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Posted on: June 6, 2022


Malcom, Cates, and Matthews on the USS Ingham holding a historic journal

When long-time Monroe County Historian Tom Hambright retired earlier this year, the community wondered what would be next for the library’s Florida History Department. Monroe County welcomes veteran Florida Keys historian Dr. Corey Malcom of Key West as Lead Historian in the Florida Keys History Center (FKHC). He will continue the tradition of stewardship, knowledge, and understanding of the historical, cultural, and ecological diversity of the Florida Keys. The FKHC debuts later this summer with refreshed walls and furniture. He will join archivist Breana Sowers in the department. 

“Dr. Malcom is a world-class historian,” said Hambright. “His work with Spanish wrecks and slave ships is phenomenal. I look forward to his successful tenure at the Florida Keys History Center.”

Malcom specialized in researching the maritime past of the Florida Keys and the Bahamas. For many years, he served as Mel Fisher Maritime Museum’s Director of Archaeology, where he participated in shipwreck research projects, including the 1622 galleon Nuestra Señora de Atocha, the 1700 English slaver Henrietta Marie, and the 1827 pirate-slaver Guerrero. He was also instrumental in bringing the Key West African Cemetery on Higgs Beach and its story to light.

“We welcome Dr. Malcom to the team,” said Director of Libraries Kimberly Matthews. “With his prestigious background, passion for our community, and exciting ideas for the future of the FKHC, the sky is the limit for what can be accomplished.”

Malcom graduated from Indiana and Nova Southeastern universities and earned a Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Huddersfield for his historical and archaeological study of the wrecked 1564 galleon Santa Clara. Malcom is president of the Key West Maritime Historical Society and a Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary’s Advisory Council member.

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