The Titanic Historical Society, Inc. (THS) is a non-profit organization founded in 1963, whose purpose is the preservation of the history of the famous ocean liner RMS Titanic, which sank on April 15, 1912, in one of the greatest maritime disasters in history.
Headquartered in Indian Orchard, Massachusetts, (USA), its founder and president is Edward S. Kamuda. Principal activities of the THS include:
- Quarterly publication of a magazine, The Titanic Commutator.
- The Titanic Museum in Indian Orchard featuring an extensive collection of artifacts donated by Titanic survivors.
- An annual membership convention where experts present in-depth information about various aspects of the Titanic catastrophe and memorabilia is available.
For many years, the remaining survivors of the Titanic's ill-fated maiden voyage were honored guests at THS conventions. In April, 1992, the THS commemorated the 80th anniversary of the disaster in Boston, Massachusetts. The event brought together several living survivors, including Eva Hart, Louise Pope, Michel Marcel Navratil, and Beatrice Sandström, who enthralled those in attendance with their vivid first-person accounts of the night the Titanic foundered in the north Atlantic Ocean. Walter Lord, author of the seminal Titanic work, A Night to Remember, was another featured guest. The THS also works to preserve the history of other ocean liners, especially the Titanic 's sister ship, the White Star Line's HMHS Britannic, which sank after hitting an enemy mine in World War I, and the Cunard ship RMS Lusitania. The society also publishes articles about various other famous ships, such as the RMS Queen Mary and SS Normandie, in The Titanic Commutator.
The Titanic Historical Society has long been a strong supporter of Dr. Robert Ballard's exploration of the Titanic wreckage and he frequently speaks at THS conventions. The THS also participated in the filming of James Cameron's hit 1997 movie Titanic and some members even appeared on-screen as extras.
Although the THS supports exploration of the Titanic wreck site, it opposes salvage of items from the ship, stating in a 2005 Commutator issue, "the wreck is a gravesite to those that died that night and should be treated as a memorial" to the lives lost.
The Titanic Historical Society participates with the U.S. Coast Guard and the International Ice Patrol in the annual April 15th wreath-drop ceremony over the Atlantic Ocean where the Titanic now rests.
Since its founding in 1963, the Society has regularly distributed a journal to members. Over the years the publication has steadily increased in scope and depth. The Titanic Commutator is now published quarterly as a full-color illustrated magazine reporting on Titanic research and passenger stories, along with other notable ships from the "Golden Age" of transatlantic steamship travel.
At the time of the filming of James Cameron's movie, Titanic, for example, the Commutator provided extensive, behind-the-scenes coverage of set construction and details not shown in the final movie release.