Lois Darling Collection

Manuscripts Collection 267

Overview of the Collection

Repository: G. W. Blunt White Library, Mystic Seaport
Creator: Darling, Lois
Title: Lois Darling Collection
Dates: 1940-1987
Extent: ca 3400 items
Abstract: Papers of Lois Darling reflecting her maritime interests and including research notes, articles, clippings, sketches, correspondence, the logbook of the sloop SESAME and a scrapbook about the Larchmont Yacht Club. The papers document Darling’s involvement with her catboats, the Catboat Association, yachts, model building, and the HMS Beagle.
Identification: Coll. 267

Biography of Lois Darling

Lois McIntyre was born in 1917. As a young girl growing up around Riverside, Connecticut, she became an accomplished sailor and won several titles, including the 1941 national woman’s sailing championship, sponsored by the NAYRU. By then she was considered the “most famous member of her sailing clan”.

Darling also trained as an artist and illustrator, and used these skills to illustrate publications for the Navy during World War II. She also worked as a model builder, assisting in the production of dockyard models of warships.

Following the war Lois attended Columbia University where she did undergraduate and graduate work in zoology. This she combined with her artistic ability when she became staff artist for the Department of Paleontology at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. This combination of interests paralleled those of her husband Louis Darling, and resulted in their careers of writing and illustrating books about the natural sciences. They were also founding members of the Catboat Association. Lois also produced illustrations for magazines, with Yachting Magazine featuring her work on the cover of several issues during the 1940’s and 1950’s.

The American Museum of Natural History’s centennial celebration of the 1859 publication of Charles Darwin’s The Origin of Species attracted Lois’ attention to the lack of detailed information regarding HMS BEAGLE, the bark in which Darwin made his voyage of scientific discovery. The project proved to be a perfect challenge for this meticulous and indefatigable woman.

Her initial research resulted in the exquisite model of HMS BEAGLE (now part of the collection at Mystic Seaport) which was exhibited in the Darwin centennial. However, Lois was not satisfied with the extent of data she had found, and so began what was to become more than twenty years of sporadic inquiry. The following decades of “Beagling” brought together numerous bits of knowledge which she then used to refine her model and record though articles published in the Log of Mystic Seaport, The Mariner’s Mirror, and Sea History.

Lois Darling’s interest could focus so intently on a detail of history like her BEAGLE project, but she also had the extraordinary scope to encompass the global concerns of environmental mismanagement and nuclear disaster. With equal determinations she sought to alert people to these dangers, and many have benefited from their efforts. Her work stands as a tribute to the exceptional lady who produced it.

Top →


Restrictions on Access

Available for use in the Manuscripts Division.

Restrictions on Use

Various copying restriction apply. Guidelines are available from the Manuscripts Division.

Top →

Index Terms

This collection is indexed under the following headings in the catalog of the G. W. Blunt White Library. Researchers desiring materials about related topics, persons or places should search the catalog using these headings.

 Corporate Entities:

Barra (Yawl)
Beagle (Ship)
Catboat Association
Sesame (sloop)
Sibling II (Catboat)
Sibling III (Catboat)
Yacht clubs — New York (State) — Larchmont (N.Y.)


Models and modelmaking

Document Types:

Clippings (Books, newspapers, etc.)
Research (document genres)

Return to the Table of Contents

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Coll. 267, Manuscripts Collection, G. W. Blunt White Library, Mystic Seaport Museum, Inc.

Top →

Detailed Description of the Collection

The following section contains a detailed listing of the materials in the collection.


