Category Archives: New Content

More new NRS volumes

I’m plugging away at the Navy Records Society volumes; I’ve added the index to a collection of five volumes today. These are:

So, we’re always getting closer to getting all the NRS content in the database.

Remember that if you see content you’d like me to add, just drop me a line or post a reply here. I’m always interested to hear about new resources to add.

New content added; mostly Navy Records Society volumes

Indexes for the following volumes have been added:

One of my goals is to have the entire set of Navy Records Society volumes included in the database. These volumes are fantastic resources in British naval history. I’m working through them, one at a time. Right now, I think I have about a third or so of them in the premium database, though I’ve been focusing one the ones with the largest number of vessels mentioned in their indexes. (Actually, it’s more than a third, because some volumes have indexes for multiple volumes. I count about 53 actual indexes in the database, out of over 150 volumes published, so I’d guess the total number is closer to 60 or so.) Either way, I’ll keep at it…

New Linking Relationships

Yes, I know it’s been far too long since I posted something here. As ALA Annual rapidly approaches, however, lots of news is coming up. I added a big file a month or so ago, and I’ll add a note about that soon.

Right now, I want to mention a great linking arrangement that we recently settled on, with the good folks at Accessible Archives, who digitize 18th and 19th century publications. We’re actively collecting links to ships mentioned in the newspapers in their Civil War Collection, so you can find mentions of ships in those newspapers.

Read more about this in the recent press release, either via PR Newswire, or at the Accessible Archives website. I’ll write more about this soon.

Don’t forget that we’ll be in New Orleans in about ten days, at the American Library Association Annual Conference! We’ll be at Table 3818. See you there.

More new content, question about shipwreck info

The following files have been added to the premium database in the past few days:

The last one listed describes shipwrecks around the world. A correspondent suggested that we add more content surrounding shipwrecks, which I thought was a great idea. This is a start. I understand that there are a number of diving guides regarding shipwrecks, specifically intended to help divers locate particular sites. I’d love to know more about those, and get some examples from folks. If you have any ideas about such items — either books or websites or other sources — please let me know by email or in the blog comments section below.


New content added recently

Content from the following resources has been added to the premium database in the past few weeks:

In addition, a number of resources were update. Several hundred new vessels were added to the entry for, and corrected URLs were added to several databases where the URL structures had changed.

The premium database now contains over 1.53 million citations.

New Content: US Naval Institute Proceedings

As my background with Serials Solutions might suggest, I’m a big fan of serials (journals, magazines, etc.) and their content. I’m an even bigger fan of indexes to those publications. If there’s no index to a publication, then the past issues are nearly useless. Researchers don’t have any easy way of finding what was mentioned in those past issues, and that’s a significant loss. The next step is making that index as accessible as possible, to as wide an audience as one can. This leads to interest in and usage of the incredibly valuable back issues and past work put into the many years of a publication’s history.

So I’m always excited about adding content from indexes to journals. One subscriber asked if we could investigate adding content from the US Naval Institute Proceedings, which was a great suggestion. I learned that an index for 1874 to 1977 was printed in the early 1980s, and through assistance from staff at the USNI, I was able to get a copy of the Proceedings. I’ve completed working through that index, and have added it to the database.

The index itself isn’t fantastic: I’m sure there are many more vessels mentioned in the Proceedings than are mentioned in the index, and working through the index to make it ready to load took many, many more hours than I could have ever imagined. Some entries say, “See this article.” without including the article page numbers. Since the individual using ShipIndex wouldn’t have access to the Proceedings Index, I had to add issue and page numbers for that particular article. But sometimes the main entry for that article was nearly impossible to find – luckily, I had an electronic version so could do keyword searches across the entire index. Without that, some of those entries would have never been found. In any case, it’s been completed, and was added to the database last week. Entries tend to have a fair bit of information about what’s mentioned in the article, so that’s a good thing. The citations, though, are a bit confusing, and leave something to be desired. There’s information about how to understand them on the resource information page.

I have lots and lots and lots more journal content to add. Right now, I’m getting close to finishing work on a very extensive index to Steamboat Bill (which recently changed its name to PowerShips), covering its inception in 1940 through 2010. What’s most cool about this index is that it includes lots and lots of citations for photos and illustrations in the magazine. This is a great connection to the many, many photos in each issue. I hope to load that file in the next week or so.

I also have many indexes to Mariners Mirror that need to be processed, and there are other titles I’d also like to add, such additional years of Sea Chest, the publication of the Puget Sound Maritime Historical Society, and also American Neptune. I’ve had a tough time getting in contact with the folks from PSMHS to ensure that it’s OK to add their index to the database, and I need to get an OK on that before moving forward. I would like to point out the very smart moves of institutions that make indexes to their publications available online, particularly the Steamship Historical Society of America, for Steamboat Bill/PowerShips, and the San Diego Maritime Museum, for Mains’l Haul (whose index has been in the database for quite a while).

