Title:Shipwrecks on the Web: Guernsey Museum and the NAVIS Project
Authors:Alan Howell
Publication:MW99: Museums and the Web 1999

In the last quarter of the 3rd century AD, a Gallo-Roman trading vessel caught fire and sank near to the shore of an island 28 miles west of mainland Gaul. The most technologically advanced thing about the vessel seems to have been the cast bronze bearings of its bilge pumps and yet its influence reached down the ages and helped to propel Guernsey Museum on to the World Wide Web. This talk will consider the circumstances behind this remarkable scenario and the links it has helped to forge with our 20th century European partners, who invited us to join them in constructing an Internet database of ancient shipwrecks. The database project was christened NAVIS and received EU approval in 1996, for a two-year programme to finish at the end of 1998. The resultant web site will go live early in 1999 and the main part of this presentation will examine the scope and development of the project, together with the benefits to the participants themselves.