Since 1991 David Bradley has worked as an archivist in the Maritime History Archive [MHA] where he has played a role in collections development. He has undertaken special projects involving the transcription of the Ryan diaries and the preparation of a comprehensive guide to the MHA’s mercantile collections. His Master’s qualification was earned at Memorial for a thesis on relations between the Bonavista fish merchants and their clients, and Bonavista remains the site of his continuing historical interests. He is especially interested in the impact on Newfoundland outport communities and their culture of the continuing shift away from the sea. With the increasing emphasis on heritage conservation and cultural tourism, one issue that concerns him is how, with this changing focus on the sea, the province’s maritime heritage is being supported and managed at various levels of government.
At the initial stage of its planning, Bradley was a member of the advisory committee for the Ryan Premises National Historic Site and for more than a decade he has served on the executives of the Bonavista Historical Society and the Bonavista Historic Townscape Foundation. Currently he is Chair of the Association of Heritage Industries, an umbrella group of non-governmental provincial heritage organizations.