Fan of Full Fathom Five? Be sure to check it out at its new home!

Monday, February 27, 2006

Grant Deadline

The Directors of the Early American Industries Association (EAIA) have announced the availability of $6000 in research grants to be provided to individuals or institutions engaged in research projects that relate to the study and better understanding of early American industries in the home, shop, farm or on the sea. The number and amount of each grant is to be given at the discretion of the committee, with no one grant to exceed $2,000.00.

The purpose of the EAIA's Research Grants Program is to assist individuals, graduate students, and scholars with research leading to publication, exhibitions, or audio-visual materials.

The application deadline for the 2006 program is March 15.

For applications or further information about the program contact:

Ms Justine Mataleno, Coordinator
1324 Shallcross Avenue
Wilmington, DE 19806

(302) 652-7297

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Mark Your Calendar: May 22

In 1933, Congress decreed May 22 as National Maritime Day. Each year since it has been a day for the United States to observe its proud maritime heritage, honor the men and women who serve and have served as merchant mariners, and recognize the many benefits that result from our American maritime industry.

What is your Maritime Museum doing to Celebrate?

This year the U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD), supported by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the American Association of Port Authorities, The Propeller Club of the United States, Waterways Council, Inc., and other maritime groups, will introduce an awareness campaign designed to focus national attention on the maritime industry. Called, "Maritime Matters," the campaign will help to communicate the value of the maritime industry in relation to the economy, national security, jobs, environmental protection, agriculture, quality of life, recreation and more.

Original Resolution:

Joint Resolution of Congress Designating May 22 as National Maritime Day passed May 20, 1933

73d Congress, Session I, 1933
S. J. Res No.7

JOINT RESOLUTION Designating May 22 as National Maritime Day.

Whereas on May 22, 1819, the steamship The Savannah set sail from Savannah, Georgia, on the first successful transoceanic voyage under steam propulsion, thus making a material contribution to the advancement of ocean transportation: Therefore be it

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That May 22 of each year shall hereafter be designated and known as National Maritime Day, and the President is authorized and requested annually to issue a proclamation calling upon the people of the United States to observe such National Maritime Day by displaying the flag at their homes or other suitable places and Government officials to display the flag on all Government buildings on May 22 of each year.

Approved, May 20, 1933

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Naval Title Receives Federal Award

Breaking the Color Barrier: The U.S. Naval Academy's First Black Midshipmen and the Struggle for Racial Equality has been awarded the Society for History in the Federal Government's George Pendleton Prize for 2005. The book, written by Robert Schneller, Jr., Contemporary History Branch, Naval Historical Center, examines the black community’s efforts to integrate the Naval Academy, as well as the experiences that black midshipmen encountered at Annapolis.

"Describes for the first time the difficulties Wesley Brown endured and the concerted effort by a ‘tight knot’ of southern upperclassmen to oust him using racial epithets, ostracism, and demerits." --Washington Post

"Traces the long and bitter struggle to integrate the U.S. Naval Academy. . . an engrossing account of how an American institution struggled to deal with its racist past and ultimately triumphed in the fight to become integrated." --Shipmate Magazine

This is the second award that he has received for this book. It has already been awarded the 2006 Richard W. Leopold Prize from the Organization of American Historians.

Navy News Story

1st US Naval Facility on West Coast Under Attack

Dwayne Clark of the Boating Safety Law and News blog sent the following story:

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that Mare Island Naval Shipyard "could face the wrecking ball under a development plan approved by the city of Vallejo that envisions a mix of housing, offices and open space."

While preservationists, including state and federal officials, are outraged by the plan, the Vallejo City Council in November unanimously approved the controversial development plan.

The Mare Island shipyard was established by the Navy in 1854 and was known as Naval Magazine, NSY Mare Island. The shipyard’s primary missions were to maintain, overhaul, and refuel ships, including nuclear-powered ships; provide logistical support for ships and service craft; and provide services and materials for other Navy functions.

