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Grant number: PG-258395-18

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Mariners' Museum (Newport News, VA 23606-3759)
Jay Moore (Project Director: May 2017 to present)

The Mariners' Museum Motion Picture Film Preservation Project

The purchase of preservation supplies to support the rehousing of 690 historic films related to United States maritime history. Dating from the 1920s, the collection documents developments in the manufacture of commercial and military vessels. The largest single group of films features historic ship launchings, commissioning ceremonies, and shipyard activities at the Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company. 


The Mariners' Museum Motion Picture Film Preservation Project will protect a collection of 690 films that reflect significant moments in American life, including US Navy explorations of the Antarctic, the launching of important military and commercial ships, and the building of the SS United States, the fastest passenger steamer ever built. They document endangered maritime cultures of local and national importance, such as the oystermen and menhaden fishermen of the Chesapeake Bay. They depict historic ships, such as the RMS Olympic, sister ship to the doomed luxury liner Titanic; the NS Savannah, the only nuclear-powered passenger ship ever built; and the first of 3 sets of replicas of the Jamestown discovery ships Susan Constant, Godspeed, and Discovery. The films explore scientific and technical advances in shipbuilding and provides perspective on maritime history, traditional and modern maritime cultures, and geographic exploration.  Project is January 1, 2018 through May 1, 2019.

Project fields:
U.S. History

Preservation Assistance Grants

Preservation and Access

Total amounts:
$4,381 (approved)
$4,381 (awarded)

Grant period:
1/1/2018 – 6/30/2019