Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Season's Greetings!

The Stephen B. Luce Library, Archives, and Special Collections wish one and all a very happy holiday season, and a healthy New Year!  Please enjoy this exhibit of seasonal photographs and resources from the Institutional Archives of Maritime College.

Please visit the collection, which will be on display in the Library throughout the month of December.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Library Extends Hours During Finals Week

As a service to Maritime College students during finals week, the Stephen B. Luce Library will offer extended hours from Monday, December 10 through Thursday, December 13

The library will be open from 8:30 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. daily so that students may come for a quiet place to study, work on group projects, and access resources needed to study for exams and complete final projects. A librarian will be on duty to assist with information research and access to course reserve materials.

The Stephen B. Luce Library wishes everyone good luck and best of results in your final exams!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Joseph Williams published in "Serials Librarian"

Congratulations go out to librarian Joseph Williams (Head of Technical Services and Acquisitions) for his new article, “At Sea: Reclaiming a Serials Collection at a Small Specialized Library,” published in the Serials Librarian, 63:3-4, pp. 359-369.
Mr. Williams’s article describes a multi-year project in which the Stephen B. Luce Library worked to restore and optimize its print serial holdings for preservation and access. After a review of the literature the article focuses on project work flow, preservation, bibliographic control, and the criteria for decision-making processes among the librarians to determine appropriate titles to keep or discard. Provided are data collected on titles, some statistics, and tentative future plans to augment access and digitize holdings.   

Print copies of the article are available at the library.  Congratulations, Joe!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Art Exhibition @The Stephen B. Luce Library

Sailing Away to Paint the Sea:
An Art Exhibition
by Vittoria Chierici

part of the

Library Lecture Series
Navigate Your Course @Your Library

Exhibit will be on display in the Library through November 4th

“Who in the rainbow can draw the line where the violet tint ends
and the orange tint begins?” – Herman Melville

During her journey aboard the Polish tramp steamer, Isolda, Italian artist Vittoria Chierici captured the movement and rage of the sea creating over 40 small paintings.  Ms. Chierici was inspired by the sometimes rough waters of the British Channel, Atlantic Ocean, and the St. Lawrence River.  On sunny days during the crossing she attempted to imitate the colors of the sea, capturing the many hues of cobalt blue that the sea possesses while seated at a small fixed table at the stern thought of by the artist as, “il tavolo del pirata.”  It was these attempts at simultaneous imitation and expression of feeling that were the main concept developed in Ms. Chierici’s New York studio upon her return from sea.

About the Artist:  Vittoria Chierici is a world renowned international painter and filmmaker from Bologna, Italy. She currently works in New York where she has a studio.  In the late ‘90s, Chierici began to work on a new mixed media project on the historical subject of The Battle of Anghiari, based on a lost mural by Leonardo Da Vinci. A large painting of the same subject, “Anghiari Verde”, is also permanently exhibited at New York University’s Humanities Initiative.  Paintings and video installations by Vittoria Chierici have been shown in galleries and museums in Italy and abroad.  She is represented by the art gallery Lucie Fontaine, Milano.  Further information about the artist can be found at and

Ms. Chierici can be contacted at

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

NYSED Grant Awarded to Stephen B. Luce Library, Archives, and Special Collections

The Stephen B. Luce Library, Archives, and Special Collections is pleased to announce the award of a New York State Education Department Conservation Preservation Discretionary Grant in the amount of $4,200.00.  The award will be used for a comprehensive assessment and preservation survey of the repository area including long range planning for the Institutional Archives and Special Collections of the Stephen B. Luce Library and Maritime College.  Under the review of a representative from the Northeast Document Conservation Center, the Archives will undergo a thorough review with attention paid to the conservation needs of some of the most rare and unique of our collections.  With these recommendations in mind for a long range, collection preservation and maintenance plan, we will seek to implement priorities for the ongoing conservation of archival collections as a whole and also address any specific items identified for additional conservation or restoration.

