PHOTO/Newman and Associates

Museum archaeologist Corey Malcom explains an astrolabe during Florida 500 celebration.

Mel Fisher Museum offers free lecture series on Sunken Treasure


The Mel Fisher Maritime Museum, 200 Greene St., is hosting a series of free lectures at the museum.

“March is Florida History month so it is the ideal time for us to showcase some of the unique stories we’ve uncovered in our research and conservation of shipwrecks and their artifacts,” says the museum’s CEO Melissa Kendrick. “We’re best known for the treasure of the Atocha and our work with the slave ship Henrietta Marie, but the museum has been active in a lot of research and archaeological projects.”

The series, titled Key West Sunken Treasure, has been developed in conjunction with the museum’s current exhibits. The lectures include insight into how shipwrecks are excavated and conserved, the history of piracy in the region, the impact of the transatlantic slave trade on Key West and the meanings behind the markings of the Spanish coins from the Atocha and Santa Margarita. All lectures will be held at the museum at 6:30 p.m.  Free parking is available through the Westin Key West Resort.

On Thursday, March 6, museum archaeologist Corey Malcom will present “The Wreck of the Cuban Pirate-Slaver Guerrero,” a tale of piracy, slavery, and shipwrecks from 1827. On Thursday, March 13, the museum presents “The Science of Shipwrecks,” which explores how the Spanish galleon Santa Clara, which sank in 1564, was excavated and its artifacts conserved. On March 20, Malcom will provide an in-depth look at the history and archaeology behind the 1860 Key West African Cemetery and the lesser known South Beach cemeteries.

In April, author and guest lecturer Carol Tedesco joins the museum to present “Spanish Colonial Coins,” based on her book Treasure Coins of the Nuestra Senora de Atocha and the Santa Margarita. Tedesco will share her extensive knowledge about the coins found at the shipwrecks of the 1622 Fleet. Books will be available for purchase and signing by the author.

The Mel Fisher Maritime Museum, which offers lab tours at 11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m., Monday through Friday, is also available for group tours and facility rentals. Information on children’s programming and summer camps is also available. Email


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