DELGADO, James




Author Tags: Maritime

James P. Delgado has become known worldwide as the co-host, along with Clive Cussler, of The Sea Hunters, a documentary TV series shown by National Geographic International Television in more than 170 countries. His passion for combining maritime history and underwater archaeology has taken him around the world and made him one of British Columbia's most respected and prolific authors. Having produced more than 25 books, including The British Museum Encyclopedia of Maritime and Underwater Archaeology, Delgado is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, a member of the Explorers Club and the Executive Director of the Vancouver Maritime Museum from 1991 to 2006 when he resigned to join the Institute of Nautical Archaeology at Texas A&M University at College Station. He took up residence on the waterfront in Steveston, B.C.

Under Delgado's direction the Vancouver Maritime Museum opened its own bookstore and operated its own publishing program. He was named Naval History Author of the Year by the U.S. Naval Institute in 2003. His Simon Fraser University thesis attained in 2006 is a synthesis of 28 years of work on the rise of San Francisco as a port.

James Delgado was born in San Jose, California in 1958. Growing up in San Francisco, Delgado was taken to see Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen’s Gjoa, the first vessel to navigate the Northwest Passage in 1903-1905. He later visited the Arctic and undertook the first detailed archaeological study of the sunken remains of Roald Amundsen’s ship Maud. As the director of the Vancouver Maritime Museum, he found himself responsible for preserving the concrete-docked RCMP schooner St. Roch, the second vessel to navigate the Northwest Passage.

"For me," he once wrote, "the past lives because I have been fortunate enough to touch it... It includes walking over the wooden decks of ships buried in landfill during the California gold rush of 1849 and swimming along the sides of the sunken battleship Arizona at Pearl Harbour, past silent portholes with air and oil yet trapped behind them. It has meant picking up scattered bones, opening a hatch last closed by a long-dead hand, silently examining broken dishes and scattered silverware on a galley deck from a Sunday breakfast forever interrupted by a fatal attack on the morning of December 7, 1941... I have stood on grey gravel beaches, with the wind never ceasing... floated in frigid waters at the submerged bow of the wreck of Amundsen’s Maud, and sat in the library in Greenwich, with the last record of the Franklin expedition in my hands. I have mused, alone for an hour, in the small cabin of Gjoa."

Delgado's many maritime titles include Pearl Harbor Recalled: New Images of the Day of Infamy; Beaver: First Steamship on the West Coast; Arctic Workhorse: The RCMP Schooner St. Roch; Adventures of a Sea Hunter: In Search of Famous Shipwrecks and Waterfront: The Illustrated Maritime Story of Greater Vancouver. When he received the BC Booksellers' Choice Award in Honour of Bill Duthie in 2006, shortly after announcing he was taking a new job to pursue more underwater archaeology research, Delgado said, "In many ways Waterfront is the Maritime Museum I hoped to build in this community." It was a co-winner of the 2006 City of Vancouver Book Award. [See press release below]. Waterfront City was followed by Khubilai Khan's Lost Fleet, an account of the seafaring adventures of the Mongol Empire she Khan ruled the world's largest empire, from the China Sea to present-day Hungary, while inheriting--and ruining--the world's largest navy.

When Jim Delgado curated Continuity, Conflict and Change, a 1995 Maritime Museum exhibit about the activities of the Hudson's Bay Company on the West Coast, he was able to bring to Vancouver one of the most remarkable and little-known artifacts pertaining to British Columbia from the early nineteenth century--the HBC's Governor's Flag that was brought to the West Coast by HBC Governor George Simpson and raised at the founding of Fort Vancouver (located in present-day Washington State) in 1825. This same emblem, approximately five feet by eight feet, was later brought to the new HBC headquarters at Fort Victoria on Vancouver Island in 1849. Delgado was alerted to the existence of the HBC relic by Fort Vancouver Park Historian David Hansen in 1994. Gus Norwood of the Clark County Historical Society showed Delgado the cardboard box that contained the flag, faded and folded. It had been donated to the Historical Society by a Canadian when the fort was being redeveloped for tourism and historical purposes. Keenly aware of the significance of this rare flag, Delgado made arrangements for it to be shown at the Vancouver Maritime Museum in 1995. "It's a powerful artifact of the changing fortunes of the Company and the changing fortunes of the [British] Empire," says Delgado.