The Archival Collections held by the Stephen B. Luce Library includes records related to the Sailors’ Snug Harbor Institution, Marine Society of the City of New York, W.R. Grace Shipping Line, MORRO CASTLE Disaster, Moore-McCormack Shipping Line, Farnell Shipping Line, Sandy Hook Pilot Logs, and the Institutional History of Maritime College since 1874.  Through the Library’s institutional and special collections, partnerships have already evolved with other maritime institutions such as the Sailors’ Snug Harbor Museum, Noble Society, Marine Society of the City of New York, Propeller Club, Sandy Hook Pilots Association, and the Seamen’s Church Institute.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Library Lecture Series - September 18, 2012

Island of Vice: Theodore Roosevelt’s Doomed Quest to Clean Up Sin-Loving New York

Library Lecture Series Navigate Your Course @Your Library

Stephen B. Luce Library
Tuesday, September 18th  at 1330 

The Stephen B. Luce  Library invites you to a guest lecture on Island of Vice: Theodore Roosevelt’s Doomed Quest to Clean Up Sin-Loving New York
by author and historian, Richard Zacks.

Richard Zacks… tells the story of Roosevelt’s two-year campaign with gusto and authority and the wry observations of an author who knows how it will all predictably turn out. The reason Roosevelt’s quest was doomed, this account makes clear, is that New Yorkers — then and now — like their vices neat. Sure, they did not favor police and political corruption, but they would not stand for the abridgment of their pleasures, even if the consequence was police and Tammany Hall graft…. This well-researched narrative is dense with raffish vignettes, excerpts from Roosevelt’s tireless letters and newspaper lampoons of his righteous campaign." – New York Times

"In his delightful and often hilarious ode to Manhattan, Island of Vice, Richard Zacks makes a comparison to another famously wicked metropolis: "As in ancient Rome, the vitality of New York City sometimes seems to come more from the crooks than the do-gooders." – USA Today

“Here is young Teddy Roosevelt as the reformist New York City Police Commissioner  confronted in 1895 with a cabal of  unaccountably wealthy police officials, whole neighborhoods of brothels, and the paws of the Tammany Tiger in everything. A delicious municipal history, impeccably researched, excitingly told.” – E.L. Doctorow

About the Author:  Richard Zacks grew up in New York City, wandering to Times Square when it was still evil. His mother sought to refine his manners with white-glove dance lessons at the Pierre Hotel but that effort failed miserably. As a teenager, he gambled on the horses, played blackjack in illegal Manhattan card parlors and bought his first drink at age fifteen at the Plaza Hotel. He also attended elite schools such as Horace Mann ('73), University of Michigan ('79) and Columbia Journalism School ('81). He majored in Classical Greek and studied Arabic, Italian and French. His whole life he has felt torn between the seedy and the high brow. He is a born contrarian. His books reflect that, with topics ranging from Joan of Arc's virginity tests to a vindication of Captain Kidd...  Zacks spent the decade of the 1980s as a journalist, writing a widely syndicated newspaper column, as well as freelance pieces for the likes of The Atlantic, Sports Illustrated, and he brings a who, what, when, where and an occasional why to his writing of historical narrative.  His book "Pirate Hunter" has sold more than 175,000 copies and TIME magazine chose it among the five best non-fiction books of the year. Zacks has also appeared in four documentaries. Tall, bald, spry, he still plays full court basketball at age fifty-six, and does his writing in an office, overlooking Union Square Park in Manhattan. 

Please forward any questions to

Celebrated Librarian’s Paper Presented at IFLA

The Stephen B. Luce Library is pleased to announce that Library Director Constantia Constantinou was selected to have her paper entitled “Towards Peace: One Library at a Time, One Nation at a Time” presented at the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions in Lappeenranta, Finland in August 2012.

Constantia’s paper highlighted the theme of the IFLA conference, “Transcending Boundaries to Increase Cultural Understanding Between Countries”, and described Constantia’s work as a 2010-2011 Fulbright Scholar in Cyprus, where she introduced new library collaborations through a highly political-ethnically sensitive environment between Turkish and Greek Cypriot library communities.  Constantia’s paper was delivered by two Fulbright recipients, Prof. M. Miller, Queens College and Prof. K. Schlesinger, Lehman College, CUNY.  

Congratulations, Constantia!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Now Bring me that Horizon...

