Peter McCracken's Maritime History on the Internet

Ship Index
Since 2004, research librarian and maritime historian Peter McCracken has written a Maritime History on the Internet  feature in Sea History magazine, guiding us in our research using a broad range of internet sources and search strategies.  Peter is also the founder and president of www.ShipIndex.org, a website that simplifies vessel research with information on over 150,000 ships—and the books, journals, magazines, newspapers, websites and databases that reference them.

Find summaries, links and pdfs of all Maritime History on the Internet  features below (sorted alphabetically as they appear in the Sea History index), or view a combined pdf of all features sorted chronologically >>

 

apps for maritime history, 143:38

Apps for Maritime History:   When we think of the Internet, we usually think of web pages.  Smart phone apps, however, play a major role in Internet’s present and future; the number of available and the portion of Internet traffic devoted to mobile applications grows every month.  While there are not yet many apps of interest to maritime history, it is an area worth watching.  Read the full feature >>

Sample links from this feature >>
https://www.fleetmon.com/
https://www.vesseltracker.com/app
https://www.shippingexplorer.net/en

 

bibliographic data management, 134:50

Managing Your Bibliographic Data Online:   If you have amassed a large collection of books, magazines, and other items related to maritime history (or any other subject), you may be looking for ways to manage all those items.  It’s now possible to catalogue your own collection, share that catalogue with people around the world, and then find others with similar interests and collections.  When the online services first began, many of them are doing very different things, but as each expanded its functionality, they have grown closer and closer to the best aspects of each other’s services.  The ones you’ll want to choose will depend on which particular core activity is of greatest interest to you.  You’ll likely find that each company may be sufficiently good to do the other activities, too- and if not today, then perhaps tomorrow.  Read the full feature >>

Sample links from this feature >>
https://www.librarything.com/
https://www.mendeley.com/
https://www.goodreads.com/
https://copiaclass.com/

 

buying used books online, 125:46

Buying Used Books Online: Some Thoughts From a New Seller:   www.Amazon.com is now one of the biggest players in the commercial web; they sell everything under the sun- from computers to sunglasses to shoes to groceries.  In my opinion, their biggest moves in the past few years have been in “infrastructure as commodity.” Today, Amazon supports not just established vendors, but also anyone with a book to offload and a willingness to pay their hefty- but completely deserved- cut.  Read the full feature >>

Sample links from this feature >>
https://www.betterworldbooks.com/
http://www.powells.com/
http://www.seaoceanbooks.com/

 

competitive rowing, 133:50

Competitive Rowing Online:   Competitive rowing, like any pastime, has an online presence these days. Rowing history, curiously, is not well represented online, but a 2004 essay titled “The Dangerously Neglected Legacy of Rowing” at http://rowinghistory.net/neglected.htm provides some consideration as to why this is so.  Read the full feature >>

Sample links from this feature >>
http://rowinghistory.net/
https://www.rrm.co.uk/
http://www.fishhall.org.uk/history-heritage/the-doggett-s-wager/
https://natrowing.org/
http://www.row2k.com/
http://hear-the-boat-sing.blogspot.com/
http://rowingforpleasure.blogspot.com/
https://www.hrr.co.uk/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henley
http://www.theboatrace.org/
https://www.hocr.org/
http://www.pocock.com/about/history/
http://www.usrowing.org/meet-our-teams/
https://www.britishrowing.org/
http://www.worldrowing.com/events/2012-olympic-games/

 

digital resources at Mystic Seaport, 118:36

Digital Resources at Mystic Seaport:   In the next few columns, Peter McCracken presents work done by various maritime museums to digitize and make accessible some of the most remarkable parts of their collections. The folks at Mystic Seaport's G. W. Blunt White Library have been pursuing digitization projects for many years now.  Read the full feature >>

Sample links from this feature >>
https://www.mysticseaport.org/research/

 

discovery layers, 151:50

“Discovery Layers” – The Library’s Google:   In the last issue of Sea History (SH 150), Peter McCracken discussed ways of finding electronic journals, once you have an article citation. But finding those citations can be rough, especially if you are not affiliated with a large academic institution that subscribes to many electronic databases. Here, Peter describes a great tool for searching large sets of data without actually having access to the journals themselves. You generally won't end up with the full text, but at least you'll know that the article exists, which is sometimes more than half the battle!  Read the full feature >>

Sample links from this feature >>
http://search.lib.virginia.edu/
https://lib.asu.edu/

 

discussion lists, 116:18

Discussion Lists - Yet Another Way of Connecting People Around the World:   As this column has mentioned in the past, one of the best parts of using the internet for research is the ability to tap into a truly remarkable community of individuals brought together, not by geography, but by knowledge of and interest in a particular subject. One of the oldest parts of the online community is the discussion list, which allows easy distribution of messages among a collection of interested individuals.  Read the full feature >>

Sample links from this feature >>
https://www.marmuseum.ca/index.php/research/marhst-l-research-resources
http://www.hmssurprise.org/
https://groups.google.com/forum/#!overview
https://networks.h-net.org/h-maritime

 

e-books, 117:20

Sources for Maritime Ebooks - Both Free and Paid:   Google made headlines in the library community through their project of digitizing much of the collections of several major research libraries. Initially, people thought that the digitized works would then be available - and searchable - for free, by anyone with an internet connection. In fact, because of the United States' arcane and unnecessarily restrictive copyright laws, only a small portion of what Google digitizes can actually be made freely accessible. In addition, the release of the contracts Google signed with these institutions shows that, in fact, even the institutions loaning the books will have somewhat limited access to the digitized versions of the works they actually own.  Read the full feature >>

