The Melville Society is dedicated to the study and appreciation of the nineteenth-century American author Herman Melville, writer of Typee, Moby-Dick, and Billy Budd, such short stories as “Bartleby” and “Benito Cereno,” and several volumes of poetry, including Battle-Pieces and the epic Clarel
We publish the award-winning journal Leviathan which all members receive three times a year and which offers scholarly articles, book and art reviews, Society news, and Melville-related events. Membership is open to all. For information about Leviathan and joining The Melville Society click here.

The Eaton Portrait

Herman Melville JOEaton 95ppi 250wBy permission of Houghton Library, Harvard University: 61Z-4

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Melville Electronic Library

mel-thumb-crpd-3The Melville Electronic Library is an online resource for Melville texts. Housed on a Hofstra University server, MEL is being developed and maintained by a group of Melville scholars and digital specialists.

Johns Hopkins University Press

jhup-logoTo join the Melvillle Society and subscribe to Leviathan, visit Leviathan's Johns Hopkins University Press journal site by clicking here.

Melville Society Cultural Project

Melville Society and New Bedford Whaling Museum Cultural Project The New Bedford Whaling Museum in collaboration with The Melville Society is the established home of the Melville Society Cultural Project and Melville Society Archive. The Melville Society Archive is housed at the New Bedford Whaling Museum's Research Library, where significant works from this collection are also on display. The Melville Society Cultural Project also sponsors a book donation program and presents exciting annual events including the Moby-Dick Marathon and a Birthday Lecture.

Herman Melville's Arrowhead

BHS FB HM portraitHerman Melville's Arrowhead Facebook Group page of the Berkshire Historical Society. Celebrating historical Berkshire County and Herman Melville's Arrowhead, the farm and home where Melville lived while writing Moby-Dick.

Introduction to Melville Society Archive

The Melville Society Archive, housed in the Research Library of the New Bedford Whaling Museum, was dedicated in 2002. Maintained by the Melville Society Cultural Project, it is a growing collection of rare editions, scholarly books and papers, and art works. The Archive consists of five major book collections, as well as several smaller ones, papers of The Melville Society, collections of the papers of Jay Leyda, Walter Bezanson, and Joyce Sparer Adler, and an ever-growing art collection, augmented each year by a piece of contemporary Melville art created by a living artist.

To use the materials in the Melville Society Archive, please contact Mark Procknik, the Librarian at the New Bedford Whaling Museum Research Library, by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by telephone at (508) 997-0046 x134, to arrange a time for your visit. You can also contact Mary K. Bercaw Edwards of the Melville Society Cultural Project at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Please note that these e-mail addresses are being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view them.

Donations of duplicate books are put into the Book Donation Program, which sends Melville texts, biography, and criticism to libraries, universities, and institutions abroad. The Book Donation program was instituted after the first international meeting of the Melville Society in Volos, Greece, in 1997, and has since sent collections to Russia, India (two institutions), China (two institutions), Palestine, the Ukraine, Algeria, Iran, Argentina, and Uruguay (nine countries on four continents!).


The Melville Society Archive is composed of the following separate collections:

Thomas Wendel 300 volumes
Harrison Hayford 951 volumes
Merton M. Sealts, Jr. 269 volumes
Robert D. Madison 129 volumes

General Collection, including gifts from Walter Bezanson & Gail Coffler, Joyce Sparer Adler, Douglas Robillard, and others 600 volumes

There are three additional collections:

Jay Leyda, which consists of the 22 volumes that came with the Jay Leyda Papers
Literature of the Sea, donated by Jill Barnum and Haskell Springer
Frederick Douglass, donated by Wyn Kelley


A complete Finding Aid has been created for the Jay Leyda Papers.

The rest of the papers are stored in boxes. The Melville Society Cultural Project has an ongoing project to create lists of the contents of the boxes. As these lists are completed, they will be put up on the Melville Society website.

Melville Society Papers: 7 boxes

The first five boxes house correspondence and materials from the founding of The Melville Society in 1945 until 1981. The proposed creation of a complete edition of the works of Herman Melville is discussed at length in this correspondence. The edition was to be published by Packard and Company of Chicago. The Collected Poems of Herman Melville, edited by Howard P. Vincent, was published by Packard and Company, but the remaining books became the Hendricks House edition. The Hendricks House edition was never completed; eventually, all of Melville’s writings were published in the now-complete Northwestern-Newberry edition of The Writings of Herman Melville. The papers in the sixth box were donated by Dennis Berthold and include records, materials, and incorporation tax documents up until 2005. The seventh box consists of Sanford Marovitz’s Secretary Records 1994-1997. A complete listing has been created for Boxes 1, 5, 6, and 7 and a partial listing for Box 2. As Boxes 2-4 are completed, the listings will be put on the Melville Society website.

Walter Bezanson Papers: 5 boxes

The Walter Bezanson Papers were donated by Walter Bezanson and Gail Coffler. They include correspondence, manuscripts, copies of Melville Society Extracts and off-prints marked by Bezanson, newspaper and magazine clippings, and research materials, especially in reference to Bezanson’s editions of Clarel (both the Hendricks House and Northwestern–Newberry editions) and his Northwestern-Newberry edition of Israel Potter. Complete listings of all five boxes exist.

Joyce Sparer Adler Papers:

Lists of the contents of the Adler papers have not yet been created.


Information forthcoming.

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Fellowships and Scholarships

Melville Society Archive
Walter E. Bezanson Fellowship
The Melville Society, under the auspices of the Melville Society Cultural Project in New Bedford, offers an annual fellowship to help a scholar undertake research on Herman Melville at the Society’s Archive in the Research Library of the Whaling Museum in New Bedford, Massachusetts.


Click here for more information and application details.


New York Public Library
Short-term Research Fellowships


Graduate students or other affiliated academics whose work would benefit from visiting the Manuscripts and Archives Division to view collections such as the Gansevoort-Lansing collection, and Duyckinck family papers are encouraged to apply.


Click here for more information and application details.

From Our Photo Collections

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Woodlawn Cemetary

WoodlawnWoodlawn Cemetary - final resting place of Herman, his wife, Elizabeth, and other family members. Click here to view photos of the gravesites.

125th Anniversary Celebration

125th Woodlawn

A celebration of Melville's life at Woodlawn Cemetary on the 125th anniversary of his passing.

Lansingburgh Historical Society

Melville House

Melville lived for nine years in this Lansingburgh house. It was here that he wrote Typee and Omoo

Berkshire Historical Society

ArrowheadMelville's Arrowhead home and farm in Pittsfield, MA where he wrote Moby-Dick and lived for most of the 1850s.