Well, that’s all folks! In just about 10 hours we’ll be pulling up to Maritime College once more with a full crew ready for the best welcome home Throgg’s Neck has ever seen! Due to the storms on the coast, we had to change plans from a nice, relaxing anchorage tonight due to zig-zagging back through the night to stay ahead of the weather. Not sure if that changes our course in through the city, but we’re keeping a weathered eye on the horizon…

Since this will probably be the last time I write to you from the ship, dear readers, I just wanted to say what an absolute pleasure it has been sailing with your sons, daughters, and loved ones these past 45 days. I can’t wait to see you tomorrow and to continue working with everyone through the Stephen B. Luce Library ashore throughout the school year. Until next SST, fair winds and following seas to you all!

Signing off,

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Land Ho!

This fog has seriously impacted our visibility, not to mention any last-minute sun tanning plans. Even with just a rumor of being near shore, the first cell phones started emerging this afternoon from the holds after 45 days of hibernation. As we came in to anchor around 1500, one cell phone user had already multiplied into dozens of cadets with their phones surgically attached to their ears once more. Even at dinner in the Officer’s Mess, it was odd to observe the handful of electronics taking their long-absent place on the table right along with the silverware and cups of coffee! I suppose this is a very fair reward for all of the students who successfully finished their final exams today (one more day to go for some!), since now they can start easing back in to the “real world” before reality hits on Monday.

So far I’ve heard great reports back from my frequent library visitors that they’ve done well on exams, before quickly heading back to what I’m sure is a phone call home to share the same news. The library is nearly all packed, and I have a handful of last minute students crash studying for their finals tomorrow. Best of luck to all!! By tomorrow this time, all tests will be handed in and we’ll have enjoyed our final BBQ at sea (I saw the grills being set up this evening despite more fog rolling in…).

Speaking of home, Cadet Zach Curtis would like to say “Hi Mom, Hi Dad!” Only two more nights at anchor, and we’ll be home free! To my own parents, a Starbucks trip is sounding mighty tasty right now... Can't wait to see you on Monday :)


Friday, August 3, 2012

Overheard in the Library

“I have so much to study for I don’t know where to start studying!” – a good-spirited library visitor to his friends at the next table over

We’ve hardly had a minute to think straight today, let alone study.  From the start of the day we realized that we’ve made incredible headway into warmer weather – no more jackets for this crew!  I’ve heard tales of the heat wave that’s hit shore over the past month; I think we must be heading straight into an arm of it out here.  We ducked south a bit further to avoid a low front (aka, seasick weather) and still plan to cut back over to N.Y. around Saturday, for those of you following along at home.  It’s almost nice enough weather to throw on some sunscreen.

Cadets who were focused enough today to come into the library to study did so piecemeal, unfortunately.  Not only was today our final safety drill, but also a dress inspection ahead of Monday.  Today’s drill was the security drill, which would prepare us in the event of a hijacking or some related hostage situation; basically, for the majority, our instructions are “Go to room – lock door.”  However, a few lucky ones are part of the security team, manned with fire hoses to ward off any potential borders (and reportedly a potato gun, compliments of the Engineering Department).  I, for one, feel safer now that I know we have such a complete arsenal aboard.  Wish I had brought my marshmallow shooter or my rubberband gun…

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Memoirs of a Messman

"Does everyone think they’re just now going to lose weight in a week?" –disappointed female cadet coming out of an apparently over crowded cardio room.

We’ve survived ice-infested, fog-covered waters and making great time past Canada.  Some sightings of “orca” whales have been reported in the last few hours; sorry to say, cadets, they’re most likely pilot whales or a type of dolphin.  I’m hoping someone got some pictures!

Cadet Jordan Rose, former chess champion from a couple of posts back, would like report that his day as messman (which began at 0530 this morning!) was successful.  As an engineer, he’s reported for messman three times already; his deck counterparts, however, could report up to 8 times during their cruise!  Messman duties could include serving, working in the scullery, collecting garbage, wiping tables, and running pots and pans from the cooks in the galley.  Today’s work day also included having underclassmen shadow upper class rates and help them with their daily tasks, like checking the lifeboats (boat rate), lines (bosun rate), designing special projects (carpenters), normal checks on the gyro or chart corrections (navigators), etc.