Sample links from this feature >>
http://www.gutenberg.org/
https://news.library.virginia.edu/2017/07/10/ebook-central-the-library-destination-for-ebook-access/
http://onlinebooks.library.upenn.edu/
https://www.bartleby.com/
https://books.google.com/
https://www.proquest.com/products-services/ebooks/ebooks-main.html#whatsnewSection
http://www.worldlibrary.net/

 

feedly.com, 144:50

Feedly.com: A Replacement for Google Reader, and a Tool for Curated Content:  Over the years, Google has introduced many new products and services to the public. When some didn't work or didn't gain broad acceptance, or cost too much to maintain, Google shut them down. Google Reader is one example, though it still had many, many fans when it was discontinued.  The functionality that Google Reader provided is still quite valuable; mitigating the need for any individual to regularly go from blog to blog, or website to website, checking for changes or updates.  Read the full feature >>

Sample links from this feature >>
https://feedly.com/
https://news.google.com/?hl=en-US&gl=US&ceid=US:en

 

finding articles from citations, 150:41

I’ve Got a Citation; How Do I Find the Article?:   Back in 2015, Peter McCracken's art historian wife needed to use www.Shiplndex.org to track a British naval ship. Hher next question was somewhat inevitable: "Do you have access to Mariner's Mirror?" Finding a specific article after you've found the citation is a tricky thing, especially if you're not affiliated with an academic institution, but there are a few paths to take.  Read the full feature >>

Sample links from this feature >>
https://www.library.cornell.edu/
http://p.lib.harvard.edu/discovery/journals.html
http://eresources.loc.gov/searchrS2
https://libguides.cam.ac.uk/eresources
https://www.thenrg.org/
http://www.worldcat.org/

 

finding free books online, 135:50

Finding Free Books Online:  Google’s bold digitization projects, called Google Books, was first announced in 2004.  Many publishers considered it to herald the end of the world and promptly went into extended litigation.  Today, some experts feel that if the draft agreement is ever completely approved, it will be too late to be useful for either Google or book publishers. Google continues to forge ahead, as do a few other projects as well - often using Google’s own information.  Editor's Note: As of 2015, the number of scanned book titles was over 25 million!  See https://books.google.com.   Read the full feature >>

Sample links from this feature >>
http://www.gutenberg.org/
https://www.hathitrust.org/
https://openlibrary.org/
https://archive.org/
https://gallica.bnf.fr/accueil/?mode=desktop
https://www.europeana.eu/portal/en
http://runeberg.org/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_digital_library_projects

 

finding information about individuals, 123:23

Finding Information About Individuals Online:   Peter McCracken's intent for this feature was not to present ways of finding out your neighbors' credit score but to describe ways of locating information about historical individuals. Depending on the importance of the individual being researched, there are lots of paths to take. If your subjects are not well-known, then the best way to go is probably to pretend that you're related to them (which might be the case!) and approach it as a piece of genealogy. Genealogy must be one of the biggest beneficiaries of the internet: it has become so easy to find and share obscure information that is relevant to just a few people around the world. There are many different genealogy websites that can help you find information about ancestors, whether they are related to you or not.  Read the full feature >>

Sample links from this feature >>
www.genealogy.com
www.familysearch.org
https://www.ancestry.com/
https://www.immigrantships.net/
http://www.worldvitalrecords.com/
http://www.theshipslist.com/
http://www.loc.gov/coll/nucmc/
http://www.worldcat.org/

 

finding lost things on the Web, 120:20

The Internet Archive: Finding Lost Things on the Web:   While writing the column in Sea History 119 about Web 2 .0 and user-generated content, Peter McCracken thought a good balancing column would discuss ways of finding sites that no longer exist. The relevance of this idea became clear to him when the host for websites he'd maintained online for years suddenly removed all his content.  Using the “Internet Archive’s “Wayback Machine,” he was able to recover the information he had lost, which he would eventually repost on a site he controlled, rather than a site managed by someone else.  Read the full feature >>

Sample links from this feature >>
https://archive.org/web
https://archive.org/details/texts
https://archive.org/details/movies

 

finding manuscript collections with ArchiveGrid, 154:58

Finding Manuscript Collections with ArchiveGrid:   Manuscript collections are fantastic places to do advanced, in-depth research on nearly any subject, maritime history certainly included. Oftentimes, the information you seek is available, but remains hidden in a manuscript collection or archive because that aspect of the collection wasn't relevant to the work of those who have written about it. Analyzing and extracting relevant information from these collections is rough, but just finding the data you want to analyze can also present a big challenge.  Read the full feature >>

Sample links from this feature >>
https://beta.worldcat.org/archivegrid/

 

genealogy, 155:58

Tracking Your Ancient Mariners:   Genealogy is big business these days, and genealogy databases can be great tools for maritime history research, too. Ancestry is a large company that indexes and digitizes data for genealogists. FamilySearch is the public-facing genealogy side of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which invests enormous amounts of time and money in their own work in genealogy, to the benefit of all. FindMyPast  and MyHeritage round out the largest genealogy companies; together they provide a lot of great resources for folks who want to learn more about their ancestors-including those who went to sea.  Read the full feature >>

Sample links from this feature >>
https://www.ancestry.com/
https://www.familysearch.org/
https://www.findmypast.com/
https://www.myheritage.com/
https://www.records.nsw.gov.au/archives/collections-and-research/guides-and-indexes/immigration-and-shipping
https://www.ancestry.se/
https://nmdl.org/
https://research.mysticseaport.org/databases/crew-lists-new-london/
http://www.mun.ca/mha/nlcrews/nlcrews.php
https://www.familysearch.org/locations/

 

Google Earth and Google Sketchup, 124:42

Google Earth and Google Sketchup: Exploring the Globe:   In this issue, Peter McCracken highlights two fascinating Google tools: Google Earth and Google SketchUp. Google Earth is, in essence, a geographic representation of Google's search results, along with an incredible amount of user-generated content. Sketch Up is a fairly simple Computer-Aided Design program for the masses and allows one to build 3D designs of all kinds of objects.  Read the full feature >>

