The Blog

Journal on Diving

i Feb 28th No Comments by
Cover of Issue No.2 Historical Diver, Winter 1993

Historical Diver

The Journal of Diving History publishes histories of international diving and divers written by diving enthusiasts and practitioners. The journal began with the Summer Issue, 1993 with the title Historical Diver, a title that remained until 2008 when it became The Journal of Diving History.

Articles in Historical Diver feature biographies, events and milestones in diving history from the 19th century as well as articles on famous divers. Hans Hass is featured in Issue No. 9, Fall 1996, “Hans Hass Pioneer Swim Diving”. His innovations are highlighted subsequent issues and the Summer 2013 issue of The Journal of Diving History ran a feature-length article on his life and work. See the Library’s blog on Hass.


“Sea Hunt: Television’s Epic Underwater Adventure” is the main article in Issue 16, summer 1998 of Historical Diver. “Zale Parry: the First Lady of American Diving” and “Lotte Hass Diving’s International Leading Lady” are two articles highlighting the achievements of women divers.

Cover of The Journal of Diving History, Vol. 16, Issue 2

The Journal of Diving History

Jacques Cousteau is also featured in Historical Diver with a Jacques Yves cousteau Commemorative Issue published in Fall 1997. In Spring 1998, Historical Diver ran the feature “Cousteau and Hass, an Early Timeline”. “100 Years of Jacques Yves Cousteau” is celebrated in the Summer 20120 issue of The Journal of Diving History.

The Library also holds a collection of books on deep diving and diving history. Please see the online catalog for a listing or call the Library more information at 310-548-7618.

Deep Diving

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Deep diving is a form of professional or commercial diving. It requires the use of a breathing apparatus or surface supplied air in order to descend and ascend a depth of 200 feet or more below the water surface.


20,000 Divers Under the Sea : a History of the Mediterranean and Western Atlantic Sponge Trades with an Account of Early Deep Diving. / by Torrance R. Parker. Published by Sub-Sea Archives, 2013.

The Library’s collections cover the history of deep diving and some of its technical aspects. The recently-published book on sponge diving was added to our collections.

Other histories of diving focus on deep diving, ocean engineering, underwater exploration, diving in the navy, and offshore oil well drilling. Our collection contains a variety of resources such as books by well-known authors and practitioners Torrance Parker, Jacques Cousteau, and translations from French authors, symposium proceedings, and technical manuals. The Library also holds a complete series of The Journal of Diving History. Please call the Library for more information at 310-548-7618.

Deep Diving History: See our online catalog for books on the subject of deep diving.

Jack London, Writer, Photographer

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Jack London Novels and Stories

Jack London (1876-1916) is an author of stories about the frontiers of the American West, Alaska, and the peoples of the Pacific Islands. He was also a photographer and journalist who was featured in a travelling exhibit at the Museum. His best known works described the Alaskan Gold Rush: Call of the Wild, White Fang, and Sea Wolf. Equally compelling but lesser known are his Pacific Island stories which they grew out of his experiences sailing the Ocean between 1908-1916.

Jack London's Novels and Social Writings.

Titles by and about Jack London in the Library include stories and novels:

The Cruise of the Snark. / Jack London. Published by Mills and Boon, Limited, 1911.

Jack London, photographer. / Jeanne Campbell Reesman, Sara S. Hodson, and Philip Adam. Published by University of Georgia Press, 2010.

Selections Novels and Stories. / Jack London. Published by Library of America, 1982.

Selections. Novels and Social Writings. / Jack London. Published by Library of America, 1982.

Stories of Hawaii. / Jack London. Edited by A. Grove Day. Published by Mutual Publishing, 1986, c1965.

Tales of the Pacific. / Jack London. Published by Penguin Books, 1989.

Jack London in Aloha-land. / Charmian Kittredge London. Author of “Voyaging in Wild Seas”. Published by Kegan Paul, Distributed by Columbia University Press, New York, 2002.

Jack London, Sailor on Horseback; A Biographical Novel by Irving Stone. Published by doubleday and Company, Inc., 1937.

Jack London’s Tales of Cannibals and Headhunters : Nine South Seas Stories by America’s Master of Adventure. / Jack London. Edited and annotated by Gary Riedl and Thomas R. Tietze. Published by University of New Mexico Press, 2006.

A powerfully-engaged man, London traveled to Asia as a war correspondent in the Russo-Japanese War, photographing people and conditions there. He also appeared in England where he posed homeless along London’s quays so he could study the struggles of poverty and wrote “The People of the Abyss”, an acknowledged and socially-charged statement of the times (early 1900).

See the Library’s blog posts on Jack London here.

New books in the Library are featured titles on this website. In our collections more titles on the same subject may be seen at the Library’s online catalog at

New in the Library! February 2014

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New Books increase the Library’s collections on the 19th history of slave ships and the 20th century history of African Americans in the military:

Book cover Captain "Hell Roaring" Mike Healy

Captain “Hell Roaring” Mike Healy… / Dennis Nobel and Truman Strobridge

Captain “Hell Roaring” Mike Healy: From American Slave to Artic Hero / Dennis Noble and Truman Strobridge. Published by University Press of Florida, 2009.

Book cover of The Empire of Necessity by Greg Grandin

The Empire of Necessity by Greg Grandin

The Empire of Necessity: Slavery, Freedom and Decpetion in the New World / Greg Grandin. Published by Metropolitan Books, Henry Holt, 2014.

More new books in the Library.

Library Collections on the Merchant Marine

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Cover of Merchant Vessels of the United States 1887

Merchant Vessels of the United States 1887


List of Merchant Vessels of the United States (title is from the cover), was published at various times by the United States Treasury Department, the United States Department of Commerce, Bureau of Navigation, and the United States Department of Transportation and the United States Coast Guard. The Library has volumes published 1884, 1886-1887; 1891-1989 (with some years missing).

The List of Merchant Vessels of the United States, updated each year, is a ship’s register with offical numbers and scantlings (measurements of the structural parts) for ships. This means a researcher can consult this reference for a ship’s length and breadth, tonnage, crew size, type of ship, propulsion, date and location of construction and home port, and owner’s name. Prior to consulting the reference, all that is needed is a date and ship’s name. Of the appendices, “Former Names Showing Present Names” and “Vessels Lost” help to historically define a particular ship or it’s demise. The series is in constant use for reference. Contact us for a request by filing in the form on this page.

Merchant Marine is a term defined in the Random House Dictionary of the English Language as “…1. the vessels of a nation that are engaged in commerce…”, and “… 2. the officers and crews of such vessels…”. The concept of merchant ships in the service of the military developed during and after the Civil War, yet the American history of merchant shipping dates back to the early 1600s (see John Spears, The Story of the American Merchant Marine.).

Ocean-going commerce expanded up until the 1850s, due to the highly-valued craftsmanship of wooden ships (see Benjamin Labaree, America and the Sea: A Maritime History.), which later could not compete with new technologies of steam and industrial shipbuilding enjoyed by other maritime nations. The 20th century witnessed the Merchant Marine Act of 1936 and the later recognition of the United States Merchant Marine veterans by President Reagan in 1988 for service in World War II.

The Library collection includes: Bibliographies and Periodicals, Histories, Labor Law, Navigation, Seamanship, Ship Registers and Yearbooks, and Shipbuilding Histories.

The The Library collection online includes material on many topics such as merchant ships and merchant seamen and crews: ship registers, histories and periodicals. The Merchant Marine in the World Wars is also represented.

Maritime History in Art

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Souvenir Postcard Los Angeles Harbor.

Postcard from Souvenir Folder of Los Angeles Harbor, San Pedro and Wilmington. Published by A. Kashower Co., Los Angeles, Calif.

Art from postcard issued circa 1912, is labelled “California Yacht Club and Harbor, Wilmington, Calif.”

The term Marine Art, alternatively ships in art, refers to paintings, prints and objects created well before the photographic image captured maritime history. Marine art is represented in both the Library’s and the Museum’s Collections of artists who depicted ships, sailors, masters, crew, and objects of maritime significance primarily of the Victorian Era through the 20th century (1830s to 1999).

For a definition of the history of portraying the sea and ships in pictures, see Peter Kemp, in the Oxford Companion to Ships and the Sea, 1976, page 521, who recounts: “… the earliest known pictures of ships and boats are those which decorate Egyptian pottery… around 3200 B.C.”, and further, that “… representations of the sea and ships appear in many paintings of the early Renaissance…” and, further, that “… the true birth of marine painting… occurred in Holland in the late 16th century.”.

Later in his entry on Marine painting, on page 524, Kemp discloses, “… world wars of the 20th century produced a plethora of marine artists… a result of naval appointments of painters as official artists to record scenes of naval activity.” A sample of this interest in illustrating the Navy in action can be found in the Museum’s Current Exhibit.

Locating illustrations of maritime history

Paintings of ships and maritime views may be found in many works that are not about art, but have used paintings as illustrations of a historical text.

Searching for artists or painters by name is facilitated by dictionaries or encyclopedias. Two such works available at the Los Angeles Maritime Museum research Library are selected here:

Book cover for Marine Paintings and Drawings in the Peabody Museum

The Marine Paintings and Drawings in the Peabody Museum by M.V. and Dorothy Brewington.

The Marine Paintings and Drawings in the Peabody Museum by M.V. and Dorothy Brewington. Published by The Peabody Museum of Salem, 1981. 535 pages, index, illustrations, color and black and white.

The Marine Painting and Drawings in the Peabody Museum is a catalog of visual images of the nineteenth century, especially of the merchant marine vessels of any type; not Navy vessels, but ships used in trade and transport of goods across oceans and on inland waterways. To find an artist or ship, look alphabetically for an artist’s name, or look by port name or vessel name by consulting the Index. The text is rich with information; this is not a book to read but to glean information and data from.

Image of painting by Antonio Jacobsen.

“The Forteviot”, 1896, by Antonio Jacobsen.

Paintings you will find in this book are exemplified by this image, found on Wikipedia, of the Forteviot. The ship is shown in rough seas, with full sun illuminating the sails and careful delineation of the rigging, sails, hull, flags, and other details, a hallmark of the artist, Antonio Nicolo Gasparo, 1850-1921. His style, from the late 1880s to 1920, was extremely popular and is stylistically indicative of the era of sail and early days of steam.


Cover of Dictionary

Dictionary of Sea Painters by E. H. H. Archibald

Dictionary of Sea Painters by E.H.H. Archibald. Published by The Antique Collector’s Club, Ltd., 1989. 575 pages, index, illustrations.

Dictionary of Sea Painters is a resource with an international focus, that identifies artists and their works beginning with Dutch painters of the 1600s and, including painters from all countries, extending through the middle of the twentieth century. The preliminary chapter consists of “Sea Paintings–Identification and Dating” which outlines and illustrates the aspects of marine illustration: flags(shown in full color), ship profiles, picture content, and coastal craft (dated). The dictionary of names follows and finally a chapter of plates, consisting of 932 black and white paintings. Over 30 color plates are interspersed throughout the text.

The Los Angeles Maritime Museum’s collections of paintings and other works of art may be consulted separately: please call the Museum for more information at 310-548-7618.

The Library’s collection on maritime history in art is represented at If you do not see what you are looking for please call the Library for more information at 310-548-7618 x 215.

New in the Library, March 2014.

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New books, March 2014.

Announcing new books in the Library, March 2014.

Nearly two centuries of history and biography are the subjects of new books in the Library. More details about these books can be seen in our online catalog at or on our Blog, Adventures of Maritime History.

1. Alaska and the U.S. Cutter Revenue Service 1867-1915. / Truman R. Strobridge and Dennis L. Noble.

2. Faces of War: The Untold Stories of Edward Steichen’s World War II Photographers. / Mark D. Faram.

3. Our America : A Hispanic History of the United States. / Felipe Fernandez-Armesto.

4. The Way of the Ship: America’s Maritime History Reenvisioned 1600-1800. / Alex Roland, W. Jeffrey Bolster, Alexander Keyssar.

5. Shipwright 2013. The International Annual of Maritime History and Ship Model Making. / Edited by John Bowen and Jean Hood.

6. U.S. Navy Uniforms and Insignia, 1943-1946. / Jeff Warner.

7. Challenging the Deep. / Hans Hass.

8. Aboard the Fabre Line to Providence: Immigration to Rhode Island. / William J. Jennings & Patrick T. Conley.

9. The Empire of Necessity: Slavery, Freedom and Deception in the New World. / Greg Grandin.

10. I Cover the Waterfront. / Max Miller.

11. The Panama Route, 1848-1869. / John Haskell Kemble.

12. A Voyage to California, the Sandwich Islands and Around the World in the Years 1826-1829. / Auguste Duhaut-Cilly.

African-American Maritime History

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Highlights from African-American Maritime History with a broad range of books on American History, these are portraits of African American heroes of the 19th and 20th centuries.

Highlights from African-American Maritime History with a broad range of books on American History, these are portraits of African American heroes of the 19th and 20th centuries.


From left to right in the image: Robert Smalls (1839-1915), Frederick Douglass (1818-1895), Marcus Garvey (1887-1940), and Matthew Henson (1866-1955) are just four of many, many heroes in history from just before the Civil War into the early twentieth Century. for more information on book titles that cover this period, see the Library’s online catalog for books in our collections .

New in the Library! December 2012

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These books represent new purchases and donations of historical fiction and non-fiction for your reading pleasure at home. Borrow a book for up to three weeks with your Museum Membership Card.


A new purchase in the Library, “At Drake’s Command: The Adventures of Peregrine James during the Second navigation of the World” by David Wesley Hill, Temurlone Books, 2012.

See a partial listing of our Lending Library at Library Thing.

View the Library Blog Adventures of Maritime History from the Los Angeles Maritime Museum Research Library.


The Los Angeles Maritime Museum Research Library is located within the Museum. Click here to check the hours and to visit the library. Or call 310-548-7618 Fax: 310-832-6537

Historic Documents of the Tug Angels Gate

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Los Angeles Maritime Museum Research Library Collection 7


Scan of photographic print, “Tugboat Angels Gate” underway in the Main Channel, from Los Angeles Maritime Museum Collections.

The following is excerpted from the finding aid for the collection.


Title: Records of the Tug Angels Gate (ex. L.A.H.D. # 10, ex-ST-695)

Dates: 1942-1992; 1942-1982 bulk

Creator: Los Angeles Harbor Department

Extent: 10 cu. ft. of folders and volumes

Physical characteristics: Paper documents and log books, some hand-drawn diagrams for engine parts

Abstract: The Los Angeles Maritime Museum’s Tug Angels Gate is docked at Berth 84 in San Pedro year round. Tug documentation features the vessel’s history from construction in 1944 as a United States Army Transport Service “small tug” to her purchase by the Port of Los Angeles in 1946 and subsequent donation to the Los Angeles Maritime Museum in 1992.

The documents include vessel certification, repair orders, inventory, correspondence on acquisition between the United States Maritime Commission and Port of Los Angeles, transfer of title, name change, drydock reports, and the tug’s log books for the period from September 1945 to October 1977.

Scope and Content Notes:
Information on tug boats can be found in two books “U.S. Army Ships and Warcraft of World War II” published by Naval Institute Press, and “Ordeal of the Convoy NY 119” published by Ensign Press.

Tug boats at West coast maritime museums include the Hercules, a 151 foot ocean-going historic tug currently at the San Francisco Maritime Museum.

Biographical Notes: The harbor tug Angels Gate was built in 1944 as ST-695 for the United States Army Transport Service. The “ST” designates “small tug”, and this class was designed to support the Normandy Invasion. Built at Decatur Iron and Steel in Decatur, Alabama, ST-695 was accepted by the Army on December 27, 1944. The tug never operated in Europe and was declared surplus at the end of the war. Although records are incomplete for the immediate post war period, existing documentation places ST-695 at the Los Angeles Port of Embarkation at Wilmington as early as August, 1945. The Port of Los Angeles [Harbor Department] formally purchased ST-695 from the United States Maritime Commission in late 1946, renaming her L.A.H.D. #10. The tug was in constant use, helping to transport pile drivers and derrick barges during the post-war building boom. The tug accidentally sank in 1952, as a result of seacocks left open overnight. The July 23, 1952 memorandum in Box 2, Folder 9, is the only documentation associated with this mishap.

L.A.H.D. #10 was also the Port’s goodwill boat, used for harbor tours and as a backdrop for publicity events such as “Fashions Afloat”. Her name was officially changed to Angels Gate in January, 1956 to honor the lighthouse marking the entrance to the Port of Los Angeles.

In 1992, the Port retired Angels Gate and donated her to the Los Angeles Maritime Museum. Records of her donation, subsequent refueling, drydocking, maintenance, volunteer activities, and movie roles are kept in the Curatorial Department’s donor files (2520) and are outside the scope of this collection of papers.

Administrative Information:
Repository: Los Angeles Maritime Museum Research Library
Access, Use: Prior arrangement with Librarian, Curator, or Museum Director
Preferred Citation for Reference Requests: Records of the Tug ANGELS GATE
Copyright Notice: Copyright restrictions may apply. See the copyright notice here.

Request Library Appointment:
To view the collection, please make an appointment online.