During its tenure as the Navy's oldest base on the west coast, Mare Island built 512 ships and repaired hundreds more. Those ships, both great and obscure, fought in every conflict since. Mare Island's first ship, the paddle-wheeled gunboat Saginaw, was launched before the Civil War, in 1859, and its last ship, the nuclear submarine U.S.S. Drum, was launched in 1970 when our country was divided over the Vietnam war. These vessels also included the small ferryboat Pinafore, which chugged between Mare Island and Vallejo for 30 years starting in the 1890's, and the battleship U.S.S. California, the only battleship built on the west coast. Military Analysis Network

Ships of Mare Island

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Conference Announcement: Charting the Inland Seas

From June 1st- 4th, 2006 the Wisconsin Maritime Museum will be hosting Charting the Inland Seas: Recent Studies in Great Lakes Research. The conference will be jointly presented by the North American Society for Oceanic History, Canadian Nautical Research Society and the Nautical Research Society .

Charting the Inland Seas will be held at the Wisconsin Maritime Museum, the largest maritime museum on the Great Lakes, as well as homeport to the USS Cobia, the nation's most completely restored World War II submarine and on which conference attendees can spend the night. The Museum’s artifact collection of more than 15,000 items is considered one of the premier maritime museums on the Great Lakes.

Further details and the Call For Papers are on the website.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Conference Announcement: Our Voyaging Ancestors

February 18-20 the Prince Hotel on Big Island, Hawai'i will be hosting the 17th Annual Symposium on Maritime Archaeology and History of Hawai'i and the Pacific. The Conference theme is Our Voyaging Ancestors.

Nainoa Thompson, navigator and sail master of the double-hulled canoe Hokule`a, will give the keynote speech for the conference. The conference will also include a field trip to Mahukona Harbor and nearby heiau.

This symposium is co-sponsored by the University of Hawai`i at Hilo Department of Anthropology and Marine Option Program and the Maritime Archaeology and History of the Hawaiian Islands Foundation (MAHHI).

A Fitting Tribute

Peter Benchley, author of Jaws, and a shark conservationist, died yesterday. In an earlier interview with the London Daily Express Benchly stated: "Knowing what I know now, I could never write that book [Jaws] today," "Sharks don't target human beings, and they certainly don't hold grudges."

Today the University of Florida released a report citing a recent decline in world wide shark attacks on humans. According to the report greater safety precautions and in-your-face responses to confrontations with sharks went a long way in reducing the total number of attacks from 65 in 2004 to 58 in 2005 and fatalities from seven to four.

It appears that it is safe to go back in the water.

Historic Warships at Birkenhead Liquidated

On Sunday February 5, 2006 Historic Warships at Birkhead, which holds one of the largest collection of preserved 20th century warships in Europe, closed and announced its voluntary liquidation. Now ex-staff from the museum have formed a campaign to try and keep the ships together at their home in Merseyside.

The collection includes a German type IXC/40 submarine (the only U-Boat to have been recovered) which was sunk by Allied forces in 1945 and raised from the seabed between Denmark and Sweden 48 years later. Other ships in the collection include the frigate HMS Plymouth and submarine HMS Onyx, both of which saw service in the Falklands conflict, and a D-Day landing craft.

Full story at 24 Hour Museum.

Many thanks to Beth for bringing this story to the Compass

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Position Available: Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum President

The Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, a respected and accessible waterfront museum that captures the history and culture of one of America's major maritime regions, seeks its next President. This is an excellent opportunity to provide dynamic institutional and community leadership for a successful organization that is poised for its next stage of growth.

The Museum's eighteen-acre campus is in the center of the picturesque town of St. Michaels, a riverfront village and tourist destination in Talbot County on Maryland's Eastern Shore. With a $3.4 million operating budget, $12 million endowment, distinctive collections and exhibits, and a dedicated staff and board, the Museum has considerable assets. The President will be charged with building on the solid infrastructure that exists to create a premier institution that is recognized for its innovative programming, excellence, leadership and community service.

This important role calls for a leader with vision and creativity who can value the culture and history of the Chesapeake region and will be passionate about the Museum's mission. The position calls for proven strategic planning and leadership skills to provide focus for the collective energy of an organization. Fund raising skill is essential.

Inquiries, nominations and applications should be directed in confidence to:
Sheryl Ash, Managing Associate or
Maggie Gilmore, Associate
Isaacson, Miller
334 Boylston Street
Boston, MA 02116
Electronic submission of materials is strongly encouraged.

Closes Mar 06

Position Available: Penobscot Marine Museum Executive Director

Penobscot Marine Museum is seeking nominations and expressions of interest in our search for the next Executive Director.

Founded in 1936, the Penobscot Marine Museum is a regional history museum comprised of 13 buildings, five of which are on the National Register of Historic Places. The museum owns a highly regarded collection of boats, paintings and other artifacts and has an extensive research library.

