Dolde joins Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum as Collections Manage

Jenifer Dolde or Earleville, Md. recently joined the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michaels, Md., as Collections Manager, where she is responsible for creating and maintaining CBMM’s collection records and facilitating public access to the collection.

Dolde is a familiar face at CBMM, having completed a curatorial internship at the museum after earning degrees in both history and English from Washington College. She also holds a master’s degree in history, with a certificate in Museum Studies, from the University of Delaware.

“I have followed Jenifer’s career since she was an intern, and she has developed into a leading museum collections professional in the region, as well as a respected Delmarva historian,” said CBMM Chief Curator Pete Lesher. “I am thrilled to be working with a colleague of this caliber.”

Dolde’s experience includes four years as curator at the Delaware Agricultural Museum & Village in Dover, Del., after which she began work as a small museum consultant. As a consultant, she worked with small museums and historical societies in Delaware and Maryland curating exhibitions, managing oral history projects and organizing collections management projects. She is also the author of “A Legacy of Land on the Chesapeake: Three Centuries of Family and Farming in Kent County, Maryland.”

A Dorchester County, Md. native, Dolde grew up in Church Creek, a few miles from Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge, in a house built by her great-grandfather, the captain of a locally-built three-masted schooner. Her connection to the Chesapeake Bay is strong, with childhood summers spent crabbing and fishing in the Little Choptank River. She and her husband, Carl, now spend summer weekends sailing recreationally on their daysailer, as well as kayaking on the Bohemia River.

“I grew up hearing my grandmother’s stories of farming and fishing as a way of life,” Dolde said. “Wanting to know more, studying and writing about the history of Delmarva became my passion, and then my career. Joining CBMM’s staff is like returning home.”

Dolde has been a volunteer in the Cecil County school system for many years, serving on various committees, and for the past five years as a founding officer of the high school music boosters, which raises funds for the program. She has also served on committees and edited the Chesapeake City United Methodist Church newsletter for 10 years.

CBMM’s collection holds more than 68,000 items, all related to the Chesapeake Bay. Items include the largest collection of Chesapeake Bay watercraft in the world, along with decoys and waterfowling objects, marine engines, maritime models, paintings, prints, photography, and objects of maritime trade. Numerous historic structures are included in the collection, including the 1879 Hooper Strait Lighthouse, which was moved to its current location in 1966.

Established in 1965, the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum is a world-class maritime museum dedicated to preserving and exploring the history, environment, and people of the entire Chesapeake Bay, with the values of relevancy, authenticity, and stewardship guiding its mission. Serving more than 70,000 guests each year, CBMM’s campus includes a floating fleet of historic boats and 12 exhibition buildings, situated in a park-like, waterfront setting along the Miles River and St Michaels harbor. Gifts to CBMM’s Annual Fund help preserve the objects in CBMM’s collection, with online giving and more information at