Who We Are



KaimagSince its beginnings in 1963, the National Maritime Historical Society has been celebrating the sea – raising awareness of our maritime heritage and the role seafaring has played in shaping civilization. Hundreds of thousands of readers have discovered in the pages of Sea History magazine a treasure-trove of tales, past and present, that captivate, inspire, and educate us about the vital role of the sea—and those who have sailed upon it.

The lessons that our seafaring legacy teaches, of courage and respect, teamwork and self-reliance, resourcefulness and grit, are timeless. And now, it is more important than ever to bring these lessons to the next generation—tomorrow’s maritime leaders.

Sea History 158 coverTo encourage the study of our heritage, NMHS proudly participates in National History Day, offering maritime prizes in this year-long educational program for middle and high school students. Sea History for Kids, long a popular feature in the magazine, is now available online. And thanks to National Maritime Heritage Grant funding from the National Park Service, scholars of all ages have unprecedented access to Sea History magazine research on the Society’s website seahistory.org.

The Society has a long history of involvement in other maritime education initiatives, like its monthly author lecture series and the preservation of its maritime library and collections, saving for future generations a treasure of maritime scholarship, literature and seafaring lore.

To keep those memories alive and well, the Society actively supports the production of short biographical films highlighting outstanding work in the field, as well as feature length documentaries on remarkable ships and maritime events. And to broaden knowledge, encourage partnerships, and keep the study of history current and relevant, the Society supports maritime heritage conferences and events across the country.

Strength in Numbers

Thank you to all the supporters of the National Maritime Historical Society, for your generous and steadfast support of our work. None of our accomplishments would be possible without the dedication and generosity of people just like you, seeking to raise awareness of our seafaring past and how that heritage continues to shape our world.

But there is still much work to be done! And we call upon you to join us now to help preserve what will be lost if we do not act.  Learn more about how you can support the National Maritime Historical Society and our noble mission.

Good Governance & Fiscal Responsibility

The National Maritime Historical Society is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization founded in 1963 with a membership-elected board of trustees serving three-year terms.  We value good governance, fiscal responsibility, and transparency, each year publishing information about the organization and earning the GuideStar Gold Seal of Transparency, so you can support our work with trust and confidence.  View our GuideStar Nonprofit Profile or download our three most recent Form 990 IRS filings here: 2021 Form 990; 2020 Form 990; 2019 Form 990.



1963 to Present 

Karl Kortum (1927-1996)  

Peter Stanford (1927-2016) 

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NMHS Staff

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