Participant Info

First Name
Anna Gibson
Last Name
SEARCH, Inc and Independent Maritime Historian
Website URL
maritime, naval, navy, marine, wrecker, wrecking, salvage, ironclad
Additional Contact Information
Questions may have to be vetted before I can answer.

Personal Info

About Me

ANNA GIBSON HOLLOWAY​ is one of the leading experts on Civil War ironclads and 19th century marine salvage firms with 28 years of experience as a public historian. She joined SEARCH, Inc. in 2017 as the Museum Services Director where she is responsible for the day-to-day operations of that division. There she also works to develop best practices in curation, conservation, and public outreach. Prior to joining SEARCH, she served as the Maritime Historian for the National Park Service (NPS) in Washington, DC, where she provided expertise relating to American maritime history in all of its forms, through consultation, speaking engagements, publications, and primary source research. From 2000 to 2014, Anna was Vice President of Museum Collections and Programs at The Mariners’ Museum in Newport News, VA where she oversaw the Curatorial, Collections Management, Education, Conservation, Photography & Licensing, Exhibition Design, Web and social media presence, and the USS Monitor Center functions of the institution. As Curator of the award-winning USS Monitor Center, she led a multi-disciplinary team in the creation of the 20,000 square foot exhibition, and assisted in the development of the state-of-the-art conservation facility. She has lectured internationally on a variety of maritime topics, published articles in national magazines and journals, curated numerous exhibitions and programs. appeared on national television, and is the co-author (with Jonathan White) of “Our Little Monitor” (Kent State University Press, 2018). Her current research interests revolve around 19th century marine salvage firms in the Tidewater and Eastern Shore areas of Virginia, with a particular emphasis on B & J Baker and Co. of Norfolk, VA.

In the waning years of the 20th century, she was Manager of School Tour Programs for the Chrysler Museum of Art in Norfolk, VA, served as crew on Jamestown Settlement’s replica ships Susan Constant, Godspeed, and Discovery, and was a puppeteer and understudy fire-eater for the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. She has also been an actor, a hurdy-gurdy player, a record store manager, a radio DJ, a Morris dancer, and has played in several bands (some of which were quite good).

This Winston-Salem native graduated from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro with baccalaureate degrees in English Literature and Medieval Civilization, neither of which helped her in her quest to be a rock star. She received her Master’s degree in Tudor/Stuart History and her PhD in American History from the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, VA.

She is still not a rock star.

Recent Publications

“The Monitor ​at the Washington Navy Yard,” with Jonathan W. White, in Civil War Navy, Fall 2018.

“’Our Little Monitor:’ The Greatest Invention of the Civil War”, with Jonathan White, Kent State University Press, 2018.

“The National Maritime Heritage Grants Program,” with Kelly Spradley-Kurowski, Anchor Watch, January 2017.

Virginia Shipbuilding Corporation, on National Park Service World War I History (not attributed), January 2017.

“USS Huron: From National Tragedy to National Register,” in Proceedings of the Maritime Cultural Landscape Symposium, Madison, WI, October 2015 (National Park Service, Washington, DC, 2017).

“Abraham Lincoln’s First Visit to Hampton Roads,” with Jonathan W. White, in For the People: A Newsletter of the Abraham Lincoln Association, Summer 2017.
“Monitor Mania” with Jonathan W. White, in Civil War Times, February 2017.

“National Park Service” in Encyclopedia of Local History, Third Edition, Amy H. Wilson, Editor. Rowman and Littlefield, 2016

Image captions for The Reconstruction Era: Official Park Service Handbook, Eastern National, 2016 (uncredited).

“Continuing the Monitor Story”, in Naval History Magazine, Volume 26, No. 2, April 2012: 38 – 41.

“A New Kind of Naval Warfare”, in America’s Civil War Magazine, March 2012.

Foreword in “The Monitor Boys: The Crew of the Union’s First Ironclad”, John V. Quarstein, History Press, 2011.

“Iron Wills, Iron Ships”, in 60th Anniversary Issue of American Heritage, Volume 59, No. 4, Winter 2010.

“Oil and Water: Contemporary oil paintings convey the drama of the Civil War on the water”, Civil War Times Magazine, Volume XLVII, No. 3, June 2008.

Media Coverage
"'It Strikes Me There's Something In It': Lincoln, the Monitor, and Popular Memory," Abraham Lincoln Institute Symposium at Ford's Theatre, Washington, DC, on C-SPAN March 2018
Country Focus
United States
Expertise by Geography
Caribbean, England, North America, United States
Expertise by Chronology
19th century
Expertise by Topic
American Civil War, Military, Museums, Public History