National Maritime Historical Society & National History Day

National History Day (NHD) is a highly regarded year-long educational program for middle- and high-school students that involves them in a competition to prepare a history project on a designated theme, culminating in state and national competitions. Each year, more than 600,000 students, encouraged by thousands of teachers nationwide, participate in the NHD contest. Students choose historical topics related to a specified theme and conduct extensive primary- and secondary-source research through libraries, archives, museums, oral history interviews, and historic sites. After analyzing and interpreting their sources and drawing conclusions about their topics’ significance in history, students present their work in original papers, websites, exhibits, performances and documentaries – either individually or in groups. Students compete in state contests for the opportunity to compete in the national finals held in June at the University of Maryland.

In order to encourage the study of our maritime history, the National Maritime Historical Society offers Special Prizes for maritime-related projects at a number of National History Day state contests. In 2015, NMHS is offering Special Prizes in thirteen state contests. A feature link has been added to the NMHS website at http://seahistory.org/education/national-history-day, which gives an overview of this year’s contests, logistics, suggested maritime topics and a description of the NMHS prizes. NMHS is interested in partnering with other maritime organizations and museums in support of this excellent program.

Submitted by Ron Oswald, National Maritime Historical Society

U.S. Brig Niagara Seeks Bids for Mid-Life Refit

Courtesy U.S. Brig NIAGARA, Erie, Pennsylvania

Courtesy U.S. Brig NIAGARA, Erie, Pennsylvania

The U.S. Brig Niagara, owned by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, operated by the Flagship Niagara League as sailing school vessel on the Great Lakes, and homeported at the Erie Maritime Museum, is slated to receive a mid-life refit commencing in fall of 2016, with completion by spring of 2018. Design and Procurement work will begin this summer. This is a very ambitious project to renew decks, bulwarks, some planking, and all machinery, as well as make improvements in ballast and stability. The Pennsylvania Department of General Services is seeking bids for a design-build contract.

To obtain the RFP: http://www.emarketplace.state.pa.us/Solicitations.aspx?SID=DGS 974-9 Phase 1

Submitted by Walter Rybka, Senior Captain, who “would like to obtain as wide a range of bidders as possible [from] the kind of craftspeople who generally work on wooden ships around our coasts [who] are not as likely to be scanning the commerce and  business daily or PA government notices . . .”

CAMM Members Receive Maritime Heritage Grants

Congratulations to CAMM members who were among the recipients of the National Park Service’s Maritime Heritage Grants:

Replacement of the Sailing Ship Star of India‘s Weather Decks

  • Recipient: Maritime Museum Association of San Diego
  • Amount: $192,794
  • Project: The project will replace the weather decks of the Star of India, a National Historic Landmark and one of the world’s oldest active sailing ships.

USS Pampanito World War II Submarine Preservation Project

  • Recipient: San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park
  • Amount: $192,754
  • Project: The USS Pampanito, a World War II submarine, will undergo drydocking and other maintenance and repairs to preserve the submarine in her 1945 configuration.

Restoration of the 1908 Steamboat Sabino

  • Recipient: Mystic Seaport Museum
  • Amount: $199,806
  • Project: This project will restore the 1908 steamboat Sabino, one of two surviving excursion steamers in the US and the only one on the East Coast.

National Fisherman: Documenting a Sea Change

  • Recipient: Penobscot Marine Museum
  • Amount: $40,784
  • Project: The project will digitize, re-house, and catalogue the museum’s twentieth-century image collection, allowing it to be published in the museum’s online collection database.

Conservation of the Purrington-Russell Panorama for Exhibition and Educational Programming

  • Recipient: Old Dartmouth Historical Society/New Bedford Whaling Museum
  • Amount: $49,845.25
  • Project: The New Bedford Whaling Museum will conserve, digitize, and make broadly accessible the 1848 “Grand Panorama of a Whaling Voyage Round the World,” a maritime artwork depicting a nineteenth-century American whaling voyage.

USS Constitution: From Forest to Frigate

  • Recipient: USS Constitution Museum
  • Amount: $50,000
  • Project: The museum is creating a multi-media experience to welcome and introduce audiences to the history and significance of the USS Constitution, plus the repair process underway on board the ship.

Cradles and Cantilevered Shelving for the Museum’s Boat Collection

  • Recipient: Columbia River Maritime Museum
  • Amount: $33,549
  • Project: Grant funds will be use to purchase cantilevered racks and moveable cradles for boats up to 50 feet in length as part of the conversion of a recently purchased former retail hardware store and lumber warehouse into a state-of-the-art collections storage facility.

