23rd Annual Moby-Dick Marathon

The Museum’s annual read-a-thon of America’s most iconic novel, Moby-Dick. Besides the main reading, the event included two mini-marathons: a Portuguese-language reading of an abridged Moby-Dick and a children’s version of the novel.

23rd Annual Moby-Dick Marathon

Thank you one and all for an amazing 23rd Annual Moby-Dick Marathon. See you again next year!

January 4 – 6, 2019

Attendees joined us for the 23rd annual read-a-thon of America’s most iconic novel, Moby-Dick; an experience one does not want to miss.

Participants could relive the famous, action-packed narrative and be transported back in time on the search for the elusive white whale. In addition to the main event, the Whaling Museum hosted two mini-marathons on January 5: a Portuguese-language reading of Tiago Patricio’s abridged Moby-Dick, and a children’s version by Classic Starts.

Schedule of Events

Friday, January 4

5:30 – 8:00 pm Pre-marathon Dinner and Presentation
Attendees enjoyed a meal well-suited for hungry sailors. After dinner was an illustrated presentation by Jennifer Baker, Melville Scholar, titled “Gender and the Man’s World of Moby-Dick,” followed by a discussion.
Ticketed Event: Sold Out

Family reads on the Lagoda

Saturday, January 5

From 10 am Saturday to 1 pm Sunday*
All Saturday and Sunday events are free and open to the public. Guests may come and go as needed through the Museum’s main entrance.

10 am Stump the Scholars
Bring your most challenging Melville-related questions and try to stump Melville scholars. Cook Memorial Theater (Lower Level)

10 am Children’s Mini-Marathon
Harbor View Gallery (Upper Level)

11:30 am Extracts
Read by members of the Melville Society Cultural Project. Bourne Building (Main Level)

12 noon The Main Attraction
Bourne Building (Main Level)

1:30 pm Father Mapple’s Sermon
Seamen’s Bethel (Reserved seating at Bethel and livestream in Cook Memorial Theater)

2 pm – 10 pm The Great American Novel, Part 2
Take the opportunity to partner with artificial intelligence to contribute to a new version of Moby-Dick by virtual Herman Melville and friends.  Media Lab (Main Level)

2:15 pm Main Marathon Continues
Harbor View Gallery (Upper Level)

2:30 pm Chat with Melville Scholars
Wattles Family Gallery (Lower Level)

3 pm Portuguese Marathon
Bourne Building (Main Level)

4 pm – 5 pm Artist Signing
Get your Moby-Dick Marathon prints signed by the artist Jacob Mark. Jacobs Family Gallery (Lower Level)

5 pm – 9 pm Cousin Hosea’s Chowder Hall and the Decanter Taproom
Recharge and warm up with New Bedford’s best soups and brews. Jacobs Family Gallery (Lower Level)

7 pm Midnight on the Forecastle (chapter 40)
Performed by  Culture*ParkCook Memorial Theater (Lower Level)

Sunday, January 6

8 am The 20th-Hour Treat
Get fueled up for the home stretch. Classroom (Main Level)

9:30 am Chat with Melville scholars
Wattles Family Gallery (Lower Level)

1 pm Epilogue
Prizes for the hearty souls that make it through the entire night. Harbor View Gallery (Upper Level)

*Times are approximate and are dependent on the reading pace of the Marathon.

youTube logo
Livestreaming of the Marathon ended January 6, 2019.


Thank you to our Sponsors

Gold Sponsors

Allan Smith logo

Empire Loan Logo

Fiber Optic Center LOGO

Market Basket logo

vineyard wind LOGO

Silver Sponsors

Buzzards Bay Brewing logo


Marathon Partners

pidalia logo

Azorean Maritime Heritage Society logo

Consulate of Portugal in New Bedford logo

Chowder Sponsors

Chowder provided by

Freestone’s City Grill
Whaler’s Tavern