Audio Visual Collection

Collection Summary

  • Dates: ca. 1935-2001
  • Size: 508 videos in a variety of formats (235 VHS tapes, 27 U-Matic reels, 5 Betacam reels, 9 Betamax rels, 127 8mm video (Hi8) tapes, 85 Mini DV reels, 2 reels of 8mm film, and 21 audio cassettes)
  • Media: video
  • Language: English
  • Subjects: American War of Independence; War of 1812; Canal Era; Steamboat Era; Recreational Era;
  • Related Publications: Lake Champlain Cultural Resources Survey Reports (Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, 1996-2004)
  • Access and Use: Some of these videos may identify the locations of sensitive shipwrecks. Care should be taken (e.g. cropping or blurring video as needed) to avoid publicizing shipwreck locations to the public.  

Scope and Content

The Audio Visual Collection consists of 508 tapes (and growing) in various formats that document the shipwrecks of Lake Champlain and their historical context. The majority of these videos were generated as dive verification videos of shipwrecks discovered during the Lake Survey (1996-2004, funded in part by the state of Vermont) and earlier. As such, they often provide rare views of these sites before the invasion of zebra mussels. A wide variety of sites are documented, including standard and sailing canal boats, steamboats, schooners, tugboats, barges, and presently unidentified vessels. In addition to early footage of shipwrecks, this collection also contains several films of Museum educators lecturing on Lake Champlain history for television programs, public lectures, and school programs. A third grouping shows vessels in other waterbodies where the Museum has conducted archaeological projects, including Lake Erie, Lake Onondaga, Lake Ontario, Saranac Lake, Lake George, and the Hudson River.

Of special note are: an 8mm reel documenting the raising of the gunboat Philadelphia by Lorenzo Hagglund in 1935; footage of the Port Henry Iron Mine; footage documenting the Museum’s raising of HMS Confiance’s anchor in 1998; and, footage of inspection videos at the Revolutionary War gunboat Spitfire site.

Together, these videos share the collective story of our region’s history by documenting Lake Champlain’s varied underwater cultural resources.

Citation Recommendation

Audio Visual Collection, Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, Vergennes, VT.


Lake Champlain; American War of Independence; War of 1812; Canal Era; Steamboat Era; Recreational Era; non-Lake Champlain related history; shipwrecks; Lake Survey; Lorenzo Hagglund; mining; Philadelphia; Spitfire

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