Sample links from this feature >>
http://earth.google.com
https://www.davidrumsey.com/
https://3dwarehouse.sketchup.com

 

Google News and Google Alerts, 132:44

Using Google News and Alerts to Follow Topics:   Google News and Google Alerts are two useful tools for tracking information about a specific subject. While it might seem like these are only useful for current issues, they can actually be applied in many different ways and have no specific chronological limitations.  Read the full feature >>

Sample links from this feature >>
https://news.google.com
https://www.google.com/alerts

 

guide to maritime history on the internet, 106:35

Maritime History on the Internet, A Research Guide:   There can be no question that the internet has revolutionized nearly every field of research and interest for human knowledge. Maritime history is no different. Harnessing the power of networked computers makes it possible to access and process incredible amounts of information not previously available, opening exciting new avenues for research and discovery.  Read the full feature >>

Sample links from this feature >>
https://www.rmg.co.uk/research-collections/research-guides
http://www.anmm.gov.au/learn/explore-online
https://www.mysticseaport.org/research/
http://www.maritimemuseums.net/
http://www.modelerjoe.net/wrldnmus.html
http://www.history.navy.mil
http://www.boat-links.com/boatlink.html
http://www.pvs-hawaii.com/

 

institutional repositories (IRs), 148:50

Searching and Understanding Institutional Repositories (IRs):   Traditional academic publishing has been in upheaval for years over its distribution process, which detractors would describe as scholars' libraries paying large sums to buy back work that was produced for free (or produced at government expense) at that same institution. While serials budgets in libraries have remained static or declined, scholarly journal prices have increased over 7% per year for the past 25 years, according to a 2013 study from Allen Press. Academics and scholars have spent years trying to come up with effective ways of distributing free or low-cost "open access" journals. There are many varieties of open access, and many ways of implementing it. But if you want to share your research for free online, you need a place to put it and you need people to find it. You can put it on your own website, but almost no one will ever know it's there, and it will never be used.  Read the full feature >>

Sample links from this feature >>
http://oaister.worldcat.org/
http://v2.sherpa.ac.uk/opendoar/
http://www.opendoar.org/find.php
http://www.opendoar.org/search.php

 

library books, 110:18

Locating Library Books, Near and Far:   In previous columns,Peter McCracken explored websites related to specific topics. Books, however, remain a critical resource for doing effective research. In this issue, Peter explores ways of doing more effective book searches. Obviously, library catalogs - especially those for large academic institutions - are great for identifying print resources. Nearly every library collects books about local history, so if you live in Nebraska but are interested in the Confederate Navy, try searching catalogs of major libraries located in the South. When you identify a title that looks useful, turn next to your local library (an academic library, if not too far, will prove your best bet) to see if they offer it. Nearly every library has a catalog you can access over the Internet, so it's very easy to find out if a local library has the book you need before you get in the car. Remember that, even if you don't have borrowing privileges at a particular library, most libraries will allow you to read and photocopy to your heart's content.  Read the full feature >>

Sample links from this feature >>
http://www.worldcat.org/
https://www.oclc.org/research/activities/redlightgreen.html
http://www.gutenberg.org/
https://books.google.com/?hl=en
https://scholar.google.com/
https://www.shipindex.org/

 

locating maritime images, 121:26

Locating Maritime Images:  High-speed internet connections have made images a viral part of the online experience. Unlike text, which a search engine can index word-by-word, finding images online can be tricky work. Search engines can’t (yet) interpret the content of an image - they can only read its description. Nonetheless, there are a number of websites where you can find great images of ships and pieces of maritime history.  Editor's Note: See "searching for—and with—images, 137:38," with an update from Peter McCracken on how you can now use the image itself to search, and not have to rely on just using words that describe that image.  Read the full feature >>

today, you can

Sample links from this feature >>
https://www.gettyimages.com/
https://www.istockphoto.com/
https://www.flickr.com/
https://www.fotki.com/us/en/
www.google.com
 

locating new books, using RSS feeds, 161:58

Locating New Books, Using RSS Feeds:  Nearly a million new books appear online and on the shelves of booksellers each year. Many of these are self-published titles, but even limiting to mainstream publishers, it’s nearly impossible to keep track of what appears in any person’s areas of interest. Here are a few things you can do to get a handle on what’s new. RSS, short for “Rich Site Summary,” can help you collect and narrow the data you seek. RSS consists of an “aggregator” and multiple “feeds.” The aggregator is a website that compiles the feeds that interest you, and presents that information in a way you can process. RSS is not as common as it once was, and it wasn’t all that popular back then either.  It can be tricky to use but can also serve as a very useful tool to keep one informed of changes and updates.  Read the full feature >>

Sample links from this feature >>
https://feedly.com/i/welcome
https://feeder.co/
https://feedreader.com/
http://newbooks.mannlib.cornell.edu/
http://library.northeastern.edu/new-acquisitions-list
http://www.library.ucla.edu/search/new-books/customized-feed-wizard
https://www.loc.gov/catdir/cpso/lcco/
https://anynewbooks.com/
https://www.amazon.com/

 

nautical art, 140:38

Nautical Art Research Online:   An important part of maritime heritage is its art, from images of vessels, mariners, and seascapes artists created centuries ago, to modern images of historical events; from new interpretations of maritime history and the marine environment to the many different places and different media in between. Most large maritime museums, such as the National Maritime Museum in the UK, Mystic Seaport Museum, the Australian National Maritime Museum and others, have significant online presences where you can view many of the pieces in their collections.  Read the full feature >>