Personal papers, correspondence, sketches and projects; 1930-1988
Box Folder
1 1 COASTAL QUEEN; papers and snapshots of inland cruise by Louis and Lois Darling; 1965
2 Darling, Lois; papers regarding father (Malcolm McIntrye) and her early years sailing; ca. 1930-1940
3 Darling, Lois; papers regarding Darling’s interest in local (Old Lyme, CT.) issues; ca. 1965
4 Howland, Llewellyn (“Skipper”); primarily letters written to Lois Darling; 1946-1952
5 Howland, Llewellyn (“Skipper”); primarily letters written to Lois Darling; 1953-1957
6 Howland, Waldo; Letters to Lois Darling re. Concordia Boat Co. and Beetle Cat Boat (incl. 3 copies Original Beetle Cat Boats); 1947-1953
7 Model Boats; plans and related information for model boats built by Lois Darling (inc. the patterns used in making her model boats); ca. 1940
8 Mystic Seaport; correspondence with administration, and library research; ca. 1975-1985
Box Folder
2 1 Old Lyme Waterways; research & report re. description/identification of lands and waters in the region; 1951
2 Ratty’s Boat: correspondence and research for Thames River skiff model; ca. 1985-1987
3 Riverside Yacht Club; correspondence, snapshots and papers re. Darling’s racing activities; ca. 1942
4 Rudder Magazine: correspondence re. Darling’s articles / illustrations; 1946-1947
5 Sketches of boats by Lois Darling; ca. 1949
6 Sketches of boats, etc. by Lois Darling for Yachting Magazine; ca. 1940
7 Sketches and related papers, Mystic Seaport watercraft and village; ca. 1977
8 Last Will & Testament, Lois Darling, (draft) with related correspondence; 1976 and 1988
9 Wood, Mrs. Willis D.; letters received from “Nan” Wood; 1946-1949
10 Yachting Magazine; correspondence, articles, illustrations by Lois Darling for Yachting; ca. 1946-1956
Personal papers, correspondence, etc, re. Catboat Association; 1962-1975
Box Folder
3 1 Report, suggesting establishment of a Catboat Association, Paul Birdsall; 1962 Sep 20
2 Catboats in Japan, John M. Leavens. Privately printed; 1968
3 Catboat Association; correspondence; 1963-1970
4 Fenwick Williams, re. “Design Elements of a Catboat, ” article drafts; 1964-1967
5 Catboat Association; membership lists, minutes, etc.; ca. 1964-1968
6 Catboat Association; misc. remembrances, correspondence, dues; ca. 1975-1977
7 “Scandalized”; article and related correspondence by Lois Darling in Catboat Association Bulletin; 1975-1977
8 Catboat Association; special papers, articles and editions of Bulletin, (includes a brief memorial to Louis Darling 1917-1970); 1963-1970
9 Catboat Association Bulletins and supplements; 1963 Mar-1970 Jun
Personal papers re. Lois Darlings’s boats Sibling II (Catboat), Sibling III (Catboat), and Barra (Yawl); 1959-1976
Box Folder
4 1 Barra (Yawl); papers and correspondence; 1966-1968
2 Barra (Yawl); papers, snapshots, etc. regarding the sale of the boat; ca. 1968-1969
3 Barra (Yawl); miscellaneous papers and clippings; ca. 1966-1968
4 Sibling II (Catboat); correspondence and papers; 1959-1960
5 Sibling II (Catboat); correspondence and papers; 1961
6 Sibling II (Catboat); correspondence and papers; 1962-1963
7 Sibling II (Catboat); correspondence and papers; 1964-1966
8 Sibling II (Catboat); undated and miscellaneous materials; ca. 1965
9 Sibling III (Catboat); correspondence and papers; 1974
10 Sibling III (Catboat); correspondence and papers; 1975-1976
11 Sibling III (Catboat); plans, sketches, and related papers; ca. 1974-1976
12 Sibling III (Catboat); undated, miscellaneous material; undated
Research files; 1940-1960
Box Folder
5 1 Accessories; clippings, advertisements, etc., re. boating accessories and equipment; undated
