Cataloging the Lynn Museum and Historical Society Collection

Kate Clayborne and Fevie Hernando

Victorian decorative bolt ends in the Lynn Museum and Historical Society collections.

In 2014, the Lynn Museum & Historical Society (LMHS) of Lynn, Massachusetts, chose to place their library and archival collections on deposit here at the Phillips Library. In order to provide better access to these collections, the Library brought in a team from Backstage Library Works to physically process and catalog the materials. As members of this team, we are excited for the opportunity to share a bit about our work with you. Read more

“Feelings I know”: Laboring and Feeling Through Sailors’ Journals at the Phillips Library

Mark Kelley

"Sailors - Companion to the Tailors", ca. 1855, Photo © Peabody Essex Museum

“Feelings I know very well to experience, but not how to discribe.” So wrote Horace B. Putnam, first mate aboard the trading bark Emily Wilder. Despite this claim, Putnam ably described a range of feelings in the journal of his 1850-1851 voyage from Salem to the east coast of Africa. Even the sailor’s claimed incapacity reveals something easily recognized, but often overlooked: like many shipboard experiences, sailors’ feelings required new language. Indeed, Putnam was far from alone in his disposition. Sailors, as he noted, “are as a class, of as fine natural feelings as any persons within the pale of the Americas.” The multitude of sailors’ journals housed at the Phillips Library provide a rich stock of feelings successfully expressed. Feeling through the archive provides a singular opportunity to understand and appreciate sailors as a class of laborers and writers.

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