At the July 2017 meeting, Cathryn Pearce was honoured to accept the position of Chair for the British Commission for Maritime History. She is stepping into a role previously held by the University of Hull’s Dr David J. Starkey and the University of Greenwich’s Professor Sarah Palmer.
The BCMH was formed in 1991 as a charitable trust to encourage enthusiasts, historians, and students to research and study maritime history. Originally established as the British branch of the International Commission for Maritime History, (dissolved in 2016 upon its merger with the International Maritime Economic History Association), it maintains links with the newly formed International Maritime History Association. Trustees are drawn from museums, universities, maritime organisations, independent researchers, and publishers; they are all distinguished researchers and practitioners of maritime history. The BCMH is sponsored by such important maritime organisations as The Society for Nautical Research, The Maritime Information Association, and Lloyd’s Register. To support its mission for education, the BCMH awards prizes to undergraduates, MA and PhD students, organises the public lecture series at King’s College London and Lloyd’s Register, as well as convening the annual New Researchers in Maritime History conference, held at various locales around the country. For 2018, the New Researcher’s Conference will be hosted in Bristol by the S.S. Great Britain Trust.
Cathryn will take the helm to guide the BCMH forward in this time of organisational adjustment, to increase support for its educational mandate, and to meet the exciting challenges offered by recent disciplinary transformations.