Friday, December 04, 2009
The Maritime Museum of the Atlantic is the oldest and largest Maritime Museum in Canada. Having celebrated its 50th anniversary in 1998, the Museum has developed a unique history of its own. The idea of this maritime museum can be credited to a group of Royal Canadian Navy officers who envisaged a maritime museum where relics of Canada's naval past could be preserved. Starting with a small space at HMC Dockyard, the museum moved to quarters in the Halifax Citadel in 1952 and became the Maritime Museum of Canada in 1957. Floods & fires in the early 1960s caused temporary relocations to a variety of sites until 1965 when a home was found in a former bakery building at the Navy's Victualling Depot. The museum became the Marine History section of the Nova Scotia Museum in 1967. The exhibits remained on Citadel Hill while the offices, library and some of the collection moved to the new Nova Scotia Museum building on Summer Street in Halifax in 1970. Through the 1970s, a long search for a permanent home ensued. Finally, in 1982, the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic was established on the site of the historic William Robertson & Son Ship Chandlery and A.M. Smith and Co. Properties on the Halifax Waterfront. It opened to the public on January 22, of that year. Since then, nearly two and a half million people have visited the Museum.
The Museum is a valuable historical, cultural and educational institution. It is the largest site in Nova Scotia that collects and interprets various elements of Nova Scotia's marine history. Visitors are introduced to the age of steamships, local small craft, the Royal Canadian and Merchant Navies, World War II convoys and The Battle of the Atlantic, the Halifax Explosion of 1917, and Nova Scotia's role in the aftermath of the Titanic disaster.