BOOKS:

Sombras de la Noche: The Agustin Bernal Adobe, Its Inhabitants and Heritage. San Jose: Smith-McKay, 1976.

(With Christopher C. Wade) How California Adobes Were Built in the 1830s: A Simple Guide to a Lost Art. San Jose: Smith-McKay, 1977.

Witness to Empire: Antonio Maria Suñol. San Jose: Sourisseau Academy for California State and Local History, 1984.

Alcatraz Island: The Story Behind the Scenery. Las Vegas: KC Publications, 1985.

(Editor) The Log of the Apollo: Joseph Perkins Beach's Log of the Voyage of the Ship Apollo from New York to San Francisco, 1849. San Francisco: Book Club of California, 1986.

(Editor) Proceedings of the Annual Conference on Historical Archaeology, Reno, Nevada. Ann Arbor: Society for Historical Archaeology, 1988.

(With Stephen A. Haller) Shipwrecks at the Golden Gate. San Francisco: Lexicos, 1989.

To California By Sea: A Maritime History of the California Gold Rush. University of South Carolina Press, 1990. Second edition (paper) 1996.

National Parks of America. New York: Crescent Books, 1990.

(With Tom Freeman) Pearl Harbor Recalled: New Images of the Day of Infamy. Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 1991.

(With J. Candace Clifford) Great American Ships. Washington, D.C.: Preservation Press, 1991. Second Edition, 1996.

Alcatraz Island. San Francisco: Golden Gate National Parks Association, 1991.

Dauntless St. Roch: The Mounties' Arctic Schooner. Victoria, B.C.: Horsdal and Schubart, 1992.

Beaver: First Steamship on the West Coast. Victoria, B.C.:Horsdal and Schubart, 1993.

Ghost Fleet: The Sunken Ships of Bikini Atoll. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1996.

The British Museum Encyclopaedia of Underwater and Maritime Archaeology. London: British Museum Press, 1997.

Made for Ice: The Wreck of the Polar Ship Maud. Vancouver: Vancouver Maritime Museum/Underwater Archaeological Society of British Columbia, 1997.

Encyclopaedia of Underwater and Maritime Archaeology. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1998.

Across the Top of the World: The Quest for the Northwest Passage. Vancouver and Toronto: Douglas and McIntyre/New York: Facts on File,/London: British Museum Press, 1999.

Lost Warships: An Archaeological Tour of War at Sea. Vancouver and Toronto: Douglas and McIntyre / New York: Facts on File/London: Conway Maritime Press, 2001.

USS Arizona: Ship and Symbol (with Joy Jasper and James Adams). New York: St. Martins Press, 2001.

Beaver: The Hudson’s Bay Company’s 1835 Steam Ship (with John McKay and Leonard G. McCann). Toronto: Vanwell Press, 2001.

Racers and Rovers: 100 Years of the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club. (Douglas and McIntyre, 2003)

Arctic Workhorse: The RCMP Schooner St. Roch. (Victoria: Horsdal and Schubart/Heritage House, 2003).

Adventures of a Sea Hunter: In Search of Famous Shipwrecks (D&M, 2004).

Waterfront: The Illustrated Maritime Story of Greater Vancouver (Stanton, Atkins & Dosil, 2005).

Khubilai Khan's Lost Fleet: In Search of a Legendary Armada (D&M 2008).

CHILDREN'S BOOKS

Shipwrecks: Native American Craft; Danbury, Connecticut, Franklin Watts, 2000.

Shipwrecks: The Westward Movement; Danbury, Connecticut, Franklin Watts, 2000.

Shipwrecks: American Warships, Danbury, Connecticut, Franklin Watts, 2000.

AWARDS: Annual Prize Essay Contest in American Maritime History, Marine Historical Association, Mystic, Connecticut, for the article "Murder Most Foul: San Francisco Reacts to the Loss of the S.S. Central America," 1983. Special Achievement Award, National Park Service, 1987. Distinguished Public Service Award, South Street Seaport Museum, New York, New York. Awarded to the National Maritime Initiative, 1989. John Lyman Book Award, for Across the Top of The World, from North American Society for Oceanic History, 1999. BC Booksellers' Choice Award in Honour of Bill Duthie, 2006, for Waterfront.

