friday vacation





The archives of the National Naval Institute were founded in 1985 after the donation of the personal effects of Robin Quickly. The donation, which mostly consisted of postcards, was given to the institute without any explaination of the items. Robin Quickly, though never in the navy, was a well travelled sailor.

In 1988, a terrible earthquake destroyed the builiding in which the archives were housed. The collection became part of temporary exhibitions, on loan to several university libraries, and finally put in storage at the National Portrait Gallery until 1997 when the new building of the National Naval Institute was opened.

In 1999, the Institute was almost closed in a political campaign to reduce government spending. As a land-locked country without a navy, the expense fo the institute was not justified, it was argued. The museum of medical history was a vocal advocate for the Institute. That year, they curated an exhibition with items exclusively from the Nation Naval Institute's archive. It opened to critical acclaim. The show, called "Sea Sick", went on to tour internationally. The success of the exhibition saved the Institute.

In 2003, The National Naval Institute restructured making the archive its top priority along with sea water research.