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

Conservation Exhibitions Maritime Archaeology Fleet  Volunteers Bailey Meet the team

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



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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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 Prep (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. 


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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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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. 




Our volunteers are the beating heart of the museum – they bring our exhibitions and collection items to life. We have over 1,000 volunteers right around Australia, all ready to spring into action whenever one of our travelling exhibition reaches their home town. In 2018–19, 595 active volunteers contributed a whopping 63,087 hours to the museum!

Meet some of the people that help share Australia's stories of the sea

Dive in and get a personal insight into our team members and their role at the museum. What does a typical day involve for a shipwright? What is a curator's favourite object in the collection? What are common misconceptions about the role of a conservator? Find out all this and more by browsing through various Q&As from different sections throughout the museum!

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