Critical Projects for the Continued Preservation of USS Olympia

  • Recipient: Independence Seaport Museum
  • Amount: $169,850
  • Project: Grant funds will be used to support a series of preservation and rehabilitation projects aboard the Cruiser Olympia.

USS Monitor Artifact Conservation and Outreach Project

  • Recipient: Mariners’ Museum
  • Amount: $99,900
  • Project: The Mariners’ Museum will acquire a specialized dry ice abrasion system to clean the Monitor‘s large wrought iron artifacts, including the ship’s 120-ton revolving gun turret, engine components, and structural elements such as armor plating.

Free Public Rides on Historic Small Craft

  • Recipient: Center for Wooden Boats
  • Amount: $28,000
  • Project: Grant funds will allow volunteer skippers to take the public out in historic sailboats, a wood-powered steam boat, an electric launch, and paddled skin-on-frame boats called Umiaks.

Preservation of the National Historic Landmark 1889 Tugboat Arthur Foss

  • Recipient: Northwest Seaport
  • Amount: $87,000
  • Project: This project will drydock the Arthur Foss to complete basic maintenance and repair needed since the last haulout in 2007 and complete actions critical to the preservation of the ship.

In the 2014 grant cycle, 35 grants in 21 states, totaling $2,607,025, were awarded under the first round of the re-established Maritime Heritage Grants Program. For a complete list of recipients goto http://www.nps.gov/maritime/grants/recipients.htm

Maritime Heritage Grant Recipients to be Announced Monday

National Park Service Director, Maritime Administrator to Visit USS Constellation, Announce $2.6 Million in Maritime Heritage Grants

constellation detail lores

Photo by Candace Clifford

Baltimore, MD – On Monday, April 27, National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis and Maritime Administrator Paul N. Jaenichen will announce approximately $2.6 million in Maritime Heritage Program grants to be used for the preservation and education of maritime resources across the country.  The grants will be announced onboard the USS Constellation; a 19th century frigate docked in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor.

BACKGROUND:

The National Maritime Heritage Grant Program is administered by the National Park Service in partnership with the Maritime Administration. The grants are supported by revenue from the scrapping of vessels from the Maritime Administration’s National Defense Reserve Fleet. These ships are purchased for recycling and the revenue provides assistance for a broad range of maritime education and preservation projects without expending tax dollars, while the metal in the purchased vessels is used to build new ships.

Source: Press release from NPS Office of Communications

Ocean Liners Curator Sought

The Victoria & Albert Museum is looking to fill a term position for an Ocean Liners Curator. Co-organised with the Peabody Essex Museum, Ocean Liners will be the V&A’s headline exhibition for spring 2018 and the first exhibition to fully assess the importance of the design of ocean liners. It will situate the ocean liner in a broad context, assessing its cultural significance by exploring all aspects of the design of liners from their maritime architecture and engineering to their interiors and on-board lifestyle.

We are seeking a practically minded and highly motivated curator with proven research and exhibition experience to assist in the development and delivery of the exhibition, publication and accompanying events. The successful candidate will co-ordinate research associated with the project, maintain a network of contacts and support the creative vision set out by the Lead Curators (V&A and PEM) to ensure a world-class result is delivered.

You will have demonstrable expertise in the history of 20th century design and an interest in engineering and the technological advances of the 20th century. You will also have solid experience of researching for and curating exhibitions for a public institution. Closing date for receipt of applications is midday on Monday 11th May. Interviews are likely to take place on 28th May or 1st June.

See http://www.vam.ac.uk/content/jobs/apply/ for application information.

Submitted by Dan Finamore, Peabody Essex Museum

2015 HNSA Annual Conference Call For Papers

USS Iowa leaving New York Navy Yard. National Archives photo

USS Iowa leaving New York Navy Yard. National Archives photo

From the HNSA website:

The 2015 Historic Naval Ships Association (HNSA) Annual Conference will be held Wednesday through Friday, 16 – 18 September. This year’s host is the USS Iowa in Los Angeles! Accommodations have been made at the nearby Crowne Plaza-Los Angeles Harbor. Most will wish to arrive on Tuesday, 15 September, for an Opening Reception on the Iowa. In addition to visiting this great battleship we will be in short walking distances to numerous restaurants. Many will wish to remain through the weekend as there are a variety of tours being planned that include nearby LA Maritime Museum, the SS Lane Victory, the Queen Mary, and Fort MacArthur.

The Call for Papers deadline is July 31, 2015.