EDUCATION: B.A. History (American History), San Francisco State University, San Francisco, California, magna cum laude, 1981. M.A. History (Maritime History and Underwater Research), East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, 1985. Ph.D. (Candidate, Department of Archaeology), Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, British Columbia, anticipated graduation 2003.

EMPLOYMENT HISTORY: Executive Director, Vancouver Maritime Museum, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. ril 1991- Present. Maritime Historian of the National Park Service and Head of the National Maritime Initiative, National Park Service, Washington, D.C. March 1987-April 1991. Historian, United States Department of the Interior, National Park Service, Golden Gate National Recreation Area, San Francisco, California. June 1979-March 1987. Assistant to the Regional Historian, United States Department of the Interior, National Park Service, Western Regional Office, San Francisco, California. May 1978-June 1979. Curator, Roberto Adobe, San Jose, California, a privately owned 1835-1847 private house museum. 1977-1978. Assistant Curator, New Almaden Museum, New Almaden, California. A small, privately owned museum specializing in mercury mining, local Native American culture and local history. 1974-1975; 1977.

PART-TIME EMPLOYMENT: Host, “The Sea Hunters”, National Geographic Television Series, 2000 – Present. Archaeologist/Lecturer, Zegrahm/Deep Sea Expeditions, 1999 – Present. Monthly Columnist, Harbour & Shipping Magazine, Vancouver, 1997 – 1999. Instructor, University of British Columbia, School of Continuing Education, 1994-1999. Instructor, California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco, 1984, 1986-1987. Instructor, East Carolina University, Department of History, Fall 1985. Instructor, San Francisco State University, Department of Anthropology, Summer 1984. Instructor, San Francisco State University, Department of Humanities, 1983-1984, 1986-1987. Historian/Lecturer, Special Expeditions, 1994 – 1999. Guest columnist and writer, The Washington Post, the Boston Globe, the Globe and Mail (Toronto) and the Vancouver Sun, 1987-Present.

PUBLIC AND PROFESSIONAL SERVICE: Liaison, San José Youth Commission to the San Jose Historical Landmarks Commission, 1973-1974. Commissioner, San José Bicentennial Commission, 1974-1975. Commissioner, San José Historical Landmarks Commission, 1976-1978. Member, Mayor's Blue-Ribbon Commission for a San Francisco Historical Museum, 1982. Founding Board Member, National Maritime Alliance, 1990-1992. Member of the ICOMOS (International Committee of Monuments and Sites) Committee on the International Underwater Cultural Heritage, 1991-2002. Board Member, Council of American Maritime Museums, 1992-1994. Vice-President, Council of American Maritime Museums, 1996-1999. President, Council of American Maritime Museums, 1999-2001. Executive Council Member, International Congress of Maritime Museums, 1997-2001. Editorial Board Member, Journal of Field Archaeology, 1996-2002. Editorial Board Member, The American Neptune, 1996-Present. Trustee, Option Youth Society, Vancouver, 1998-1999. Judge, Better Newspaper Competition, BC-Yukon Community Newspaper Association, 1993 – Present. Nominations Committee, Register of Professional Archaeologists, 2000-Present. Nominations Committee, National Council on Public History, 2000-Present. Knight of St. John, Order of St. John/Knights Hospitaller, 2003-

ACCREDITATION / FELLOWSHIPS: Fellow of The Royal Geographical Society, London.
Fellow (International) of The Explorer’s Club, New York. Registered Professional Archaeologist.

SELECTED ARCHAEOLOGICAL FIELD EXPERIENCE

Vancouver Maritime Museum, Vancouver, B.C., 1991-Present

Principal Projects

Wreck of S.S. Beaver, Vancouver, 1991-Present. Survey and documentation of steamship wreck (1835-1887). Principal Investigator.

