June News

June News

Scoresby’s Arctic

At long last the Scoresby’s Arctic exhibition has opened after pandemic delays.

Celebrating the 200th anniversary of the publication of William Scoresby Junior’s ‘Account of the Arctic Regions’, the exhibition features many items from the museum archives displayed for the first time.

Find out about Scoresby’s ground-breaking scientific discoveries and see how Arctic conditions have changed in the intervening years.

The exhibition is brought to life by the stunning textile artworks of Caroline Hack.

There is a chance to meet Caroline and see her techniques at a ‘Meet the Artist’ event on Saturday and Sunday 11 and 12 June.

Shop Spotlight

This month we are delighted to have started stocking some museum branded Farrah’s of Harrogate products.

Using a specially designed contemporary image of the museum by FFish Designs the products make a very colourful addition to our shop area.

Tubes and barrel tins of biscuits as well as jars and packets of sweets make a lovely gift and a new range of bright fridge magnets have also gone down well.

Muster Rolls

Amongst the new features on the museum website we are delighted to be able to offer a fully searchable database of the muster rolls for the very first time.

The muster rolls are the surviving paperwork of for the Whitby Merchant Seamen’s Hospital’s regulation of the ‘seaman’s sixpence’, an 18th century pension provision. This pension provided financial support to injured seamen and to the  widows and children of seamen who died whilst serving on merchant ships. The muster rolls record a wealth of information about crews and ships, and offer an insight into merchant seamen’s working lives.

The museum added over 7,000 Whitby muster roll sheets to our collection in 2010. These muster rolls were in need of repair and conservation and Whitby Museum worked in partnership with North Yorkshire County Record Office, ICON (The Institute of Conservation), and teams of volunteers on a conservation project. We are very grateful to the Thomas William Varley Roe Deceased Trust for providing the funding to allow for the purchase and conservation of these muster rolls. Most of these muster roll sheets are from the period 1747 to 1795.

Since the muster rolls are in a fragile condition the original documents are not available for research. A set of high resolution images of the muster rolls have been produced as part of the conservation process. We are transcribing and indexing the information found on these images and have created an Access database so that more varied searches are possible including by crew name. Starting in 2015 our small team of volunteers had transcribed and indexed 5,000 of the muster rolls as of February 2022.

The new website now allows you to search the database from the comfort of your own home and discover more about Whitby’s seafaring history or that of your own family.

Take a look at the muster roll search page.