park to hear speeches and tour the Bathhouse. 

Originally proposed as a public space, the Bathhouse was leased by the City to private concessionaires and became the Aquatic Park Casino, a private restaurant and bar. By 1941 the Bathhouse was taken over by the U.S. military in support of World War II. It became a maritime museum in 1951.

Source: Pioneers, politics, progressand planning: the story of San Francisco’s Aquatic Park by James P. Delgado, Park Historian, Golden Gate National Recreation Area, San Francisco, January 1981.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Parfait Mocha

(by Heather Hernandez, Technical Services Librarian)

The next recipe in the Library's copy of The captain's table : 18 recipes for famous dishes served aboard the S.S. United States and S.S. America is a frosty cold dessert that can be made well in advance, and sounds like the perfect end to a outdoor meal on a warm afternoon, or while reclining on deck:

Parfait Mocha

Into a cup, spoon 3 tablespoons instant coffee and 3 tablespoons dark brown sugar. Add 2 teaspoons boiling water and mix thoroughly. In the large bowl of an electric mixer, put 2 quarts French vanilla ice cream, 1/2 cup rum or brandy and the coffee-sugar mixture. Blend well but do not let the ice cream melt. Spoon the ice cream into parfait glasses and place in the freezer until ice cream is firm. Parfaits are better if ice cream is allowed to mellow for 24 hours before serving. Just before serving, garnish with whipped cream and candied mocha beans or chocolate curls. Makes 8 to 10 parfaits.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Digging for Gold at the Library: Lloyd's Register online!

(by Gina Bardi, Reference Librarian)

In my reference work, I have what I like to refer to as my “Greatest Hits” these are books I constantly refer to, almost every day. They are the work horses of the library (Greatest Work Horse Hits?). One of these is our collection of Lloyd’s Registers. Lloyd’s Registers are a serial publication which began in the 1760’s in a coffee house of London. Two things you should know about Lloyd’s Registers: 1) They are not affiliated with that other Lloyd’s which also started in the same coffee house and insures things like Betty Grable’s legs and Marlene Dietrich’s voice (although I am going to make a huge tangential leap further down and combine Lloyd’s of London, Lloyd’s Register and Marlene Dietrich in a roundabout sort of way) 2) Lloyd’s Register does not register vessels, despite the name. They classify vessels. But I guess “Lloyd’s Classifieds” didn’t sound as snazzy to those coffee drinking blokes as Lloyd’s Registers. More specifically, Lloyd’s Register was/is a way for merchants and underwriters to get to know the vessels they were insuring, buying or doing business with. Lloyd’s would rate a ship based on a variety of factors giving ones that rated the highest an “A1” rating. As a result, there’s thousands and thousands pages of data about the nitty gritty of thousands and thousands of vessels, which is a very welcome side benefit to researchers, genealogists, model makers and general enthusiasts alike. And now… they’re online! Not all, but from 1764-1874 and some volumes in the 1880’s available here, which also  links to additional registers from 1930 to 1945.

Lloyd’s Registers is for vessels classified in Great Britain. For good ol’ USA vessels, you’ll want to use American Lloyd’s and the Record of American and Foreign Shipping (which we refer to as ABS as it’s produced by the American Board of Shipping). 1859-1900 are available from the Mystic Seaport library. 

Now, here’s where I tie Marlene Dietrich, Lloyd’s of London and Lloyd’s Register together. Let’s say you’re a Marlene Dietrich fan (and if you’re not, you should be). As I mentioned above, it’s been rumored that Lloyd’s of London insured her legs for a million dollars. In 1938, when Marlene Dietrich came back to the United States to become a US Citizen, she was on the SS Normandie. And voila! Here is the Lloyd’s entry for the SS Normandie.  

Now you can write the most complete biography of Marlene Dietrich that is so detailed, it mentions what kind of engines the SS Normandie had (Steam turbines connected to electric motors).

Here’s our record in Keys for Lloyd’s Registers.

