by Johnathan Thayer, Archivist
The Seamen’s Church Institute’s (SCI) photograph collection documents a remarkable span of the Institute’s history. It records its earliest origins as a missionary society (whose Board of Managers gathered to meet in a small alcove of Trinity Church back in 1834) through to the years when the Institute held church services aboard the Floating Chapel and missionary outposts dotted the margins of Lower Manhattan’s “sailortown.” Resonant historic photographs call to mind, too, SCI’s “sailors’ hotel” at 25 South Street, dedicated on the same morning the world learned the fate of the RMS Titanic.
Today, things look a bit different, but the Institute has kept up with the changing culture and geography of maritime commerce. An interactive historical timeline, developed on cloud-based presentation software Prezi, takes online adventurers through an account of SCI’s history using its trove of photographs. Follow the link below to explore the legacy of the United States’ largest East Coast seaport seen through the historical evolution of SCI, from a tiny waterfront ministry to its current role as North America’s largest mariner’s service agency.
Tip: expand the presentation to full screen before moving through the grid with your arrow keys on your keyboard.