The Mel Fisher Maritime Museum, located at 200 Greene Street, begins its Tuesday Night Free Lecture Series, as part of its 30th Anniversary Celebration to commemorate Mel Fisher’s discovery and recovery of the mother lode of the treasure ship Atocha.


“This is a great opportunity for the public to learn more about we do at the museum,” say museum CEO Melissa Kendrick.  “Most of these presentations will be held in the courtyard, which is a wonderful setting for learning about Florida history.”  All of the events will begin at 6:30pm.  Chairs are provided. Popcorn and soft drinks are available by donation.


Many of the presentations will be given by Corey Malcom, the museum’s Director of Archaeology.  “I always look forward to presenting our research to the community, since we tend to explore subjects that aren’t necessarily taught in the history books,” shared Malcom.  During his 25 years with the museum, he has investigated the shipwrecks of the 1622 galleon Nuestra Señora de Atocha, the 1700 English slaver Henrietta Marie, the galleon Santa Clara of 1564, and the 1827 Cuban pirate-slaver Guerrero. He also spearheaded the efforts to locate the African Cemetery at Higgs Beach.


The Tuesday Night Free Lecture series covers a broad range of topics including the modern search for the Atocha, the historical details and treasure of the 1622 Fleet, and the Transatlantic Slave Trade.  “Many people don’t realize that Mel’s crew found a slave ship during their search for Atocha, and we’ve spent decades researching it,” explains Malcom.


The series begins on Jan 20th, with the National Geographic’s “Quest for the Atocha,” a video exploration of Mel Fisher’s search for the famed 1622 galleon.  After the film, a Q&A will be held with members of Mel’s “Golden Crew.”


Jan 27th, Corey Malcom will present “Treasure and Tragedy: The History of the 1622 Fleet.”  This presentation will cover the story of the fleet from the time the Atocha was built, to the 1622 disaster, and through the many decades of Spanish salvage that followed in the 1600s.


Feb 3rd, photographer Don Kincaid will present “The Search for the Atocha in Pictures,” a photographic journey through the 1970s and 1980s search for the Spanish treasure galleon.  Be assured, a picture really is worth a thousand words!


Feb 10th, numismatist and author Carol Tedesco will present “Coins & Treasure of the Lost Galleons of the 1622 Fleet,” a follow-up to her popular presentation during last year’s free lecture series.  Don’t have a copy of her book?  You can get a signed one that night!


Feb 17th, the topic shifts to the slave ship Henrietta Marie, which was discovered by the Fisher crew during the search for the Atocha.  The evening begins with the Discovery Channel’s “Slave Ship Uncovered” and will include a Q&A with Corey Malcom  as well as the opportunity to view artifacts from the wreck.

Feb 24th, special guest and artist Gene Tinnie will join Corey Malcom in the museum’s working lab for a discussion of “The Key West African Cemetery, Past & Present.”  Participants will learn about the history, art, archaeology, and commemoration of the African Cemetery at Higgs Beach.

This Tuesday lecture series is open to the public and offered free of charge, thanks in part to a grant from the Florida Division of Cultural Affairs and its Culture Builds Florida campaign.   

For more information on this lecture series, go to or call 305-294-2633 ext 22, or email The Mel Fisher Museum is located at 200 Greene Street in Key West FL.

The Mel Fisher Maritime Museum is an independent, not-for-profit 501c (3) organization that has been nationally accredited by the American Association of Museums. The museum is dedicated to the exhibition, archaeology, preservation and research of our maritime history in the New World.

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