The IMHA shall promote:
- studies in maritime history from ancient times to the present;
- collaboration among maritime historians across the world;
- junior researchers within maritime history;
- maritime history within other fields of historical research;
- maritime history within other disciplines, which share a maritime focus;
- academic teaching programs within maritime history;
- institutional recognition of maritime history.
In order to fulfill its mission, the IMHA has developed a range of activities and resources:
- It publishes four volumes of the international, peer-review journal “International Journal of Maritime History” annually and a series of research monographs entitled “Research in Maritime History”.
- IMHA regularly publishes a newsletter on maritime history regarding upcoming conferences, book releases, scholarships, job-announcements etc. within the field of maritime history. IMHA also co-ordinates the International Maritime Economic History Association Linkedin Group, an internet discussion forum that keeps subscribers posted about events and current issues related to the field.
- IMHA organizes an international congress of maritime history every four years. Since 1992 it has held successful congresses in Liverpool, UK (1992), Amsterdam, the Netherlands (1996), Esbjerg, Denmark (2000), Corfu, Greece (2004), Greenwich, UK (2008), Ghent, Belgium (2012) and Perth, Australia (2016). Several hundred participants have attended each conference. In 2020 the IMHA will host its 8th International Congress of Maritime History in Porto, Portugal.
- IMHA also awards prizes to junior researchers in order to promote research within maritime history.
The IMHA welcomes members from all disciplines who share an interest in humankind’s relationship with the sea.