2 Articles; from Yachting, Rudder, etc. re. yacht cruises; undated
3 Articles; designs and miscellaneous clippings from Yachting Magazine; undated
4 Atomic Power Plant; clippings and related info regarding Connecticut River; undated
5 Bermuda Race; lists of yachts and owners; 1948
6 Boats; 20′-26′; brochures, ads, publicity, etc.; undated
7 Boats: African, Arab.; undated
8 Boats: Australia – New Zealand; undated
9 Boats: Bahamas, Bermuda, Caribbean, misc.; undated
10 Boats: Barges, Tankers; undated
11 Boats: British; undated
12 Boats: Canadian, Eskimo; undated
13 Boats: Canoes; undated
14 Boats: Cartoon Illustrations; undated
15 Boats: Chesapeake; undated
16 Boats: Coasting Schooners, and similar workboats; undated
17 Boats: Commercial Fisherman; undated
18 Boats: Dinghies; undated
Box Folder
6 1 Boats: Dories, Peapods, Sharpies, etc.; undated
2 Boats: Norse, Scandinavian; undated
3 Boats: Northern European; undated
4 Boats: Orient; undated
5 Boats: Outboards; undated
6 Boats: Pacific; undated
7 Boats: Paintings, sketches, etc.; undated
8 Boats: Schooners: Gloucester, pilot, pinkie; undated
9 Boats: Skiffs; undated
10 Boats: Sloops; Friendship, etc; undated
11 Boats: South American; undated
12 Boats: Southern European; undated
13 Boats: Small Steamers; river, coastal, etc.; undated
14 Boats: Tug, Fire, Police, Ferry; undated
15 Boatyards; clippings of yards and boatbuilding activity; undated
16 Books – Maritime; National Fisherman – International Marine Publishing supplements; undated
17 Chapelle, Howard: Yachting Magazine articles by H. Chapelle; undated
18 Close-up Details; detail illustrations of ships and boats at sea; undated
19 Crocker Designs; National Fisherman articles; undated
20 Docks – Marinas; undated
21 Herreshoff, L. Francis; primarily Rudder articles written by L.F.H.; undated
22 National Fisherman; selected editions used for illustrations and research; undated
23 Navigation Aids; undated
Box Folder
7 1 Paintings; clippings, catalogs, and prints of ship portraits; undated
2 Race Committee and yachting personalities; undated
3 Rowboats; undated
4 Sailplane; undated
5 Ships: Barks, Brigs, topsail Schooners, etc.; undated
6 Ships: Coast Guard, Light Ships, Icebreakers, and Research submarines; undated
7 Ships: Freighters; undated
8 Ships: Full-rigged; undated
9 Ships: Miscellaneous Ships; undated
10 Ships: Passenger; undated
11 Ships: Sailing; undated
12 Ships: Sailing, naval; undated
13 Ships: War (large); undated
14 Ships: War (small); undated
15 Shipwrecks; undated
16 Shipyards and shipbuilding; undated
17 Stephens, W. P.; Articles by and about William P. Stephens; undated
18 Whaling; undated
19 Yacht Clubs; undated
Box Folder
8 1 Yachts: Catboats; undated
2 Yachts: Cruising; undated
3 Yachts: Cruising / Racing; undated
4 Yachts: Houseboats / Motor Sailers; undated
5 Yachts: Internationals; undated
6 Yachts: J Boats; undated
7 Yachts: Meters; (12, 10, 8, 6, 5, 30); undated
8 Yachts: Motor; undated
9 Yachts: 19th Century; undated
Box Folder
9 1 Yachts: Schooners; undated
2 Yachts: Scows; undated
3 Yachts: Snips, Comets, Sailfish, etc.; undated
4 Yachts: Stars, Lightnings, Blue Jays; undated
5 Yachts: 20th Century (well known); undated
Beagle (Ship) project – research notes; 1958-1987
Box Folder
10 1 Notes taken from Colburn, 1839 ed. American Museum of Natural History; 1958-1959
2 Notes taken from Colburn, Vol. I, 1839 ed.; 1958-1959
3 Notes taken from Colburn, Vols. II and III, 1839 ed.; 1958-1959
4 Notes, sketches, etc. to help with research and to make model; ca. 1959
5 Clippings, illustrations of dogs (for figurehead);
6 Notes and sketches on construction of BEAGLE model . (Incl. samples of rigging threads, and patterns used in making model); ca. 1959
