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Welcome to Hidden in the Hold

Welcome to the Collections Department’s blog, “Hidden in the Hold”! This is your chance to get an inside look at what goes on behind the scenes in our storage areas and workrooms. Whether the artifacts are old or new, in storage or on display, each one has a story to tell. And so do the three staff members who are responsible for the care and feeding of all the items! So let’s get started!

Meet the staff…

Jeanne, Cindi and Rachel make up the Collections Management Department here at the Mariners’. We are responsible for the records, storage and movements of over 33,000 artifacts. From the smallest pieces like a wooden ship model inside a tiny flashlight bulb to a boat weighing thousands of pounds, each object is unique. And no matter what the size, each one has to be cared for, documented and moved correctly.

Each one of our thirteen storage areas are arranged so similar items are housed together. So wooden figureheads are in one space and lighthouse lenses are in another. This allows us to maintain temperature and humidity levels in each area that are important to the items stored there. It is our goal to keep each artifact in the best condition so it will be available to visitors and researchers for many years to come.

So let the fun begin!

This month is a busy one for us we began to take down our Chesapeake Bay Gallery on Monday the 7th. Chesapeake Bay has been up since 1989 and is about the culture and history of the Chesapeake Bay from colonial times to the modern age. Click HERE to visit our page where you can see a 360 view of part of the gallery as it was. (Please excuse the less than amazing pictures, I do what I can with the camera I have)

Entrance to the Chesapeake Bay Gallery with our beautiful lighthouse lens

A question we’ve been addressing a lot lately is why? Why are we taking down this gallery when it has been such an important and interesting part of our museum for so long? While the Chesapeake Bay is an important part of the culture in our area, it is time for the exhibition to have a break and to create something new and exciting, something that would appeal to families. The transformation of this space will take years as it will be divided into different areas for different purposes. As these changes unfold, we will keep you in the loop with our progress and what you can expect from the new space as it is created. In the meantime, enjoy some more images from the gallery.

A nut we found behind one of the boats
large cutouts of watermen
Anchor belonging to the H.M.S. Dictator
Cindi and Jeanne trying to get a button out of a case
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