Sea History 083 - Winter 1997-1998

Page 9


What You, Our Members, Tell Us The response to the questionnaire on the wrapper of the Autumn Sea History (#82) has been remarkable. Over 1,600 members filled out and returned the lengthy set of questions regarding the content of Sea History and broader plans for the work of NMHS . Briefly, the most widely read items in Sea History are (in order) Deck Log, Ship Notes, NMHS News , and Cape Horn Road . The least read is Marine Art News, although the marine art feature rated well , with nearly 50% reading it "always" and 26% reading it "often." The most popular subject matter was sea adventures , with general maritime history a close second and World War II a close third. The merchant marine and nautical archaeology showed well despite their specialized topics. In comments, the most frequent request was for more pages and more frequent issues, six or twelve a year. In our third section, purpose and goals, publishing Sea History rated far above any other category, with 79% rating it "essential" and 18% " important. " The job of building a national constituency for the maritime heritage rated second and saving historic ships was third. All other activities ranked well below these three. The personal information revealed that we take an active interest in our subject: 48 % of us have taken a foreign trip, 46% visited a museum three times or more in the past year, and 48 % are willing to participate in a local council ofNMHS , if one is formed in their area. That we appreciate the seafaring experience is clear: 45 % of our members own a boat, with sail the most popular type. A hefty 42% have served in the Navy and 26% in the merchant marine with all the other services represented. A whopping 92% of members are interested in marine art and 65 % are collectors of maritime items. We are serious readers, with 92% buying two or more books a year and frequent requests for "more" Sea History. A full 40% are college graduates and 48 % have done postgraduate work. We feel much encouraged by so many enthusiastic responses and are glad that we got to know our members better. The comments and good words were especially helpful, and we are grateful to the hundreds of members who took the time NFS to send them to us. SEA HISTORY 83, WINTER 1997-98

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