During The Golden Age of Piracy (1689-1718), numerous rogues pursued their lawless and murderous trade throughout the New World. Restrictive laws passed by the British Parliament had made smuggling acceptable and even desirable in North Carolina and the other American colonies. Preying upon lightly armed merchant ships, the pirates seized their contents and sometimes killed those who resisted. Because of its shallow sounds and inlets, North Carolina’s Outer Banks became a haven for many of these outlaws in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.
The North Carolina Maritime Museum in Beaufort is the Department of Cultural Resource’s designated repository for all archaeological artifacts and project records from the wreck presumed to be the Queen Anne’s Revenge (QAR).
The Museum staff fully embrace their responsibilities associated with the QAR project. The museum’s professional educators and curators recognize the potential of the QAR collection to serve as a catalyst to generate great excitement and interest in North Carolina’s earliest maritime history and heritage. The QAR is the most significant underwater archaeological site yet discovered in the Americas. The museum’s staff recognizes that the professional exhibition and interpretation of this unique collection will help drive the museum’s education mission while promoting economic development via heritage tourism across North Carolina’s Coastal Plain.
The North Carolina Maritime Museum is charged with managing the QAR collection. All artifacts and records are to be kept as an intact collection. The storing, exhibiting, and interpreting of all QAR artifacts is to be managed by the Museum. The vessel structure, ship’s fittings, weapons, personal effects, and non-precious cargo are to become part of the Museum’s permanent collection, with long-term collection care and conservation also the responsibility of the Museum.