Logbooks and Journals

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About

The New Bedford Whaling Museum's archival collections consist of 1700 linear feet of manuscript materials documenting a range of New Bedford and regional industries including textile manufacturing, cordage manufacturing, tool manufacturing, banking (1825-1936), business papers, whaling and merchant shipping, modern mechanized whaling, biographical collections (1668-1977), whaling agents’ papers, whaling history, local history (1787-1970), and firefighting. It also includes 2500 individual maritime logbooks and journals, many of which have supporting agents’ business papers. The bulk of the logbook and journal collection documents American whaling (1754-1925) although British, Australian, Norwegian and Azorean voyages are also included. This is the largest and finest collection of whaling logbooks and journals in the world and the largest collection of banking records of any American archive.

Become a transcriber, join the New Bedford Whaling Museum transcription team. Help us to improve access to our collections and sharing the stories they tell. Contact Michael Lapides (mlapides at whalingmuseum.org) if you have any questions.

Andrew Hicks (Bark) of New Bedford, Mass., mastered by Charles A. Chace, keeper William H. Griffith, on voyage 21 October 1914 - 20 September 1916]

Andrew Hicks (Bark) of New Bedford, Mass., mastered by Charles A. Chace, keeper William H. Griffith, on voyage 21 October 1914 - 20 September 1916]

Logbook of a whaling voyage to the Atlantic. Includes descriptions of types of whales seen or taken, accidents, a death at sea, illnesses, shipboard medicine, desertions, and punishments. Also contains whale stamps and a diary following the voyage logbook written by Captain Chace's daughter,...

Some pages still need work. Help out!

192 pages: 4% complete (11% transcribed, 6% needs review)
Awashonks (Bark) of New Bedford, Mass., KWM_494

Awashonks (Bark) of New Bedford, Mass., KWM_494

Journal kept by the captain's wife of a whaling voyage to the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. Voyage September 6, 1860 - April 4, 1862. Mastered by John C. Marble and then Hiram J. Cleveland, keeper Elizabeth Marble. Includes descriptions of whales seen or taken, encountering shipwreck, illnesses,...

93 pages: 13% complete (96% transcribed, 82% needs review)
California (Bark) of San Francisco, ODHS_217

California (Bark) of San Francisco, ODHS_217

Bark California of San Francisco, Horace P. Smith, master, Marian Smith, keeper, 1898-1899. Complete sperm and right whaling voyage to the North Pacific.

120 pages: 78% complete (100% transcribed, 22% needs review)
Cornelia (Bark) of New Bedford, Mass., voyage December 12, 1843 -  April 27, 1846, ODHS_987

Cornelia (Bark) of New Bedford, Mass., voyage December 12, 1843 - April 27, 1846, ODHS_987

Mastered by Daniel Flanders. Logbook of a whaling voyage to the Atlantic and Indian Oceans, Mozambique Channel, and Caribbean Sea. Includes descriptions of whales seen or taken and a death at sea. Also contains whale stamps, drawings, accounts, and poetry. The log had been used as a scrapbook at...

138 pages: 18% complete (100% transcribed, 82% needs review)
Hero (Bark) of Westport, Mass., NBW_1438b

Hero (Bark) of Westport, Mass., NBW_1438b

Partial logbook of a whaling voyage to the Atlantic Ocean. Mastered by Samuel Tobey, keeper Paul Wainer, on voyage June 16, 1806 - December 5, 1807. Includes descriptions of whales seen and taken, accidents, and illnesses. Also contains whale drawings and ship drawings. One whaleboat was stove...

166 pages: 67% complete (100% transcribed, 33% needs review)
Huntress (Ship) of New Bedford, Mass.,  25 June 1844 - 27 May 1847

Huntress (Ship) of New Bedford, Mass., 25 June 1844 - 27 May 1847

Logbook of a whaling voyage to the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans. Includes descriptions of whales seen or taken, accidents at sea, deaths at sea, mutinous behavior, interactions with natives, punishment on ships, and shipboard medicine. Also includes whale stamps, ships stamps, a crew...

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172 pages: 0% complete (39% transcribed, 38% needs review)
Jesse H. Freeman (Steam bark) of San Francisco, ODHS 1080A-ODHS 1080B

Jesse H. Freeman (Steam bark) of San Francisco, ODHS 1080A-ODHS 1080B

Jesse H. Freeman (Steam bark) of San Francisco, 9 March 1894 - 29 March 1896, mastered by William P.S. Porter, keeper Sophie Porter (ship captain's spouse). Partial log (volume one of two for this voyage), relating to a whaling voyage to the Arctic Ocean, Bering Strait, and Beaufort Sea....

168 pages: 2% complete (99% transcribed, 96% needs review)
Kathleen (Bark) of New Bedford,  1857-1858, KWM_493

Kathleen (Bark) of New Bedford, 1857-1858, KWM_493

A partial sperm and right whaling voyage to the Indian Ocean. John C. Marble. Master, Elizabeth C. Marble, keeper. Journal kept by the captain's wife of a whaling voyage to the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. Includes descriptions of whales seen and taken, illnesses, desertions, accidents, a rescue...

63 pages: 22% complete (100% transcribed, 78% needs review)
KWM_167_Pedro_Varela

KWM_167_Pedro_Varela

Journal of a whaling voyage to the Atlantic Ocean. Includes descriptions of whales seen or taken, accidents, illnesses, a death at sea, punishments, taking on provisions at port, and women at sea. Also contains whale stamps, whale illustrations, agent/owner accounts, and crew accounts. The...

Some pages still need work. Help out!

298 pages: 4% complete (10% transcribed, 5% needs review)
Leonidas (Brig) of Westport, Mass., NBW_1207

Leonidas (Brig) of Westport, Mass., NBW_1207

Partial journal of a whaling voyage to the Atlantic Ocean. Includes descriptions of whales seen or taken. Also contains whale stamps, profile views, miniature sketches of ships sighted, spoken and gammed, tabular lists of provisions started and consumed, sperm oil on board, sperm oil sent from...

147 pages: 23% complete (100% transcribed, 76% needs review)
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