Have fun searching!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Tacking ship

(by Heather Hernandez, Technical Services Librarian)

This week we're offering a longer rhyme, "Tacking Ship" (also known as, "Tacking Ship Off Shore") by Walter Mitchell, included in Nautical Nursery Rhymes by Billy Ringbolt, which resides in the Peterson, Peter H. (Capt.) Papers, (SAFR 18665, HDC 571).  With this poem, the verses in the book become  more narrative.

Tacking Ship

The weather leech of the topsail shivers,
The bowlines strain, and the lee shrouds slacken,
The braces are taut, and the little boom quivers,
And the waves with the coming squall-cloud blacken.

Open one point on the weather bow
Is the lighthouse tall on Bonita Head,
There's a shade of doubt on the Captain's brow,
And the pilot watches the heaving lead.

I stand at the wheel and with eager eye 
To sea and to sky and to shore I gaze,
'Till the muttered order of "Full and by!"
Is suddenly changed to "Full for stays!"

The ship bends lower before the breeze,
As her broadside to the blast she lays,
And she swifter springs to the rising sea,
As the pilot calls "Stand by for stays!"

It is silence all as each in his place,
With the gathered coil in his hardened hands,
By tack and bowline, by sheet and brace,
Waiting the watchword impatient stands.

And the light on Bonita Head draws near,
As, trumpet winged the pilot's shout
From his post on the forecastle head I hear,
With the welcome call of "Ready! About!"

No time to spare!  It is touch and go;
And the Captain growls, "Down helm, hard down!"
As my weight on the whirling spokes I throw,
While the heavens grow black with the storm cloud's frown.

High over the knight heads flies the spray
As we meet the shock of the plunging sea,
And my shoulder stiff to the wheel I lay
As I answer, "Ay, ay, sir!  Hard alee!"

With the swerving leap of a startled steed,
The ship flies fast in the eye of the wind.
The dangerous shoals on the lee recede
And the headland white we have left behind.

The topsails flutter, the jibs collapse,
And belly and tug at the groaning cleats;
And spanker slats, and mainsail flaps;
And thunders the order, "Tacks and sheets!"

'Mid the rattle of blocks and the tramp of the crew,
Hisses the rain of the rushing squall;
The sails are aback from clew to clew,
And now is the moment for "Mainsail haul!"

And the heavy yards, like a baby's toy,
By fifty strong arms are swiftly swing;
She holds her sway and I look with joy
For the first white spray over the bulwarks flung.

"Let go, and haul!"  'Tis the last command,
And the head sails fill to the blast once more.
Astern and to leeward lies the land,
With its breakers white on the shingly shore.

What matters the reef, or the rain, or the squall?
I steady the helm for the open sea;
The first mate clamors, "Belay, there all!"
And the Captain's breath once more comes free.

And so off shore let the good ship fly,
Little care I how the gusts may blow,
In my fo'castle bunk in a jacket dry,
Eight bells have struck, and my watch is below.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Frangipane Cream

(by Heather Hernandez, Technical Services Librarian)

The next recipe in the Library's copy of The captain's table : 18 recipes for famous dishes served aboard the S.S. United States and S.S. America is the first of the desserts, and follows a portrait which is captioned:
"Elegant and fun to make, nothing is more welcome after an ample meal than a frangipane cream.  This delicate dessert makes any dinner party a special occasion.  Here is the recipe for the best frangipane cream I ever tasted," says the incomparable Hildegarde, chanteuse of smart supper clubs in Europe and the United States and frequent passenger on the S.S. America.
The recipe for Frangipane Cream:
Mix together in the top of a double boiler 1-3/4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar, 1/2 cup flour, and a pinch of salt.  Blend in 1 whole egg and 4 egg yolks.  Add 1 more egg and 1 egg yolk.  In another pan scald 2 cups milk with a 1-inch piece of vanilla bean and remove the bean.  Stir the milk gradually into the flour-and-egg mixture.  Set the pan over hot water and cook the cream, stirring vigorously, until it has thickened.  Cook the cream, still stirring vigorously, for two minutes.  Remove the pan from the heat and stir in 6 tablespoons butter and 2 tablespoons dry crushed macaroons.  Chopped blanched almonds may also be added.  Cool the cream, stirring occasionally to prevent a crust from forming.  Place in sherbet glasses edged with ladyfingers.  Serves 6 to 8. 
(For more information on Hildegarde, see the biographical note in Marquette University's Raynor Memorial Libraries' Hildegarde (Loretta Sell) Papers finding aid, and select the "digitized collections" link on the right to search on the term "Hildegarde" to see their many digitized photographs of her.)

