Records (1973-2015) of the North American Society for Oceanic History (NASOH) including correspondence, membership lists, annual conference materials, book awards, bibliographies, newsletters, treasurer's records, programs, and publications.
The North American Society for Oceanic History (NASOH) was proposed in 1973 as an organization comprised of individuals interested in the history of the sea. NASOH is concerned with the dissemination of information regarding maritime and naval history, nautical archaeology, marine architecture, exploration, oceanographic history, ethnology, folklore, and maritime museums. The society focuses on maritime issues in the United States, Canada, and the Caribbean and is organized with a board of directors, president, vice-presidents, secretary, and treasurer. It publishes a quarterly newsletter that contains book reviews and notices, conference information, maritime history symposia and museum news, information on U. S. maritime legislation, nautical archaeology field work information, and maritime education.
The society officially incorporated as a non-profit educational organization in September 1974 with its constitution and by-laws adopted in July 1975. In January 1976 the first list of nominations for NASOH officers was offered to its membership, and the society's first officers were named July 1976. The first major meeting was held at the Peabody Museum in Salem, MA, in March 1977, and since then, meetings have been held yearly at various locations. An annual book awards competition, organized by Chapel Hill, NC, Maritime History consultant John Lyman, was established with its own committee (April 1977). After Lyman's death in November 1977, the awards became known as "The John Lyman Book Awards." Another NASOH honor "for special services performed by an individual that relate to the aims of the society" was established in 1988 and named "The Jack Bauer Award," after a long-time member and ex-president.
The collection's early materials deal with efforts to get NASOH organized, the development of a relationship with the Peabody Museum's publication The American Neptune, and the society's increasing membership. A substantial portion of the society's early correspondence is concerned with the International Commission for Maritime History and a North American challenge to its French leadership (September 1975-April 1977).
Throughout the collection's correspondence are inquiries, conference paper proposals, and conference organization details written by NASOH members and officers who are scholars and authors, active and retired United States Navy personnel, and interested laypersons. Numerous universities and museums are members of NASOH such as East Carolina University, University College London, Yale, Harvard, the Mariner's Museum, Peabody Museum, and the museums of the Smithsonian Institution. Many United States governmental agencies have NASOH membership, including the Library of Congress, the National Archives and Records Service, the Naval Historical Center, the National Parks Service, and the Department of the Navy.
Correspondence from members of the United States Congress reflect the concerns of NASOH officers to congressional legislation and its affect on maritime-related cultural and archaeological resources. Maine Senator Edmund Muskie commented on the "National Ocean Policy Study" and provided pertinent information on the subject for NASOH's newsletter. Maryland Representative Marjorie Holt and Senator Paul S. Sarbanes thanked a NASOH officer for his views on the National Heritage Act of 1980 (H. R. 6805). Further, Sarbanes re-capped the Act's progress through the House Interior and Insular Affairs Sub-Committee on National Parks and Insular Affairs. He also reviewed the Senate Companion measure (S. 1842) that was referred to the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Sub-Committee on Parks and Recreation. Another Maryland senator, Charles McC. Mathias, corresponded with a NASOH officer concerning proposed funding cuts to the Heritage Conservation and Recreation Service and the Historic Preservation Fund.
The remaining materials are strictly NASOH-related and consist of inaugural membership applications and lists, annual conference meeting minutes, meeting photographs, Lyman Book Awards records, annual conference programs, and attendance lists. Also included are NASOH newsletters (1975-1994) and NASOH proceedings (1978-1979, 1985).
Other newsletters and publications that are concerned with maritime history and nautical archaeology complete the collection. Among these items are copies of the Australian Association for Maritime History Newsletter, the Institute for Nautical Archaeology Newsletter, Bowling Green State University's "Lake Log Chips" begun by John Lyman in 1948. Other publications include issues of the Chronique d'histoire maritime, naval history-related works, bibliographies, archival resource guides, andmuseum guides. A photograph of the Brown's Ferry Vessel, an excavated and raised shipwreck, is also included.
Gift of NASOH Council
Gift of John B. Hattendorf
Gift of William S. Dudley
Gift of Virginia Steele Wood
Gift of Harold D. Langley
Gift of Mary Ellen Condon-Rall
Encoded by Apex Data Services. Processed by Ann Merriman.
Literary rights to specific documents are retained by the authors or their descendants in accordance with U.S. copyright law.