Question: I am looking for the crew lists for my ancestor's brother who I believe sailed out of New Bedford in the 1840's. I heard that there was a project to digitize these records?
The database I am aware of currently covers the 1810's to 1860, and is online as a searchable database at: http://www.newbedford-ma.gov/Library/Whaling/Whaling.html This allows you to search by crew, vessel and other aspects. I used this to determine crew that resided in Newburyport, Massachusetts, without searching on a surname. The following description describes the database and its origins: The Whaling Collection Archives is a comprehensive index of men and ships on whaling voyages from the New Bedford Customs District from 1807 through 1925. This ongoing project is supported in part by a grant from the Massachusetts Historical Records Advisory Board and the Secretary of the Commonwealth, William Francis Galvin. The project is being coordinated by the New Bedford Free Public Library Archives Department. The database is maintained by the City of New Bedford Management Information Systems Department. I am not aware of any plans to have the crew lists digitized, nor did I see anything online about future plans.