ECU Author/Contributor (non-ECU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Marshall B. Lamm (Creator)
East Carolina University (ECU )
Web Site: http://www.ecu.edu/lib/
Lawrence Edward Babits

Abstract: This thesis presents three warship museums within the United States as case studies to examine the needs and practices of a unique subset of museum organizations. A museum warship is simultaneously an exhibit artifact and facility requiring significant maintenance and preservation efforts. In order to understand these organizations it is necessary to analyze the scope of these museums. This analysis attempts to create a comprehensive list of warship museums worldwide and to highlight the dominant presence of American Second World War ships in the field. The case studies have been selected based on the number and types of ships preserved by these museums and the major preservation exhibition curatorial and collection challenges before these museums. This analysis combines naval history historic preservation and museum theory to better understand these organizations and the ships they preserve. Battleship North Carolina oversees its namesake a ship active only during the Second World War. The North Carolina was saved from potential scrapping in the early 1960s due to public support from the ship's namesake state. It has been a museum ship since 1962 located in Wilmington North Carolina. Patriots Point Naval and Maritime Museum currently maintains the aircraft carrier Yorktown destroyer Laffey and submarine Clamagore and has previously maintained other ships since opening in 1976. All of the museum's current ships were constructed during the Second World War but had lengthy post-war careers. The museum is the focal point of a larger commercial development project across the Cooper River from Charleston South Carolina. USS Lexington Museum On the Bay operates the second aircraft carrier so named. Named in honor of the first carrier sunk during the Battle of the Coral Sea in 1942 it served a variety of roles until its decommissioning in 1991. The ship has been exhibited by the museum since 1992 in the City of Corpus Christi TX Harbor. The study finds common practices at all three museum sites a product of information being informally disseminated through individual communications between organizations. Each museum has demonstrated distinctive strengths and weaknesses. Battleship North Carolina's curatorial practices are the strongest of the three case studies. Patriots Point has struggled to overcome years of poor selection of directors and severe preservation issues and USS Lexington Museum By the Bay has developed the most comprehensive volunteer program. 

Additional Information

Date: 2012
History, Museum studies, Lexington (Aircraft carrier), Museums, North Carolina (Battleship), preservation, Warships, Yorktown (Aircraft carrier)
Naval museums--United States
Warships--United States
Battleship North Carolina
Patriots Point Naval and Maritime Museum
USS Lexington Museum On the Bay

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TitleLocation & LinkType of Relationship
FLOATING FORTRESS FLOATING CITY FLOATING MONUMENT: A COMPARITIVE [sic] STUDY OF THREE AMERICAN WARSHIP MUSEUMShttp://hdl.handle.net/10342/3745The described resource references, cites, or otherwise points to the related resource.