Practical Seamanship
War At Sea
Nautical Hardships
Nautical Fiction

Bibliography & Credits

The Lilly Library

This online exhibition is based on an exhibition of nautical materials at Indiana University's Lilly Library. It attempts to offer a small sampling of the wide variety of books and manuscripts dealing with ships and the sea during a time before steam-powered vessels. National boundaries and personal fortunes alike depended on wooden ships propelled by wind and canvas sails; the voyages themselves were often fraught with danger and physical difficulty. It is no surprise, then, that a vast body of nautical literature was produced during the period, from practical treatises aimed at improving ships' performance to imaginative stories of the mystery and danger of the open sea.

The materials on display here offer a few examples drawn from that wide array of literature. They range in date from the seventeenth to the twentieth century, and in genre from educational handbooks for new sailors to early editions of classic nautical tales.

The exhibition is divided into five areas: Practical Seamanship, War at Sea, Nautical Hardships, Piracy, and Nautical Fiction.

If the title of a work appears as a hyperlink, an image gallery for that title is available. Clicking on the link will open the gallery in a new window.

Next: Practical Seamanship