7 Snapshots and prints of BEAGLE model; 1959
8 Notes, prints, and details of larger models received from Arthur Waite, National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, England; ca. 1958-1959
9 N.Y. Times article re. BEAGLE model; 1959 Nov
10 Photo of A. G. Law BEAGLE model, and related notes; 1958
11 Plans for Brig of War IRENE; nd
12 Charles Darwin, notes, illustrations, research; ca. 1960
13 Charles Darwin, clippings, etc. regarding Centennial Week; 1959 Nov 24
14 Charles Darwin exhibit, Westport Library; 1960
Box Folder
11 1 B & W print from National Maritime Museum; 1971
2 Photos of BEAGLE model taken by Lois Darling; ca. 1974
3 Notes taken from books by John Fincham and David Steel; ca. 1970
4 Photo and illustration from Peabody Museum, Salem, MA.; 1976
5 Poop cabin layout (from Darwin drawing); undated
6 Notes taken from book by John Edye, Naval Calculations; 1976
7 Notes; 1976 Jul 16
8 Notes, re. Rig; 1976-1977
9 Sail Plan, notes reviewed; ca. 1977-1981
10 Photos (and negatives) of sketches by artist, Conrad Martens; 1976 Sep
11 Photo ( & negative) of model used in Mystic Seaport article; 1977 Apr
12 Photos & negatives of BEAGLE model taken by L. Darling at Mystic Seaport exhibit; 1977 Oct
13 List of models and model makers at Mystic Seaport; ca. 1977-1978
14 Photocopies of photos and drawings of HMS BEAGLE; undated
15 Photos of paintings, etchings, and other BEAGLE illustrations from the National Maritime Museum; ca. 1976
16 Notes taken from Stoke’s, Discoveries in Australia 1846 ed.; ca. 1978
Box Folder
12 1 BBC TV; “The Voyage of Charles Darwin”, info., notes, letters; 1980
2 Photos and illustrations re. Bass Strait; 1980 Mar
3 Copies of sketches and illustrations by P.D. King, midshipman, HMS BEAGLE; 1980-1981
4 Miscellaneous drawings, information, etc re. HMS BEAGLE; ca. 1981
5 Sketches and related information re. cutwater and stern; ca. 1982
6 Sketches and related information re. BEAGLES’s boats; ca. 1982
7 Notes re. article by David Stanbury, “The Ship”; ca. 1983
8 Notes, drafts and related information regarding BEAGLE article in Sea History, National Maritime Historical Society; 1984
9 Photocopies of information from Charles Darwin’s diary; undated
10 Notes and related information re. Charles Darwin; undated
Beagle (Ship) project – correspondence; 1958-1987
Box Folder
13 1 Correspondence, etc; American Museum of Natural History , and others, re. BEAGLE article; ca. 1953-1960
2 Correspondence, etc; American Museum of Natural History, re. HMS BEAGLE photos; ca. 1968-1976
3 Correspondence, photos, etc; with Atkins family, living in Charles Darwin’s house, Kent, England; ca. 1964-1979
4 Correspondence, photos, etc; with Atkins family, living in Charles Darwin’s house, Kent, England; ca. 1980-1988
5 Correspondence, etc; with sources in Australia and New Zealand; ca. 1981-1985
6 Correspondence, etc; re. BBC television program, “The Voyage of Charles Darwin”; 1980
7 Correspondence, etc; Barlow, Lady Nora, (Charles Darwin’s granddaughter); ca. 1963-1981
8 Correspondence, etc; Chancellor, Gordon; 1981-1986
9 Correspondence, etc; Chancellor, John; 1980-1981
10 Correspondence, etc; Chancellor, John; 1982-1984
11 Correspondence, etc; Chancellor, Rita; 1984-1988
Box Folder
14 1 Correspondence, etc; Dibner, Bern; 1960-1982
2 Correspondence, etc; Drummond, Maldwin; 1978-1979
3 Correspondence, etc; Gautrey, Peter; 1977-1985
4 Correspondence, etc; Hawkins, Austin; 1984
5 Correspondence, etc; Hill, Rawson (great grandson of William Yabsley, ship’s carpenter, HMS BEAGLE); 1961-1964
6 Correspondence, etc; Keynes, Richard, Quentin & Simon; 1978-1985
