Archive for the 'sources' Category

Of Limited Assistance

January 15, 2010

“Since I consulted the wealth of material assembled by Ludwig Burchard after I was already far along in my own research, the amount of basic new material I found in his documentation was limited. However, the comfort of finding my own discoveries corroborated or, alternatively, being forced to reconsider my solutions to problems in the face of differing interpretations played a significant role in the preparation of this book. And for many individual points, in particular concerning the history of the sketches for the series, I am indebted to the Burchard files.”

Svetlana Alpers, The Decoration of the Torre de la Parada (1971)


An Embarrassment of Riches

January 5, 2010

“A great many standard works have been consulted in the compilation of this Companion, but three have been outstandingly useful in the search for the meanings of seafaring words no longer in current use. Sir Henry Mainwaring’s The Sea-Man’s Dictionary, the first marine dictionary to be published in the English language (1644), was invaluable in this respect, as also was Falconer’s classic Marine Dictionary, published just over a century later. Another century on, and Admiral W. H. Smyth produced his invaluable The Sailor’s Word-Book, a mine of information. Of modern dictionaries and manuals there is an embarrassment of riches, but it would be ungracious not to mention the three volumes each of the Admiralty Manual of Seamanship and the Admiralty Manual of Navigation. Both of these authoritative publications have provided answers to a host of queries.”

Peter Kemp, ed., The Oxford Companion to Ships and the Sea (1976)