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Pacific Sea Resources (PSR) was established in 1985 to undertake the archaeological recovery of Spanish galleons sunk in the Pacific during the Manila Galleon trade between the Philippines and America. After the initial research phase in libraries and archives in seven countries, PSR researchers focused on the Nuestra Senora de la Concepcion, an Acapulco-bound galleon sunk in 1638 off Saipan in the Northern Mariana Islands.

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The field program, begun in March 1987 and concluded in July 1988, was carried out by PSR's crew of thirty professionals from seven countries. The company used state-of-the-art equipment to survey and map the 'wreck site. computer systems to image-capture artifacts and record pertinent information, and a wide variety of specialized excavation tools to recover the artifacts. The comprehensive archaeological program was developed and implemented in close cooperation with the Historic Preservation Office of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. The five and a half year project resulted in an assemblage of materials relating to the shipwreck, including all artifacts, paintings, charts and models, now known as the Concepcion Collection.