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Interpreting Maritime History at Museums and Historic Sites

Edited by Joel Stone

Interpreting Maritime History at Museums and Historic Sites lays the groundwork for keeping this heritage alive in museums and historic sites. It provides the broadest spectrum of discussion and direction for those approaching new installations, projects and programming. Highlights of its wide-range include:

•Historic vessels and shipbuilding
•Freshwater maritime history, including a focus on regionalism
•Maritime archaeology, including shipwrecks
•Scientific history, including the environment
•Recreational history, including rowing, fishing, racing, and cruising
•Lighthouses and lifesaving stations
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Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Pages: 176Size: 7 1/4 x 10 1/2
978-1-4422-7907-0 • Hardback • March 2017 • $80.00 • (£52.95)
978-1-4422-7908-7 • Paperback • March 2017 • $34.00 • (£23.95)
978-1-4422-7909-4 • eBook • March 2017 • $32.00 • (£22.95)
Joel Stone, editor of this volume, is senior curator with the Detroit Historical Society, which manages the Detroit Historical Museum, the Dossin Great Lakes Museum, and a significant collection of both archival and physical maritime artifacts. Besides attending to the rich trove of Detroit history, he specializes in the matters of the North American maritime.
List of Illustrations
SECTION I: Introduction:
Chapter 1 – Introduction to Maritime History
Chapter 2 – The North American Maritime
Chapter 3 – Boats and Ships of North America
SECTION II: Case Studies
Chapter 4 – Layers of Interpretation: the Charles W. Morgan’s Changing Role at Mystic Seaport
Erik Ingmundson, interpreter, Mystic Seaport
Chapter 5 – Living Maritime History: The Historic Belle of Louisville
Kadie Engstrom, education coordinator, Belle of Louisville
Chapter 6 – Place, Industry, Recreation: Interpreting a Diverse Maritime Environment
Joel Stone, senior curator, Detroit Historical Society, Dossin Great Lakes Museum
Chapter 7 – Underwater Archaeological Preserves, Parks, and Trails: A Florida Perspective
Franklin H. Price, senior archaeologist, Florida Preserves
Chapter 8 – Maritime Archaeology as “Evidence-Based Storytelling”
Dan Harrison, archaeologist, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI
Chapter 9 –Campus Preservation and Shipwreck Research at Whitefish Point
Bruce Lynn, Executive Director, Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum, Whitefish Bay, Michigan
Chapter 10 – Curating and Exhibiting Recreational Boating
John Summers, Manager of Heritage Services and Curator for the Regional Municipality of Halton, Ontario.
Chapter 11 – Living Maritime History: Chanties, Ballads and Folktales
Joel Stone, with Lee Murdock, balladeer and historian, and Joanne Murdock, maritime arts promoter.
Chapter 12 – Interpreting Difficult or Dramatic History
Joel Stone
Chapter 13 – The “Other” Aspects of Maritime History
Joel Stone
About the Contributors
Interpreting Maritime History at Museums and Historic Sites does a good job of covering the wide ranging topic of maritime history and its many intersections within the broader cloth of general United States history. The authors represent a range of history practitioners who do an excellent job of reinforcing the notion that American maritime history is at once a global story covering not only our ocean coasts and communities, but much of the interior of the country as well – from the Great Lakes to the reaches of the Mississippi River and its tributaries. This book uses the lens of our great maritime traditions to look at topics ranging from historic preservation, material, and popular culture to environmental, racial, and social issues that museums and historic sites must confront in order to stay relevant today.
Bill Peterson, Northern Division Director, Arizona Historical Society

With lively prose and striking examples, this book connects America’s rich maritime legacy to the present with a powerful argument: The sea has played an essential role in American history and demands interpretation at museums and historic sites. Joel Stone and other leading museum professionals and maritime experts provide crucial background on maritime history and engaging ‘how to’ case studies for representing the sea in museum installations and programs. The topics range widely, from lighthouses and shipwrecks to sea shanties and recreational boating. Together, the contributions elevate awareness about the significance of water to the human experience --- and why that relationship deserves greater attention in our cultural centers.
Denver Brunsman, Associate Professor and Director of Undergraduate Studies, Department of History, The George Washington University and author of "The Evil Necessity: British Naval Impressment in the Eighteenth-Century Atlantic World"

A great guide for the student, amateur, and seasoned professional; there is literally something for everyone interested in the interpretation of maritime history from pleasure boats to music and archaeology to vessel design. Joel Stone and his fellow authors present concrete examples of how to interpret maritime history through an examination of the field including history, theory, experienced- based programming, and hands-on learning both below the water and above.
Ron Bloomfield, Museum of Cultural and Natural History, Central Michigan University and President, Association for Great Lakes Maritime History