The National Maritime Museum in Amsterdam conducts extensive research on its own collection. The outcomes of this research are presented in permanent and temporary exhibitions, publications, and lectures. The research is conducted by the museum's curators and by guest researchers, who can research objects from the museum collection for six months to a year through our fellowships program

The National Maritime Museum's research is driven by concrete questions from the museum itself, fellow museums and the universities with which we collaborate intensively, and by issues in current social debates. For example, we conduct targeted research into the provenance of objects that have been in the collection for some time. Possible new purchases and donations of objects and the creation of new exhibitions are also grounds for the museum to conduct research. 

The Maritime Museum has formulated several focal points in the research policy for the policy period 2020-2024. This often involves multi-year research into various topics such as: 

  • the colonial history of the Atlantic region, the role the Netherlands played in this, and the impact of that history on the present day; 

  • the diverse ways in which the maritime world plays or has played a role in people's lives. The museum consciously opts for the human perspective, using oral history in addition to objects, and strives for a multivocal

    interpretation of the maritime past. 

  • the provenance of certain objects in the collection, particularly those acquired during the colonial period or in the period 1933-1945; 

  • the development of marine painting as an artistic genre; 

  • the influence of the transition from sail to steam in the nineteenth century on shipping and society; 

  • the history of wooden shipbuilding 

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