Finals have come and gone for many, while others still wait with baited breath.  Ship’s operations are gearing towards shoreside preparations, and forms for berthing check outs have started circulating.  I’m constantly reminded by my library visitors with just as much enthusiasm usually reserved for, say, opening a pile of birthday presents or getting your very first car. that there are “Only 4 days and a wake up left!!!” 


Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Chickens and Sharks and Groundhogs, Oh My!

Well, our final Sunday at Sea has come and gone.  There are rumors that we may have a final celebration next weekend just ahead of the ship’s return, but just in case – we were all served a healthy dose of steak, hamburgers, and hot dogs last night!  And don’t forget the sundae bar!  Speaking of food, outside our beloved Sunday at Sea, don’t be surprised if your cadets might want a nice big meal when we get back to shore – some of the menu items are becoming more… creative… with fewer days ahead of us to eat what’s left in the reefers.  This librarian can report that the “chicken fried steak” was most likely a once-in-a-lifetime experience.  Luckily for my sweet tooth, desserts still continue to amaze and today we had a 1-year Anniversary chocolate pudding cake with chocolate icing and piping for MT chair Mate Anthony Palmiotti and his wife, Engineer Yeoman Kathleen.  Congratulations, you two!

Coming up this week are the final dress inspections for cadets before we come into New York.  We want the ship and everyone aboard to look their best for you all on Monday, so there’s extra chipping, scraping, and painting to be done, and more shoes to shine and uniforms to ready.  In the meantime, the Jeopardy! game is more competitive than ever; it turns out cadets know WAY more about sharks than I thought they would as I celebrate our own version of “Shark Week.”  I’ve been forced to change out the question twice daily because each is answered within the first 20 minutes of posting!  (They really like reading the “Encyclopedia of Sharks,” too!)  Here’s an example for you: “The great white shark has been known to display what kind of behavior, also known as “spy-hopping”?”1. 

Cadets are also enjoying news from the Olympics in their downtime and, as always, the evening movies.  Tomorrow night we’re scheduling the classic “Groundhog Day,” which is ironically how many students are describing the past few days as we continue across the Atlantic on the goodship TSES.

Signing off,

Answer 1: What is “standing” vertically in the water to survey its surroundings? 

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Are We there Yet?

Still steaming along out here in the Atlantic, I was told earlier that we have officially crossed our half way point to North America! Unfortunately, between here and there, an intense fog has rolled in bringing with it chilly moist weather; oh, and also our fog horn is now sounding every 2 minutes per CG regs, day AND night. I try to think of it like summertime crickets chirping in the evening back home, yet still… its “WOOOOOMMMPPP” doesn’t quite sooth the same way.

The fog and “ice hazards” (a la TITANIC) have forced us to change course a bit and stay on the Atlantic-side of any upcoming channels once we get closer to land. In the meantime, there’s an ongoing epic battle of chess between engineers (kudos go so far to Cadet Jordan Rose) and deck students are finishing up their voyage plans.

I’d like to send out a very special and happy birthday shout out to Cadet Taylor Maercker for July 30 (I hope comes to the library before then!) from his Mom and Dad. Herman “Herm” Woolfrey wishes his mom and sister a very happy belated birthday as well, and says “Hi” to his grandparents and dad too: “Miss and love you all!”

Friday, July 27, 2012

2300 and all is well... again

Another day down, another day closer to shore!  We’re continuing our arc north into colder weather with our sights set towards Canada.  I can tell that cadets are getting more and more ready for home by their reference questions, which includes information on popular music, the heat wave back in the States, and Olympic medal counts. 

Speaking of shore, there are two shoutouts today from cadets to loved ones.  Sara Ballard says “Happy Birthday to Scotty Ballard!  To my family, I miss you guys!  Looking forward to talking to you all!”  To Jill Davenport’s grandma who is going in for surgery soon, Jill would like to say “Hey Nan, miss you, love you, and I’ll see you in a week!”

Thursday, July 26, 2012

A Holly Jolly Sea Term

Today was just a very backwards day it seemed.  I think it’s probably because we’re all just trying to get 
The routine for underway is back into effect, complete with the usual lifeboat drills.  After mustering for about an hour, we realized our course is taking us more north than we expected; it looks like we’ll be doing a high arc over the north Atlantic and head due west once we come in line with New York.  Of course, that’s always subject to change but one thing is certain: the heavy jackets and beanie caps are back in fashion!

