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General International Shipwreck Society : A Practical Treatise on the Means of Relief, 1841 (approximate): Finding Aid

Published in April 2020

Summary Information

  • Publisher: United States Naval Academy. Special Collections & Archives.
  • Publisher Address:
    589 McNair Road
    Annapolis, Maryland 21402-5029, USA
    Phone: 410-293-6917
    https://www.usna.edu/Library/sca/index.php
  • Call number: MS 165
  • Location: Special Collections & Archives Department - Manuscripts
  • Title: General International Shipwreck Society : A Practical Treatise on the Means of Relief
  • Dates: 1841 (approximate)
  • Size: 0.15 linear feet
  • Container Summary: 1 volume of 120 leaves
  • Creator: Godde de Liancourt, 1805-
  • Language(s) of material: English
  • Abstract: The International Shipwreck Society was a humanitarian organization focused on lifesaving at sea. Godde de Liancourt's General International Shipwreck Society: A Practical Treatise on the Means of Relief was written in approximately 1841. Bearing the full title General International Shipwreck Society: a practical treatise on the means of relief; containing complete details of the employment of the system of warp-bearing projectiles, such as bombs, grenades, rockets, arrows, graplins, etc., with a general explanation of inventions the purpose of which is the preservation of the lives of shipwrecked persons such as boats, rafts, buoys, signals, safety matrasses, life preservers, submarine explorers, etc. Concluded by two treatises on asphyxy by submersion and surgery on board ship, the manuscript is likely a translation of Godde's 1841 work entitled Traité pratique des moyens de sauvetage, Paris: Société Générale Internationale des Naufrages.

History of the International Shipwreck Society

The International Shipwreck Society, referred to originally as the General International Shipwreck Society (Société Générale des Naufrages et de l’Union des Nations) was an early humanitarian organization. Founded in Paris in January 1835 by Godde de Liancourt, the society's first president was French engineer Antoine Juchereau de Saint Denis, and its first lifesaving director was British Admiral Sidney Smith. Eventually consisting of member branches on every continent, the Society focused on the issue of lifesaving at sea, producing and disseminating literature on the topic, offering rewards to rescuers, working to establish lifesaving station, and awarding medals.

Following accusations of extortion, Godde de Liancourt was expelled from International Shipwreck Society. In April 1843, the International Shipwreck Society ceased operations and split into two competing organizations.

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Description of Contents

Godde de Liancourt's General International Shipwreck Society : A Practical Treatise on the Means of Relief, comprising 0.15 linear feet of documentation in a single volume of 120 leaves, was written in approximately 1841. Bearing the full title General International Shipwreck Society: a practical treatise on the means of relief; containing complete details of the employment of the system of warp-bearing projectiles, such as bombs, grenades, rockets, arrows, graplins, etc., with a general explanation of inventions the purpose of which is the preservation of the lives of shipwrecked persons such as boats, rafts, buoys, signals, safety matrasses, life preservers, submarine explorers, etc. Concluded by two treatises on asphyxy by submersion and surgery on board ship, the manuscript is likely a translation of Godde's 1841 work entitled Traité pratique des moyens de sauvetage, Paris: Société Générale Internationale des Naufrages.

The volume, stamped U.S. Naval Lyceum, focuses on various means of aiding and rescuing men overboard and shipwrecked sailors, including the adaptation of offensive weapons for use in lifesaving. The volume includes descriptions of the lifeboats of George Palmer and Van Houten, Godde de Liancourt's life preserver, proposed improvements in signals, methods of resuscitation, and methods of treating common shipboard illnesses. The treatise is illustrated by drawings of equipment and their application, including grenades, mortars, ballistas, lifeboats, rafts, and signals. At the front of the volume is a collection of documents on the history of the society.

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Arrangement

General International Shipwreck Society: A Practical Treatise on the Means of Relief comprises a single volume.

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Access and Use

Access

Patron use restricted to microfilm.

Copyright and Permission

General International Shipwreck Society: A Practical Treatise on the Means of Relief is the physical property of Nimitz Library. Copyright belongs to the authors or creators of the works, or their legal representatives. For further information, consult the Head, Special Collections & Archives.

It is the responsibility of the researcher to secure written permission to publish, reprint, or reproduce material from Special Collections & Archives. The researcher assumes responsibility for infringement of copyright or literary or publication rights. Please contact the Head, Special Collections & Archives for permission to publish and for further information.

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Acquisition and Appraisal

Provenance and Acquisition

Transfer from the U.S. Naval Lyceum. Accessioned on October 19, 1923 after being found in loft. Accession No. 61219.

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Related Materials

Location of Copies or Alternate Formats

This collection also available on microfilm.

Related Archival Material

Correspondence from Godde de Liancourt to Andrew Jackson is available in the Andrew Jackson Papers at the Library of Congress.

Materials Cataloged Separately

No materials have been removed from this collection and cataloged separately.

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Processing and Other Information

Preferred Citation

General International Shipwreck Society: A Practical Treatise on the Means of Relief, MS 165

Special Collections & Archives Department

Nimitz Library

United States Naval Academy

Selected Bibliography

The following sources were consulted during preparation of the biographical note:

Davies, Thomas. "Rethinking the Origins of Transnational Humanitarian Organizations: the Curious Case of the International Shipwreck Society." Global Networks 18, no. 2 (July 2018): 461-78.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Mary R. Catalfamo. Finding aid written by David D'Onofrio in April 2020.

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Subject Headings

These materials have been indexed in the Naval Academy Library online catalog using the following terms. Those seeking related materials should search under these terms.

Name and Subject Terms

  • Drowning -- Prevention
  • International Shipwreck Society
  • Lifeboats
  • Lifesaving
  • Lifesaving -- Equipment and supplies
  • Line-throwing rockets
  • Medicine, Naval

Genre Terms

  • Manuscripts
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Contents List

Box 1 Folder 1

General International Shipwreck Society: A Practical Treatise on the Means of Relief, 1841 (approximate)

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