New Bedford Themanual

2019 NMHS Annual Meeting & NASOH Conference 15-18 May New Bedford

Registration & Sponsorship Conference Schedule  Paper Abstracts

The National Maritime Historical Society looks forward to welcoming you this 15-18 May 2019 in historic New Bedford, Massachusetts for the 56th NMHS Annual Meeting, held jointly with the North American Society for Oceanic History (NASOH) and co-hosted by the New Bedford Whaling Museum, New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park, and the New Bedford Fishing Heritage Center.  Under the conference theme “Connecting the Global and Local: The Sea and Maritime Cities,” NASOH will present three days of sessions and panels that explore the dynamic social, cultural, environmental, economic, and physical spaces that connect city to sea. We will hear the most up-to-date research by maritime scholars and professionals in the field, all set in the historic “Whaling City” of New Bedford, a vibrant nexus of oceanic, maritime and coastal history once considered one of the richest cities in the world.

Conference Highlights: 

Among the conference highlights will be tours of the New Bedford Fishing Heritage Center and the New Bedford Whaling Museum, including its five massive whale skeletons, the world’s largest ship model (Lagoda), and America’s longest painting!  After panel sessions on Thursday we’ll enjoy a reception at the New Bedford Fishing Heritage Center.  After sessions on Friday, we’ll get out on the water for an evening cruise aboard the ferryboat Cuttyhunk. The conference will conclude on Saturday with morning sessions, the NMHS 56th Annual Meeting, optional tours of historic New Bedford, and an evening banquet at Wamsutta Club, the private New Bedford social club founded in 1866.

Registration & Sponsorship:

The full conference price for NMHS members is $250, which includes daily lunches, receptions, cruise and banquet (with cash bar at select events). We encourage your sponsorship at the $5,000 Underwriter, $1,000 Sponsor, or $500 Donor levels – your generosity, which makes these conferences possible, will be recognized in the NMHS conference journal, at the podium, and in Sea History magazine.  Register online, or call (914) 737-7878 Ext. 0 to sign up. We encourage you to register early, as space for the boat cruise and banquet is limited.

We are especially grateful to our

Conference Underwriters
William H. White & Howard Slotnick

David S. Fowler

Ronald L. Oswald, ADM Robert J. Papp & Capt. Cesare Sorio

Walter R. Brown & William J. Green



The “NA Society for Oceanic History” group hotel block has expired at the Fairfield Inn & Suites – New Bedford.  Please call 774-634-2000 for current availability.  Located at the head of Homer’s Wharf at 185 MacArthur Drive, the hotel is just a quarter mile from the Whaling Museum and an easy stroll along the waterfront.

Conference Schedule:

The preliminary schedule is below; a full conference program, schedule and list of presenters and their papers will be made available before the conference.

Wednesday, 15 May 4:00 PM-5:00 PM Registration
Thursday, 16 May 8:30 AM – 12:00 PM Registration
9:00 AM – 9:30 AM Opening Remarks
9:30 AM – 12:00 PM Panel & Paper Sessions
12:00 PM – 1:00 PM Lunch
1:00 PM – 4:00 PM Panel & Paper Sessions
5:00 PM – 7:00 PM Reception at New Bedford Fishing Heritage Center
Friday, 17 May 8:30 AM – 12:00 PM Registration
9:00 AM – 12:00 PM Panel & Paper Sessions
12:00 PM – 1:00 PM Lunch
1:00 PM – 4:00 PM Panel & Paper Sessions
5:00 PM – 7:00 PM Evening Cruise on Cuttyhunk Ferryboat
Saturday, 18 May 8:30 AM – 10:00 AM Registration
9:00 AM – 11:00 AM Panel & Paper Sessions
11:00 AM – 12:00 PM NMHS 56th Annual Meeting
12:00 PM – 1:00 PM Lunch
1:00 PM – 4:00 PM Optional Tours of New Bedford
5:00 PM – 9:00 PM Reception & Awards Banquet at Wamsutta Club


New Bedford, Massachusetts:

The city of New Bedford, Massachusetts is a vibrant nexus in oceanic, maritime, and coastal history that has few parallels in North America.  Though possessing immense cultural weight through its association with American whaling industry and Herman Melville’s Moby Dick, New Bedford’s maritime history did not begin or end with whaling.  In the second decade of the 21st Century, the city remains the nation’s most valuable fishing port and more than 5,000 people are employed in port-related jobs.  Employment opportunities and the openness of the maritime sectors to immigrant laborers from the whaling era to the present have led to a racially and culturally diverse city and population with enduring ties to Portugal, the Azores, Cape Verde, Norway, and the Atlantic Maritimes. More recently immigrants from Vietnam, Mexico and Central America have found work in the fishing industry.  This is readily apparent in aspects of everyday life such as food ways, ethnic clubs and small businesses.  Centuries of dependence on the unforgiving sea fostered the creation of maritime charities, medical and other social service institutions such as the famous Seamen’s Bethel & Mariners Home and the still active Shaw Fund for Mariner’s Children.  Multicultural in its composition, global in its historical connections with the sea, New Bedford captures maritime North America in all its dimensions.