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.

Call for Submissions: Moby-Dick Poetry Anthology

In Moby-Dick, Melville describes his tattooed harpooner, Queequeg, as "a riddle to unfold; a wondrous work in one volume." In this description, Melville challenges readers to try to unfold or understand his own "wondrous work in one volume." Since the Melville Revival of 1930, Moby-Dick continues to inspire a multiplicity and diversity of interpretations and readers—critics, artists, dramatists, cartoonists, politicians, film-makers, dramatists, poets—to use a mosaic of means to respond to his novel.

In the anticipation of publishing an anthology of poems responding to Moby-Dick, we would like to invite poetry submissions of one-to-five pages (this may include several poems or one long poem), totaling no more than 1400 words. So many media offer viable modes of response to Moby-Dick, but perhaps it is in poetry that we might weave most intricately, dive most deeply in response to his novel.

Please send your submissions to Kylan Rice (b.kylan.riceATgmail.com) and Elizabeth Schultz (eschultzATku.edu) by July 1, 2016.

NOTE: Clicking the email address will not open your email program, copy/paste the address into your email program, but be sure to substitute @ for the AT that was inserted to foil spambots.


Melville Society at San Francisco Opera for Moby-Dick

Jake Heggie and Gene Scheer

 Saturday, October 13, 2012 at 8 pm

San Francisco Opera

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The Melville Society and San Francisco Opera invite you to Moby-Dick on Saturday, October 13 at 8 pm. San Francisco Opera is pleased to offer Melville Society members a special 20% off tickets. To purchase tickets, visit: www.sfopera.com/offers – be sure to enter code: MELVILLE20

On Thursday, October 11, two days prior to the October 13, 8 pm performance, there will be a Symposium on the "Moby-Dick" opera with composer Jake Heggie and librettist Gene Scheer. It will be led by Samuel Otter (English Dept., Berkeley), Robert K. Wallace (English Dept., Northern Kentucky University), and John Kapusta (Music Dept., Berkeley). The Thursday October 11 Symposium will begin at 3 pm at 315 Wheeler Hall, University of California, Berkeley. The Symposium will likely be followed by a performance by one of the singers. Everyone is welcome.

The San Francisco Chronicle reported that this masterpiece of American literature has been transformed into “a vibrant, compelling piece of musical theater” by Dead Man Walking composer Jake Heggie and librettist Gene Scheer. A cast of brilliant singing actors is led by Ben Heppner as the fierce, obsessive whaling-boat captain whose descent into madness puts his crew in mortal danger.

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Syracuse Stage

October 10 - November 4, 2012 


The Syracuse Stage is staging the play Moby-Dick — adapted by Julian Rad and directed by Peter Amsteras —  as one of the opening shows of their 40th season. The show opens October 12th and runs until November 4th, 2012. Syracuse Stage, founded in 1974, is a professional theater in residence at Syracuse University and is Central New York’s premier professional theatre.

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Three New Melville Plays at Arrowhead: The Melville Trilogy


"Melvilles & Morewoods"

by Sally Filkins


A new play based on the life and works of Herman Melville


"Melvilles & Morewoods" will be performed at Herman Melville's Arrowhead, 780 Holmes Road, Pittsfield, MA , Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings July 5th through July 21st at 7:30pm.

Tickets are $25 and include a pre-show reception at 7pm.


"Melville's Women"

by Sally Filkins


A new play based on the life and works of Herman Melville


"Melville's Women" will be performed at Herman Melville's Arrowhead, 780 Holmes Road, Pittsfield, MA on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings from August 9th through September 2nd at 7:30 pm. Pre-performance reception at 7pm. Tickets for "Melville's Women" are $25. Due to limited seating capacity, reservations are recommended. For reservations and information, contact Betsy Sherman, Arrowhead, 413-442-1793, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., web site mobydick.org or Sally Filkins, "VOICES," 413-442-1928, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


"Melville, Haunted"


"Voices" Theatre Company, in collaboration with Berkshire Historical Society, will present a new historic Pittsfield play, "Melville, Haunted," during October at Arrowhead, Herman Melville's home and museum on Holmes Road in Pittsfield. "Melville, Haunted" is the first in a series of three original plays being developed by "VOICES" for production at Arrowhead during the next twelve months. "Melville, Haunted" will be followed by "Melvilles and Moorewoods" and "Melville's Women." "VOICES" is currently the resident theatre company at Arrowhead. During the 2011 Summer Season, "VOICES" collaborated with Berkshire Historical Society to produce "Shades of the Revolution" and "Sentimental Journey" for Pittsfield's 250th Anniversary.


"Melville, Haunted" opens on Thursday October 18th at 7:30 pm and plays Friday October 19, Saturday October 20, Thursday, October 25, Friday October 26th and Saturday October 27th. All performances are at 7:30 pm at Arrowhead, 780 Holmes Road in Pittsfield.


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Moby-Dick - Inside the Belly of the Beast
Presented by Darkstuff Productions

Tuesday 3 April until Thursday 19 April 

Darkstuff Productions (‘One of our favourite Bristol companies’ - Venue Magazine)  bring the Bierkeller Theatre’s inaugural season to a close by transforming the venue’s interior into Captain Ahab’s ill-fated ship The Pequod as it sails towards the legendary white whale Moby Dick. 

The company once again work with acclaimed director Anna Girvan to produce a unique promenade re-telling of one of the great American novels.  With a live musical score from composer Rarg this promises to be an exhilarating and unmissable re-telling of Herman Melville’s classic tale of obsession and revenge.

The play follows Captain Ahab on his quest to track down and kill Moby Dick. In his single-minded pursuit he risks his life and also the lives of his disparate crew. Written by Simon Harvey – Williams & Phil John Directed by Anna Girvan Live musical score by Rarg

For further info please contact either

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Performance Run - Tuesday 3 April until Thursday 19 April (Tues 3rd – Thurs 5th April Sun 8th – Thurs 12th April Sun 15th – Thurs 19th April)
Doors open 7.30pm Show Starts 8.15pm

BOX OFFICE: 0117 930 4264

For more information, click here to visit the Bierkeller Theatre website.

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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.