Centre of Maritime History, First Symposium, 25-26 April 2018, Institute for Mediterranean Studies, Rethymnon, Crete, Greece


This symposium is to inaugurate the new Centre of Maritime History of the Institute for Mediterranean Studies and it is meant to bring together some of the members of the group of Maritime Historians that have marked the path of Maritime History in the last forty years. Professor Lewis R. (Skip) Fischer (1946-2018) was one of the “patriarchs” of Maritime History and paved the way of its organization worldwide since the 1980s. He had looked very much forward to this meeting but unfortunately, he passed away on 11 February 2018. We have thus decided to dedicate this First Academic Meeting to him, hoping to continue his work from this part of the world.

The Centre of Maritime History of the Institute for Mediterranean Studies of the Foundation of Research and Technology – Hellas is based in Rethymnon, Crete, Greece. The aim of the Centre     is to expand research on a broad range of topics of Maritime History, related to the areas of the Mediterranean, the Black Sea and beyond, having the global, interdisciplinary and comparative studies in the epicenter. The Centre provides the necessary resources for young and experienced scholars to carry out their research in a stimulating and encouraging environment. Among these resources are: a) Digital data bases and archives, b) a specialized library, and c) a very cohesive and experienced group of researchers working in Maritime History. Furthermore, the Centre devotes funding resources to attract talented PhD students who are willing to pursue research on maritime history. The Centre aims to organize as well workshops, conferences and lectures in order to provide academic meetings at a regular basis and opportunities for scholars to discuss research problems and questions and exchange ideas for further research development.

New issue of IJMH



The lastest issue of the IJMH has been published: Volume 30, Issue 1, February 2018


David J Starkey

‘A certain false, malicious, scandalous and famous libel’: Sir Henry Morgan’s legal action against a London publisher of Alexandre Exquemelin, 1685

Joseph Gibbs

Risk, networks and privateering in Liverpool during the Seven Years’ War, 1756–1763

Sheryllynne Haggerty

British impressment and its discontents

Nicholas Rogers

Portuguese emigration, shipping companies and the state: The business of migrant transport after the Belle Époque

Yvette Santos

 ‘Scows, and barges, or other vessels of box model’: Comparative capital investment in the sailing scows of the Great Lakes of North America and in New Zealand

Jay C. Martin

A shipbuilding consultancy is born: The birth, growth and subsequent takeovers of A&P Appledore (International) Limited, and the A&P Group, 1971–2017

John Craggs, Hugh Murphy, Roger Vaughan

Feeding Neptune: Food and nutrition in the Catalan-Aragonese fleet, 1282–1302

Lawrence V. Mott

The French fleet and the Italian occupation of France, 1940–1942

Niall MacGalloway

Lewis (Skip) Fischer

The IMHA sadly announces the loss of Lewis (Skip) Fischer, one of its founding members, who passed away on 11 February 2018.

Lewis Fischer has been one of the driving forces behind the growth of maritime history for the past forty years. As a teacher, scholar and organizer Skip was involved in many of the new initiatives in maritime history since the mid-1970s.

Lewis Fischer spent most of his career at Memorial University of Newfoundland, an institution he joined in 1976 as part of the Atlantic Canada Shipping Project (ACSP), the first – and still one of the most ambitious – computer-based projects in maritime history. He has also taught extensively overseas, especially in Norway which became the focus of many of his writings. He retired at the end of 2015.

Professor Fischer is the author or editor of more than 200 publications. Foreshadowing his later career, he also edited three volumes of ACSP papers and eleven volumes of Canadian shipping records. A desire to place the Canadian experience in an international context led him to Norway in the mid-1980s to collaborate with Helge Nordvik, with whom he published twenty-nine essays, many of which focussed on maritime labour markets and the profession of shipbroking.

For much of his career he explored comparative maritime history. Skip was also active in both national and international organizations. One of the founders of the Canadian Nautical Research Society, he served as its vice president and secretary, and as the founding co-editor of its journal, “The Northern Mariner/Le Marin du nord”. He was one of the original members of the steering committee of the International Maritime Economic History Association, now IMHA, and co-editor of its newsletter, which in 1989 became the “International Journal of Maritime History”, a journal he served as editor-in- chief for twenty-five years.

He also founded and edited the Association’s on-going series “Research in Maritime History” and several other book series. Along with Peter Davies, he organized the first International Congress of Maritime History in 1992 and served on the organizing committees of several others. Between 1990 and 1995, he was secretary general of the International Commission for Maritime History.

His contributions to the profession have been honoured by an honorary doctorate from the University of Liverpool (2005) and a festschrift: Gelina Harlaftis, Stig Tenold and Jesús M. Valdaliso (eds.), “The World’s Key Industry: History and Economics of International Shipping” (London, 2012).