 Along with the theme of colder weather, I’m happy to report a theme of Christmas in July (aka, July 25) broke out aboard around 2200 last night.  A very jolly brigade of 1st Class non-rates made stops in all of the classrooms, mess decks, lounges, and, of course, library, to hand out makeshift packages along the way.  Inside were candy, Starbursts, and fruit flavor packets for adding to waterbottles.  Cheers and thanks to all from Troop City (51 Hold)!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Mersey River, fare thee well!

 “ ‘tis not the leaving of Liverpool that grieves me…”  - Leaving of Liverpool, a traditional chantey

Well, that’s it!  We’re in the homestretch now!  The countdown to NY officially began at 1400 today.   We departed Liverpool this afternoon and have started the long journey home.  In the 12 days between here and New York, students will still be finishing up a slew of quizzes, tests, and bouts of homesickness.

You’d swear everyone had to do the most rigorous PT while in Liverpool the way we’re all exhausted today - I’ve never seen the cadets so tired.  I think it has something to do with the way watches were scheduled, plus changes in times to get underway, plus now anchor watch, and, of course, spending many hours in port.

Liverpool was a wonderful host, a great walking city, and had a very similar feel to a city the size of Philadelphia.  There were lots of new buildings along the waterfront, but it’s still a “working man’s” city and an historic one at that.  The waterfront was very lovely, with lots of museums and restaurants to attract tourists.  Many of the waterfront buildings themselves were originally part of the maritime industry that helped build a bustling city out of Liverpool. 

Warehouses, pump houses, and ropewalks are now museums, eateries, and landmarks.  Also the Beatles are everywhere.  On any variety of Beatles tours I found out that the Fab Four "frequented" nearly every building in sight of the ship.  The Museum of Liverpool and the Merseyside Maritime Museum extraordinary museums to represent the enterprises of the city and a special exhibit on the TITANIC, while the Cavern Quarter just a few minutes away had many restaurants, pubs, and dance clubs in what must have been buildings which were hundreds of years old.  Just around the corner from Cavern Quarter is Liverpool ONE, the city’s best attempt at a high end, outdoor shopping district which literally stretched for miles on miles and offered pretty much any kind of clothing, sports good, book, or music you could dream of buying.

Speaking of music, it’s not just the Beatles anymore.  On any given night while we were in port, there was pub after pub of live music, from modern musicians to rock and rollers  covering the Beatles.  The Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra is another famous institution, with their hall being a famous landmark. We missed their (free) open air concert on the docks by an hour when we came to dock on Friday night, but they still had performances and special events at their Hall including… a showing of “Casablanca” on Monday!  It was the perfect birthday treat.

There were Beatles references galore, and lots of shopping.  Many of the cadets took scheduled tours to London -- I heard it was a madhouse there with all the Olympics prep, but fun jus the same!  I was pleasantly surprised to hear how many of them went to Buckingham Palace, Paddington Station (just for Paddington Bear), and King’s Cross Station (for Platform 9 ¾).  I was definitely not expecting that of our guys!

On a personal note, I was especially thankful to how everyone on  wished me well on my birthday yesterday, from Captain to Chief Mate to the engineers and deck officers (as well as some of the parents and the cadets).  It was really special to have the ship community to celebrate in different ways!!  I even got birthday cards from my officer friends, and a birthday card from my Grandma!  Thank you so much as well for all of your warm wishes.  (Not to make a deal about in front of cadets since they were mainly "restricted" to Liverpool, but myself and another officer took a 20 mile bike ride along the beach from Seacombe through Wirral [sp?] to New Brighton on Monday - what a great way to see the Liverpool from the water since we had to literally take the Ferry 'cross the Mersey.  And yes, that song is now permanently stuck in my head).

One last note from the ship tonight, which comes as a shoutout from Randolph “Woody” Stephens, who says “Happy birthday Big B, from Liverpool!” to his grandfather.


Sunday, July 22, 2012

Photos - Gibraltar and After


First images are of Gibraltar, then below are photos of activity on the ship, STCWs, engine room, library, deck, etc.

Elizabeth "Books" Berilla, SST 2012-B Librarian