MARCH 2022
Issue: No. 2
For those unfamiliar with the Edward W. Kane and James Gubelmann IYRS Maritime Library, you may be surprised to learn that in addition to thousands of cataloged books, periodicals and A/V materials its holdings also include a variety of rare, valuable, fragile and scarce items. These include hundreds of charts, boat plans, letters, posters, brochures, press kits, typescript or handwritten histories, photographs, slides, film, and video tape. Ephemera such as wearable items, burgees, flags and an impressive display of trophies, paintings, and models are also preserved, protected, and displayed among the library’s Special Collections.
Redwood Library donates W. Stephen Lirakis Collection
Librarian's Update
The Arthur Curtiss James Collection
March Library Finds
Women's History Month
Redwood Library donates W. Stephen Lirakis Collection to IYRS Maritime Library: Treasures Continue to Emerge

In late 2021, the Redwood Library donated the W. Stephen Lirakis Collection to the IYRS Maritime Library. Contained within 130 bankers boxes still being cataloged are thousands of rare books and original photos. Highlights of the collection are antique, first edition, and out-of-print volumes including the three gems shown here. The bespoke Kedge Anchor is elaborately embossed with gold leaf and dedicated to "His Excellency, Franklin Pierce, President of the U.S."

W. Stephen Lirakis has been a fixture of the Newport yacht racing community for decades. The widely-accomplished sailor and technician's long resume includes key roles on numerous racing programs including that of several 12mRs and America's Cup Defenders. Stephen told us: "I bought my first book at age 10, it was a 1700's volume on navigation. Sailing, specifically racing and yacht design always allured me, hence the broad spectrum of yachting books and magazines in my collection."
Stephen has always had a deep appreciation for the beauty and history of our sport. Rarely seen without his camera, throughout the course of 40+ years Stephen was a true documentarian of sailboat racing in Newport and beyond. Among the items in his extensive collection are tens of thousands of photos which showcase his first-hand experiences on and off of the water along with minute technical details of yacht development.

As we continue to catalog this extensive treasure trove, we again wish to thank the Redwood Library for their generous donation.

And it is with great appreciation that we acknowledge Stephen Lirakis for his life-long contribution as a creator, collector, and curator of Newport's yacht racing history.
Librarian's Update

It’s been an active and productive winter at the IYRS Maritime Library. Thanks to generous donors, we have acquired more than 400 titles for our collection, added evening study hours for students, and hosted Naval War College classes. In December, our Annual Book Sale introduced many newcomers to our library and shelving has been added to provide space for year-round book sales.
Our sale shelves contain hundreds of great maritime books on yachting history and yacht design as well as practical subjects such as navigation, sail making, rigging, marine electronics, and seamanship. Also available are dozens of Lloyd's Registers dating from 1950-1979. Our book sale items are sourced from duplicates contained within donations; proceeds support library operations. Stop in to take a look!

Editor's Note: Since our last issue, IYRS Librarian Helen Sowinski completed her studies earning a Master's Degree in International Relations at Salve Regina University. Additionally, her involvement at IYRS has been redoubled as she now serves in an additional capacity in Student Services -- Congratulations Helen!
The Arthur Curtiss James Collection
Highlighted by charts, photo albums, publications, boat fittings and logbooks documenting the extensive world-wide voyages of Aloha I, Aloha II, and Coronet, the Library's Arthur Curtiss James Collection is extensive.
Perhaps because of his local connection and stand-out yachting achievements throughout the Gilded Age, Arthur Curtiss James continues to be "Newportant." The James family legacy is in plain sight throughout Newport if you know where to look. Surprise Valley, a miniature "Swiss Village" created for his wife Harriet as a wedding gift and her recently restored Blue Garden can both be visited by appointment. The James' Boat House (on private property) can be spied from the waters of Brenton Cove; and his grand yacht Coronet is safely tucked away in a specially built shed on IYRS waterfront, where she has been undergoing an epic restoration (please note that the Coronet shed is currently closed to visitors).
This month we have numerous items from the ACJ Collection on display in the library. Among them are an original deck bucket from the yacht Aloha and belaying pins from both Aloha I and Aloha II.

Go "below decks" onboard Coronet while viewing the intricately detailed large-scale model and the original accomodations plan recreated at IYRS, both on display in the Library. Numerous photo albums, books and other publications are also on display to round out your day sail through the IYRS Library Stacks with Arthur Curtiss James.
Library Finds
Look for Coronet's galley cat keeping Chef company onboard the intricately detailed model now on display.
Pick up your copy of special edition Arthur Curtiss James book/DVD set priced at $40, while limited supply lasts!
Women's History Month
Gertrude Vanderbilt at the helm of J-Class yacht.
This month we are highlighting a collection of great books written by and about notable women sailors. Over the years many women have proven themselves on the high seas, making waves in the sailing world and having an impact on the sport they love. 

As a school co-founded by Elizabeth Meyer, IYRS carries on the traditions of wooden boat building and restoration that she envisioned. Among Elizabeth's many achievements, she spearheaded the restoration of the J-Class yachts Shamrock V and Endeavour II.

Photo: Gertrude Vanderbilt at the helm of America's Cup winning J-Class yacht Ranger; Rod Stephens just aft on one knee. Mrs. T.O.M. (Phyllis) Sopwith also raced in the America's Cup on J-Class yachts Endeavour I & II.
America's Cup J-Class Contenders Model Collection
Thank you Kristal and Joe Dockery for this display.
Shamrock V vs. Enterprise (1930)
Endeavour vs. Rainbow (1934)
Endeavour II vs. Ranger (1937)
About IYRS Maritime Library
Mission Statement: The IYRS Maritime Library is an educational and cultural resource, committed to the mission of IYRS and to making its collections available to students, staff and faculty as well as to scholars, researchers, and members of the general public.

IYRS Library Committee is comprised of founder James Gubelmann, interested IYRS Board members, the IYRS librarian, IYRS staff members, and qualified individuals from the surrounding community.
  • Location: 4th floor of the historic 1831 John Mecray Aquidneck Mill building on the IYRS campus at 449 Thames Street, Newport.
  • Open: to Students, Researchers and the General Public
  • Hours: Wednesday through Saturday from noon-5pm, or at other times arranged with the IYRS Librarian
  • Contact: Helen Sowinski at 401-848-5777 ext 221
  • Search: Online Catalog anytime
Items in the library's Special Collections have been acquired through donations by private individuals and families as well as by esteemed organizations including the Redwood Library & Athenaeum, the National Sailing Hall of Fame, Salve Regina University and of course the Museum of Yachting. In addition to IYRS's searchable online catalog, which utilizes the Library of Congress system, the IYRS Maritime Library was selected to join RIAMCO-- the prestigious online gateway to the Rhode Island Archival and Manuscript Collections.
About Navigating the Stacks

Exploring the Collections of the IYRS Maritime Library

This newsletter was envisioned by IYRS Maritime Library co-founder and contributor James Gubelmann in order to illuminate the depth and richness of the Special Collections contained within. Gubelmann said, “Together with co-editors IYRS Librarian, Helen Sowinski and Windlass Creative’s SallyAnne Santos, former Creative Director of the Museum of Yachting, we will provide insight into the library’s holdings, specifically highlighting contents of the Special Collections.”