7 Correspondence, etc; Life Magazine; 1960
8 Correspondence, photos, etc; Lorente, Roderick; 1980-1985
9 Correspondence, etc; Mariners’ Mirror (Christopher Lloyd); 1978-1985
10 Correspondence, etc; Mariner’s Mirror (Brian Dolley); 1980-1984
11 Correspondence, etc; McNarry, Donald; 1978-1981
12 Correspondence, etc; Mystic Seaport Museum; 1975-1985
13 Correspondence, etc; Mystic Seaport (following publication of Log article); ca. 1977-1978
Box Folder
15 1 Correspondence, etc; National Fisherman; 1968
2 Correspondence, etc; University of Notre Dame; 1981-1984
3 Correspondence, etc; Pedersen, Robert A.; 1982-1985
4 Correspondence, etc; with publishers re. BEAGLE article; 1978
5 Correspondence, etc; Sea History article – letters sent; 1984
6 Correspondence, etc; Sea History article – letters received; ca. 1984-1985
7 Correspondence, etc; Smithsonian Institution; 1967-1978,
8 Correspondence, etc; Stanbury, David; 1978-1984
9 Correspondence, etc; Stanford, Peter & Norma (Sea History); 1979-1987
10 Correspondence, etc; Stone, Irving, re. his book, “The Origin”; 1979-1980
11 Correspondence, etc; Thomson, Keith; 1976-1980
12 Correspondence, etc; Waite, Arthur (& others), National Maritime Museum; 1958-1966
13 Correspondence, etc; Waite, Arthur; 1975-1976
14 Correspondence, etc; Waite, Arthur; 1977-1981
15 Correspondence, etc; Waite, Arthur; 1982-1989
16 Correspondence, etc; Wells, Thomas; 1984-1985
17 Miscellaneous, unidentified notes, clippings, correspondence, etc, regarding Lois Darling’s BEAGLE research; ca. 1966-1988
Beagle (Ship) project – article drafts and published materials; 1958-1987
Box Folder
16 1 Original manuscript of 1960 article for Natural History magazine; 1960
2 “The BEAGLE, A Search For A Lost Ship” Natural History magazine, Copy of article and related papers; 1960-1961
3 “HMS Beagle” article in Mystic Seaport The Log, two copies and related papers; 1977 Apr
4 “HMS BEAGLE” article in Mariner’s Mirror; 1978 Nov
5 The Gazette, newspaper article re. Lois Darling and BEAGLE model; 1981 Dec 21
6 Drafts of proposed article for Mariner’s Mirror; ca. 1980
7 Ribbon copy of proposed article for Mariner’s Mirror; 1981 Apr
8 Ribbon copy of proposed article for Mariner’s Mirror; 1982 Mar
9 Ribbon copy of propose article for Sea History; 1983 Dec
10 ‘HMS BEAGLE, 1820-1870’ four copies and related papers, by Lois Darling, Sea History; 1984 Spring
Beagle (Ship) project – published monographs and articles by other authors; 1933-1988
Box Folder
17 1 “A Letter of Charles Darwin About Preparations for the Voyage of The Beagle, 1831”, American Philosophical Society; 1971
2 “Darwin and the Beagle”, R.D. Keynes, American Philosophical Society reprint; 1979 Oct
3 Darwin, An Illustrated Life of Charles Darwin, 1809 – 1882, by F.D. Fletcher; 1975
4 Catalog of the Darwin Memorial at Down House; ca. 1958
5 “Charles Darwin’s Beagle Collections in the Oxford University Museum”, Archives of Natural History; 1988
6 A History of Darwin’s Parish, Downe, Kent by Howarth & Howarth; ca. 1933
7 “The Darwin Tradition”, by Hedley Atkins, Royal College of Surgeons of England, (two copies); 1965
8 Charles Darwin and Downe House, A Royal College of Surgeons of England; 1959
9 The Galapagos Islands, A History of Their Exploration, by Joseph Richard Slevin, California Academy of Sciences; 1959
10 “Evolution-100 Years After Darwin”, Bioscience; 1982 Jun
11 “HMS Beagle, 1820-1970:, by Keith Stewart Thomson, American Scientist, (two copies with annotations by L. Darling); 1975 Nov-Dec
12 SESAME (sloop) Logbook (includes a stop at Mystic Seaport); 1967
Box Volume
1 Scapbook; Larchmont Yacht Club and Larchmont Spring Regatta; 1941 – 1942

Top →