Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum Collection now available online

In the midst of its COVID-19 closure, the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michaels, Md., has rolled out a brand-new virtual feature—online access for visitors to thousands of items in its collection of Chesapeake Bay-related objects and images, all available at

“After three years of research, planning, and conversion of data to our new collections management system, we are thrilled to be able to offer the public unprecedented access to our catalog of more than 70,000 objects, photographs, oral histories, books, ships plans and manuscripts, enabling students, scholars and history enthusiasts to explore the Chesapeake’s rich maritime heritage,” said Jenifer Dolde, CBMM’s Associate Curator of Collections.

Launched in June with the goal of creating an online presence for CBMM’s collections, including items not on display, members of the museum’s curatorial and volunteer staff have worked diligently to create a digital record for each item in CBMM’s collection. Visitors have the ability to search the collection in multiple ways and browse through special features like collection and exhibition highlights. The first highlighted collection available on the site is a look back at past special exhibition A Broad Reach: 50 Years of Collecting, that featured standout objects from CBMM’s collection and was on display as part of its 50th anniversary celebrations.

This online collection will be regularly updated as CBMM’s staff works to digitize more of its photographs and objects. It already includes nearly 2,000 books from CBMM’s library that have never before been digitally cataloged, with thousands more to be added over time.

The Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum is a non-profit educational organization dedicated to preserving and exploring the history, environment, and culture of the entire Chesapeake Bay region, and making this resource available to all.

Every aspect of fulfilling this mission is driven by CBMM’s values of relevance, authenticity, and stewardship, along with a commitment to providing engaging guest experiences and transformative educational programming, all while serving as a vital community partner. For more information, visit or call 410-745-2916.

Sailmaker’s bench and tools, maker unknown, c. 1946. Pine with steel fastenings, cotton canvas, 18 x 60.6 x 11.6 inches. Museum purchase, 1997.1.1. Digital image by David W. Harp © Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum.