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Sail Away: New Digital Exhibit

Sail Away is a new digital exhibit released in October that highlights the mid-nineteenth century ship’s journal located in the Galvin Rare Book Room. The library knows very little about the history of the journal or the information held within its pages. Thus far, we have noted the names of three vessels chronicled in the journal, as well as the appearance of an individual’s signature: Vernon Guyon Locke, who appears to have been a pirate during the Civil War.

Built with Omeka, Sail Away displays a high-resolution photograph of each journal page, along with a tool, Scripto, which allows for crowd-sourced transcription . Our hope is that community members with interest and expertise in whaling, maritime history, handwriting, and more will help us reveal the story of the journal through their transcriptions. Pages available for transcription can be viewed sequentially, or by browsing to the vessel of interest.

In addition to page images, the digital exhibit provides an interactive map created with CartoDB, which details the voyages of the first ship written about in the ship’s journal. The voyages can be explored through the daily, individual journal entries, or through an almost two-minute video of the Gem of Beverly’s travels. There is also an interactive flipbook that can be viewed for a virtual, page -turning experience of the journal.

We invite you to embark with us on this intriguing voyage of discovery at

-Angie White, Digital Initiatives Librarian

October Frost


In his 1936 volume of poems, From Snow to Snow, Robert Frost chose one of his most moving and enduring poems for October—The Road Not Taken. 

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;