Sample links from this feature >>
http://collections.rmg.co.uk/
https://www.mysticseaport.org/
http://www.anmm.gov.au/
http://americanhistory.si.edu/onthewater/
http://collections.si.edu/search/
https://metmuseum.org/art/collection
http://arthistoryresources.net/
https://www.metmuseum.org/toah/
http://portal.getty.edu/
http://www.getty.edu/research/tools/bha/
https://artsandculture.google.com/
http://www.artcyclopedia.com/
http://www.artcyclopedia.com/subjects/Maritime_Scenes.html

 

navigation, 109:18

Navigating Navigation Online:  In this issue, Peter McCracken explores navigation online - not how to navigate from one website to another, but rather exploring sites about navigation. There are many exciting resources available on the internet focusing on celestial, traditional and modern navigation theory, practices, instruments and more.  Read the full feature >>

Sample links from this feature >>
http://www.celestialnavigation.net/
https://celnav.de/
https://www.penn.museum/sites/Navigation/Intro.html
http://www.pvs-hawaii.com/
http://nathanielbowditch.org/
https://msi.nga.mil/MSISiteContent/StaticFiles/NAV_PUBS/APN/Bowditch_Vol_1_LoRes.pdf
http://www.navcen.uscg.gov/
http://www.noaa.gov/charts.html
https://historicalcharts.noaa.gov/historicals/search_attributes
https://www.shipindex.org/

 

online resources at the National Maritime Museum, 126:34

Online Resources at the National Maritime Museum:   Back in 2009 as Britain's National Maritime Museum (NMM) prepared to build a new library that would limit access to any of their print resources during renovation, it was a good time to take a look at the electronic resources they offer to anyone, anywhere, and without a visit to Greenwich. The Museum, Observatory, and Queen's House collections and library sites offer a great deal of information about what is available at the NMM, often in severlal languages. eleven languages.  Read the full feature >>

Sample links from this feature >>
https://www.rmg.co.uk/national-maritime-museum
http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20090126170931/http://www.nmm.ac.uk/researchers/library/research-guides/
https://www.rmg.co.uk/national-maritime-museum/caird-library/independent-researchers
https://www.flickr.com/photos/nationalmaritimemuseum
http://collections.rmg.co.uk/collections.html
https://www.rmg.co.uk/discover/behind-the-scenes/blog
https://www.rmg.co.uk/national-maritime-museum/caird-library

 

online safety, 157:38

A Primer to Being Safe Online: Discussion of research strategies rarely includes information about online security, but it's a topic worth learning about. Peter McCracken makes suggestions that are helpful when exploring the internet, regardless of what you're doing.  Read the full feature >>

Sample links from this feature >>
https://www.phishtank.com/index.php

 

pirates and piracy, 111:30

Pirates Off the Port Bow:   As a topic for research on the Web, piracy offers an abundance of useless information among a few deposits of reliable sources. Do a search for "piracy" or "pirates" and you'll find thousands of sites, the vast majority of which are completely irrelevant. A search for something more specific, such as "piracy maritime history," will produce a better set of results, but you'll still have a lot of wading to do. Peter McCracken explores some ways of searching for relevant information, along with a sampling of the better sites out there.  Read the full feature >>

Sample links from this feature >>
http://www.cindyvallar.com/piratelinks.html
http://beej.us/pirates/
http://www.americanjourneys.org/
https://www.ncdcr.gov/blog/2011/06/09/blackbeard-%E2%80%9Cthe-fiercest-pirate-of-them-all%E2%80%9D
https://www.ncdcr.gov/blog/2013/09/30/introducing-the-2013-field-season
http://www.icc-ccs.org/index.php/45-imb-piracy-reporting-centre/weekly-piracy-report
http://talklikeapirate.com/wordpress/
http://pyracy.com/
http://www.noquartergiven.net/
http://piratesinparadise.com/
http://www.worldcat.org/

 

pirates and piracy, 131:34

Piracy - At Sea and Online:   Piracy on the high seas has drawn quite a lot of attention.  The taking of the Maersk Alabama in April 2009 was the first successful pirate raid on an American-flagged ship since the early 19th century. Pirates may not look like Johnny Depp in Pirates of the Caribbean, but his non-fictional brethren are still having a significant impact on trade and security throughout the world. Countless web pages about historical piracy exist, but, unlike most historical subjects, there's a fairly limited amount of intelligent content online. Most pages are of the "Avast, me hearties! " type, rather than educated discussion. Modern piracy, of course, is no laughing matter, and several valuable sites provide meaningful and critical analysis of the problem.  Read the full feature >>

Sample links from this feature >>
http://www.cindyvallar.com/
http://beej.us/pirates/
http://www.thepirateking.com/
http://pyracy.com/
https://www.nytimes.com/topic/subject/piracy-at-sea
http://www.icc-ccs.org/index.php/piracy-reporting-centre/live-piracy-map
http://talklikeapirate.com/wordpress/
http://826valencia.org/store/

 

preserving historic vessels, 127:40

Preserving Historic Vessels:   The loss of Seattle’s 1897 lumber schooner Wawona (Sea History 106:18), current concern for preservation of the 1936 Nantucket Lightship LV-112 (Sea History 126:12), the risk of an impending sale of SS United States (see pages 10-11 of Sea History 127 and also Sea History 108:33), and the continuing “Historic Ships on a Lee Shore” (nearly every Sea History issue), show the challenges facing preservation for historic vessels.  The Internet is obviously an excellent way of sharing information about threatened vessels and for finding support from across the country and around the world, but it also contains a wealth of resources about such vessels themselves.  Governments and historical societies have collected, and are now disseminating, much of this information.  Read the full feature >>

Sample links from this feature >>
http://www.loc.gov/pictures/collection/hh/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_museum_ships
https://www.nationalhistoricships.org.uk/
https://seahistory.org/latest-news/ship-preservation/