Tuesday, August 27, 2013


(by Heather Hernandez, Technical Services Librarian)

This week we're offering another instructive rhyme from Nautical Nursery Rhymes by Billy Ringbolt, which resides in the Peterson, Peter H. (Capt.) Papers, (SAFR 18665, HDC 571).  This one seems applicable to land "vessels" as well!


Every steamer or ship in fog, mist or snow,
At a moderate speed is directed to go.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Holiday Capon

(by Heather Hernandez, Technical Services Librarian)

Looking for a little celebration fare?  The next recipe in the Library's copy of The captain's table : 18 recipes for famous dishes served aboard the S.S. United States and S.S. America is for a festive stuffed capon:

Holiday Capon

Any day is a holiday when you serve this succulent bird.

Prepare a stuffing:  Trim the crusts from half a loaf of white bread and cut the bread into cubes. Coat the cubes with melted butter and bake them in a moderate oven (350° F) until they are golden on all sides.  Put these croutons in a large mixing bowl.  In a skillet sauté 8 shallots, finely chopped, and 1/4 pound sliced bacon, cut in squares, until the bacon is transparent. Add 1 bunch of chives and 1/4 bunch of parsley, both finely chopped, and cook the mixture until the bacon is crisp. Remove the pan from the heat and cool the mixture. Dice 1 pound chestnuts, cooked, shelled, and peeled, and add them to the croutons. Stir in the bacon mixture, 2 egg yolks and 1 cup heavy cream. Season the stuffing with salt and pepper to taste and a pinch of brown sugar. Stuff the cavity of a 6- to 7-pound capon with the prepared mixture, truss the bird, and rub it generously with soft butter. Put the bird in a roasting pan, cover the pan, and roast the capon in a moderate oven (350° F), basting it frequently with the juices in the pan, for 2 hours, or until the bird is tender and cooked through. Serves 6 to 8.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Anchor in Fog

(by Heather Hernandez, Technical Services Librarian)

This week we're offering another instructive rhyme from Nautical Nursery Rhymes by Billy Ringbolt, which resides in the Peterson, Peter H. (Capt.) Papers, (SAFR 18665, HDC 571):

Anchor in Fog

When feeling your way, if you hear a ship's bell,
It's a vessel at anchor, you can easily tell,
Her bell in a fog is her only provision,
As signals to others to save a collision.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Digging for Gold at the Library: Jane Proctor letter, HDC 1043

(by Gina Bardi, Reference Librarian)

Most of what I write about for this blog are fun items- little gems with interesting pictures or something just plain delightful I’ve stumbled across.  This though is about something I found in our collection which was so sincere and heart wrenching that even though it’s a departure from my usual pieces, I had to share it with you.

The document is a letter in our archives, Historical Document Collection 1043.  It’s a letter written by a woman named Jane Proctor who was a nurse at the Army Hospital at the Presidio.  It was written late in the night of February 22nd, 1901. Ms. Proctor was unable to sleep due to the deep and overwhelming grief she felt over the wreck the day before of The City of Rio de Janeiro. The City of Rio de Janeiro was a Trans-Pacific steamship operating between San Francisco and Asia. On the 21st of February 1901, she was headed into San Francisco Bay when she hit a reef.  She sank quickly; her holds were completely flooded.  130 people died that night; many of the bodies washing ashore the next day. Ms. Proctor describes this horrific scene to unnamed friends back home in harrowing terms.

The full letter is below.  It has been transcribed from the original.  The full collection includes a few more items about Ms. Proctor including a diary entry.  A finding aid for the collection can be found here:

transcribed letter, typescript, page 1

transcribed letter, typescript, page 2

Proctor, Jane.  Letter in regards to the City of Rio de Janeiro.Jane Proctor Collection. HDC 1043.

