The Melville Society Cultural Project

The Melville Society Cultural Project was created in December 2000 to establish our affiliation with the New Bedford Whaling Museum. Together, we are dedicated to sharing an understanding of Herman Melville's writings, his life, and his times. Drawing upon the richness of New Bedford's museums, parks, schools, and other cultural institutions, our joint programs allow scholars, teachers, students, and visitors to explore this internationally acclaimed American writer whose works continue to resonate with our lives today.

The Cultural Project Committee members are Jennifer Baker, Mary K. Bercaw Edwards, Wyn Kelley, Timothy Marr, Christopher Sten, and Robert K. Wallace.

On January 4, 2003, we celebrated the grand opening of The Melville Society Archive in the Kendall Institute, the research center of the New Bedford Whaling Museum. The Archive, which contains primary and secondary materials from the collections of Jill Barnum, Walter Bezanson, Gail Coffler, Harrison Hayford, Jay Leyda, Merton M. Sealts Jr, and Thomas Wendel, is available to visitors interested in research on Melville's work and life, during Institute hours: Monday through Saturday, 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM. For further information, inquiries, or donations, consult Kendall's Head Curator, Michael Dyer ( and either Wyn Kelley ( or Mary K. Bercaw Edwards ( of the Melville Society's Archive Committee.

The Melville Society Cultural Project sponsors several annual events.

All are invited to assist in reading the entire novel, every January 3. Special offerings of "The Chapel" and "The Sermon" chapters are held in the Seamen's Bethel Church (the site featured in Moby-Dick).

Delivered each year at the Moby-Dick Marathon by the Melville Society's incoming President.

MELVILLE LYCEUM SERIES February through April
Three lectures on a topic related to Melville's works given by noted local or international Melville scholars on varying topics related to Melville. Visit, for fuller information on the lectures listed below.

(Each pressentation is an AHA! Night in New Bedford, Massachusetts Archive Alive, and begins at 6pm at the New Bedford Whaling Museum Library.)

Seminar study on diverse topics for diverse groups (including high school teachers and graduate students).

Presentation by a noted Melville scholar held on the last Thursday in July, in celebration of Melville's birthday (August 1).




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