Like so many organizations across the globe, The Mariners’ Museum and Park has been closed since mid-March, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Yet, our institution’s number one priority remains: to serve the public. Everything we do is based on our being collections-based and audience-focused, and this shutdown has not changed that. Museum staff have been actively exploring, experimenting, and delivering on new ways to reach and serve our community.
You may have seen an increased number of blogs being published on our website, and by more staff members than ever. You may be following You Tube Live broadcasts and Facebook posts. Your children may be learning through our new online education programs. All of these initiatives are based on our mission of connecting us through the world’s waterways. But for me personally, I have missed the Museum’s exhibition component.
I miss being in the galleries, seeing objects on display, and interacting with our visitors about the role they play in our shared maritime heritage. I know those days will be here again, but until then, we had to find other ways to create and present content. After some brainstorming, we found that Google has something called Google Sites, where you can quickly create a website viewable to all. How exciting!
I was tasked with taking an exhibit proposal previously slated to go into one of our gallery spaces, and turn it into an online resource. It took some time navigating how to use the platform, upload the content, and make it all presentable, but…we did it! Our newest online “exhibit” is Changing World Views: Maps in The Mariners’ Museum Collection, and it is now live and ready for your viewing pleasure. Changing World Views showcases approximately 30 sixteenth-, seventeenth-, and eighteenth-century maps from The Mariners’ Museum Library and Archives.
The website explains how world views changed over time as more of the globe was explored. It also takes a look at the imagery often seen embellishing maps, along with scientific principles applied to mapmaking and navigation. The best part? It is accessible from the comfort (and safety) of home. I invite you to visit our newest addition, and so here’s how to get there:
Easy peasy, right? And you should check out some of the other online options we offer as well while visiting our website. The Mariners’ Museum has more than three million items in our Library and Archives alone, and Changing World Views is but a modest sample of that impressive collection. When we reopen (soon!), we hope you’ll visit us at The Mariners’ Museum and Park. We look forward to welcoming you back into our galleries and hearing your maritime stories. Until then, enjoy our newest online offering.