Collection of research materials (mostly photocopies) of Dr. Charles E. Feltner. The collection’s focus is Great Lakes diving, maritime history (both American and Canadian), shipping history, and shipwrecks. Other major topics include 1905 and 1913 storms, insurance, marine casualties, merchant vessels, sailing, shipbuilding/construction, and underwater logging.
Dr. Charles E. and Jeri Baron Feltner Great Lakes Maritime History Collection, 1978, 2018 and undated, 17.5 cubic feet in 30 boxes and 3 oversized folders contains the research materials (mostly photocopies) of Dr. Charles E. Feltner. The collection’s focus is Great Lakes diving, maritime history (both American and Canadian), shipping history, and shipwrecks. Other major topics include 1905 and 1913 storms, insurance, marine casualties, merchant vessels, sailing, shipbuilding/construction, and underwater logging.
The photocopies are from numerous historical collections and/or research institutions housing the collections, almost always identified in detail by Dr. Feltner. If the source information was on or in the folder, it was retained during processing. Of particular note are copies from the Louden G. Williams collection, Historical Collections of the Great Lakes, Bowling Green State University.
The contents includes: articles, bibliographies, copies of manuscripts, correspondence, essays, geological surveys, information on diving on shipwrecks, rigging and masting, marine vessel enrollments, insurance, legislation, maritime genealogy bibliographies (American and Canadian), newspaper clippings, Old Mariners’ Church, Detroit, photographs (some of which are originals), reports, ship salvage, shipwrecks, vessel inspections, underwater archaeological surveys, underwater heritage research, U.S. Lighthouse and Life-Saving services, and Dr. Feltner’s original notes, correspondence and essays. Boats of particular interest in this collection include the Calypso, the Challenge, the Chicora, the Daniel J. Morrell (built in 1906, sank in 1966), the Edmund Fitzgerald, the Huron Brave (a fictitious ship), and the Lady Elgin. Included are also materials concerning Dick Race, Jacques Cousteau, and Peter Elias Falcon. Materials from corporate authors include Association of Canadian Lake Underwriters, Board of Lake Underwriters, Bureau of Navigation, Inland Lloyds, Institute of Marine Engineers, Lake Underwriters (this is the American underwriters), U.S. Customs Service, U.S. Lake Surveys, U.S. National Archives, and U.S. War Department Corps of Engineers. Many locations are documented in this collection. Major, but not inclusive, locations include Buffalo, NY, Chicago, IL, Cleveland, OH, Detroit, MI, Mackinaw City, MI, Milwaukee, WI, Ontario, Canada, Port Huron, MI, Presque Isle, MI, Sandusky, OH, Sault Saint Marie, MI, the St. Lawrence Seaway, and Thunder Bay.
Of particular note, rare insurance materials are included in the collection. Also of special interest are diving educator’s materials, a single slide of an artist’s drawing of the Daniel J. Morrell breaking up in 1966 (See Box 28 Wreck files…), meteorological wreck charts and shipwreck locations, ship model plans/ building, and notes on how to conduct research.
This collection is likely one of the top ten marine history research collection in the United States, complied from research collections in national and international historical institutions. Original variant spellings were retained in the box and folder listing.
The Photographs folder includes one image each of a Northern Line vessel, the Edmund Fitzgerald, and Goderion.
All items in Oversize Folder 1 measure 11x17 inches. All items in Oversized Folder 2 measure 11x15 inches. The contents of Oversize Folder 3 have varying measurements as noted in the box and folder listing.
Arrangement: Collection materials are organized by size, then alphabetically and chronologically within original order.
Cataloging Note for Marine Historians: Please note that pre-existing Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH) do not match normal maritime designations, especially for ship designations ex. Chicora of 1895 (Steamship). Also, Enrollments is not an official LCSH. The Archivist provided the most descriptive finding aid and best cataloging possible for this collection, in consultation with Professor Jay Martin.
Processing Note: Duplicate copies and peripheral non-Michigan materials, both primary and secondary sources, and miscellaneous notes were withdrawn from the collection during processing, a total of 1 cubic foot. Acidic materials and poor quality photocopies were photocopied and the originals were withdrawn. All withdrawn materials and duplicates were returned to the donor as per the donor agreement, amounting to 9.5 cubic feet. 70 titles were separately cataloged. 17 items were added to the Michigan Vertical Files.