Archive for the ‘Maritime History’ Category


A Chinese Junk at Risk

December 1, 2008
The Chinese Junk Free China

The Chinese Junk Free China (Photo courtesy of The Oakland Tribune).

In 1955 five Chinese fishermen and one American diplomat beat the odds and made a transpacific voyage in a Chinese junk from Taiwan to San Francisco. Dione Chen, daughter of one of the crew members, is now on a mission to save this historic vessel.  As one of the last surviving Chinese Junks, Free China is an important piece of maritime material culture but unfortunately it is now in imminent danger of being destroyed.  The group Chinese Junk Preservation has posted an article describing its history and the present situation.  Chen’s post includes historic photos including an interactive zoom view image of the vessel at sea.

We’re reaching out to you our colleagues to share this story and to ask for your advice on how we can save this important vessel.  You can view the post here:


How Do You Make an Underwater Archaeologist?

February 8, 2008

Underwater archaeologist Mark Staniforth and the Museum of Underwater Archaeology are pleased to announce the 2008 Flinders University Field School Project Journal. Follow along as a new international group of students start their underwater training in Australia. Project journals such as this offer the public the opportunity to see how future underwater archaeologists learn the skills necessary to explore, record, preserve, and learn from submerged cultural resources.

You can view the journal here:

We hope you enjoy this latest addition to the Museum of Underwater Archaeology.


Japanese Shipwright Videos Complement Research Journal

September 4, 2007

Graduate student Michelle Damian has posted video clips of her visit with Japanese Shipwright Mr. Kanji Mitsumori as part of her seventh project journal entry. Through the journal Michelle shares her experiences while conducting her MA research on Japanese wooden boats. This includes a variety of activities from studying woodblock prints to travel to Japan. She writes about the importance of woodblock prints, museum exhibits, and intensive study of classical Japanese language texts. You can read her latest entry and view the video clips by clicking on “Research” in the left hand menu of her journal found here:


We hope you enjoy this inside view of one woman’s academic travels as she seeks to learn about Japanese boat building techniques rarely studied in the west.


Can Museums Survive in a YouTube World?

August 13, 2007

Dave Shirlaw recently posted the following article on the MARHST-L list. It’s an interesting comment about the impact of the Internet on museums. Our comments follow.


NEW YORK, Aug. 9 /PRNewswire/ — That’s not simply a rhetorical
question. With diminished government funding, dwindling audiences and a
tenuous connection to the next generation of patrons, museums are facing
a challenging 21st Century. To attract new audiences, museums have
mounted blockbuster exhibitions, enlisted starchitects to build
expensive additions/expansions and introduced hip evening events with
DJs and cocktails.

But the real problem may well be the museum experience itself. And for
many younger targets — particularly the under-30s who grew up with the
instant gratification of the Web — it remains as didactic and passive
as it has been since the 19th century. Read the rest of this entry ?


Promoting Asian Maritime Research

July 31, 2006

I’d like to take a moment to highlight a topic that has often been overlooked in maritime archaeology: Asian seafaring. Relatively few archaeological excavations have been done in Asian waters, and even less has been published on those topics. Books or websites (especially in English) are few and far between. Read the rest of this entry ?


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