mainsheet, publication, cover
"Keep reaching your dreams how high it may seem." © Vhernard Manalad Hernandez from ITF Seafarer’s Trust Life at Sea project.The cover photo for Mainsheet’s inaugural issue was taken by a working mariner, who submitted it to a photo contest held by the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) Seafarers’ Trust. See the inaugural issue for a photo essay by the head of the ITF about the photo contest and the experiences of mariners during the COVID-19 era.


A biannual peer-reviewed interdisciplinary journal.

mainsheet, beauty shot

Mystic Seaport Museum has launched an exciting new initiative, Mainsheet, a peer-reviewed multidisciplinary journal of maritime studies. It is published twice a year and is available simultaneously online and in print. The goal of Mainsheet is to fill a gap in refereed scholarship on maritime studies that has been left open by the dissolution of the American Neptune and other like-minded journals over the last 20 years. While several excellent journals still exist internationally, Mainsheet will be the only publication of its type produced by an American maritime museum. What will also set Mainsheet apart are its multidisciplinary perspectives; its accessibility to a broad global diverse audience on issues past, present, and future; and its freshness of design and distribution. The editorial board represents a national and international team of invited expert scholars from various fields and partner institutions, with guest editors for themed editions.

While Mainsheet is globally focused, each issue is tied with annual institutional initiative themes at Mystic Seaport Museum that drive exhibitions, programming, symposia, lecture series, and the Frank C. Munson Institute for American Maritime History. Therefore, the first issue highlights maritime social history to align with our major upcoming exhibition Entwined: Freedom, Sovereignty, and the Sea. It includes an inaugural letter from Editor in Chief Christina Connett Brophy and peer-reviewed contributions from scholars Kevin Dawson, Alison Glassie, Alice C. M. Kwok, Timothy D. Walker, Caroline C. Ummenhofer, Jason R. Mancini, and Silvermoon Mars LaRose. A photo essay features remarkable images taken by workers aboard the world’s cargo ships during and after the COVID-19 crisis, and there are features on boat preservation in Brazil, the use and meaning of African miniature canoes, and a Viking ship model in the Mystic Seaport Museum collection. Poetry, book reviews, and listings for upcoming Museum exhibits and academic events round out the content. Our first issue is dedicated to Paul O’Pecko, whose impact on the scholarship and research at Mystic Seaport Museum set the highest standard for this publication.

Scholarship from the print journal will also be simultaneously posted on our journal website and will be available open access. We are committed to making scholarship available at no cost to researchers, and your subscription to the print issue helps support that commitment. The print journal is full-color, perfect-bound and designed to be a beautiful addition to your library.

Editorial Board

Mary K. Bercaw Edwards, PhD. Professor, University of Connecticut

James Boyd, PhD. Head of Research, Brunel Institute/SS Great Britain Trust

Rick Burroughs, PhD. Professor, University of Rhode Island

James Carlton, PhD. Professor Emeritus, Williams-Mystic: The Coastal and Ocean Studies Program of Williams College and Mystic Seaport Museum

Jason Chang, PhD. Associate Professor, University of Connecticut

Richard W. Clary, JD. Trustee, Mystic Seaport Museum

Kevin Dawson, PhD. Associate Professor, University of California, Merced

Christine DeLucia, PhD. Associate Professor, Williams College

Dan Finamore, PhD. Russell W. Knight Curator of Maritime Art and History, Peabody Essex Museum

Michael R. Harrison, Chief Curator and Obed Macy Research Chair, Nantucket Historical Association


Fred Hocker, PhD. Research Director, Vasa Museum in Stockholm

Matthew McKenzie, PhD. Professor, University of Connecticut

Michael Moore, PhD. Senior Scientist, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Lincoln Paine, BA. Adjunct faculty, University of Maine School of Law

Christopher Pastore, PhD. Associate Professor, University at Albany (SUNY)

Helen M. Rozwadowski, PhD. Professor, University of Connecticut

Lisa Utman Randall, Pocketknife Consulting, Editor of Poetry

Jeroen van der Vliet. Head of Collections, Het Scheepvaart Museum

Richard Vietor. Trustee, Mystic Seaport Museum

Timothy Walker, PhD. Professor, University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth

Mystic Seaport Museum Staff Editors

Christina Connett Brophy, PhD, Editor in Chief

Michelle I. Turner, PhD, JD, Managing Editor

Akeia de Barros Gomes, PhD

Michael P. Dyer

Elysa Engelman, PhD

Mary Anne Stets

Claudia Triggs, JD