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Herbert T. Clabault Papers

 Collection — Box: 1
Identifier: AP-0027

Contents of Collection

The Herbert T. Clabault Papers include one Continuous Discharge Book (1937-1951), a deposition transcript of Captain Abraham Van Haarlem (88p., June 14, 1972), one Assuranceforeningen Skuld handbook (1971), and three topical map drawings (one dated June 14, 1972). Photograph series include one 9"x12" photograph of class students and officers aboard the Newport (1929), Forty-four (44) 8"x10" photos of tanker Commodore Charles H. Smith (1971), three 8"x10" photograph of sinking tanker (unknown date or location), and one 5"x7" photo of S.S. Commercial Navigator (unknown date or location).


  • 1929 - 1972


Conditions Governing Access

Flaking along the edges of backboard of photograph of students and officers on schoolship Newport. Appointments to examine materials must be made in advance. Please e-mail for more information or to schedule an appointment.

Conditions Governing Use

Reproductions may be provided to users to support research and scholarship. However, collection use is subject to all copyright laws. The responsibility to secure copyright permission rests with the patron.

Biographical / Historical

Herbert Theodore Clabault was born in New York in 1909. He attended the New York State Nautical School (later named the New York State Merchant Marine Academy in 1929, now the SUNY Maritime College), graduating in 1929. Clabault served on several ships as a merchant marine from 1937 through 1951, including the S.S. Commercial Orleanian, S.S. Commercial Navigator, and S.S. Commercial Quaker, to name a few. While in service, Clabault held a variety of positions such as 3rd Mate, 2nd Mate, Chief Mate and Master.

Clabault was employed at the Shipowners Claims Bureau Inc., a marine protection and indemnity insurance company from approximately 1952 to 1971. Shipowners Claims Bureau were representatives of the Assuranceforeningen Skuld, an international marine insurance company based in Oslo, Norway that specializes in protection and indemnity insurance and marine insurance company. During his time at Shipowners Claims Bureau, Clabault was took part in a number of prominent litigation matters involving accidents on or involving ships, including the 1955 matter Skovgaard v. the Tungus, which was later heard via writ of certiorari at the United States Supreme Court in 1957.


.46 Linear Feet (One (1) standard document box.) : Log (record) book; Print Directory; legal document; loose page notes; 49 Photographs, b&w.

Language of Materials



The collection documents the academic and employment career of Herbert Clabault (1909-1975), a 1929 graduate of the New York Nautical School, later named the New York State Merchant Marine Academy in 1929 (now named the SUNY Maritime College) on the schoolship Newport. Clabault's maritime career culminated as an employee of an international marine insurance company. Materials include a Continuous Discharge Book, class notes, company directory, deposition transcript, and various school and tanker ship photographs.


The collection was arranged by object type: personal and professional documents, booklets, and drawings. Photographs are arranged in their own series by ships.

Custodial History

Collection was donated to the Stephen B. Luce Library on May 16, 1980, and receipt was acknowledged by letter dated July 31, 1980 from Richard H. Corson, Librarian of the Stephen B. Luce Library to Ann Clabault, wife of collection creator Herbert Clabault.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Collection was donated by Ann Clabault, wife of collection creator Herbert Clabault, to the Stephen B. Luce Library on May 16, 1980.

Related Materials at SUNY Maritime College

Student Files, Graduated November 1929:

Administrative Documents, 1909 - 1932, Box: 1, Folder: 1. Newport Schoolship Records, 1896-1970, CA-RG1-0002. Stephen B. Luce Library.


Supreme Court petition for writ of certiorari "The Vessel M/V 'TUNGUS,' Her Boilers, Etc., et al v. Olga SKOVGAARD, Administratrix Ad Prosequendum of the Estate of Carl E. Skovgaard, Deceased, et al." (1958) published in Records and Briefs of the United States Supreme Court, found at the Library of Congress Law Library.

Processing Information

Several objects were in frames and other deteriorating enclosures. For example, the Nautical School Class Notes were originally housed in a broken and deteriorating black looseleaf notebook and a photograph of the S.S. Commercial Navigation was inside a plain and stained frame. These two materials were removed from their original enclosures and placed in archival quality folders. One photograph was mounted on a simple cardboard backing, the decision was made to not remove the backing due to further damaging the photograph.

Herbert T. Clabault Papers
The Herbert T. Clabault Papers were processed by Richard Moncrief, as part of the Graduate School of Library and Information Science (GSLIS) Queens College archives internship, under the supervision of Renae Rapp, Archivist.
October 2022
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Stephen B. Luce Library Repository

6 Pennyfield Avenue
Bronx NY 10465 United States
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