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DECK LOG Preserving our Heritage-Global Lessons This summer I traveled to Scandinavia fo r the first time and was enthralled by the Viking ships, m aritime museum s, and pervasive seafaring culture. I was most impressed by Sweden 's Vasa Museum in Stockholm. The preserva tion of the 226 -foo t, 64-gun warship of King G ustavus II Aldophus, which sank in the h arbor on her m aiden voyage in 1628 and was salvaged three centuries later, was awesome-in the true sense of the wo rd. The ship-as-artifact is enough to qualify the museum as firs t-rate, but the museum goes far beyond that. Vasa's story com es alive th ro ugh exhibits of art treasures, recas ted sculptures and ornam ents, human fo rms reconstructed from the skelerons fo und within the shipwreck, and ongo ing resea rch on conservation methods. Their interpretative displays m ake it one of the best museums I have ever seen . I was honored to sp end a little t im e w ith Fred H ocker, research director at the Swedish National M aritime M useums, and we discussed his upcoming presentation at the International C ongress of Maritime M useums in H ong Kong this fa ll. I asked D r. H ocker to sh are his thoughts here. We might not all run a museum, bur we ca n be be tter armed to articulate why we need to sup port funding for them . In Dr. Fred H ocker's words: "In many museums, research is something that curators or volunteers do in their spare time and as the pressure of providing adeq ua te care of collections with ever-shrink ing budgets allows . This does a disservice to our collections and to our staff. Ac ti ve research program s, integrated into the no rmal activities of a wide range of museum staff, provide a number of benefits to m aritime museums: •They showcase the museum as a living institution, ac tively creating new knowledge, not simply preserving objects and old knowledge. •They promote development, encouraging the museum to look at collection s in new ways and to reach new audiences . •They inform the collection and preservation process, allowing museums to set acquisitions policies that are relevant and far-sighted . •They engage th e public, creating awareness of the m useum, its collections, and its programming. •They inspire the museum staff, giving them a chance to h arness their interests and energy to the development of competence and knowledge. •They attract the attention of potential sponsors who m ay not normally be part of the museum wo rld. At the Vasa Museum, we have seen how beneficial th is approach is over the last twelve years. Most recently, we completed a major project of replicating and tes t-firing one of the ship's 24 -pounder can nons. This proj ect attrac ted m ore media attention than all of Sweden's orher museums combined, it brought us into contact with sponsors who had not previously shown an interest in our activities, and it engaged the entire museum staff. In the firing trials, we set aside an entire day to teach our guides and museum teachers how to shoot a cannon, so that they could rake that personal experience back to the public. Ir raised our profile as a 'knowledge insti tution,' more than just a display case for the nation's treasures ." As we articu late improvem ents in preservation globally, we will all benefit.

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NATIONAL MARITIME HISTORICAL SOCIETY

PUB LISHER'S C IRCLE: Peter Aron, G uy E. C. Maitland , Ronald L. Oswald OFFICERS & TRUSTEES : Chairman, Ronald L. Oswald; Vice Chairman, Richardo R. Lopes; President, Burchenal Green; Vice Presidents, Deirdre O' Regan, Wendy Paggiotta, Nancy Schnaars; Treasurer, Howard Slotnick; Secretary, Jean Wort; Trustees: Charles B. Anderso n; Walter R. Brown; W illi am S. Dudley; David S. Fowler; W illiam Jackson Green; Karen Helmerson; Roberc Kam m; Richard M. Larrabee; Guy E. C. Mai tland; Capt. Brian McAllister; CAPT Sally Chin McElwreath, USN (Ret.); Capt. James J. McNamara; M ichael W Morrow; Richard Patrick O 'Leary; ADM Robert J. Papp Jr., USCG (Ret.); T imothy ]. Runyan; Richard Scarano; Phi li p J. Shapiro; Capt. Cesare Sorio; Roberta Weisbrod; Trustees-Elect: H on. James ]. Co leman J r., CBE; Eri k K. O lstein Chairmen Emeriti: Walter R. Brown, Alan G. Choate, Guy E. C. Maitland, Howard Slotn ick; President Emeritus, Peter Stanford FOUN D ER: Karl Ko rtum (1917-1996) OVERSEERS: Chairman, RADM David C. Brown, USMS (Ret.); RADM Joseph F. Callo, USN (Ret.); Clive Cussler; Richard du Mo uli n; Alan D. Hu tchison; Jako b lsbra ndtsen; Gary Jobso n; Sir Robin Knox-Johnsron; John Lehman; H. C. Bowen Smith; John Srobart; Philip J. Webster; W illiam H . White; W ill iam W imerer NMH S ADVISORS: Chairman, Melbourne Smith; George Bass, Oswald Brett, Francis D uffy, John Ewald, T imothy Foote, W ill iam G ilkerson, Steven A. Hyman, J. Russell Ji nishian, G unnar Lundeberg, Com ad Milster, W illi am G. Mull er, Stuart Parnes, Lori D illard Rech, Na ncy Hughes Richardso n, Bert Rogers, Joyce Huber

SEA HISTORY EDITOR IA L ADVISO RY BOARD : Chairman, Timothy Runyan; No rman Brouwer, Robert Browni ng, Wi lliam Dudley, D aniel Finamore, Kevin Foster, John Jensen, Joseph Mea ny, Lisa No rlin g, Carla Rah n Phillips, Walter Rybka, Quenri n Snedi ker, W illiam H . White NMH S STAFF: Executive Director, Burchenal Green; Membership Director, Nancy Schnaars; Business Manager, Anjoeline Osuyah; Marketing Director, Steve Lovass-Nagy; Staff Writer, Shelley Reid; Membership Cooidinator, Irene Eisenfeld

SEA HISTORY: Editor, Deird re O ' Regan; Advertising, We ndy Paggiotta; Editor-at-Large, Peter Stanfo rd Sea History is pri med by The Lane Press, South Burlingron, Vermom, USA.

- Burchenal Green, NMHS President 4

SEA HISTORY 152, AUTUMN 2015

Sea History 153 - Winter 2015-2016  

10 National History Day-Prizes in Maritime History • 12 A New Look at the "Longitude Problem," by Daniel McFadden • 16 Maritime Archaeolog...

Sea History 153 - Winter 2015-2016  

10 National History Day-Prizes in Maritime History • 12 A New Look at the "Longitude Problem," by Daniel McFadden • 16 Maritime Archaeolog...

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