Museum Archives and Manuscript Collections, San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Poulet en Cocotte a la Paysanne

(by Heather Hernandez, Technical Services Librarian)

The next recipe in the Library's copy of The captain's table : 18 recipes for famous dishes served aboard the S.S. United States and S.S. America is for poulet en cocotte à la Paysanne:

Rub the cavity of a 4-pound roasting chicken with salt and pepper and truss it. Melt 4 tablespoons butter in a large flameproof casserole and in it sauté the chicken over moderate heat, turning it to brown all sides. Remove the chicken to an earthenware casserole. To the juices remaining in the cocotte add 1/2 cup each of white wine and chicken stock and stir in 2 or 3 tablespoons rich veal juice or demi-glace sauce (or any good-quality meat extract). Reduce the mixture over high heat by one half. Coat the chicken with the sauce and surround it with 2/3 cup each of sliced carrots and turnips, which have been steamed in butter in another pan with a little sugar and salt, 12 small onions, glazed, 12 potato balls browned in butter and 1/2 cup diced bacon, browned. Cover the chicken with a piece of buttered paper. Cover the casserole and roast the chicken in a hot oven (400° F) for 30 minutes. Remove the chicken to a warm platter and carve it into serving pieces. Return the pieces to the casserole and place it on a plate. Bring it to the table covered with a napkin. Serves 6.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Union Iron Works project featured on The Signal

(by Heather Hernandez, Technical Services Librarian)

One of our projects, to create the online Union Iron Works Employee Card Collection, has been mentioned with other fascinating NPS digitization initiatives on the Library of Congress' blog, The Signal:  "Content Matters: An Interview with Staff from the National Park Service."

So far, through the efforts of staff, interns, and volunteers, over 400 cards for employees of the Union Iron Works shipyard in the 1910s have been digitized and are available online via NPS Focus (just enter these search terms: union iron works).  The hardcopy collection contains somewhere between 30,000 to 57,000 cards--we believe there is at least one card for every employee of the shipyard during this time period.  In addition to names, home addresses, occupation, they sometimes include age or year of birth, and country of origin--there is a wealth of data about an entire workforce during the WWI shipbuilding years in San Francisco, waiting to become more accessible.

In addition to full color scans of both sides of cards such as these:

Rich metadata records are being created to accompany the images, allowing them to be searched and retrieved by multiple terms including name, address (historic and current, if different and identifiable), occupation, and nationality.

In progress is a transcription database that will eventually make the entire dataset available to researchers on demand, in multiple formats.

Want to learn more?  There is a presentation available for viewing, and we'd love to hear from anyone interested in conducting research in the online or hardcopy collection, or in becoming involved in the project.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Digging for Gold at the Library: Abandon ship!

(by Gina Bardi, Reference Librarian)

Books can save your life. I don’t just mean those YouTube videos showing how to use a book as a weapon of self-defense (Helpful hint- a book spine can break a nose).  That’s a pretty concrete example. I’m thinking of books that are written to help you survive an extreme situation.  Are you wondering if we have an example in our collection? Has your eye already caught the book jacket pictured below? Well then let’s get to it.  This is a gem from our collection, How to Abandon Ship by Phil Richards and John J Banigan.

Cover of the book, Abandon Ship

Published by Cornell Maritime Press in 1942 and reprinted by the Infantry Journal in 1943, this slim, thin beauty of a book gives concise advice on how to survive a shipwreck, most likely a ship being torpedoed.  Banigan, a naval officer, was a victim of a shipwreck and managed to bring his crew of ten safely home after 19 grueling days at sea. The book includes information on what to do before, during and after an accident, how you prepare yourself the minute you step aboard ship from drills to becoming familiar with life boats, making sure adequate supplies are on hand, what to do once you are hit (Don’t panic. Easier said than done, yes?) The strongest part of the book is what to do once you are in a lifeboat, including information on keeping morale up and rationing.   For instance, I found this advice on how to divide rations called formally enough “Who is to have this” most illuminating:

One person turns his back on the object that is to be divided; another then points separately to the portions, at each of them asking aloud ‘Who shall have this?” to which the first answers by naming somebody. This impartial method of divisions gives every man equal chance at the best share (105).

