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History of Scuba Diving - Historical Societies

The Historical Diving Society (HDS) - was formed in 1990 in the UK by a group of enthusiasts whose aim is to preserve and protect diving heritage. Since then the Society has grown into an international organisation with affiliated national societies across the world. The Society encourages the publication of articles of historical diving interest, and produces its own journal, Historical Diving Times.

The Society also holds meetings, visits, lectures and conferences, and has an active Working Equipment Group which seeks to preserve classic equipment in a usable form, and which is often demonstrated at rallies and exhibitions. The HDS also maintains a database of historical divers called The Divers Index. We welcome enquiries about diving ancestors or former colleagues who worked in underwater or allied occupations.

Combined Caesarea Expeditions is an amphibious research project that joins excavation of the terrestrial remains of Caesarea Maritima with underwater investigation of the site's ancient harbor. Professor Avner Raban will be hosting an underwater excavation season at Caesarea through the University of Haifa from May 30 - June 24, 2004. Please contact Laura Cohen of the Institute of Maritime Studies at maritime@research.haifa.ac.il for additional information and costs.

DivingHistory.com - is an organization devoted to preserving the written, visual and oral history of skin and scuba diving. This site contains some very interesting facts and articles on the history of diving with information on the pioneers of the sport.

New Jersey Historical Divers Association - during the summer of 1992, a group of fellow scuba divers met informally to discuss the possibility of investigating many of New Jersey's unidentified shipwrecks. The NJHDA began lecturing and exhibiting shipwreck artifacts throughout the summer of 1994. Since then, many historical societies and clubs have found our message to be both fascinating and educational. Interest in the organization continued to steadily grow from that point on.

Dutch VOC Shipwrecks contains a lot of very interesting information on every Dutch VOC ship that's ever been wrecked, with more than 600 listings. This site has details wrecks dating from 1597 - the 1800's, including some old maps and drawings of some of the sites and locations that the ships went down.

Florida's Underwater Archaeological Preserves - in 1987, Florida began to develop a statewide system of underwater parks featuring shipwrecks and other historic sites. The shipwreck preserves have become popular attractions for skin and scuba diving visitors to witness a part of Florida's history first-hand. They contain not only interesting archaeological features, but also an abundance of marine life that make the parks living museums in the sea.

The Halsewell Archaeological Group - a Swanage based group of divers and amateur underwater archaeologists, the group made its first dive on the site in 1985, and since then it has become an endless passion. In the last year the group was chosen to become the custodians for the Halsewell site, this is the pilot for the Adopt-a-wreck scheme which is now being rolled out in the rest of the UK.

La Salle Shipwreck Project - on July 13, 1995, an archaeological team from the Texas Historical Commission announced the discovery of a shipwreck believed to be that of Belle, one of the ships brought by the French explorer René Robert Cavelier, sieur de La Salle, the man who claimed the Mississippi and all its tributaries for France. The Belle is one of the most important shipwrecks ever discovered in North America. The project has now shifted to the conservation phase, in which every artifact is carefully identified, cleaned and preserved. The hull of the ship has also been reconstructed and is undergoing chemical treatment to preserve it. Many Belle artifacts are currently displayed at the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum in Austin, and others will be exhibited in museums around Matagorda Bay.

Nordic Underwater Archaeology - if you are interested in history and scuba diving, this site is for you. This website contains information and links on museums and societies, courses and institutes, projects, replicas and shipbuilding, electronic publications and mailing lists, tools and techniques, wrecks and scuba diving.

Southeast Archeology Center (SEAC) , based in Tallahassee, Florida, was chosen by the United States National Park Service to initiate an underwater archeology program in 1972 due to its proximity to coastal parks and because of its established partnership with Florida State University's underwater archeology program. Today, SEAC continues to conduct shipwreck investigations in conjunction with FSU's underwater archeology program. These cooperating activities include field schools on sites such as HMS Fowey (lost in 1748), Nuestra Senora del Populo, and Nuestra Senora del Rosario. The majority of underwater work in national parks is carried out by the NPS Submerged Cultural Resources Unit, based in Sante Fe, New Mexico.

Swedish Underwater Archaeology Society (MAS) - was founded in 1977/78 as a forum for archaeologists, scuba divers, scientists, and anybody interested in nautical history. The society aims at a cooperation between these different groups, and for education and information in underwater and maritime archaeology. Each year MAS arranges a conference with invited lecturers. During 1986-93, our local branch in Gothenburg excavated the wreck of Eastindiaman Götheborg, sunk in 1745.

Underwater Archaeology Society of British Columbia (UASBC) - is a 175 member group of volunteer, vocational underwater archaeologists. The Society is the largest diving club in British Columbia, and one of the largest and most active heritage organisations in the province.