Wreck of Schooner Vancouver, Queen Charlotte Islands, British Columbia, 1994. Survey and preliminary documentation of 1836 wreck of Hudson's Bay Company trading vessel. Principal Investigator.

Maritime collections, Fort Vancouver National Historic Site, 1994-1995. Reanalysis/documentation of archaeological collections excavated at Fort Vancouver between 1948-1978 for maritime archaeological materials. Principal Investigator.

Wreck of Maud, Cambridge Bay, Nunavut, Canada, 1996-1997. Survey and documentation of Arctic exploration vessel (1918-1931). Principal Investigator.

Wreck of Brig Isabella, mouth of the Columbia River, Oregon, 1997-Present. Ongoing survey and documentation of 1830 wreck of Hudson's Bay Company supply vessel.

Wreck of HMS Terror, King William Island vicinity, Nunavut, Canada, 2000. A search for Captain Sir John Franklin’s exploration ship, HMS Terror (1845-1848), 2000.

Wreck of RMS Titanic (1912). Archaeological reconnaissance dive in submersible Mir 2, 2000.

Wreck of RMS Carpathia (1918) Celtic Sea, off Ireland. Survey and identification of the wreck of the ship that rescued Titanic’s survivors, 2000.

Wreck of Mary Celeste (1885) Rochelois Reef, Haiti. Survey and identification and ongoing analysis of artefacts from a merchant ship previously found abandoned at sea in 1872 in a case that remains a notorious maritime mystery, 2000-2002.

Wreck of L-26, near Peggy’s Cove, Nova Scotia, Canada. Survey and identification of British 1920’s submarine scuttled after World War II, 2001.

Wreck of HMCS Clayaquot (1944), near Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. Survey and identification of Canadian minesweeper sunk by a German U-Boat, 2001.

Wreck of US Collier Merrimac (1898), Santiago de Cuba, Cuba. Survey and identification of first warship sunk during the Spanish-American War.

SELECTED FILM/DOCUMENTARY EXPERIENCE:

Secret Subs of Pearl Harbor, National Geographic Explorer.

Bikini: Forbidden Paradise, ABC World of Discovery.

Alcatraz, American Justice.

Navigation, Propulsion, Design and Construction and Ordnance in the Great Ships series, A&E.

Alcatraz, Sightings.

Bikini Atoll, Extreme Diving.

The USS Somers: Billy Budd’s Ghost Ship, Discovery (US).

Submarine Rescue, SS Central America. Arts & Entertainment.

Chinatown, Arts & Entertainment

Co-host, live 2-hour Shark Week broadcast special from Bikini Atoll, Discovery (US).

Host, The Sea Hunters, a monthly series, now in its fourth season, with author Clive Cussler, National Geographic (International, US and Canada) and History Television.

[Alan Twigg / BCBW 2008] "Maritime"


Across the Top of the World (D&M $45)
Review



From 1940 to 1942, the St. Roch became the second vessel to navigate the Northwest Passage, tracing Roald Amundsen’s route from west to east, then the St. Roch navigated a more northerly route through Melville Sound and Prince of Wales Strait in 1944. The successful voyages of the Gjoa and the St. Roch were preceded by a remarkable litany of failures, most notably the Sir John Franklin expedition from 1845 to 1848. All 129 members of Franklin's party famously perished. Commemorated as a hero by Lord Tennyson, the ill-prepared Franklin ironically became the man most responsible for popularizing the renewed quest for the Northwest Passage in the 19th century. The valiant, tragic and sometimes foolish voyages to find a shortcut from the Atlantic to Pacific Ocean were mainly sponsored by the British Admiralty. James Delgado’s Across the Top of the World (D&M $45) provides an illustrated overview of Europeans’ various Arctic explorations and Arctic research commencing with Martin Frobisher’s expedition in 1576.

