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Volume: 10 | Article ID: art00021
Digitizing Rare Maritime Collections
  DOI :  10.2352/issn.2168-3204.2013.10.1.art00021  Published OnlineJanuary 2013

Maritime College is one of the 64 colleges and universities of the State University of New York. A four-year college is located at the historic Fort Schuyler in New York. The Stephen B. Luce Library of SUNY Maritime College is the oldest academic maritime library in the United States. The Luce Library is a highly specialized library in maritime collections; its holdings represent a well rounded collection with special strength in maritime engineering, naval architecture, marine transportation, oceanography, transportation economics and management. The Stephen B. Luce Library of SUNY Maritime College is nationally and internationally known for its rare collections and archival documents in maritime history dating as early as 1700's. The paper “Digitizing Rare Maritime Collections” demonstrates the work of the Stephen B. Luce Library of SUNY Maritime College in its efforts to digitize and promote rare maritime collections by providing access to researchers throughout the world. The paper describes the uniqueness of the SUNY Maritime College collections, it discusses the methodology for recruiting and acquiring rare maritime related historical resources, and gives reasons to the decision making process for prioritizing certain types of collections for digital archiving. The paper also addresses the technology implemented to digitize and make these historical collections searchable and accessible to researchers throughout the world. The specialized nature of the maritime historical collections housed at the Stephen B. Luce Library serve a variety of purposes: they provide legal, historic and evidentiary value to individuals and society as a whole. The collections document the maritime history of the Port of New York, historical aspects of New York City history, such as trade and transportation during the nineteen and twentieth century, immigration and water activity in the Eastern Seaboard. The scope of these special maritime collections include journals and proceedings of professional maritime organizations, such as the Marine Society of the City of New York and the Sailor's Snug Harbour, genealogical records, collections of journals reports, daybooks and personal letters, company documents of shipping companies and cruise liners such as the Grace Lines, White Star Lines and the Moore-McCormack Lines. In addition, the collections include artefacts from ships and life at sea, as well as detailing the history of ships and maritime activities during World War II. Most important are the collections pertaining to genealogical records of mariners and passenger manifests of ships arriving at the New York City harbour early 19th century. The paper demonstrates the efforts of the Stephen B. Luce Library, the in-house expertise and the project technology aspects related to digitize and secure long-term access to such rare maritime collections.

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Constantia Constantinou, "Digitizing Rare Maritime Collectionsin Proc. IS&T Archiving 2013,  2013,  pp 93 - 97,

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