The museum's balanced operating budget for 2005 - 2006 was approximately $900,000; its endowment stands at $3.2 million; its balance sheet is unencumbered. The museum enjoys the support and patronage of its local, summer and ever expanding year-round and part-time residents. The next chapter in its history awaits the imprint and leadership of its new Executive Director. The position includes a competitive compensation package with regional museums and transitional and/or permanent housing.
The Search Committee, Penobscot Marine Museum, P.O. Box 498, Searsport, ME 04974,

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

I have not yet begun to search!

The Naval Historical Center and the Ocean Technology Foundation are planning to launch a search for Bonhomme Richard off the coast of England in July. This attempt to bring John Paul Jones' ship up from the depths of Davey Jones' locker (were they related?) is be funded by a grant from NOAA.

Other collaborators in the project include the University of New Hampshire Center for Coastal Ocean Mapping/Joint Hydrographic Center, the College of Exploration, and the Bridlington Regeneration Partnership in Bridlington, U.K.

Positions Available: Battleship New Jersey

Director of Education

Experienced, enthusiastic, self-motivated educator sought to help run dynamic educational program geared to meet New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware State Curriculum Standards for 3rd through 12th grade levels in social studies, math, science, geography and history. The successful candidate will demonstrate ability to develop and implement imaginative lesson plans for on-site and off-site presentations, with emphasis on hands on programming, including the use of artifacts. Must be able to work well with retired teachers, administrators or other educational volunteers. Must have two or more years practical teaching or educational museum experience. May be an active or retired Teacher from any public/private school in the Tri-State Area.
To apply for this position please send a cover letter and resume via mail, fax, or email to:
Battleship New Jersey, Attn: Human Resources, Director of Education Search, 62 Battleship Place, Camden, NJ 08103, Fax: 856-966-8228, Email:
Posted Feb 06.

Assistant Curator

Experienced, enthusiastic, self-motivated museum curator to assist in the maintenance of a scholarly artifact collection and the ongoing preservation and security of the Battleship's historic fabric. Carries out routine, day-to-day curatorial functions such as monitoring of climate and climate control systems, entries in the artifact database, artifact tracking and record-keeping, and exhibit maintenance and support. Provides assistance in the planning, development, research, and implementation of new and ongoing collection exhibitions.
To apply for this position please send a cover letter and resume via mail, fax, or email to:
Battleship New Jersey, Attn: Curatorial and Education Department, Assistant Curator Search, 62 Battleship Place, Camden, NJ 08103, Fax: 856-966-3131, Email:,

Battleship New Jersey

Position Available: Director Maine Maritime Museum

The Maine Maritime Museum is the major repository for the preservation of Maine maritime artifacts and archives, with rich collections and exhibitions interpreting the role of Maine ships, shipbuilding and sailors. Its campus, exhibits, educational programs and research facilities offer the general public, as well as serious scholars, a rich reservoir of maritime history and experiences.

The Board of Trustees seeks an Executive Director who's career demonstrates success in the following: leadership, management, communications, marketing, fundraising, program development, and volunteer recruitment and training. While we seek an individual with a passion for maritime history, the Maine Maritime Museum is blessed with an experienced and knowledgeable staff of fourteen. These individuals have a keen sense of Maine's maritime heritage and a thorough knowledge of the museum's collections and programs. In addition, an active and devoted team of volunteers works throughout the museum in support of its mission. We seek a leader who can harness the existing strengths of the museum and who can develop and sustain a new and exciting resource for visitors, members and researchers.
The museum is accredited by the American Association of Museums. Compensation is negotiable and will be commensurate with experience. Screening of applicants will begin February 13, 2006.
Interested parties should submit a cover letter and resume to:

Search Committee
Maine Maritime Museum
P.O. Box 662
Bath, ME 04530-0662

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Museum Bahari

This post falls into the just plan interesting catagory.

Evi Mariani, a writer for the The Jakarta Post writes that "Compared to popular Jakarta Historical Museum, huge Maritime Museum in North Jakarta actually has far more interesting collection with well-written and comprehensive bilingual information." The museum has eight large permanent exhibition galleries, a temporary gallery and 1,800 objects.

