I finally got to visit the NEW home of the Chris Craft collection and what a great place and great folks!
Yesterday I went to Christopher Newport University in Newport News Va. where the Mariner’s Museum now houses its entire book/rare book collection and our Chris Craft archives. What an improvement over the former boiler room location at the Museum!
Christopher Newport Univ. is a first rate up and coming major university and their new Tribble Library is just outstanding in every way. The reading room in the separate Mariners Museum section is very nice and features lots of interesting open shelf info and every conceivable nautical magazine. The reading room itself is brand new and luxurious by any library standards.
You may recall that one of my reasons for this visit, though I did not tell them that, was to see if the set of drawings for my cruiser that I ordered and was disappointed in the condition of….was in fact an accurate copy of the best they had/could do. IT WAS.
I held the original in my hand and if anything the copy came out BETTER.
Four year Volunteer Jim Hooker sat and talked with me for some time, I listed all our concerns and some ideas…he very much wants to help. He then took me on a behind the scenes tour of the Chris Craft Archives. There is a nice office just for CC business and I was allowed to see the stacks…all of the hull cards, thousands of yet uncatalogued photos,
Plans and drawings of every description…very impressive and all stored in state of the art cabinet systems and fire protected.
My thanks to librarian Patti Hinson for her help as well.
I hear Bill Basler is going to tour the collecton soon, I am sure he too will be impressed.
This is all not to say that we don’t face challenges.
Jim is a retired navy guy that I can tell is gaining wide CC knowledge, but our club members are still the repository of most of the experienced insight. How can we help them preserve and disseminate? Let’s sit down with them and figure that out. It is a great facility, in a wonderful academic setting, and part of ,and right next to, the leading maritime museum in the world. All great stuff!
on a side note, fellow Woody Boater Brian Robinson and I will be there on the 20th..