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Ever wondered what happens behind-the-scenes at the Maritime Museum?

Who looks after our collection items and where are they stored? How are exhibitions created and who gets to decide what goes on display? How are our fleet of vessels maintained? Discover the answers to these questions and more as we dive into the various departments that help preserve, promote and share Australia's maritime heritage.

Join Assistant Director Michael Harvey as he goes behind-the-scenes and shows areas of the museum rarely seen by the public


Conservation

The museum's conservation team preserves our collection, ensuring that present and future visitors can learn, appreciate and enjoy our objects and artefacts for years to come. 

Conservators use 'minimal intervention' methods to help stabilise objects (both chemically and physically) and keep its integrity and authenticity. Examining objects, conducting treatments, researching, and documenting are all in a day's work for our museum conservators.

 

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Exhibitions

We have dedicated teams that help us present a changing program of stimulating exhibitions every year. Our Curatorial team research and acquire historical objects for the National Maritime Collection and develop the exhibitions. Our Preps (Preparators) team install and de-install the exhibitions themselves, while the Registration team organises the movement and storage of more than 148,000 objects in our Collection. 

Maritime Archaeology

Maritime archaeology is the scientific study of underwater cultural heritage and related land-based sites. Underwater cultural heritage refers to all traces of human existence with cultural, historical or archaeological character that have been partially or totally submerged. Shipwrecks are the most commonly known type of underwater cultural heritage.

Our Maritime Archaeologists help survey, excavate, interpret and preserve our underwater cultural heritage.

 

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Fleet

As we have one of the largest floating historical vessel collections in the world, we have a team of shipwrights who work together to make sure our vessels stay in tip-top shape.

Specialists in boat-building and design, our shipwrights make necessary repairs when needed to ensure our vessels can withstand being in the ocean for long periods of time. 

Bailey

As our only four-legged employee, Bailey has a very important role at the museum. As the Assistant Director of Seagulls, Bailey chases these pesky birds away so their poo doesn't stain or ruin the paint on our vessels and wharves. 

Photography has a unique ability to spark conservation, debate and even action. We hope this year's exhibition will empower people to think differently about our planet and our critical role in its future.

Dr Tim Littlewood, Director of Science, Natural History Museum, London

Explore more images from the exhibition

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Love Wildlife Photographer of the Year? Learn more about the winning photographs, go wild with fun-filled kids' craft activities, and browse our range of books and giftware relating to the exhibition. 

 Main image: © Ralf Schneider 'Sleeping like a Weddell', Highly Commended 2019, Black and White

Wildlife Photographer of the Year is developed and produced by the Natural History Museum, London.

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