The museum is located in two former Dutch East Indies warehouses built in 1774. According to "The historical building alone justifies a visit. The front section is probably the only ancient city wall surrounding Batavia (old Jakarta) still standing today. "

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Carrick / City of Adelaide

Friday's edition of reports that the "oldest surviving clipper" will soon be scrapped. The Carrick (originally the City of Adelaide: a 176' bark, built in Sunderland, England in 1864) has been abandoned on a shipway in Glasgow since 1992 but is listed in the National Register of Historic Ships. Parties originally interested in funding the restoration have now decided to scrap her after a recent study concluded that the cost to restore the Carrick amounts to 10 million pounds. Christopher Mason, chairman of the Clyde Maritime Trust however, feels that the amount is reasonable and the project worthwhile.
At present there is a blank Save the City of Adelaide web page. Perhaps an effort to fund raise will be launched?

Saturday, February 04, 2006

21 leave Mystic Seaport

As the result of a buyout/early retirement offer made by Museum officials, the following 21 employees of Mystic Seaport have moved on.
Collections: Phil Budlong, Claire White Peterson, Katrina Sniper, Leah Prescott, Andy German, and Dave Mathieson
Finance: Suzy Greenhalgh
Stores: Sandy Brown, Wanda Panciera, Dede Wirth, Bernadette White, Barbara Stefanski, Marlene Ross, Jane Wilkins, Dawn Hartman
Museum Education: Karen Havrilla, Rick Spenser, Karen Bigger
Exhibits: Deb House
Security: Roger DesRoberts

This has personally been a hard post to write, and it's been through several iterations. I even considered not posting it. But as part of the mission of this blog is to post the maritime museum news, I could not objectively leave this out. In the end, I ended with this short, brief post. If you know the people, you know the depth of our loss. Mystic Seaport is both the place and the people, and today is not what is was when these great folks were with us.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

The MHN Blog: New Project Compiles Maritime Heritage Resources

The MHN Blog: New Project Compiles Maritime Heritage Resources

Maritime Heritage Network

Joe Follansbee, project manager of the Maritime Heritage Network and writer of The MHN Blog has just brought both wonderful resources to my attention. Both the Network and the Blog promote:

Central Puget Sound maritime heritage to residents and visitors from Washington State, the nation, and overseas. MHN is a collaboration among 4Culture, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and heritage groups in King and Kitsap counties.

Both the website and the blog are comprehensive, and interesting. (so comprehensive that I'm a bit jealous!)

Munson/NEH Summer 2006 Institute

June 19 through July 27, 2006 the Munson Institute at Mystic Seaport will host a six-week National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Institute entitled: “THE AMERICAN MARITIME PEOPLE”.

The institute will sample four hundred years of American maritime history. Emphasis will be placed on the most influential recent work in maritime studies, much of it by scholars who have agreed to contribute personally to “The American Maritime People.”

Summer Institutes for College and University Teachers are offered by the National Endowment for the Humanities to provide college and university faculty members and independent scholars with an opportunity to enrich and revitalize their understanding of significant humanities ideas, texts, and topics. Applicants must complete the NEH application cover sheet and provide all of the information requested below to be considered eligible. Individuals selected to participate in six-week long projects will receive a stipend of $4,200.

The Deadline for applications is March 1, 2006.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Cautionary tale

Warning: the museum refered to in this post is not maritime - but the lessons apply.

The New York Times ran an article this Sunday on the Milwaukee Public Museum's Struggle for Solvency. The article points out the hard times museums are having attracting visitors and the fiscally expensive attempts made by the Milwaukee Museum to turn the tide. These attempts included many of what I call, non-mission initiatives, and ended up costing the now backrupt museum its solvency, or as the Times puts it:

like many museums in midsize cities around the country, eager to break out of a rut of stagnant attendance and attract tourists to stoke civic pride and the local economy, the Milwaukee Public Museum spent heavily on an aggressive expansion that never paid off. Besides its operating costs, it is saddled with $28 million in debt and other liabilities — a stark warning to other institutions that build in hopes that "they will come."

Independence Seaport Museum's maritime library receives $50,000 grant

The Albert M. Greenfield Foundation has awarded Independence Seaport Museum's maritime library a $50,000 grant for a one-year project to organize and catalogue two recently acquired primary source document collections - the records of Seamen's Church Institute, of Philadelphia, a "home away from home" for seafarers since the 1840s, and the records of John E. Hand & Sons Co., a major supplier to the U.S. Navy during World War II and a local manufacturer of nautical instruments dating back to 1873. Finding aids will then be created to enable researchers to locate the specific materials they need.