 

researching legislative history - background documents, 164:48

Researching Legislative History: Background Documents:  In Sea History 163, Peter McCracken looked at how to find information on US legislative bills that have become law. In this issue, he looks at the many, many volumes of background material that can support the development of these laws, or proposals that never became law. Even if they are not directly connected with the development of binding legislation, they can offer fantastic information and insights.  Read the full feature >>

Sample links from this feature >>
https://archive.org
https://www.congress.gov/congressional-record
http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/amlaw/lawhome.html
https://www.govinfo.gov

 

researching legislative history - bills that became law, 163:56

Researching Legislative History - Bills That Became Law:  Much of American maritime history is bound up in federal legislation. The Jones Act (officially, The Merchant Marine Act of 1920), which aims to promote American merchant maritime trade by requiring— among other things—that seaborne trade between American ports be carried by American built and flagged ships, is perhaps the best known. The Act has had immeasurable impact on American maritime history in the past century, and its impacts remain a constant issue. Members of Congress continue to argue for amendment or repeal.  Read the full feature >>

Sample links from this feature >>
https://www.congress.gov/
https://www.congress.gov/public-laws/115th-congress
https://www.loc.gov/law/help/statutes.php
http://uscode.house.gov/
http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/amlaw/
http://proquest.libguides.com/pq_congressional/

 

researching patents, 149:50

Researching Patents:   You might know that Abraham Lincoln is the only US President to hold a patent, but did you know that it's for a maritime application? Patent 6469 is called "Buoying Vessels over Shoals," and describes a system of inflatable bladders that are used to lift a ship out of a difficult situation in shallow waters. Of course, withUS patent numbers as of 2004 approaching nine million, we have quite a few more inventions than at Lincoln's time. Searching through all of them will take a lot more time than it did in Lincoln's day, but at least you're not required to travel to Washington, DC, to do the searching.  Read the full feature >>

Sample links from this feature >>
http://patft.uspto.gov/
https://www.google.com/?tbm=pts
http://www.epo.org/searching-for-patents.html
https://www.uspto.gov/
https://www.uspto.gov/web/patents/classification/selectnumwithtitle.htm
http://americanhistory.si.edu/america-on-the-move

 

researching the poles, 162:50

Researching the Poles: 2017's winter “bomb cyclone,” which froze much of the continental United States, makes this seem as good a time as any to look at sources for doing polar research. Polar research could, of course, include a wide range of topics — all of which would likely have some maritime connection — but here Peter McCracken looks at a few that seem more emphatically maritime, such as scientific research and exploration.  Read the full feature >>

Sample links from this feature >>
http://www.npolar.no/en
https://www.rmg.co.uk/discover/explore/exploration-endeavour/polar-exploration
https://www.spri.cam.ac.uk/library/
http://www.discoveringthearctic.org.uk/
https://www.historymuseum.ca/franklin/
http://south-pole.com/
http://visionsnorth.blogspot.com/p/arcticexploration-brief-history-of.html
https://www.spri.cam.ac.uk/archives/shackleton/
https://www.spri.cam.ac.uk/picturelibrary/
https://www.rrsdiscovery.com/
http://www.aina.ucalgary.ca/astis/
https://www.scar.org/
https://www.coldregions.org/vufind/
http://www.polarlaw.is/en/previous-symposiums
https://www.ats.aq/index_e.htm

 

sea music, 115:30

Hear, Take My Database: Finding Resources on Sea Music:  Searching for information about sea shanties (or chanteys) is an interesting experience, because several of the largest databases are available for the taking, literally: if you want to have your own copy of the database, you can download it and install it on your own machine. Other sites include impressive bibliographies. On the whole, while there are not a lot of web pages about sea music, some of the ones out there do have a lot of information, and it's yours for the taking.  Read the full feature >>

Sample links from this feature >>
https://mudcat.org//
https://www.8notes.com/
http://www.csufresno.edu/folklore/BalladSearch.html
http://www.songtexte.com/
http://www.tomlewis.net/
http://leemurdock.com/
https://arrrr.net/
https://www.thebilgepumps.com/
http://www.shanty.org.uk/
https://shanty.rendance.org/
http://www.contemplator.com/sea/

 

search engines and directories, 112:18

Beyond Google - Exploring Other Search Engines and Directories:  The fall of 2015 marked the bicentennial of Nelson's victory over the French at the Battle of Trafalgar and Nelson's death, as well. In this issue, rather than just exploring sites that discuss Nelson and his life, Peter McCracken explores ways of finding more information about Nelson online: that is, ways of searching beyond Google.  Read the full feature >>

Sample links from this feature >>
http://dmoz-odp.org/
https://nelson-society.com/
http://www.lii.org
http://www.ipl.org/
https://www.looksmart.com/
http://www.metacrawler.com/
https://www.startpage.com/
https://www.wikipedia.org/

 

searching for geographic information, 139:50

Searching for Geographic Information Online:  While maritime history is, in many ways, the history of the space between places, it certainly also has important connections with specific locales.  Finding information about such places can sometimes be a real challenge.  One of the greatest benefits of the Internet is its ability to remove the distance between a researcher and a source.  When you seek geographical information about New Zealand for example, instead of having to locate a research university that comprehensively collects data on Pacific nations, or traveling to New Zealand itself, you can simply visit the online site of the New Zealand Geographical Society without ever leaving your home.  Read the full feature >>

Sample links from this feature >>
https://www.google.com/maps
https://www.google.com/earth/
https://www.wikipedia.org/
https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/
https://www.last.fm/
https://www.mlb.com/live-stream-games/subscribe?affiliateId=MLBTVREDIRECT
https://unglue.it/
http://www.geonames.org/
http://www.fallingrain.com/world/
http://geonames.nga.mil/gns/html/

