59 School Street, Box 1310, Edgartown MA 02539 - 508.627.4441
Martha's Vineyard Museum MV Museum

A Finding Aid to the Douglas Bowring Research Papers, circa 1987-1992

Descriptive Summary

RepositoryMartha's Vineyard Museum, Gale Huntington Research Library
59 School Street
P.O. Box 1310
Edgartown, MA 02539
Call NumberRU 430
Creator Bowring, Douglas Bonner, 1919-2001
TitleDouglas Bowring research papers
Datecirca 1987-1992
Extent1/2 box
LanguageThe materials are in English.
AbstractThe Douglas Bowring research papers consist of inventories and descriptions of whaling logbooks in the collections of the Dukes County Historical Society in the late 1980s.

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

There are no restrictions.

Use and Reproduction Restrictions

Requests to reproduce material from this collection should be directed to the library's staff. Reproduction fees may apply.

Preferred Citation

Martha's Vineyard Museum, RU 430, Douglas Bowring Research Papers.

Acquisition Information

Gift of Douglas B. Bowring in 1992. In 1992 Bowring sent the results of his research to the Dukes County Historical Society's periodical editor, Arthur R. Railton. The materials were later found in the Gale Huntington Research Library.

Publication Information

Martha's Vineyard Museum

Gale Huntington Research Library
59 School Street
P.O. Box 1310
Edgartown, MA 02539

Processing Information

Finding aid prepared by Insley Julier January 2013. Machine-encoded by Nathaniel Janick April 2014.

 Processing of this collection and creation of this finding aid was sponsored by the towns of Aquinnah, Chilmark, Oak Bluffs, Tisbury, and West Tisbury through the Massachusetts Community Preservation Act. Machine-encoding of the finding aid was sponsored by the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Related Materials

Related Materials

See also, the Martha's Vineyard Museum's Whaling Logbook Collection.

Index Terms

Corporate Name(s)

  • Hecla (Bark)


  • Ships' logs

Geographic Name(s)

  • Edgartown (Mass.)
  • New Bedford (Mass.)
  • San Francisco (Calif.)


  • Whaling--Massachusetts--Martha's Vineyard
  • Whaling masters
  • Whaling ships

Biography/Historical Note

Douglas (Tom) Bonner Bowring was born on Staten Island, New York, 10 August 1919, to Charles Warren Bowring and Amy Bonner Bowring. He graduated from St. George's School in Newport, Rhode Island, Princeton University's School of Public and International Affairs (1941), and Harvard Law School (1948). He served in the Air Force during World War II. After law school Bowring joined the New York City firm, Haight, Deming, Gardner, Poor & Havens, retiring as a partner in 1973. In 1975 he moved to Edgartown, Massachusetts where he was a member of the Edgartown Yacht Club, Edgartown Golf Club, Edgartown Reading Room and Saint Andrew's Episcopal Church. Douglas Bonner Bowring died in Atlanta, Georgia in 2001.

Scope and Content of Collection

Around 1987, Douglas Bowring undertook a personal research project to catalog the whaling logbooks of the Dukes County Historical Society (D.C.H.S.), predecessor to the Martha's Vineyard Museum. His research papers include logbook inventories indexed by vessel, rig, hailing (or home) port and master. He also recorded the master's town or city of residence, the start and end dates of a particular voyage and the whaling grounds the vessel visited. Bowring created item records for many of the logbooks he examined and filed them consecutively by logbook number. Some gaps in the item records exist however, and the descriptions for book numbers 1-31 appear to be missing. Bowring became particularly interested in a log of the Hecla (Bark), and his notes include typed excerpts of her voyage and information on her wreck.


The collection is arranged alphabetically.

Collection Contents


Correspondence, circa 1987 


Inventories, circa 1987 


Research Notes on Bark Hecla and Other Logs, circa 1987, undated 


Whaling Logs, Columbus to Midas, circa 1987 


Whaling Logs, Rosario to Young Eagle, circa 1987 


Whaling Logs, D.C.H.S. (Numbers 32-67), circa 1987 


Whaling Logs, D.C.H.S. (Numbers 68-107), circa 1987 


Whaling Logs, D.C.H.S. (Unnumbered), circa 1987