This Bibliography includes non-fiction sunken treasure books and non-scholarly underwater archaeology books that are in the author’s personal collection (and a few the author has not acquired but has seen in libraries or in the collections of colleagues).

The criteria used for the books included in this Bibliography are:

What’s included:

* Shipwrecks with treasure cargos

* Non-fiction books that contain at least one chapter of sunken treasure stories

* Books on non-technical underwater archaeology topics

* Treasure and shipwreck exhibition catalogs

* Important sunken treasure auction catalogs

* Adult, juvenile and adolescent books

* Other bibliographies related to sunken treasure and underwater archaeology

* Selected research books on sunken treasure and underwater archaeology

* English-language books

 What’s excluded:

* Treasure and/or shipwreck auction catalogs

* Modern wrecks (unless they were carrying treasure)

* Books about pirates, buccaneers or privateers (unless they are related to a
treasure wreck)

* Metal detecting books

* Land (buried) treasure books (unless they also include sunken treasure

* Books that are purely about shipwrecks and/or survivors

* Technical salvage or modern salvage books

* Hard hat and diving books

* Books about diving techniques

* Pre-1500 (ancient) wrecks

* Civil War, World War I and World War II wrecks (unless they were carrying

* Coin and bullion books related to treasure

* Conference proceedings

* Textbooks

* Periodicals

* Books in foreign languages

* Fiction books


Each entry in this Bibliography includes the following information:

 #C – identifies the “Crooks Number” assigned to the book, a standard means of referencing a unique title and author.

 Author – identifies the author or editor of the book.

 Title – full title of the book.

 ISBN/ISSN – identifies the international book number of the first edition (blank if there isn’t one).

 Library of Congress – identifies the Library of Congress number, generally of the first edition (blank if there isn’t one).

Category – standard categories assigned by the author in an attempt to classify the titles contained herein.  Categories include:

Sunken Treasure
Underwater Archaeology
Artifacts (including anchors)

Note: The line between treasure hunting and underwater archaeology is becoming less distinct as treasure salvage has become more regulated and typically includes some aspects of archaeology.   As such, if the majority of a book is about the salvage (or attempted salvage) of gold, silver, and/or jewels, I’ve classified it as a “sunken treasure book”.  If the bulk of the book is about artifacts, ceramics, the study of shipbuilding techniques, or focused on the historical context of the wreck, I’ve designated the book as “underwater archaeology”.

Keywords – identifies shipwreck/fleet names, people and locations for indexing purposes; I have attempted to standardize the spelling of names in this section.  This is blank if there are no keywords.

Comments – indicates if the title is juvenile or adolescent; whether the book contains a bibliography, maps, or glossary; if the book is illustrated; or if the book was published under another title.  This is blank if there is no such information to convey.

Size – indicates the size in inches of the first edition’s width and length (to the nearest quarter of an inch).

Pages – indicates the number of pages in the first edition.

Editions – identifies the various editions and printings of this title, including whether it is hardback or paperback.

Description – briefly describes the contents of the book with particular note to sunken treasures.


The Author

Dave Crooks worked for Mel Fisher in the mid-1970s, salvaging the “Nuestra Senora de Atocha” (http://www.newworldtreasures.com/atochastory.htm) and was vice president of Treasure Salvors (Mel’s company).  Eventually, $400 million was recovered from the 1622 wreck lying 30 miles southwest of Key West, Florida.  Much of the treasure recovered  currently resides in the Mel Fisher Maritime Museum in Key West (the rest was distributed to investors and employees).

The author started collecting sunken treasure and underwater archaeology books while living in Key West working on the “Atocha” salvage…and has continued to build his collection over the last 40 years while travelling throughout the English speaking world.

In 2000 the author conceived the idea of a bibliography devoted to sunken treasure and non-academic underwater archaeology books…for the armchair adventurer, the researcher, the bibliophile and the treasure hunter.  While a few bibliographies have been written on treasure books, none are specific to sunken treasure and none are comprehensive.  In 2002 the author published, “Bibliography of Sunken Treasure Books” and in 2004 published, “Bibliography of Important Shipwreck Auction Catalogs”.  With the discovery of more materials and new books continually be written on the topic, the author moved his bibliographies to this website, which is frequently updated.

Virtually all of the books and editions referenced in this work are in the author’s personal collection of 2000 books.  Those few books that aren’t in his collection have been verified in libraries or with fellow collectors.

The author lives in the Chicago suburbs and can be contacted at dcrooks@dcrooks.com.