I’ll be sure to use this method next time there’s a birthday cake. We’ll let fairness decides who gets the corner pieces.   The book also includes chapters on medical advice, issues with food and hunger, water and thirst and weather.  I sincerely hope you never need to rely on anything in this book, but it’s good information to have (and there are some interesting recipes).

If you’d like to see this book or any of the others we have on survival, safety or harrowing tales of shipwreck survivors and the not so fortunate, come into the library. If I’m not eating a corner piece of cake, I’ll be happy to help.

Richards, Phil and John J Banigan. How to Abandon Ship. New York: Cornell Maritime Press, 1942. Print.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Ships by John Masefield

(by Ted Miles, Assistant Reference Librarian)

Black and white photo of vessel on the water
Wanderer of Liverpool at anchor in San Francisco Bay, circa July 1892.
Photo by Thomas H. Wilton (B6 40,027nl)

John Masefield  ( 1878-1967) started by joining the Training Ship Conway intending to be an officer in the British Merchant Navy at that time the largest in the world. After completing his schooling in 1894, he went to sea as an Apprentice in the Gilcruix (iron 4 mast ship, built 1883) and several other vessels; he had seen the famous and beautiful Wanderer (steel 4 mast bark, built 1890). He wrote a detailed biography of the vessel. But he had to abandon his sea career due to poor health. After a period of odd jobs he settled into a successful career of writing and lecturing in England and the United States.

But his early life at sea provided the creativity that produced Salt Water Ballads in 1902. And many of his sea poems also appeared in his Collected Poems in 1922 which sold over 80,000 copies.

The poem is a tribute to the Port of Liverpool and to the vast fleet of ocean going square riggers that once crowded its harbor and wet docks. From it comes:

Lochs, Counties, Shires, Drums, the countless lines
Whose house-flags were all once familiar signs
at high main-trucks on Mersey’s windy days
When sunlight made the wind-white water blaze.
Their names bring back old mornings, when the docks
Shone in their house-flags and their painted blocks,
Their raking masts below the Custom house
And all the marvelous beauty of their bows….
That nobleness and grandeur, all that beauty
Born of a manly life and bitter duty,
That splendor of fine bows which yet could stand
The shock of rollers never checked by land.
That art of masts, sail crowded, fit to break,
Yet stayed to strength and backstayed into rake,
the life demanded by that art, the keen
Eye-puckered, hard-case seamen, silent lean,--
They are grander things than all the art of towns,
Their tests are tempests and the sea that drowns,
They are my country’s line, her great art done
By strong brains laboring on the thought unwon,
They mark our passage as a race of men,
Earth shall not see such ships as these again.

This last couple of lines is the most often quoted of Masefield’s poetry. The poet became Poet Laureate of the United Kingdom in 1930 and was given an honorary doctorate from Cambridge University in 1931. That is a pretty successful effort for a boy who liked to read and expected to go to sea in a square-rigged sailing vessel.   

The Poems and Plays of John Masefield (Volume One Poems) by John Masefield, (New York: The MacMillan Company) 1922. Pages 68, 69, 70 and 71. 

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Holiday hours this week

(by Heather Hernandez, Technical Services Librarian)

Update:  The Library will also be closing at 2:30 pm on Wednesday, July 3.

Reminder:  the Library will be closed for the federal holiday this Thursday, July 4 and also closed on Friday, July 5.  We will resume our normal hours on Monday, July 8, 3013.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Now online: Gems from Olivette

(by Heather Hernandez, Technical Services Librarian)

As part of the Library's pilot book digitization project, we've now digitized and made available a very rare musical score, Gems from Olivette by Edmond Audran:

Cover of the score, Gems from Olivette
Cover of Gems from Olivette

Available to read online or download in multiple formats (including .pdf, EPUB, Kindle, Daisy or plain text) on the Internet Archive, the high resolution page images are also available on NPS Focus.  The score contains songs from Olivette, which opened at the Bijou Theatre on December 25, 1880, with delightful titles such as "Jamaica rum : a grog-orian chant," "The  torpedo and the whale," and "Where balmy garlic scents the air," for voice with piano accompaniment.