Perhaps the most poignant tale belongs to Henry Hudson who discovered the ‘inland sea’ that became the centre for a fur-trading empire, the Hudson’s Bay Company. This company, in turn, gave birth to Canada as a political entity. Hudson’s first Arctic voyage in 1607 took him just 577 miles from the North Pole. It was a naval accomplishment that would not be eclipsed for more than a century-and-a-half. Only the threat of mutiny forced Hudson’s return to England. Hudson next tried sailing northeast, across the top of Norway and Russia, in 1608. Again blocked by ice, Hudson’s crew threatened to mutiny for a second time. Hudson agreed to provide ‘a certificate under my own hand’ to prove his men had not forced him to return to London. For his third voyage in 1609, Hudson embarked from Amsterdam under a Dutch flag and surveyed the east coast of North America. His ‘discovery’ of the Hudson River gave the Dutch a land claim in the New World. They founded New Amsterdam, a city that was renamed New York. Henry Hudson received his first official sanction to search for the Northwest Passage in 1610 for his fourth and final voyage. Fearing mutiny in advance, he took the precaution of planting an informant named Henry Greene among his 22 crewmen.

Aboard the Discovery, Hudson entered the ice-clogged waters of Hudson Strait in late June. According to his charts, they had proceeded more than 100 leagues further west than any other Englishman. Did they wish to continue? Hudson consulted with his men and weakened his authority in the process. In early August they pushed through the strait and found a large ‘sea’. By November 1st they had reached the southernmost end of Hudson Bay, at James Bay. Hudson ordered his men to haul Discovery ashore and prepare for winter. The men were none too keen to comply. Hudson relieved his first mate, Robert Juet, with Robert Bylot, and fell out with the ship’s carpenter, the gunner and his informant Greene. The unpredictable Hudson then replaced Bylot. It must have been a long and miserable winter.

The Discovery didn’t break free of ice until the following June. With their exit from James Bay feasible, the crew took control. They seized Hudson, tied him up, and set him adrift in a small boat with several ‘poor, sick lame men’ and Hudson’s 19-year-old son John. The castaways were given a gun, some shot, the carpenter’s tools, an iron pot and some pikes —and little hope for survival. In romanticized paintings that have depicted Henry Hudson’s fate as a castaway, his son has been depicted as a small boy, heightening sympathy for the explorer. Delgado’s Across the Top of the World suggests Henry Hudson was a chronically unreliable leader, not to be trusted by his employees or his men. He was an unworthy captain who sacrificed accountability for ambition. The Discovery sailed out of Hudson Bay with Greene and Bylot in control. Greene was killed at Digges Island when his landing crew of six men was attacked by Inuit; others died en route to Europe. Starving, the skeleton crew of Discovery reached Ireland in 1611. Pawning the anchor and cable for food, some of the mutineers made it to England.

Hudson’s journal had been mostly destroyed by the men but they had saved his chart. “This, and Bylot’s report that the currents and tides of the bay indicated that it led to the Northwest Passage, saved the surviving mutineers from the gallows,” writes Delgado. “It also inspired a return to Hudson’s Bay.” Welshman Thomas Button followed, reaching the Nelson and Churchill Rivers of Manitoba, and John Ingram, William Gibbons and Robert Bylot all mounted Arctic voyages in Henry Hudson’s durable Discovery. Bylot’s proficient pilot William Baffin passed the entrance to the Northwest Passage, Lancaster Sound, and conclusively reported, “there is no passage nor hope of passage in the north of Davis Straights.” Baffin and Bylot’s daring penetration of Baffin Bay was forgotten. “Two hundred and three years later,” writes Delgado, “William Edward Parry of the Royal Navy would push through Lancaster Sound and enter the great maze of the Canadian Arctic archipelago that held the Northwest Passage.”

1-55054-734-8

[BCBW SPRING 2000]


Adventures of a Sea Hunter (D&M $35)
Article



James Delgado, Director of the Vancouver Maritime Museum, has toured the wreck of the Titanic two miles beneath the surface of the Atlantic. He has seen Pearl Harbour from the sand up and he has dived to investigate an American Civil War submarine—in Panama. As co-host of The Sea Hunters, a television show syndicated in more than 170 countries, Delgado has also examined a Dutch cargo ship sunk carrying 18th century art belonging to Catherine the Great and found vestiges of the Kublai Khan’s lost treasure fleet off the coast of Japan. A veritable Neil Armstrong of the ocean floor, Delgado has even explored the waterfilled remains of the Third Reich’s underground munitions factory in the Harz Mountains of Germany where Buchenwald prisoners lived, drilled and blasted rock in twelve-hour shifts.

