Resources for Nautical Archaeologists

A collection of things I find useful and / or interesting:

Texas A&M's Nautical Archaeology Program

Texas A&M University (College Station, Texas, USA)

Department of Anthropology at Texas A&M University

Nautical Archaeology Program, Texas A&M University

Center for Maritime Archaeology and Conservation

Institute of Nautical Archaeology

Other Nautical / Maritime / Underwater Graduate Archaeology Programs
(in no particular order)

Many universities offer courses in underwater / maritime / nautical archaeology. Here are a few that offer graduate programs specifically tailored towards the subject:

University of West Florida (Pensacola, Florida, USA)

East Carolina University (Greenville, North Carolina, USA)

University of Western Australia (Perth, Western Australia)

Flinders University (Adelaide, South Australia)

University of Bristol (Bristol, South West England, UK)

University College of London (London, England, UK)

University of Southampton (Southampton, South East England, UK)

University of Southern Denmark (Odense, Denmark)

University of Haifa (Haifa, Israel)

Useful Sites

Nordic Underwater Archaeology - Per Ã…kesson's site, up since 1996, covers a lot more than just the Nordic countries and is full info on various shipwrecks, and many links to other relevant sites.

Nautical Archaeology Program Wiki - We started this Wiki at Texas A&M in order to create a useful, searchable database for nautical archaeologists. It is still in its early phases, but does contain information on a number of wrecks as well as nautical glossaries in several languages. If you would like to contribute, please send me an email.

Useful (and often free software)

Us graduate students often can't afford the premium software, so I'm always on the lookout for free, or easily affordable software solutions. Please feel free to send me feedback or suggestions, or let me know if a link is broken or a product is no longer available. Note, I use a Windows PC, so am not all that familiar with software for Apple computers. Many of these programs are available across platforms.

Research · Organization · Graphics · Miscellaneous

Here are some I recommend:


Adobe Acrobat Professional is probably the best software for creating and editing s The student version is currently about $110, which isn't too bad compared with the full price ($340). While the newest versions of MS Office come equipped to save to PDF, for those still using older Office editions, PrimoPDF (Nitro PDF Reader) is a useful program for converting documents to PDF files. Spending the $110 for Acrobat Professional is really worth it, simply for the ability to OCR and clean up scanned articles and book chapters, creating searchable PDF files.


GooReader Google Books can be a great resource, but reading the books in the default layout is less than ideal, I find. GooReader is a front-end to Google Books that allows you to search, view, save (and save the PDFs if you purchase it) Google Books. It makes the pages look more like a book, presenting you with a left and right pages, and a nice shadow to give you the illusion that you're reading a book. Of course, it's not as nice as an actual book or eReader, as you're still reading it on a computer screen, but it definitely helps with readability. Note: purchasing the full version allows you to create PDFs of any Google Book, but most books are missing pages - buying GooReader does not magically grant access to those missing pages.


Task Management / Organization

EndNote: It took me a while to get sold on the idea of EndNote - the first few times I tried linking it with MS Word, it didn't work entirely as I'd hoped and I had to waste a bunch of time fixing several research papers. However, I now think it's an invaluable tool for organizing and managing sources.


Be careful about using some of the provided (or downloadable) journal styles however - they can be incorrect (American Journal of Archaeology style, for instance). But it doesn't take a lot of effort to fix them to your liking. Libraries are easy to back-up (I highly recommend this) and share with colleagues. My school provides a copy to all students (free, aka included in your school fees), but to purchase it's about $110.

Doit.IM - This is a great little program (and free) that works across multiple platforms (PCs, Macs, phones, iPads, Tablet computers, etc), and helps to keep one organized. Essentially it's a scheduler, and lets you keep track of multiple time commitments, from weekly advisor meetings, thesis goals, research paper and application deadlines, to people's birthdays. Because it synchronizes itself online, it will always be updated on all devices you use it on with online access. Highly recommended!


Dropbox - Dropbox is a service that allows you to backup your files online, and automatically synchronize those files across several computers. That means, if you save your thesis and related PDFs on your laptop in your DropBox folder, and then work on your desktop computer, DropBox will automatically download those newest versions oof the files seamlessly. I can't stress how amazingly handy this is, and it can really save your behind if a computer crashes, or a memory stick gets lost. They've had some security issues in the past, but they seem to be sorted out now.



Adobe Lightroom - This program changed my life. I've owned a Nikon D70 camera since 2005, but I had never been truly satisfied with it. I didn't quite understand the difference between shooting in RAW (.nef) and in JPG modes, and so shot all my photos as .jpg files. Correcting the exposure of .jpg files and other such tweaks are doable, but I never realized how much easier it was with a RAW file, with significantly greater results.

There are other photo 'development' and organization programs out there, but for me, the $100 for the Educational version of Lightroom was definitely worth the investment. It allows for easy and powerful manipulation of digital photographs, to get your photos looking just right, and is an excellent tool for organizing the tens of thousands of digital photographs that pile up in a short period of time.


Inkscape - Perhaps the best free vector-based graphics program. I haven't used it yet for any kind of professional tasks, like inking a drawing, but I've found it useful for creating conference posters, advertising flyers, and for editing vector-based images such as clip art for websites and flyers.


Blender - This is a great, free, open-source, multi-platform 3D modeling and animation program. It's a bit difficult to learn, as it's user interface is quite a bit different than most of the major studio programs (3DStudio, Maya, Rhinoceros, etc), but there are tons of tutorials and help available on the internet. I use it for all my renders, though I find Rhinoceros very helpful for creating ship's hulls and other curved components.


Corel VideoStudio Pro - I've used Windows Live Movie Maker for some video editing, slideshows and the like, and have been very impressed with it. However when one of my profs lent me his HD camcorder, I decided I needed something a bit more full-featured. Of course you could spend many hundreds of dollars and get Adobe Premiere, but chances are good you're like me and don't need or wouldn't even know what to do with Premiere. I downloaded a trial of Video Studio (Corel wins major points for providing trial versions for a lot of their software) and I was pretty happy with it. So if you need a video editor, give the trial a shot. The full version is quite affordable (on sale for $50 at the time of writing).

Corel VideoStudio


ImgBurn - Let's say your professor gives you a DVD with footage of last season's excavations that he or she needs a dozen copies to give away. Sure, your DVD Burner may have come with a trial copy of Nero, but if you're like me, you lost it long ago after several re-installs. ImgBurn is a pretty simple program for copying CDs and DVDs. It's a bit roundabout, in that you first create an image (.iso) of the optical disc, and then burn that image to a new disc, but it works well, and is free.