February 25, 2018
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Penobscot Marine Museum launches redesigned Website

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Gilkey family at sea. Courtesy of Penobscot Marine Museum photography collection.

SEARSPORT, Maine — Penobscot Marine Museum announces the launch of its significantly enlarged and newly designed history Website Penobscot Bay History Online.

The updated Website offers even more museum resources for researchers and educators. It includes a searchable database of images of hundreds of objects from Penobscot Marine Museum’s collection of marine paintings, journal entries, manuscripts, maps, and more. Two new original source documents have been added: the journal of a 14-year-old girl from Brewer who sailed with her sea captain father in 1880, and a log kept by the coolie master on a Rockland ship that brought 500 Chinese coolies to Cuba in 1861 to work in the sugar fields.

  This major Website renovation was funded by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). 

Penobscot Bay History Online is designed around 11 maritime history topics:Maritime Communities, Our Maine Ancestors, Fisheries, Working the Bay, History of Navigation, Ships and Shipbuilding, Maine and the Orient, Life at Sea, Marine Art, and the newly created Searsport Captains, and Women’s Roles.

Each of these topics has from seven to 13 chapters, is illustrated with photographs of objects from the Penobscot Marine Museum collection, and has an expanded glossary. As a special feature for educators, the learning standards (Maine Learning Results and Common Core), which are addressed in each chapter, are listed on the Website.

The original Penobscot Bay History Online Website was built with a 2004-2006 grant from IMLS. The grant also funded the book “MATES: Museum and Teachers Educating Students.” This book identified nine topics in maritime history which were supported by Museum resources, and included suggested activities and additional resources.

As a result of these projects, Penobscot Marine Museum Education Department was asked to partner with local schools on the After School Program grant and to create a maritime history program.

Penobscot Marine Museum then created a Maine Maritime History Curriculum for day classrooms and most recently has packaged this successful Curriculum into History Kits for rental to schools, thus making access to the Maritime History Curriculum more affordable for schools.

This project was the work of Penobscot Marine Museum Education Director Betty Schopmeyer, who retired this month.