Keeping museum practices strictly within the confines of the National Register of Historic Places’ period of historical significance guidelines is not sustainable for many museum ships. By defining and using continuous existence, SS John W. Brown is creating a new method of interpretation, marketing, preservation, and programming that tells a larger story. This paper puts SS John W. Brown, a Liberty ship from World War II, operational vessel, and maritime museum, into context by surveying ships on the National Register of Historic Places. As World War II fades from public memory and popular culture, a new methodology is required.

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