Maritime Museum of the Atlantic

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Maritime Museum of the Atlantic
The Maritime Museum of the Atlantic is a Canadian maritime museum located in downtown Halifax, Nova Scotia. The Maritime Museum of the Atlantic is a member institution of the Nova Scotia Museum and is the oldest and largest maritime museum in Canada with a collection of over 30,000 artifacts including 70 small craft and one ship: the CSS Acadia, a 180 foot steam-powered hydrographic survey ship launched in 1913. HMCS Sackville, a World War II Flower-class corvette is docked adjacent to the museum when she is open for public viewing in the summer months, but is not owned or administered by the museum.

History
The Museum was founded in 1948. It was first known as the Maritime Museum of Canada and located at HMC Dockyard, the naval base on Halifax Harbour. Several naval officers served as volunteer chairs of the Museum until 1959 when Niels Jannasch was hired as the Museum's founding director, serving until 1982. The museum moved through several locations over the next three decades before its current building was constructed in 1981 as part of a waterfront redevelopment program. The museum received the CSS Acadia in 1982. Today the Museum is part of the Nova Scotia Museum system. Its location on the Halifax waterfront at the southern edge of the Historic Properties provides the museum with several docks and boatsheds, as well as a strategic view of the harbour looking seaward towards the Harbourmaster office. Among its facilities is the restored 1880s Roberston Store ship chandlery, as well as modern exhibit galleries in the Devonian Wing (the modern museum building). Ongoing restoration of Whim, a 1937 C Class sloop can be found in one of the boatsheds on the wharf behind the museum. In addition to this current restoration project, the boatsheds house some of the museum's small craft collection. During the winter months three boats in the working small craft collection are on display in the boatsheds, and can be found moored next to CSS Acadia during the summer months. Exhibits include a commemoration of the Halifax Explosion, the sinking of RMS Titanic and other shipwrecks as well as a large gallery on the "Age of Sail". The museum has the world's foremost collection of wooden artifacts from Titanic , including one of the few surviving deck chairs. An Age of Steam gallery includes a special display on Samuel Cunard, the Nova Scotian who created the Cunard Line. The museum also has a changing exhibits gallery. A current exhibit, Ship of Fate: The Tragic Voyage of the St. Louis is the first Canadian exhibit to explore the 1939 voyage of the Jewish refugee ship MS St. Louis.

Collections
  • CSS Acadia
  • HMCS Sackville (K181)The HMCS Sackville is not an artifact or a part of the Collections of the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic but is located adjacent to the Museum.


Event location
The museum's striking location on the Halifax waterfront has made the Museum the site of several significant public events. In addition to being a stop on most Canadian federal election campaigns, the museum hosted meetings from the 1995 G7 Summit, as well a September 11 commemorative event in 2006 attended by Canada's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Peter MacKay and United States Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice. The Museum hosts an annual commemoration of the Battle of the Atlantic every May and Canadian Merchant Navy day every September 3.

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Building Activity

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