by Johnathan Thayer, Senior Archivist
The Seamen’s Church Institute’s (SCI) Archives department has received a $34,000 Maritime Heritage Program grant from the National Park Service (NPS) to fund a two-year project that aims to create a consortium of digital archives for New York City’s maritime history. The project, entitled “Mapping New York City’s Sailortown: A Networked Digital Maritime History Consortium,” will seek partners to build a digital network through digitization of archival materials and the use of digital history methods.
SCI’s Archives has a mandate to collect, preserve and make accessible not only records related to the history of the Institute itself but also documentation of the history of mariners—and by extension the history of the Port of New York. This NPS-funded project enables SCI’s Archives department to add to its own digital collections as well as expand efforts to document the historical footprints of mariners in the city’s sailortown: a dense space of maritime trade and culture spanning the old wards surrounding the Battery as well as the coastal margins along the Hudson River and the Brooklyn Waterfront.
In the coming months, SCI will seek partners interested in working together and contributing to this emerging digital history consortium. Keep an eye out for an official call for participants, or send us an email.