USS Monitor Center

At the heart of the USS Monitor Center is the exhibition—Ironclad Revolution—a melding of artifacts, original documents, paintings, personal accounts, interactives and environments that will pique all five senses. The strategies, people, technology, and science behind the historic circumstances surrounding this story will be displayed in a way the public has never before seen.

Visitors may:

  • Walk down a mock dock and enter the CSS Virginia as she is being built for battle.
  • Build your own virtual ironclad
  • Step inside the Battle Theater and experience the action during the Battle of Hampton Roads
  • Visit the living quarters of the sailors, or walk on the deck of a full-scale reproduction of the vessel that changed naval warfare
  • Participate in the raising of the turret by NOAA and Navy crews in the Recovery Theater
  • See replicas of the famous turret as it was built, as it was brought up from the ocean floor, and then see the REAL turret

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Batten Conservation Complex

This state-of-the-art facility provides visitors with a view of the delicate process of preserving history. The conservation facility offers visitors:

  • A first-hand look at conservation of the turret, steam engine, and much more.
  • A much needed resource for training, research and consultation in the conservation field
  • Exhibits on the fascinating blend of the art and science of conservation

Engine and Condenser Webcam

USS <em>Monitor</em>'s Engine

View the USS Monitor‘s vibrating side-lever steam engine. The engine is a composite artifact, meaning that it is composed of many different material types including wrought iron, cast iron, copper and copper alloys, rubber, and glass.

Turret Webcam

USS <em>Monitor</em>'s Turret

Catch a glimpse of the USS Monitor‘s revolving gun turret. The 120-ton wrought iron turret is visible whether the tank is filled with 90,000 gallons of treatment solution or if conservators are inside the turret performing treatment activities.

Guns and Gun Carriages Webcams

USS <em>Monitor</em>'s Guns

This webcam shows the USS Monitor‘s two XI-inch Dahlgren shell guns and their gun carriages. Conservators have been busy disassembling the 3,200-pound gun carriages, which have been rotated into their original upright positions.


The USS <em>Monitor</em> Center blog banner

Our Conservation staff blog regularly, offering exclusive photos and details about Monitor artifacts, treatments, and fun projects happening inside the Batten Conservation Lab in the USS Monitor Center.

Read the USS Monitor Center blog

The Civil War Connections blog banner

In commemoration of the 150th Anniversary of the American Civil War (1861 to 1865), we are bringing together, within six degrees of separation, all of the various personalities and events of this period in one blog.

Read the Civil War Connections blog


The Resources

The USS Monitor Center is a definitive national repository, bringing together hundreds of artifacts from the Monitor and a voluminous collection of archives, all being made available for research and study to the public. As a resource, the USS Monitor Center offers:

  • A wide array of educational programs for school children, adults, families and scholars
  • Conferences, seminars and workshops
  • Internships for students of history, archaeology, conservation and museum studies

Explore the USS Monitor online!


USS <em>Monitor</em> Center exhibit

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Plans of the USS <em>Monitor</em>'s turret

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The engine of the USS <em>Monitor</em>

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