Skip to main content



Harold M. Cobb (1921- ) Collection of Mary Celeste Research Materials

Harold M. Cobb (1921- ) Collection of Mary Celeste Research Materials

1 of 2
Open Finding Aid

HAROLD M. COBB (1921- ) COLLECTION OF MARY CELESTE RESEARCH MATERIALS, 1902-2000





Collection Summary

Repository:The Phillips Library at the Peabody Essex Museum 132 Essex Street Salem, MA 01970 Phone: 978-745-9500 Fax: 978-531-1516
Creator:Cobb, Harold M., 1921-
Title:Harold M. Cobb (1921- ) Collection of Mary Celeste Research Materials
Dates:1902/2000
Quantity:2.75 linear feet (3 boxes)
Abstract:This collection is comprised of three boxes of American and British materials from 1902-2000, pertaining to the mysterious disappearance of the crew during a voyage of the brigantine Mary Celeste in 1872.
Collection Number:MSS 430

Series List

SERIES I. Dr. Oliver W. Cobb Papers
SERIES II. Newspaper Clippings and Articles
SERIES III. Harold M. Cobb Papers
SERIES IV. Mary Celeste Research Materials

Scope and Content Note

This collection is comprised of three boxes of American and British materials from 1902-2000, pertaining to the mysterious disappearance of the crew during a voyage of the brigantine Mary Celeste in 1872.


The 206-ton brigantine Mary Celeste left New York on November 7, 1872 bound for Gibraltar, carrying a cargo of sixteen hundred barrels of alcohol. The vessel was discovered abandoned on December 4, 1872 by the brigantine Dei Gratia approximately 600 miles WNW of Gibraltar. The circumstances of her abandonment and the ultimate end of the officers and crew, including Captain Briggs, his wife, Sarah, and their infant daughter, Sophia, has remained a mystery to this day. There have been numerous theories postulated concerning her abandonment, but without documentary evidence all explanations are speculation.


This collection is divided into four series.


Series I. Dr. Oliver W. Cobb Papers primarily contains correspondence to and from Dr. Oliver W. Cobb. Authors, editors, librarians, relatives of the Briggs family, and interested readers offer explanations, address various accounts and theories, and provide and request information related to the Mary Celeste for publications in newspapers, magazines, journals, and books. The bulk of this correspondence includes letters to and from the author Charles Edey Fay, dating from 1939 to 1944, including photostats of Captain Briggs' letter to his mother in 1872, consular correspondence (1873), and a "Mutual Release" form (1872).


Series II. Newspaper Clippings and Articles contains original and photocopied newspaper and magazine articles related to the Mary Celeste's voyage in 1872 and the crew's disappearance. Explanations, speculations, sensational accounts, and survivor stories are included in these articles. They are arranged chronologically.


Series III. Harold M. Cobb Papers includes correspondence to and from Harold M. Cobb with authors and librarians pertaining to the development of or supplementation to his collection. The transcription of a tape recording made in the Orkney Isles in 1962, library book records from the Chester County Library in Exton, Pennsylvania, and library holdings from the Phillips Library related to the Mary Celeste are included.


Series IV. Mary Celeste Research Materials contains book reviews, photocopies of ships logs, a copy of the Gibraltar enquiry transcript, the unpublished paper "Sinbad's Genie" (1942), the Reader's Digest article "The Mary Celeste Enigma—Unsolved Mysteries of the Past" (1991), a book draft from Watt (1999), and the last chapter from Rose Cottage (1940) by Dr. O.W. Cobb. Printed material from websites related to the Mary Celeste can be found in this series; these websites provide international viewpoints and reviews about books and movies related to the Mary Celeste.


Biographical Sketch

Harold M. Cobb (1921- ) is the grandson of Dr. Oliver W. Cobb, a cousin of Benjamin Spooner Briggs who was the captain of the Mary Celeste in 1872. He is a retired metallurgical engineer and lives in Pennsylvania.


Index Terms

This collection is indexed under the following headings in Philcat. Researchers desiring materials about related topics, persons, or places should search the catalog using these headings.

Briggs, Benjamin S. (Benjamin Spooner), 1835-1872
Cobb, Harold M., b. 1921
Cobb, Oliver W. (Oliver Warren), 1858-1949
Fay, Charles Edey
Mary Celeste (Brig)
Abandonment (Maritime law)
Shipwrecks

Restrictions

Restrictions on Access

This collection is open for research use.


Administrative Information

Copyright

Requests for permission to publish material from the collection must be submitted in writing to the Manuscript Librarian in the Phillips Library at the Peabody Essex Museum.

Preferred Citation

Harold M. Cobb (1921- ) Collection of Mary Celeste Research Materials, MSS 430, Phillips Library, Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Mass.

Provenance

This material was purchased from Harold M. Cobb (acc #2000.036).

Processing Information

Collection processed by Phyllis Catsikis, December 2009.


Related Material

Bradford, Gershom. The Secret of Mary Celeste, and Other Sea Fare. Illustrated by Harold Durand White. Barre, Massachusetts: Barre Publishing Company, 1966.


Briggs, James Franklin. In the Wake of the Mary Celeste. Reprinted by The Sippican Historical Society, Marion, Massachusetts, 1974.


Bryan, George Sands. Mystery Ship, the Mary Celeste in Fancy and Fact. Philadelphia and New York: J. B. Lippincott Company, 1942.


Fay, Charles Edey. The Odyssey of an Abandoned Ship. Salem, Massachusetts: Peabody Museum, 1942.


Fay, Charles Edey. The Odyssey of an Abandoned Ship. New York: The Atlantic Companies, 1960.


Fay, Charles Edey. The Story of the "Mary Celeste." New York: Dover Publications, 1988.


Furneaux, Rupert. What Happened on the Mary Celeste. London: M. Parrish, 1964.


Hastings, Macdonald. Mary Celeste, A Centenary Record. London: Michael Joseph, 1972.


Keating, Laurence J. The Great Mary Celeste Hoax, A Famous Sea Mystery Exposed. London: Heath, Cranton, 1929.


Lockhart, John Gilbert. A Great Sea Mystery: The True Story of the "Mary Celeste." London: P. Allan, Co., 1927.


Lockhart, John Gilbert. The "Mary Celeste" and Other Strange Tales of the Sea. London: Rupert Hart-Davis, 1952. "Mary Celeste." Transcript of the Vice Admiralty Court of Gibraltar, 1872.


Spicer, Stanley T. Saga of the Mary Celeste: An Ill-Fated Mystery Ship. Hantsport, Nova Scotia: Lancelot Press, 1993.


Benjamin Spooner Briggs Papers, 1860-1873, 1930, 1950, undated, MH 48


Papers of Charles Edey Fay, 1940s, MH 97


you wish to report:


...
Select the collections to add or remove from your search
A
B
C
D
E
F
G
H
I
J
K
L
M
N
O
P
Q
R
S
T
U
V
W
X
Y
Z
 
OK