Participant Info

First Name
Anna Gibson
Last Name
Maritime Administration (MARAD)
Website URL
maritime, naval, navy, marine, Merchant Marine, wrecker, wrecking, salvage, ironclad
Additional Contact Information
Questions may have to be vetted before I can answer.

Personal Info

About Me

DR. ANNA GIBSON HOLLOWAY is the Supervisory Historian for the History and Heritage Program at the Maritime Administration (MARAD). There she is responsible for MARAD’s heritage asset collection, its historic vessel database, and for researching and writing the history of the US Merchant Marine. She also serves as MARAD’s Federal Preservation Officer. She was previously the team lead of Fleet History within the Histories Branch of the Naval History and Heritage Command (NHHC) in Washington, D.C. where she was responsible for the team of professional historians who produce the Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS) as well as other short- and long-form publications and projects dealing with sailor stories, fleet history, and fleet support. Prior to her time at NHHC, she served as the Maritime Historian for the National Park Service (NPS) in Washington, DC, where she administered the National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act Program (54 USC 305101-305106), and assisted in the administration of the National Maritime Heritage Grant Program (16 U.S.C. 5401).

From 2000 to 2014, Anna held a variety of positions at The Mariners’ Museum in Newport News, VA, culminating in Vice President of Museum Collections and Programs. 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 featuring immersive environments, 3 major theaters, 20 interactive stations, multiple soundscapes, original artifacts, and a full-scale replica of Monitor. She also assisted in the development of the Center’s state-of-the-art conservation facility.

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, N.C. native graduated from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro with baccalaureate degrees in English Literature and Classical/Medieval Civilization. She received her Master’s degree in Early Modern History and her PhD in American History from the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, VA.

Dr. Holloway is the co-author (with Jonathan White) of “Our Little Monitor” (Kent State University Press, 2018) as well as multiple published chapters and articles. 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.

Recent Publications

“The Monitor Boys,” in Final Resting Places: Reflections on the Meaning of Civil War Graves, Brian Jordan and Jonathan W. White, Editors, University of Georgia Press, September 2023.

“‘American Originals’: The Monitor and Merrimack as Marketing Machines,” with Jonathan W. White, in Buying and Selling the Civil War, Caroline Janney and James Marten, Editors, University of Georgia Press, 2021.

“Forever Salvaged,” in Civil War Times, Spring 2024.

“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
Atlantic, England, North America, United States
Expertise by Chronology
19th century
Expertise by Topic
American Civil War, Material Culture, Military, Museums, Public History