Discover stories behind the latest exhibitions, fascinating explorations into maritime science and archaeology, and the surprising details of what happens inside (and outside) a modern working museum.

Would you have survived being sick on the high seas?

11 Feb 2016

Being sea sick was a dire matter in the golden age of sail. Rough Medicine: Life and Death in the Age of Sail explores the world of the ship’s surgeon and his grizzly tools of the trade. From a queasy stomach to amputated limbs and spoiled food, life aboard a 17th century sailing ship was far from pleasant.

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History and theatre – Black Armada exhibition opens in Indonesia

02 Sep 2015

Exhibition openings in Indonesia are really something. At the Black Armada (Armada Hitam) opening at the Museum Benteng Vredeburg, Yogyakarta on 31 August there were decorations, traditional dancers, prayers, speeches, a sumptuous feast, and to top it all off, an explosion-packed historical re-enactment of a battle by Indonesian freedom fighters.

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James Caird into the southern oceans – Shackleton's carpenter's view

24 Apr 2015

On 24 April 1916, 99 years ago, Antarctic expedition leader Sir Ernest Shackleton, his Endurance skipper Frank Worsley and four of his crew loaded into the seven-metre lifeboat James Caird and set sail from the rocky spit of the sub-Antarctic Sea Island to reach help across the treacherous southern oceans, leaving 22 men behind on the barren outcrop.

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X-Ray Vision – Fish Inside Out

24 Feb 2015

Superman has it, and so does the Smithsonian Institution: x-ray vision. We’ve just finished hanging 40 intriguing x-ray images of fish specimens from the USA’s National Fish Collection, a library of more than 4 million preserved specimens of some 20,000 fish species from around the world held by the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC (that’s a lot of preserving jars).

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Bringing an exhibition to life: Voyage to the Deep

16 Dec 2014

Constructing exhibitions such as Voyage to the Deep is the work of preparators, or ‘preps’. They are an integral cog in the machine of traditional museums and, as the name implies, are employed to prepare objects, specimens or exhibits.

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