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See associated items Collection Number: MS0186
Collection Title: Marine Museum records, 1909-1948
Creator: Marine Museum
Incl. Dates:
Volume:
History: The Marine Museum was organized in 1909 to collect and exhibit objects of historical interest in connection with the merchant marine and naval development of Boston and the United States of America. The organizational meeting of the Museum was held on February 2, 1909 at 244 Washington Street in Boston, with the first meeting of the Board of Directors immediately following. Alexander W. Longfellow was the organization's first president, with George A. Goddard serving as vice president. The Committee on Membership consisted of Herbert F. Otis, Allan Forbes, and Charles H. Taylor, Jr. Officers consisted of eleven directors, a secretary, and a treasurer. The directors and the unanimous vote of the members present elected members of the Marine Museum. In 1910 the Marine Museum was located in the ground floor of the Old State House and shared members and board members with The Bostonian Society. Meetings were held annually in January, in addition to regular meetings that were held monthly except for June, July, August, and September. The Board of Directors met prior to these regular meetings. The Marine Museum place its collections on deposit with The Bostonian Society in 1941 and formally merged with the Society when, at a special meeting on November 6, 1947, a vote was taken to effect "a transfer of the properties of the corporation either in connection with the Bostonian Society's own exhibits or elsewhere or otherwise as to it from time to time shall seem fitting for the purpose of promoting historical interest in connection with the Merchant Marine and Naval Developments of Boston and the United States of America, and thereafter for the dissolution of this corporation." Materials unable to be stored at the Bostonian Society, including records of voyages, logbooks, and business papers were sent to the Peabody Museum in Salem, Massachusetts.
Description: Records of the Marine Museum document its legal and financial status as well as its membership and collecting activities. The Board of Directors records consists of the original Certificate of Incorporation and several versions of the by-laws (with edits), as well as an early agreement of the Museum with the Bostonian Society. Meeting minutes and annual meeting minutes of the Corporation outline changes within the board over the years, as well as their activities, expenditures, policies and other issues of importance. Secretarial records include a small amount of unbound meeting notes and minutes, but primarily consist of forms: meeting announcement cards stating the time, date, and location of meetings; membership cards with signatures and membership fees; blank loan forms and stationary. A list of yearly contributing members documents the names of supporters and financial contributors to the Museum. Financial records of the Treasurer are located in an account book and two cash books tracing the bills and receipts for publications, general expenses, acquisitions, and membership contributions. Four bank passbooks contain records of deposits in and withdrawals from three Boston savings banks. Summaries of reports document the financial activity of the Museum in an annual summation. Insurance information includes a certificate, policy details for fire insurance, and a memorandum to an original insurance policy. Bills and receipts trace specific vendor activity with the Museum over the years. The majority of the existing correspondence documents letters written by and sent from Edward Cunningham, the treasurer and secretary from 1930 until the Museum's dissolution in 1947. Correspondence also exists for the president chair, A.W. Longfellow, as well as previous board members. Letters regard membership dues and fees, meetings, inquiries regarding the museum's collection, reference questions, and financial support. The exhibit register lists gifts and loans to the Marine Museum, and contains edits for items sold or temporarily removed from the collection. An index accompanies the register. Visitor logs list the name, hometown, and date of visitors to the museum. A scrapbook contains newspaper clippings, articles, regarding maritime news in the United States and photographs.
Personal:
Corporate: Marine Museum
Topic: Maritime
Geographic: Massachusetts --Boston (Mass.)
Assoc. Matl:
Index: Box list available in containers.
Notes: 13 photographs were removed from the Scrapbook series and are described in the Marine Museum records, 1909-1948 collection, VW0051.

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