Monthly Archives: August 2010

New feature: tracking ship updates

Here’s the third blog post for the morning. It’s definitely the most exciting. We’ve just released the mostest coolestest feature of ShipIndex since starting the site. (OK, so that’s admittedly my personal opinion, but I think it’s also a fact.)

Effective immediately, anyone with an account (that is, anyone who has created a username – you don’t need to be a subscriber) can be notified whenever a ship page is updated with new information. So, if you’re particularly interested in a vessel named Unanimity, you can go to that page, click on the button near that top that reads “NOTIFY ME when this page is updated”, and then whenever new content is added, you’ll get an email telling you so!

If you’re a subscriber, you’ll see what resource the content is from. You can go to the page directly, and check out the new citation.

If you’re not a subscriber, you’ll be notified that new citations have been added. You may decide it’s finally time to take gain access to everything that’s available on the site. Or, perhaps you use through a subscription provided by your local public or academic library. Go to your ship’s page and locate the new citations, which are always marked by a “new” icon for 45 days from the addition of the resource.

You’ll get just one email containing updates for all the ships you’re tracking, not a separate email for each ship, or each citation. Emails are sent in batches, several times per week, reflecting all the data added since the last update.

When you’re done following a vessel, you can just go to the ship page, click on the button that reads “CANCEL NOTIFICATIONS for this ship”, and the emails will stop.

You need to be logged in, so that we can keep track of how to notify you when a page is updated. But, as mentioned above, you DON’T need to be a subscriber. Also, from your profile page, you can see all the vessels you’re tracking, and clear all your notifications, or go to each page and modify them individually.

I truly believe this is an enormous step forward in what we’re offering via You no longer need to come to the site to check on updates regarding the ships that interest you; we’ll take care of that for you. Now, when new citations are added for the ships that matter to you, you’ll be the first to know.

Please try it out, and let us know what you think. Remember: you do need to have an account, but you don’t need to be a subscriber.

I hope you’re as excited about this as I am.

Most commonly used US Navy vessel names

I was doing a bit of data cleanup today, and found some moderately interesting items. I was looking at the Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships, and correcting the way we represented some ship names – specifically those that were used multiple times by the US Navy. In looking over the information we have about US Naval vessel names, I found that there were about 1451 names that were used at least twice; 470 used at least three times; 182 used at least four times; 83 used at least five times; and 30 used at least six times.

Boston, Shark, and all those that follow have each been used seven times; Enterprise, Hornet, Morris, Niagara, and Washington each top out at eight uses. Wasp has been used nine times, and Ranger has been used ten times.

These numbers don’t include ships that already entered with numbers in their name, such as Lexington II; Lexington II entered the Navy with that name and kept it, while each of the five various naval vessels named Lexington all kept the same name, Lexington.

These numbers are most likely pretty close to accurate, though if you spot an anomaly among them, please let me (and other readers) know. I analyzed the names of the vessels listed in DANFS to come up with the numbers, so it’s limited to the vessels included in the current DANFS online at the site.

Navy Records Society volumes and other new content

The following content was added in the last few days. We’ve added the content of indexes from nearly a dozen additional Navy Records Society volumes, as well as several other monographs covering a wide range of time periods and geographic regions.

Stay tuned for several additional updates.

ShipIndex is taking on crew!

Hoo-boy. Big Day here at’s Eastern US World Headquarters.

We’ve decided that it’s time to find the right person to help us with institutional sales. To that end, we are putting out this job announcement and are looking for someone to join our team. If you’re that person, or know someone who might be, please let them and us know.  Please help us by sharing this information widely.

In a nutshell, this is a position for a person who knows libraries, and knows library sales. This is a work-from-home position, and we don’t necessarily expect a full-time commitment, though because of the graduated commission structure, it might be worth it. (We can talk about salaries and commission further down the line, maybe not right here on the blog.) The job doesn’t require a lot of travel, except for the usual big library conferences.

The posting is below; please let us know if you have questions, or would like to be considered for the position. We hope to make a decision, and get moving on this, as quickly as we can.

Manager, Institutional Sales, seeks a part-time or full-time person to lead and manage all aspects of the company’s institutional sales. The successful applicant will have a documented history of successful institutional sales management; a demonstrated ability to work independently as a self-starter; and an understanding of libraries and how they use and manage electronic resources. helps people do research on specific ships, boats, and vessels. We have a database of over 1.3 million citations – and growing – that tells people what books, journals, websites, and databases mention the vessel they’re researching. We offer our service directly to consumers and also to institutions. is a valuable tool for public, academic, and special libraries, primarily in supporting genealogy and history, but with additional application in many other fields. The successful applicant’s responsibility will be all institutional sales, in the US and abroad, with support as needed from the rest of the company. Physical location is not an issue, though the individual must be able to work in the US legally.

Compensation is primarily commission-based, with a part-time salary component. While we expect a minimum of 20 hours per week invested in the work, most of the compensation is in a sliding-scale commission structure, so there is a clear benefit to a greater time investment. This is a telephone sales position, so minimal travel is expected, with the exception of occasional conferences, such as ALA Annual, ALA Midwinter, PLA, ACRL, and others, as appropriate. The successful candidate will participate in decisions regarding which conferences s/he attends.

Responsibilities include following up on leads generated online and at conferences, generating new leads, explaining the product and its benefits to potential customers, managing consortial sales and promotion, advising the company on marketing and sales strategies and tools, helping customers through the invoicing and licensing process, providing limited support as needed and with significant assistance from the rest of the company, and other duties as necessary in guiding institutional sales.

At present, consists of two owners, who live on opposite sides of the country. The successful candidate will be the company’s first employee; applicants must be certain they’re comfortable working in this size of a company.

If you’re interested in applying, please submit a work history and a cover letter explaining your interest in the position and the library industry. An interest in maritime history is also helpful, but not required. Please include the names of at least three references. All applications will be held in strictest confidence.

We welcome questions about the position. Questions and applications may be submitted to careers [at] shipindex [dot] org.