Chesapeake Bay Gallery Update

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not much clearance lifting it out of the gallery
not much clearance lifting it out of the gallery

Last week we finished moving artifacts out of the Chesapeake Bay Gallery, which now looks very empty! Hampton Roads Crane and Rigging helped us move out the last two large objects, a Coast Guard buoy and an engine.

First to come out was our 7X15 lighted Coast Guard Buoy from 1952. As it stood in the gallery it almost touched the ceiling, so getting it out was rather interesting because there was not much space to work with. Luckily, the top comes off. It is now outside in front of our business entrance for everyone (including confused joggers) to enjoy.
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Chesapeake Bay Gallery Update

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Deadrise being lifted out of the gallery
Deadrise being lifted out of the gallery

Yesterday was a very exciting day for us as we moved several of our larger objects out of the Chesapeake Bay Gallery, leaving some really large, empty spaces. We took the boats from the gallery out to our warehouse for storage. This is a big step for us in getting the gallery clear for future exhibitions. Next week we will get out the last few remaining objects, which are a steamboat mirror, 14-ton engine and large buoy.

The first to go was our Deadrise Oyster Workboat, ca 1955.


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Learning to trust Wikipedia

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USS Lancaster Eagle
USS Lancaster Eagle

Coming up with ways to allow the public better access to our collection is something we constantly think about. After all, that’s the main reason we created this blog. Besides this blog, I also try to post an object a week on Twitter for our followers to see. Here’s our Twitter handle if you don’t already follow us, @MarinersMuseum. Another activity I became interested in this past summer was editing Wikipedia. We’re conditioned to believe that Wikipedia isn’t a reliable source and we should not look there for answers (yet we all do anyway), but I’ve learned that this isn’t necessarily the case. There are a great many people working to make sure that the articles are well-written and, more importantly, use proper sources. I tend to use Wikipedia as a place to start when I begin researching something. I can usually find a few major details and then some resources that I can turn to for more information.

Knowing that people come to Wikipedia so frequently, whether they admit it or not, I believe it is important for us, the museum, to use the site to let the public know what we can offer them. I have gradually been working on adding our objects to various pages, especially examples from various artists. Some of my favorite additions include a picture of our music box model on the page for the PS Commonwealth, an anchor on the SS Christopher Columbus and a painting for John Cleveley the Elder.   Read more

Chesapeake Bay Gallery update

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Removing a model

Sometimes this is what you have to do to get an object free of its case.  The model was screwed down to the case and Jeanne had to go in to free it.  Of course we all just stood around and took pictures of her legs sticking out.

Despite the difficulty in getting this model free, the deinstallation of the Chesapeake Bay Gallery is going well and the majority of the objects have been removed and put away in storage.  We’ve been working slowly on purpose so that we can keep track of everything as it comes out so nothing gets mixed up or put in the wrong spot.  Taking down a gallery can be a lot of work.   More updates to come soon!   Read more

Where did I put that?

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Yorktown Bottle
Yorktown Bottle

One of the major tasks associated with having such a large collection of objects (about 32,000!) is keeping track of everything’s location.  Every object in our collection has a number so that we can track it, both digitally in our database and on our paper location cards.  What I want to talk about in this post is how we number an object because of how important this little task is.

The bottle (ca 1781) pictured above was recovered with numerous others in 1934 from the York River.  We have 71 of these bottles or bottle fragments in our collection.  When we pulled it out of the Chesapeake Bay Gallery last week, we discovered it was numbered incorrectly but, thankfully, renumbering the piece is an easy process.   Read more