 

searching for statistics, 138:39

Searching for Statistics Online:   Finding accurate statistics online can be a nerve-wracking and frustrating process. It should be easy - shouldn't it? - to determine the change in the percentage of Americans employed by maritime industries over the past two centuries? As is often the case, much depends on what question is asked, how it is asked, and how one interprets the results found.  Read the full feature >>

Sample links from this feature >>
https://nces.ed.gov/FCSM/index.asp
https://www.cia.gov/index.html
https://www.census.gov/library/publications/2011/compendia/statab/131ed.html
https://www.bls.gov/ooh/
https://www.americanwaterways.com/

 

searching for—and with—images, 137:38

New Ways of Searching for – and With - Images:   Way back in 2007, Peter McCracken wrote a column in Sea History about ways of searching for images online.  He wrote, “So much information that’s hidden in an image cannot be searched by modern search engines, but that will likely change with time and new technology.” How very true - today, you can use the image itself to search and not have to rely on just using words that describe that image. It is truly an amazing thing.  Read the full feature >>

Sample links from this feature >>
http://images.google.com
http://www.bing.com/images
http://images.yahoo.com
http://shipspotting.com/
https://www.shipphotos.co.uk/
http://fotoflite.com/

 

searching in languages you don’t speak, 122:42

Searching the Web in Languages You Don’t Speak:  Sometimes, surfing the world wide web, it’s easy to forget that some people speak languages you don’t know, considering that the majority of hits you’ll get on any given search will, most times, be in English.  In fact, of course, there are millions of internet sites in foreign languages.  Researchers in maritime history, or any other subject, will find accessing these sites useful, but locating them can be difficult.  If English is your native tongue, how do you go about searching and reading pages in other languages?  Not surprisingly, the web offers some extraordinary tools for doing just that.  Read the full feature >>

Sample links from this feature >>
https://www.google.fr/
https://www.google.com.vn/
https://www.google.lv/
https://translate.google.com/
https://www.google.ch
http://aimmuseum.org/
https://www.freelang.net/
http://www.yourdictionary.com/
http://www.worldlingo.com/http://
www.omniglot.com/

 

searching museum collections, 159:39

Searching Museum Collections Online:   In the 21st century, most museums track their artifacts through electronic inventory management tools that are similar to electronic library catalogs. More and more museums are taking advantage of these tools to make their collection inventories, either in part or in their entirety, accessible online. Quite a bit of interesting information can be gleaned about artifacts in a museum's collection; nearly every museum has many times more artifacts in storage than on display, and it can be useful to discover what items are in those collections, how one can access them, and what information the museum has about them.  Read the full feature >>

Sample links from this feature >>
https://www.mysticseaport.org/research/
https://www.rmg.co.uk/discover
https://www.nps.gov/safr/learn/historyculture/catalogs.htm
http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/collection_online/search.aspx
http://americanhistory.si.edu/collections
https://www.whalingmuseum.org/
http://www.pastperfect-online.com/
http://www.deltaville.pastperfectonline.com/

 

ShipIndex.org, 129:50

Shipindex.org - A Site for Ship Research:   Peter McCracken has written about a wide range of useful online resources for Sea History readers over the years. At the end of each column has been a mention of Peter's own site www.Shiplndex.org, which lists over 100,000 ship references from various books, journals, and other resources. For a long time, Shiplndex.org was a site managed in Peter's spare time, but has since become his full-time project. In this column, Peter talks more about the site in particular, how you can use it, and how it will evolve in the future.  Editor's Note: As of 2018 the list of ship references is up to 150,000!  Read the full feature >>

Sample links from this feature >>
https://www.shipindex.org/

 

ships’ primary documents, 142:48

Searching for Ships’ Primary Documents:  Imagine that you're interested in finding a specific ship's logbook, journal, or plan. Where do you turn? The logbook probably no longer exists. If it does, it's probably not cataloged anywhere. If it is, knowing which catalog to search is impossible. On the chance that you have identified the right catalog and the logbook's repository, you'll probably still have to travel to get a look at it. If you succeed at all that, pick up a lottery ticket on your way home, because this was your lucky day.  Read the full feature >>

Sample links from this feature >>
http://www.worldcat.org/
http://www.shipindex.org/
http://www.loc.gov/coll/nucmc/oclcsearch.html

 

SlaveVoyages.org, 130:40

Slavevoyages.org - Bringing Research to Everyone:   Occasionally a site will appear online that contains such a remarkable collection of both raw data and insightful analysis that it’s worth a much deeper investigation. "Voyages: The Transatlantic Slave Trade " is such a site: it contains not only an incredible collection of data and original documents, but also numerous images, essays, maps, and concepts that condense that information into more manageable units. In addition, individuals can not only do their own studies based on the raw data collected over many years by many different researchers, they can improve and enhance the database with their own original research.  Read the full feature >>

Sample links from this feature >>
http://www.slavevoyages.org/

 

social networking, 141:38

Applying Social Networking to Maritime History:   Social networks are, perhaps surprisingly, a great place to explore maritime history. Sites like Facebook, Pinterest, Linkedln Tumblr and others all have hidden (and sometimes not-so-hidden) spots where maritime history, in many different forms, hides out.  Read the full feature >>

Sample links from this feature >>
https://www.facebook.com/
https://www.facebook.com/search/results.php?nomc=0
https://www.facebook.com/sailingmerchantvessels
http://linkedin.com
https://twitter.com/
https://www.pinterest.com/
https://www.pinterest.com/ezthetic/ship/
https://www.tumblr.com/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/scottishmaritimemuseum

 

text mining and digital humanities tools, 145:50

Text Mining and Digital Humanities Tools:   The use of digital tools in the humanities has been growing by leaps and bounds in recent years. Some of the early tools could create a concordance for text, but these were just the beginnings of ways to analyze and explore texts. Today, new methods of using technology to explore textual works continue to appear, providing a host of tools to researchers in the humanities.  Read the full feature >>

