Posted by: mcjangles | April 28, 2008

You can’t go out and play until you do your homework!

So you want to find out more about a shipwreck that you are diving (like where the bell was located)? Or better yet are you trying to identify an unknown wreck? This past Friday Danny and I made a trip to the Independence Seaport Museum at Penn’s Landing in Philadelphia to check out their archives and library and do some of our own research on some projects we are working on. The museum is open to the public but the library is available by appointment only and is an invaluable resource as it houses (among MANY other useful resources): the Lloyd’s Register back to 1764, American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) records back to 1874, and the New York Shipbuilding Collection (hint: contains some well known wrecks).

Upon our arrival, Matt the librarian was quite accommodating and happy to help us out which was greatly appreciated as we our new to this kind of endeavor. After a quick orientation and some initial directions to head in we were quickly tearing through the collection.

We got several good leads and are looking forward to returning a bit better prepared now that we know what kind of resources are available.

If you haven’t been to the Seaport Museum it is definitely worth the trip. In addition to the museum which contains a variety of maritime exhibits including some cool artifacts, the seaport also houses the museum ships USS Olympia and the submarine Becuna, which are open for tours. Divers takes note: the Olympia is the same class as the USS San Diego lying off Long Island and the Becuna is the same class as the Blenny which is off Ocean City, MD.


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