As part of our pilot project, we've digitized several types of items: reports, illustrated books, poetry, and now a score, and made them all available on NPS Focus and the Internet Archive.  We hope to be able to begin digitizing more resources in the future!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Zigzag Journeys in Australia, or, A Story of a Cover

(by Heather Hernandez, Technical Services Librarian)

This charming cover for a book about travels in the seas around and in the land of Australia is now available online in the Keys Catalog and in the Open Library:

Cover of Hezekiah Butterworth's Zigzag Journeys in Australia
Cover of Hezekiah Butterworth's Zigzag Journeys in Australia
How does Keys get its covers?  Two ways:

If the work has an ISBN, then Keys will automatically pull a cover image from an Open Library record.  This is a feature of the Koha open-source catalog software that powers Keys, that's easily selected in the system administration.

But what about older works, such as this one, that predate the ISBN system?  First we check the Open Library record to see if a cover image is available.  If not, then we scan the cover, and upload it to Keys.  We also upload it to the Open Library so that it can be available to the world.

Uploading to Open Library is easy--you don't even have to log in!  No Open Library account is necessary, although accounts are free if you'd like one, and they allow you to improve the book descriptions.  To contribute covers, their system for adding covers just requires a couple of clicks to either upload an image from your computer, or paste in the address of a cover image from the web.  It's quick to do, and is an easy way to make wonderful aspects of books available to all!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Holiday hours, July 2013

(by Heather Hernandez, Technical Services Librarian)

The Library will be closed for the federal holiday on Thursday, July 4 and on Friday, July 5, resuming our normal hours on Monday, July 8, 3013.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Sailing Vessel in Fog

This week we're offering another instructive rhyme from Nautical Nursery Rhymes by Billy Ringbolt, which resides in the Peterson, Peter H. (Capt.) Papers, (SAFR 18665, HDC 571):

Sailing Vessel in Fog

When a ship is on the starboard tack, the fact you'll always know,
Because upon her fog horn a signal blast she'll blow;
And when upon the port tack the blast will then be two,
At frequent intervals the while the fog obscures the view;
And when you hear a triple blast, you'll know, that it would seem,
That the hidden craft is sailing with the wind abaft the beam.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Roast Filet of Beef du Barry

(by Heather Hernandez, Technical Services Librarian)

The next recipe in the Library's copy of The captain's table : 18 recipes for famous dishes served aboard the S.S. United States and S.S. America follows a portrait of Mr. Charles Gray, Hospitality Officer at Grosvenor House London which is captioned:
I have travelled [sic] many times, both on the S.S. United States and the S.S. America, and I have always had a most enjoyable trip with wonderful hospitality.  Each time I make a crossing, I insist on having Roast Filet of Beef du Barry.  The chefs on board roast filets to perfection.
The recipe for Roast Filet of Beef du Barry:
Wipe a filet of beef with a damp cloth.  Trim it neatly, remove all the connective tissue, and have it larded with narrow strips of larding pork.  Roast the filet in a very hot oven (450° F) for 8 minutes to the pound, basting it frequently with hot beef stock for the first 15 minutes and then with the pan juices, until it is done.  Remove the filet to a heatproof platter.  Surround the meat with bouquets of cooked cauliflowerets.  Coat the flowerets with Sauce Mornay (see recipe) and sprinkle the sauce with grated cheese.  Put the platter in a very hot oven (450° F) until the sauce is browned and bubbling.  A 5-pount filet serves 10 to 12.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Photo Archives Spotlight: Definitive Men of the San Francisco Bay

(M. Crawford, Processing Archivist)
The waters of the San Francisco Bay have made many sea captains; men and women have begun their careers traversing the Bay, up and down the coast, and up into the rivers and deltas inland. Some of the recently processed collections in the Historic Documents Department tell the stories of some of these men--at the helm of tugboats, Monterey clippers, and sailboats. Although the collections may not seem to have much in common upon first glance, when you take a closer look at the lives they document, you will find that these men lived by the sea, made a living from the sea, and in the case of one captain, died at sea.

