The common idea of a library is a building containing stacks and stacks of books and periodicals where one can go and read for enjoyment. Enjoyment comes in many forms, and for some this is reading and gathering information. For a few this means a simple search for information on a past family member, but for others its bounds are endless, searching and compiling information for hours on end, day after day, year after year. For those of us who search and search endlessly for information in the maritime field find ourselves at a distinct disadvantage, because there is not one library which holds all the maritime books and periodicals ever published. Another issue is that very little in this field has been computerized.
The idea for a dedicated maritime library and research facility was developed by Jon B. Johansen. Yes, this library will hold books and periodicals, but its backbone will be computerized information. This information is based on its collection of books, periodicals, documents, personal papers and photographs.
Initially, a list of all books and periodicals, currently being published and out-of-print, will be developed. Next, the list of periodicals will be prioritized, and from those high-priority periodicals selected, a database will be developed. As funding becomes available other periodicals will be purchased and computerized. The ultimate goal is to purchase and computerize every maritime related periodical published around the world.
A list of books, both non-fiction and fiction, will be purchased as prioritized. At this time, IML has access, for research purposes only, the 7,000 volume maritime library of Johansen. This is a good core collection and will have their indexes computerized.
A vast amount of computerized material, has been loaned to IML. This material includes the “List of Merchant Sailing Vessels, 1867 to 1885” database and hundreds of pages of articles from various coastal newspapers. Examples of the present research are contained in the ‘Research’ section. Most of this material centres around the State of Maine, but will quickly be expanded to encompass material from around the world.
Contributions of books, periodicals, documents, personal papers and photographs are accepted. If you are interested in donating an item or items, please contact us.
There are two major problems facing the success of this endeavour. One is space, which can be cured by the second major issue, funding. With the amount of material, books, periodicals, documents, personal papers and photographs, will take up thousands of square feet, so this means a huge building that is environmentally friendly.
Immediately, a major fundraising campaign will begin for the purchase of land and the erection of a building. This campaign will also include funds for purchasing collections and an endowment.