If there are other publications you’d like to see added, please let me know. Alas, if they have not indexed the publication themselves, then I don’t have an index to add. All the more value that one can put on creating an index to a publication — make it available; make it useful!

How about 1.5 million citations?

Oh, did I forget to mention that the premium ShipIndex database now has 1.5 MILLION citations in it? I loaded links to nearly 90,000 ship images into the database last week. And now we have over 1.5 million citations, which is a great milestone in my book. New content is from the following sources:

The current number of citations is 1,513,325 citations. I’m aiming for 1.75 million next…

ShipIndex has grown!

The worldwide ShipIndex crew is growing by leaps and bounds. About two weeks ago, we added a new member to our staff, and we’re very excited about this. Kerry O’Malley is our new Manager of Institutional Sales, and in this role he’s responsible for offering to institutions of all types: from public and academic libraries to maritime museums, historical societies, and pretty much anyone else who might be interested in offering ShipIndex to a group of people affiliated with an institution of some type.

Kerry comes to us with a perfect background: not only has he worked on a Masters in Maritime History and sold electronic databases to libraries, he also owns and is restoring his own Chesapeake Bay bugeye. His interest in and dedication to maritime history (and all history) will be a huge boon for us, and we’re thrilled he’s decided to join the (now growing) team.

If you think that your library should offer to you and your fellow patrons, please tell your librarian – and us! Librarians can set up free trials to by exploring the Librarians tab on the website.

As a welcome to Kerry, we’re adding contents to two resources that he pointed out to us during the interview process. These are books he felt we needed to add to the database, so of course we did so. They are:

As you can see, they’re titles on a subject near and dear to his heart. If you’ve got other resources you think we need to add, please tell me.

Welcome, Kerry!

Still more new content

We’ve added content from the following sources in the past few weeks:

The first entry, the Atlantic Canada CD-ROM, is a very nice, if hard to find, resource. It is a database on CD-ROM, containing tons of information about thousands of vessels, masters, and voyages, in and out of 19th century Atlantic Canada.

As always, there’s lots more to come, and I always welcome your suggestions and recommendations for additional content.

New content added in past few weeks

Here’s an overview of the new content added in the past few weeks. Two collections are of particular note: the Lloyd’s List for 1812, via, and the Dyal Ship Collection. One man, Michael Dun, has digitized and indexed all of the issues of Lloyd’s List for the entire year of 1812. It’s quite a feat. He’s indexed all of the ships and all of the masters for that time, adding up to nearly 26,000 ship citations in all the issues of Lloyd’s List for 1812. He kindly shared his index with me, so I could include links to his resources. Mr. Dun hosts the pages on his servers, and they are accessible to all via that site. While working through the index of ship names that he provided to me, I was able to identify a number of corrections, and I incorporated those into the file I imported.

Working through this file was also an interesting reminder about the challenges we face in trying to make the most of these primary sources. Clearly, the folks who were putting together each issue of Lloyd’s List (it usually came out twice a week, and was published in London) were trying to get information out as quickly as possible, and weren’t too concerned with absolute accuracy, to say nothing of how researchers two centuries later would like them to present information.

As a few examples, each of the following slight spelling variations by the editors are likely the same ship: Misletoe, Misseltoe, and Missletoe (there’s no Mistletoe listed in this year of Lloyd’s!). Or, Nymph, Nymphe, and Nymphen. Or Powhatan, Powahattan, and Powhatton. Or Zenophon and Zenophen, when the proper spelling is Xenophon. Or Tinmouth Castle, most  likely meaning Teignmouth Castle. Or simple errors, like Hepsa instead of Hespa.

Of course, if you’re reading this at a London coffee shop one morning in 1812, you can easily look over these minor errors, and figure out what the editors’ intent was. But for researchers two centuries later, who are trying to mine large amounts of data to see what they can find, these errors cause a problem. So how do we address them? That’s an issue for an upcoming blog post. But, needless to say, we at have a solution…

Another interesting addition is the Dyal Ship Collection, but for very different reasons. This is a collection of images and data compiled by a researcher (in this case, a librarian) and added to his institution’s “institutional repository” (IR). An IR is a site, usually maintained by an academic library, where content generated by the institution’s faculty, staff, and students is made available for free. It is, in a large sense, a reaction to the high cost of many academic journals, where an institution’s researchers spend time and money doing and compiling research, then pay to have that published in a scholarly journal, then the institution pays to buy the results back, through a subscription to the journal. The whole discussion is beyond the scope of this blog post, but the point is that IRs are places where interesting and useful information can be stored — but it’s most often quite hidden, unless there’s some effective way of indexing the content.

So, with the encouragement and assistance of the compiler, we’ve created links into the collection of files and images that are stored in Texas Tech University’s institutional repository. Recently, we’ve heard from others who have data they’d like us to include, and we’re looking at ways of doing that effectively. This is just one example of that.

Other items we’ve added are mostly more standard print or online collections. The total list is as follows:

If you have maritime content that you’d like to get online, or is online but needs broader publicity, please let us know. We’d love to find a way to help.