A web link to the Jack Ehrhorn collection of Stone Boat Yard photographs guide with more information about this collection including content, arrangement, histories and access.
Click for Collection Guide
Jack Ehrhorn collection of Stone Boat Yard photographs, circa 1885-2005. P05-081 (SAFR 23147)

Original black-and-white photographic print, 8 x 10 inches. Close-up of Jack Ehrhorn taken from a group photograph. He is standing next to an unidentified wooden-hulled boat under construction (likely St. Francis V (built 1973; sloop: yacht: 6 meter)). His right arm is up on the vessel; he is wearing white and a dark skully stocking cap. He is smiling, facing the camera. The photograph was taken at Stone Boat Yard, Alameda, California, circa 1973.
Decorated U.S. Army Platoon Sergeant, Jack Ehrhorn, was
entrusted with the photographs and textual materials from
the Stone Boat Yard. (P05-081, Ser.7.3, File 1, Item 923) 
Jack Ehrhorn was a life-long yachtsman, master shipwright, designer, draftsman and operations foreman. He started working for Lester Stone at the W.F. Stone & Son boatyard in 1941, where he helped build minesweepers for WWII. The Stone Boat Yard was a San Francisco Bay Area boat building company that was located in Alameda, California, from 1971-2004. The business had three previous names, and has been in four other locations in the San Francisco Bay Area since its establishment in San Francisco by W.I. Stone in 1853. It was run by three generations of Stones from 1853 until 1970 (W.I. Stone, W.F. Stone, and Lester Stone). It was one of the oldest and longest running businesses on the Pacific Coast and its boats and designs were very influential in Pacific Coast maritime history.

Black-and-white photographic print, 8 x 10 inches. The hull of St. Francis V (built 1973; sloop: yacht: 6 meter) is seen under construction, propped on blocks in a boat shop at Stone Boat Yard, Alameda, California, circa 1972-1973. View off port bow, three men are standing off port quarter with their backs to the camera. One of the men is wearing white overalls, which was characteristic of Jack Ehrhorn. Eight strips of planking are stem to stern over the ribs of the frame; planks are extending above the hull as well.
Ehrhorn helped build fast boats that won races, whether it was
his Yankee One Design  Flame, or the 6 Meter St. Francis V,
seen here in 1972. (P05-081, Ser. 6, File 5, Item 379)
One of Stone Boat Yard's specialties was producing first class yachts--the fastest on the bay some say. Ehrhorn worked on the constructing many of these beauties. In 1949, Lester even gave him a corner to build a yacht for himself, a Starling Burgess Yankee One Design, Number 34. Even in the 1970s, he was working on a 6 Metre St. Francis V designed by Gary Mull that won the 1973 World Cup in Seattle. Ehrhorn came to be the custodian of documents, photographs, photo albums and marine architecture drawings from the boat yard, all of which his estate donated to San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park in 2005. In this collection, there are over nine hundred photographs depicting vessels being built from start to finish, the details of construction, the tools and shop that they were built in, and the people that crafted these vessels. Combined with his collection of Stone Boat Yard records and marine architectural drawings (SAFR 21341, HDC 1288), we are able to see some of these boats come alive from their original drawings to yachts under sail.

A web link to the Captain Curt Hasenpusch photograph collection guide with more information about this collection including content, arrangement, histories and access.
Click for Collection Guide
Original black-and-white photographic print, 3.5 x 5.75 inches. Close-up of Vici Hasenpusch (left) standing on board an unidentified vessel, eating a cookie. Her forehead is bandaged after falling off a horse at Golden Gate Park. Her father, Captain Curt Hasenpusch stands to her left, with a plate in his hands. There is an unidentified woman in the background. What appears to be the Golden Gate Bridge is visible in the background. The occasion for being onboard was a picnic for crew and families. 1951-04-22
Domestic life was not
limited to land. The
captain and daughter,
Vici, on the bay.
P07-005 Ser. 4 File 3
Item 211.
Captain Curt Hasenpusch photograph collection, circa 1900-1960s. P07-005 (SAFR 23352)

Captain Curt August Hasenpusch (1910-1962), a first generation San Franciscan, was a boatman on the San Francisco Bay from the early 1930s until his death. His employers included Anderson's Shipyard and Crowley's Red Stack tugs, both eminent companies in Bay Area maritime history. He worked on everything from the pilot boat California to the tugboats Crowley No. 23 and Frank G. White during his career. Born in San Francisco on March 12, 1910, he was the second son of German immigrants who arrived just before the Great Earthquake and Fire. He was a collector of maritime photographs and memorabilia, as well as a model boat builder, one of which, the 1893 pilot boat Gracie S (SAFR 22765) is in our museum collection.