But his most harrowing underwater experience, described in Adventures of a Sea Hunter (D&M $35), occurred closest to home, in 1987, while investigating the hulk of the Hudson’s Bay Company supply ship Isabella, a relic discovered near the mouth of the Columbia River more 150 years after it sank. In the same area, Delgado has examined the hulk of the British four-masted barque Peter Iredale, wrecked in 1906. After viewing the remains of the Isabella, Delgado resurfaced to the dive boat, pulled off his mask, spat out his regulator, without first removing his weight belt. Reaching down to pull off his fins, he fumbled and fell backwards off the ladder, plummeting back to the Isabella.

“With the desperate strength people sometimes find in these situations, I push off the bottom with my legs and kick for the surface, my lungs burning,” he writes, reverting to TV-speak. With outstretched hands, Delgado was able to claw and scratch his way along the fibreglass hull of the dive boat, but the weight of his tank and belt dragged him back downwards again to the bottom.
“My mouth opens convulsively, and I take a breath of cold water and gag. I’m going to die, I realize, and I’m really angry.” His dive training finally saved him. He tugged the clasp of his weight belt and it fell free. “Then I reach up to my buoyancy compensator and pull the lanyard that activates a co2 cartridge. I start to float off the river bed and remember not to hold my breath or I’ll burst my lungs as I rocket to the surface.” Pulled into a Zodiac, Delgado coughed up muddy water and eventually quipped, “Well, did I die like his men?”

1-55365-071-9

[BCBW 2004] "Maritime"


FLAGS AND BANNERS AT THE VANCOUVER MARITIME MUSEUM
Info by James Delgado



The Vancouver Maritime Museum, a Vancouver landmark since it first opened in 1958, is a repository for cultural treasures – artifacts, archives and memories – that document our ongoing interaction with the sea. The Maritime Museum uses these treasures in exhibits, displays and programs to educate and inspire.

Among the treasures in the collections of the museum are 198 flags and banners, as well as some rare manuscripts that will tickle the heart of any student of vexillology. The highlights include:

- the original Canadian “Blue Ensign” flown by RCMP St. Roch when it made its historic transit of the Northwest Passage in 1940-1942 and again in 1944. St. Roch was the second ship to navigate the treacherous passage through the Arctic, and the first to do so from west to east. The ship is preserved as the centerpiece of the Maritime Museum and is a National Historic Site;
- the Canadian ensign flown by the Arctic Expedition of Vilhjalmur Stefansson in 1913-1914 aboard the ship Karluk. Caught and crushed by the ice, Karluk sank and the survivors made their way to Wrangel Island in a difficult journey in which some died. The ship’s flag was hoisted on the island in 1914 to signal a passing rescue ship that there were survivors – this is a flag that literally saved lives in one of history’s most famous Arctic disasters chronicled in the recent bestseller, The Ice Master.
- the original battle ensign of the WWII corvette HMCS Vancouver. Built in Esquimalt, Vancouver served with distinction on both coasts, including arduous and hazardous duty in the Battle of the Atlantic;
- an original German Naval ensign from the Nazi U-Boat headquarters in Bremen, “liberated” at the end of the war by a Canadian soldier;
- the flag of the Arctic trading vessel Nigalik, built in Vancouver in 1926 and decorated with an Arctic goose;
- the Union Jack ensign of the British battlecruiser HMS Hood, taken from the ship in 1924 as a “souvenir” during Hood’s round the world cruise and visit to Vancouver. These prewar cruises by naval vessels were known as “showing the flag” around the world, and so this flag from Hood is a particularly significant treasure in the museum’s collection made all the more poignant by the fact that during World War II, the German battleship Bismarck sank Hood in one of history’s most famous naval battles;
- the “Red Ensign” flown by the CPR coal hulk Robert Kerr. When Vancouver burned to the ground in 1886, the survivors made their way to Robert Kerr, which served as a floating refuge;
- an American and Swiss flag, used to launch the historic oceanographic research submersible PX-15 Ben Franklin in Switzerland, and then used during that sub’s 30-day drift mission in the Gulf Stream in 1969. The flags were a recent donation from Erwin Aebersold of Switzerland, one of the sub’s designers and its pilot on the 1969 mission. Restored in 2002-2003, Ben Franklin is a major new exhibition in front of the museum;
- the handwritten, hand-illustrated signals book of Joseph Baker, Captain George Vancouver’s third in command and master of HMS Discovery during Vancouver’s voyage to this coast in 1792.

