Logbooks and Journals - New Bedford Whaling Museum

Logbooks and Journals

General citation search page for the logbook and journal collection of the New Bedford Whaling Museum Research Library

Logbook and Journals

Welcome to the general citation search page for the logbook and journal collection of the New Bedford Whaling Museum Research Library.

The Museum’s Logbook and Journal Database

The Museum’s logbook and journal database has been recently updated and can be downloaded (an excel spreadsheet) by clicking on the button below. This database is not set up for detailed subject searches.

Detailed Logbook Searches

There are three separate collections held in this Search Library, “KWM,” “ODHS,” and “NBW.” Please note that logbook or journal numbers without a prefix are assumed to be “KWM” or from the Kendall Whaling Museum logbook and journal collection held at the New Bedford Whaling Museum since 2001.

Digitized Logbooks

Some logbooks in the Library’s collection have been digitized, but not every logbook in the Library’s vast collection is available in a digital version. If you would like to see a digital copy of one of the Library’s logbooks, visit the website Internet Archive.


For the purposes of Interlibrary Loan of microfilm reels it is important to note whether or not there is a prefix for the logbook number in which you are interested. In many cases multiple holdings for the same voyage are to be found in either collection.

Microfilm reels are available on Interlibrary Loan with the appropriate form from your local or university library, one reel per loan at the cost of $15.00 per reel. Please contact research@whalingmuseum.org with questions or comments about access or material content, and please contact Librarian Mark Procknik or Curator of Maritime History Michael P. Dyer to arrange an Interlibrary Loan.

Entries in a whaling logbook or journal usually follow some common patterns, and once you know what to look for it is a lot easier to decipher what you read. An Introduction to Whaling Logbooks and Journals is a detailed explanation of the things that are found in typical whaling logbook or journal entries.

Read Introduction to Whaling Logbooks and Journals

Gilkerson Study Book XI