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In the New Bedford Whaling Museum Research Library
Charles Foster Batchelder was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 1898. He received his degree in civil engineering from Harvard in 1922 and eventually formed a company that developed shoe-lasts. He was active in town politics for the town of Milton, Mass., where he served as selectman for fifteen years, as well as holding other offices. Batchelder also served as overseer of Old Sturbridge Village from 1953, president of the Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities from 1961, and trustee of the Old Dartmouth Historical Society from 1969 until his death in 1973. However, he was perhaps best known for his knowledge of whaling history and for his library of whaling books, pamphlets, and journals, both of which he pursued as a hobby.
Materials of note in the papers of Charles Foster Batchelder include incoming and outgoing personal correspondence from the years 1922 to 1973. These letters principally consist of requests for or an exchange of information on whaling vessels, captains, whaling terms, whaling grounds, and ports of call with museum professionals, an author, and researchers. The correspondents include Ernest Stanley Dodge (1913-1980), Edouard Alexandre Stackpole (b. 1905), and Marion Vernon Brewington (1902-1974). Additional letters concern his collection of books and articles on whaling or request that he review works on whaling for the American Neptune or the American Activities in the Central Pacific, 1790-1870, series. Batchelder arranged his incoming correspondence either by subject or by writer and usually attached his response and notes to the letter. In most instances, this arrangement has been retained. The incoming letters have been arranged chronologically by year and then alphabetically arranged by writer with Batchelder's responses or initial inquiries attached.
Other materials in this collection include bills for books, 1922-1926, and Old Dartmouth Historical Society material consisting of incoming and outgoing correspondence, 1923-1973; treasurer's reports, 1969-1973; trustee meeting minutes, 1970-1972; budgets, 1970-1972, material concerning a whaling symposium, 1972; and notices, notes, lists, flyers, and similar materials, 1944-1973. In addition, this collection contains substantial reading and research notes kept by Batchelder, probably between 1952 and 1973. These notes, primarily about whaling vessels, their locations on the ocean, and ports of call, were taken from information in books, serials, and pamphlets both within and outside of Batchelder's collection and have been arranged alphabetically by author. This material is supplemented by research notes, which do not appear to be taken from a single specific source; bibliographic material, ca.1950; an annotated index to American Activities that Batchelder was compiling, 1968-1969; lists of rare books, 1967; clippings and a picture, ca.1925, 1960-1971; and original documents or copies of originals, 1712, 1830-1869, ca.1880, 1922, such as pages from an account book, a bill of lading, a Seamen's Protection Paper, and a letter, presumably used by Batchelder in his research.
The materials in this collection were given to the Old Dartmouth Historical Society as part of Batchelder's larger collection of books, serials, and pamphlets. The reading notes were removed from this collection, and some may still be in the volumes.
Arrangement of Collection
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New Bedford Whaling Museum Research Library Mss 67, [sub-group, series, sub-series, folder/volume as appropriate], [item]
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Materials in this collection were given to the Old Dartmouth Historical Society by Mrs. Charles F. Batchelder on 22 December 1975.
Processed by: Barbara E. Austen, ca. 1982
Encoded by: Kermit Dewey, 26 June 2012; box list appended by Timarie Malo, 13 December 2012
Funds for processing this collection were provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Authors--Correspondence, reminiscences, etc.
Batchelder, Charles Foster, 1898-1973--Library
Brewington, Marion Vernon, 1902-1974
Clark, Eugene Seymour, ca.1905-1982
Clough, Benjamin Crocker, 1888-1975
College teachers--U.S.--Correspondence, reminiscences, etc.
Crosby, Everett Uberto, 1871-1960
Dahl, Curtis, b.1920
Dodge, Ernest Stanley, 1913-1980
Dorsett, Edward Lee
Gregg Press, Upper Saddle River, New Jersey
Heflin, Wilson L., b.1913
Historians--Conn.--Correspondence, reminiscences, etc.
Historians--Mass.--Correspondence, reminiscences, etc.
Kaplan, Sidney, b.1913
King, S. Clyde
Kugler, Richard Cory, b.1930
Libraries, private, Mass.--Milton
Lothrop, Francis B.
Mason, Francis Van Wyck, b.1897
Milton, Mass.--Officials and employees
Old Dartmouth Historical Society, New Bedford, Mass.
Purrington, Philip Foster, b.1912
Sherman, Stuart C., 1917-1983
Smith, Philip Chadwick Foster, b.1939
Stackpole, Edouard Alexandre, b.1905
Whaling in literature