Sample links from this feature >>
http://tapor.ca/home
http://www.wordle.net/
http://voyeurtools.org/

 

tracking and following ships, 136:50

Tracking and Following Ships Around the Globe:   The combination and compilation of many disparate silos of data, all mashed together, is already a common sight on the internet but is definitely growing in importance. In fact, this is a tenet of what some people call "Web 3.0" - Web 1.0 was the one-way delivery of information posted on the internet; Web 2.0 was the impact of user-generated content, from reviews of products on Amazon.com to the content contributed to Wikipedia and similar sites; and Web 3.0 is the widespread application of "semantic data," and particularly information that is derived from the use of that data.  Read the full feature >>

Sample links from this feature >>
https://www.vesseltracker.com/app
https://www.marinetraffic.com/en/ais/home/centerx:-12.0/centery:25.0/zoom:4
https://www.sailwx.info/
https://www.sailwx.info/shiptrack/tallships.phtml

 

tugboat websites, 153:58

Tugboating Around the Web:   It seems that tugboats rarely get respect, even online. The internet has surprisingly little content about tugboats, despite the critical role they play in the modern maritime environment. Nevertheless, as with any area of interest, some extended looking can yield a variety of websites worth checking out.  Read the full feature >>

Sample links from this feature >>
http://www.tugboatinformation.com/
http://www.tugboatenthusiastsociety.org/
http://www.crowley.com/
https://mcallistertowing.com/
http://towingline.com/
https://www.youtube.com/user/crn3
http://www.pelicanpassage.com/
http://www.tugandosv.com/
http://www.lekko.org/
https://www.tugboatroundup.com/

 

useful and licensable maritime images, 146:38

Finding Useful – and Licensable – Maritime Images:   Searching for images that one can license to use in books, magazines, websites, and more can often be quite tricky. For commercial works, regardless of the format, one must be careful to ensure that appropriate reproduction rights have been obtained from the correct rights holder. One excellent way of doing that - and one that supports maritime organizations - is to license them from the maritime museums and collections that own the images and the associated rights. Below is a selection of great, but disparate, collections of maritime images that are worth investigating. Licensing costs vary dramatically from institution to institution, and on the intended use.  Read the full feature >>

Sample links from this feature >>
https://penobscotmarinemuseum.org/museum-collections-database/
https://www.rmg.co.uk/work-services/filming-photography/image-licensing
http://rapidttp.co.za/museum/
http://greatlakeships.org/search
https://www.mun.ca/mha/publicphotos.php
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Main_Page

 

using browser extensions, 160:58

Using Browser Extensions to Enhance Your Online Search:  Your web browser is your primary window to everything the internet has to offer. Many small and free tools exist that can expand how you use this window, and they can help you with the research you do.  Read the full feature >>

Sample links from this feature >>
https://www.libraryextension.com/
https://www.zotero.org/
https://evernote.com/
http://jureeka.blogspot.com/
https://getpocket.com/

 

using Google books, Hathitrust, and other online book sites, 158:50

Using Google Books, HathiTrust, and Other Online Book Sites:   Google’s goal to digitize the world's libraries is one of its typical "shoot-for-the-moon" projects, which seem nearly impossible until they turn out to be well on their way to reaching the goal. Its impact is already immeasurable, and will continue to grow.  Nevertheless, the project is not without its challenges, and there is much one should know about the process and alternatives.  Read the full feature >>

Sample links from this feature >>
https://books.google.com/
https://www.gutenberg.org/
https://www.hathitrust.org/
http://www.ibiblio.org/anrs/
https://www.abebooks.com/

 

using operators for advanced Googling, 147:50

Using Operators For Advanced Googling:  Google is obviously a great way to search for information online, but its index has now grown so huge that it's easy to be overwhelmed by the results list. How can you find the most useful links when Google claims to have found 25 million pages for you? If your search terms are exact, then the results you need will probably be on the first page. But what if you feel like your search terms aren't exact, or if you think they need to be broad because you're unsure of what you're seeking… but you do think it exists out there somewhere? One solution is to improve your Google search methods. It's worth reviewing (or discovering) some advanced tools, so you can find more relevant information.  See the full article for ways to make searches on Google more effective.  Read the full feature >>

Sample links from this feature >>
www.google.com

 

using Wikis, 156:58

Wikis: Wikipedia and Beyond:  Most people who have done any kind of online research are familiar with Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia. But many may not exactly understand what Wikipedia is, or how it truly operates. We know that Wikipedia is "the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit," but what does that mean? And is it the only wiki out there? And what is a "wiki," anyway?  Read the full feature >>

Sample links from this feature >>
https://www.wikipedia.org/
http://en.citizendium.org/
http://www.wikia.com/fandom
http://memory-alpha.wikia.com/wiki/Portal:Main
http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Main_Page
http://shipsandthings.wikia.com/wiki/Ships_and_Things_Wiki
http://duluth-ships.wikia.com/wiki/Duluth_Ships_Wikia
http://theferry.wikia.com/wiki/The_Ferry_Wiki
http://www.cruiserswiki.org/wiki/World_Cruising_and_Sailing_Wiki

 

USS Monitor and the Civil War, 108:31

USS Monitor and The Civil War:   As other features in Sea History attest, interest in the Civil War in general, and in USS Monitor in particular, remains high. Websites can leverage this interest by providing large amounts of historical information without the traditional limitations of print publishing: there's essentially no limit to the amount of information that one can put online, and each megabyte of information has essentially no impact on the incremental cost of publishing it - a process very different from that involved in printing a book. Below is a list of sites that provide introductions to Monitor and its restoration, followed by several other sites that provide significant amounts of information regarding the Civil War in general.  Read the full feature >>

