Dennis Wood Abstracts now searchable

Dennis Wood Abstracts of Whaling Voyages are brief handwritten summaries of whaling voyages–including vessel, owner & master; departure & arrival dates; reports during the voyage; oil & bone catch; and events of the voyage–compiled over more than forty years (1830–1874) by Dennis Wood, a merchant and whaling agent in New Bedford, and a director of the Mutual Marine Insurance Company. The abstracts were drawn from news reported in the Whalemen’s Shipping List and Merchants’ Transcript, and from letters, telegrams, and reports brought back by vessels.

The New Bedford Free Public Library has scanned the four volumes from its collection, containing more than 2,300 pages, and placed them on the Internet Archive. Judith Lund has updated 6,700 voyage records in the American Offshore Whaling Voyages database with volume and page references to the Abstracts, and now provides links directly to pages in the scanned volumes.

All searches on will now return references and links to relevant Dennis Wood abstracts, just as they provide links to crew lists and scanned log books. Or, you may search only within the Abstracts by selecting “Dennis Wood Abstracts of Whaling Voyages” from the “Explore” dropdown menu in the header of any page.