It’s been a great start to my summer!
By: Jessica Analoro
It’s been a great start to my summer so far in Salem, Massachusetts! As a brief introduction, my name is Jessica Analoro, and I am currently an education/interpretation and public history intern at Salem Maritime National Historic Site. As I just finished the third week of this internship, there has definitely been a lot to reflect on and I have accomplished so much so far. This internship centers mainly on research, but I have also been observing school groups for education programs and workshops, meeting all of the staff at different levels at the park and have been able to visit a couple of really awesome places. What my role is for the duration of this internship is to do research on a compilation of crew lists assembled for an American merchant vessel called Friendship, which sailed from 1797-1812 on 15 international voyages.
My supervisor at the park gave me this book (amongst many others) to make me more familiar with the subject matter (and as you can see by my multi-colored sticky-notes, I have been utilizing it as my main secondary reference material, which has been especially helpful before beginning archival research).
The park currently maintains the replica of the 1797 vessel (which is actually off site at the moment as it is being repaired). The ship represents an important part of our national history, as Salem was one of the leading international trading ports in the United States by the end of the 1800s. The park currently has an education program in place that allows for students to reflect and learn about international trade and to interact with what would have been sailor’s objects at the time. However, we are hoping to put some real names and information about some of the people who were on the ship—who they were, where they came from, who their family was—in order for students to better connect to the history of the Friendship.
I have been fortunate enough to be close to several local and regional resources that will help me for commit to exciting research. I have started looking through crew lists, ship and fishing licenses, vital records and genealogical resources in order to try and pinpoint some of the names that we have. I have already visited the National Archives and Records Administration in Waltham, Massachusetts to help me get started. They were wonderful in assisting me and guiding me through some of the material. The photo to the left is a crew list from 1806 for the Friendship.
Another great local resource has been the Philips Library, a research library which is part of the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem Massachusetts. After recently re-opening in a new location, the library invited park staff to visit and look at part of the collection related to the park’s history. I took advantage of this wonderful opportunity to go through the finding aids to determine if any of the family papers they maintain could be used for my research (photo below). They have been gracious enough to allow me to return to continue my research. I am hoping it will help in the process of detangling the early genealogical research—where 99% of the time, five generations of males of course have the same first and last name.
Between archival resource and program observation, I have had the awesome opportunity to work in an office building which was built in 1780.
The next several weeks will consist of more research and hopefully many more great experiences and interactions with the park staff and the outstanding historical resources the North Shore has to offer!