Kendall Maritime Collections

The Kendall Maritime Collections contain a variety of artworks, photographs, documents and artifacts related to marine research and exploration; maritime art, history and archaeology; sailing, diving and underwater photography. The Research and Exploration archive documents the work of research vessels owned by the family company Spice Island Traders, including voyages for scientific research and exploration purposes to far corners of the world. It also includes diving gear and extensive underwater photography by Henry W. Kendall. The Maritime Art and History collection consists primarily of the work of American/Canadian maritime artist and historian William Gilkerson (b. 1936), along with records and artifacts of marine archaeology expeditions. The Yachts and Sailing archive documents the sailing vessels owned by the Kendall family, including several yachts designed by L. Francis Herreshoff and a replica 19th-century whaleboat. Most of the maritime materials are now at the New Bedford Whaling Museum.

"Abel-J" at anchor Grytviken South Georgia 1996

“Abel-J” at anchor Grytviken South Georgia 1996

Ink and watercolor map of the oceans

Ornamental map of the oceans
by William Gilkerson

Whaleboat replica

Sailing the replica whaleboat

ORV Abel-J

ORV Abel-J

The Research and Exploration archive includes records of the family company Spice Island Traders, owners of the research vessels Abel-JIda-Z, and Annandale, which worked closely with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, the New England Aquarium, NOAA, and other scientific and governmental institutions, as well as film crews, undertaking numerous voyages for scientific research and exploration purposes, including to Antarctica, Greenland, the Caribbean, the Mediterranean, South Georgia and the Falkland Islands. Research vessel records are now at the New Bedford Whaling Museum. Underwater and expedition photographs by Henry W. Kendall are primarily housed with the Henry W. Kendall Photographic Collection at Amherst College. The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution holds much of Henry W. Kendall’s diving gear. (Contact Edward O’Brien: eobrien@whoi.edu)

Gilkerson Exhibit Poster, 1980

Gilkerson Exhibit Poster, 1980

The Maritime Art and History collection consists primarily of the artworks, writings and memorabilia of American/Canadian maritime artist and historian William Gilkerson (b. 1936). It includes 60 of his original paintings and drawings, an equal number of prints and lithographs, eight study books of sketches, vessel logbooks, manuscripts, and published works on pirates, naval warfare and other maritime subjects, providing a comprehensive retrospective of his artistic and literary career. The entire Gilkerson Collection is held by the New Bedford Whaling Museum.

The Yachts and Sailing archive contains plans and drawings, photographs, logbooks and memorabilia related to sailing vessels owned by Henry P. Kendall and his sons, including several yachts designed by L. Francis Herreshoff and an exact replica of a 19th-century whaleboat. Documentation of the family’s yachting history is now incorporated into the archives of Henry P., John P. and Henry W. Kendall at Amherst College.