Sample links from this feature >>
https://monitor.noaa.gov/
https://oceanexplorer.noaa.gov/explorations/explorations.html
http://oceanexplorer.noaa.gov/explorations/02monitor/monitor.html
http://www.monitorcenter.org/
https://www.nps.gov/civilwar/soldiers-and-sailors-database.htm
http://www.civilwarcenter.olemiss.edu/cemeteries_csa.html
https://www.loc.gov/collections/general-maps/about-this-collection/
http://civilwar.si.edu/
http://collections.library.cornell.edu/moa_new/
https://quod.lib.umich.edu/m/moagrp/
http://cdl.library.cornell.edu/moa/browse.monographs/waro.html
https://ehistory.osu.edu/books/official-records

 

Web 2.0, 119:30

“Web 2.0”: The New Internet:  One of the biggest buzzwords on the internet back in the early 2000's was "Web 2.0" and associated terms, such as "Library 2.0." What do they mean exactly? In a nutshell, Web 2.0 focuses on user-generated content and user interaction with a website. In most cases, the website simply serves as a platform and structure to hold the content; all of the actual content is written by someone other than the website creator. One example of this type of content is the "reviews" feature at Amazon.com. A simple list of the books you could buy is Web 1.0; letting users write reviews that others can see is Web 2.0.  Read the full feature >>

 

Sample links from this feature >>
https://www.youtube.com/
https://www.flickr.com/
http://digg.com/
https://www.reddit.com/
https://del.icio.us/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page

 

webcams, 152:56

Webcams: Viewing the Maritime World Online - LIVE:   Ever since the first webcam was aimed at a coffeepot in 1991, people have used video cameras connected to the internet to see what's happening outside their field of vision. From bird's nest webcams to traffic webcams - there's lots to see. Maritime activities are no different, except that a camera focusing on a single location isn't much help once the ship moves out of camera range. That said, a webcam from a ship's bridge or mast can be a great way of seeing some other part of the world (and a big chunk of the ocean) without leaving your easy chair.  Read the full feature >>

Sample links from this feature >>
https://www.novascotiawebcams.com/en/webcams/museum-wharves
https://lsmma.com/live-cam.php
https://www.koin.com/weather/webcams
http://www.pancanal.com/eng/photo/camera-java.html?cam=Gatun
https://www.maritime.edu/sites/all/themes/mma/webcams/canal.swf
http://www.cruisin.me/cruise-port-webcams/
https://www.earthcam.com/
https://www.earthcam.com/mapsearch/
http://liveworldwebcam.net/

 

weblogs, photoblogs, and podcasts, 113:33

Sharing Your Opinion With the World: Weblogs, Photo Blogs and Podcasts:   Think you have something to say? The rest of the world apparently does, and the simplicity of 'blogs' allows them to share their thoughts with everyone. Blogs - short for "web logs," or online personal journals - have exploded over the past few years. Some estimates (back in 2005) suggested there were well over three million blogs, but that's a misleading number: nobody reads the vast majority of them, and only several thousand have significant readership. The ones that do, however, can have a great deal of influence, and in most cases have developed a critical mass of content and readers that assures attention to items reported there.  Read the full feature >>

Sample links from this feature >>
http://maritimecompass.blogspot.com/
http://maritimehistory.blogspot.com/
https://bloglines.en.softonic.com/web-apps
http://www.feedreader.com/
https://www.blog.google/products/search/
https://www.flickr.com/
https://www.photoblog.com/
http://www.panoviews.com/
http://www.podcastalley.com/
www.ipodder.org

 

whaling extracts, 107:33

Whaling Extracts:   This Peter McCracken feature focuses on whaling, with reviews of free resources that explore issues surrounding 18th- and 19th-century whaling, primarily from the United States.  Read the full feature >>

Sample links from this feature >>
https://www.greenpeace.org/usa/
https://iwc.int/home
https://www.whalingmuseum.org/explore/library/publications/kendall-whaling-museum-publications
https://www.nps.gov/nebe/index.htm
https://www.whalingmuseum.org/learn/research-topics/overview-of-north-american-whaling
https://www.whalingmuseum.org/explore/library/publications/kendall-whaling-museum-publications
http://www.whalecraft.net/Links.html
http://www.newbedford-ma.gov/library/whaling-database/
http://www.parks.tas.gov.au/index.aspx?base=1803
http://www.gutenberg.org/
http://melville.org/

 

women in maritime history, 128:43

Women in Maritime History:   Is there a place for women in maritime history? This question was posed in the title of a 2005 article in the online journal History in Focus, which suggested that historians broaden their definition of maritime history to avoid excluding women's roles. Women participated at sea in many areas, from well-known pirates (Anne Bonney, Mary Read) of the 18th century to merchant captains' wives in the 19th century, some of whom served as navigators or played other critical roles aboard ship. Today, women like Linda Greenlaw, swordfishing boat captain and author of The Hungry Ocean, describe their experiences to better inform society, a society not necessarily clued in to the ways in which women have participated in and been affected by maritime pursuits.  These aspects of our history need to be included and studied to get a fuller picture of our maritime heritage.  Read the full feature >>

Sample links from this feature >>
https://www.history.ac.uk/ihr/Focus/Sea/articles/hagmark.html
http://www.lindagreenlawbooks.com/
https://www.marinersmuseum.org/sites/micro/women/index.htm
https://www.nps.gov/safr/learn/historyculture/maritimewomenhistory.htm
https://www.rmg.co.uk/discover/researchers/research-guides/research-guide-l1-women-and-sea-sources-research
http://members.authorsguild.net/druettjo/
http://joan-druett.blogspot.com/
http://www.iisg.nl/womhist/vivahome.php
https://networks.h-net.org/
http://www.minervacenter.com/
https://www.wista.net/
https://www.marad.dot.gov/mariners/7th-women-on-the-water-conference/