This is just a small example, drawn from a handful of flags, of the many hidden treasures in the Vancouver Maritime Museum. None of the flags are on display. In fact, 95% of the museum’s large and internationally significant collection sits in storage. The existing museum building, constructed in 1958, is too small. It also has no climate control to preserve rare and fragile treasures like these flags. As well, the building has no fire suppression, so if the museum catches fire, the treasures are lost.

After years of discussion and planning, the maritime museum has developed, with its many partners, plans for a new, improved museum that displays the treasures, tells the stories, and serves the community with exciting programs for all ages…all the things the existing museum does, but bigger and better. A new location for the museum not will provide the means to grow, but be in a more accessible location that makes the museum more sustainable as the National Maritime Museum of Canada, Pacific. The plans to create the new museum are underway, and the museum is happy to discuss them with anyone who is interested.

To learn more, see the museum’s website at www.vancouvermaritimemuseum.com or contact executive director James Delgado at (604) 257-8301 or at director@vancouvermaritimemuseum.com . One new program is also available – free “hidden treasures tours” that take you behind the scenes to see some of the treasures in storage. To learn more about the tours – and to book one, contact the museum at (604) 257-8300 or log on to the website.


Booksellers Choice Award
Info (2006)



There were 302 entries for this year’s B.C. Book Prizes, capably hosted by Bill Richardson, and for only the second time in 22 years, neither Douglas & McIntyre nor Harbour Publishing had a winning title.

The best-crafted Book Prize acceptance speeches came from John Vaillant and James Delgardo. Delgado, co-recipient of the BC Booksellers’ Choice Award in Honour of Bill Duthie, for Waterfront: The Illustrated Maritime Story of Greater Vancouver (Stanton, Atkins & Dosil), recently announced his plans to resign as the Director of the Vancouver Maritime Museum, a position he has held since 1991. “In many ways Waterfront is the Maritime Museum I [had] hoped to build in this community,” he said, regretfully.



Waterfront
Press Release (2006)



For the second time in its 18-year history, two publications have been chosen as co-winners of the City of Vancouver Book Award.

Jean Barman’s Stanley Park’s Secret (Harbour Publishing) and James Delgado’s Waterfront (Stanton Atkins & Dosil) were both cited for excellence in their quality of research and craftsmanship of design.

Mayor Sam Sullivan presented the award to Barman and Mark Stanton (Delgado’s publisher) during a Vancouver City Council meeting on Tuesday afternoon. Barman and Delgado will split the $2,000 prize.

An independent jury was impressed by Barman’s thorough research and convincingly delivered analysis in Stanley Park’s Secret, which uncovers a suppressed history of the First Nations and Kanakan occupation of Stanley Park. The jury found Waterfront to be an elegantly illustrated book which provides a comprehensive history of local maritime history, geography, industry and culture.

Barman is an historian in the Department of Educational Studies at the University of B.C. and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. Delgado is the Executive Director of the Institute of Nautical Archaeology, and for 15 years was the Director of the Vancouver Maritime Museum.

The City of Vancouver Book Award is presented annually to authors of books in any genre that demonstrate excellence and enhance our understanding of Vancouver’s rich history and culture. The independent jury who chose the winners and the four shortlisted titles included bookseller Rod Clarke; University of B.C. English professor Glenn Deer; and Laurie Roggeman, former president of the Friends of the Vancouver Public Library.

The other finalists for this year’s award were: Derek Hayes for Historical Atlas of Vancouver and the Lower Fraser Valley (Douglas & McIntyre) and Abraham J. Rogatnick, Ian M. Thom, and Adele Weder for B.C. Binning (Douglas & McIntyre).

-- City of Vancouver