Back in the 1930's R.C. Anderson published a note in the Mariner's Mirror offering a copy of the notes he had made towards a A Bibliography of Books on Naval Architecture, Rigging and Seamanship to anyone seriously contemplating contributing towards publication of that work. To my knowledge no one contributed to the completion of that work.

The basis for this bibliography is the compiler's own modest library of books on naval architecture, rigging and seamanship. Any additions to this base has to a great deal depended on secondary sources. Apart from the specialist bibliographies and library catalogues, two major works have been extensively used, viz. The British Museum Catalogue and the The National Union Catalog. Among all the specialist nautical bibliographies and catalogues Jean Polak's Bibliographie maritime Française depuis les temps les plus recul`s jusqu'à 1914, Grenoble, 1976, stand out as the only published work intended to cover the entire repertoire of a single country. Together with his daughter Michelle, he published a Supplément, in 1983.

Every opportunity has been taken to check the recorded facts against the original works. When this has been possible it is indicated with an asterisk after the reference (e.g. Ref.: SSHM*). Having no bibliographical training, the style of recording has evolved over the years and might explain certain faults and contradictions. However every effort has been made to give the descriptions in a consistent way. Often secondary sources describe the same edition of a certain book in contradicting way, it is then necessary to adopt the most probable alternative. Otherwise little guesswork has been used, even if the missing facts are obvious from other editions of the same work. Experience has shown that unimagined variations from the expected sometimes occur.

The period of time is not arbitrarily chosen, as the first book on the art of shipbuilding, Garcia de Palacio's Instruction Nautica, was printed in Mexico City in 1587, but it was not until the beginning of the 17th century that works on these subjects started to appear regularly. The end year coincides with the end of the First World War. Most sailing ships disappeared from the seas after the war. Many were sunk or broken up during the war and the post-war depression killed off many more. There was a wooden shipbuilding revival in the U.S. during the war and a couple of manuals on wooden shipbuilding were even printed.

While it easy to define the period of time it is much harder to decide if a certain work falls within the subject range. In other cases only part of a book qualifies for inclusion in the bibliography. The decision in those cases is always subjective and may vary from case to case. The title of this bibliography clearly designates three areas which will be covered. The first, Naval Architecture, includes both "naval architecture" as the theoretical side of the discipline and the "art of ship-building" with which we mean the practical side.

"Yard practice" and "ship building activity" have in generally been excluded. At this stage "anchors" and "anchor making" have not been included, but certainly merits inclusion at a later date. "Guns" and "gunnery" as well as "armour plating" although integreated in the hull is outside the scope of this compilation. In regard of this it is perhaps surprising that "timber", and "timber conversion" are included.

The scope is limited to ships; works relating to boats and yachts have in general been put aside.

This goes for rigging also, but here we find works like Sadler's The Art and Science of Sailmaking and Biddle's Amateur Sailing in Open and Half-Decked Boats. However both these and other included works relating to boats or yachts are early items. In those days the difference between commercial and pleasure sailing with regard to material and practice was small.

When it comes to seamanship it becomes even harder to distinguish between what should be included and what should not. The following subjects are often found in books on general seamanship but have not been included for their own sake: signals and signalling, flags, navigation, rules of the road, wrecklifting, etc.

The entries are ordered in a chronological series rather than by subject or author. Except for undated items this approach is functionally equivalent (through the index) to ordering the titles alphabetically according to author or subject. Furthermore it has the advantage of providing a historical overview of the subject.

Two different ways to record the size of a book have been used. Besides the traditional way to classify books in folios, 4to, 8vo, 12mo, etc, originally used to describe the folds, measurements in centimeters are given. When the size is given as only one figure it is probably taken from the NUC and indicates the height of the book. If on the other hand two figures are given they follow the system used by R.C. Anderson and give the size of the print on the page with the height always given first. The reason for this is simply that the height of a book varies with the binding.

The Russian titles have been checked and transcribed by Valentina Rosén, Centre for Computer Linguistics at the Uppsala University. Most of the Russian titles originate from R.C. Anderson's compilation for a bibliography.

The compiler of this work has spent many happy hours in front of the book shelves of antiquarian book stores all over Europe and the United States. Next to reading the titles from the back of the books comes the pleasure of finding a nautical, maritime or naval section in a new catalogue from an antiquarian bookshop. Of the many owners of antiquarian book shops specialized in maritime books active today I would specially like to mention John P.F. Cook, Mainmast Books, Saxmundham; Hilgersom of Navigare at the Scheepvaartmuseum, Amsterdam; Edward J. Lefkowicz, Fairhaven, MA; Jean Polak, Paris, and Anthony J. Simmonds, Greenwich.

A work like this is dependent on the kind cooperation of many individuals. Above all I would like to mention the great help I have received from the following library personnel: Virginia Adams, The Whaling Museum, New Bedford, MA; Stefan Andersson, Statens Sjöhistoriska Museum, Stockholm; John G. Arrison, Hart Nautical Collection, The MIT Museum, Boston; Bert Blom, Handels- og Søfartsmuseet på Kronborg, Helsingør; Dave Hull, J. Porter Shaw Library, San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park; Marit Kolltveit, Bergens Sjøfartsmuseum, Bergen; John Koza, The Peabody Museum of Salem; Kathryn B. Braig, The Mariners' Museum, Newport News, VA; Ylva Lindström, Marinmuseum, Karlskrona; Gerald Morris, the G.W. Blunt White Library, Mystic Seaport, CT; Jan Olsson, Sjöfartsmuseet, Göteborg; Daniel Slive, the John Carter Brown Library, Providence, RI; Fred Walker, the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich; Diederick Wildeman, Rijksmuseum "Nederlands Scheepsvaart Museum", Amsterdam.

The following individuals should be especially mentioned for their support: Prof. Thomas Adams, Providence; Richard Barker, Borrowash; Sten Johansson, Stockholm; Torsten Nordenfelt, Stockholm; David H. Roberts, Rotherfield; and the late Mario Witt, Sudbury.

Upsala, May 1995.
Lars Bruzelius

Updated 1997-12-10 by Lars Bruzelius.

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