Black-and-white photographic print, 3.5 x 4.25 inches. Looking fore to aft along the deck of one tug, the photograph is of another tugboat alongside a listing vessel that has smoke rolling off the starboard deck. The San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge is in the background. Circa 1940s-1950s
Hasenpusch spent his life working the Bay
with many photos taken from those decks.
(P05-007, Ser.1.1, File 1, Item 52) 

His collection consists of mostly photographic prints, some of which hung in his family's home. Within the boxes, folders, and envelopes you will find photographs of tugboats, pilot boats and other vessels, all predominantly in the San Francisco Bay, from the 1900s to the 1960s. There are photographs of vessels under construction, being launched, at dock and underway; shipwrecks; and maritime activity, events and people in the San Francisco Bay.

The collection includes images of the tugboat Crowley No. 23 which Hasenpusch was a captain on from 1945-1951; the pilot schooner California on which Hasenpusch worked as an engineer; and the tugboat and auxiliary fireboat Frank G. White.

This deck's-eye view giving witness to an account of life on the Bay waters is a compelling perspective for landlubbers and mariners alike. The auxiliary fireboat was the last vessel that Captain Hasenpusch worked on, for on June 12, 1962, the captain suffered a fatal heart attack while on duty in her wheelhouse and died at the calling he so dearly loved.

A web link to the James L. Douthit photographs and oral histories guide with more information about this collection including content, arrangement, histories and access.
Click for Collection Guide
James L. Douthit photographs and oral histories, circa 1965-1975, 1989. P91-058 (SAFR 22588)

Black-and-white photographic print. An unidentified man is standing and looking down, baiting lines on the foredeck of a boat which appears to be at dock. He is wearing overalls, a shirt, and a longshoreman's or flat-type cap. There is a pile of lines in front of him, baited and ready, the lines wrapped in a circle and the fish hanging off the hooks at the edge of the circle. Circa 1965-1975.
Hours fishermen spent were
not all out on open water.
The preparation and dedication
of those that chose this trade
are evident above.
(P91-058 Ser 1.1 Vol 2 Item 74)
James L. Douthit was a photographer and a reporter from the Pacific Northwest and spent many years writing for the Oakland Tribune. He was also a maritime historian; he wrote articles on whaling and conducted oral histories of people involved with fishing vessels and steam schooners in California and Oregon.

This collection contains photographs of Monterey clipper fishing boats, fishermen and the fishing trade, and boat shops, taken circa 1965-1975 as a part of Douthit’s research. The majority of the photographs are of vessels, some with operators on board. Some photographs depict on-deck scenes of fishing or fishing equipment: portraits of fishermen, views of preparing lines, hauling in fish, and weighing fish on the dock. Photographs include the “Yukon Gang,” a notorious group of fishermen that worked together from the 1950s-1970s. The collection also includes transcripts of interviews with Monterey clipper boat builders and fishermen, as well as portraits of some of the interviewees. These men are important figures in maritime history, captaining vessels which defined the fishing industry in the San Francisco Bay for decades and characterized Fisherman’s Wharf.

Small in stature, these Monterey clippers were a big presence in the San Francisco Bay. They were introduced to the San Francisco Bay around 1925. The boats and their captains played a key role in the local 1930s sardine industry. It wasn’t until the 1950s, as the fishing industry hit its peak and began to decline, that the Monterey clippers began to disappear (P91-058, Ser.1.1, Vol. 2, Item 14)
Surely, these men lived very different lives, but the waters of the San Francisco Bay kept them closely connected. Perhaps they knew one another, if even in passing. Perhaps they crossed paths on the waters of the San Francisco Bay. I will most likely never know but I will spend a good amount of time in speculation... If you would like to find out more about these men, their livelihoods, and their accomplishments, peruse the collection guides on the Online Archive of California or make an appointment with our resourceful reference staff to assist you in your quest for more.