Housed in the Norman & Ellen Plummer Center for Museum Collections and exhibited throughout our campus, CBMM’s collections encompass more than 80,000 objects, watercraft, and library and archival materials representing the maritime history and waterfront community culture of the Chesapeake Bay. The Center for Museum Collections, recently expanded by 4,500 square feet, honors Norman & Ellen Plummer, longtime volunteers who have contributed countless hours to CBMM with more than 30 years of service. The climate-controlled storage rooms, dedicated volunteer and staff workspaces, and public reading room in the Howard I. Chapelle Library represent CBMM’s commitment to high-quality museum standards for preservation, handling and access.
Learn more about CBMM’s collection highlights and search our entire collection using our online collections portal.
For additional information about CBMM’s holdings, to schedule an appointment to use the Howard I. Chapelle Library or to obtain more information about our collection, visit the Library and Research page or complete a Research Request form.
A significant portion of CBMM’s collection has been acquired over more than fifty years through generous donations from our community of supporters. All donations are considered and approved quarterly by the Curatorial Committee, based on whether the offered object or materials fall under the scope of CBMM’s Collections Policy.
CBMM evaluates offers of artifacts, and library and archival materials connected to the maritime history and culture of the Chesapeake tidewater region based on criteria including the item’s known history, condition, duplication in our collection, exhibition potential and its cost to acquire, preserve and maintain.
To ensure security and proper legal transfer, drop-offs and unscheduled donations are not accepted. To offer an item for donation, e-mail the Curatorial staff at email@example.com and provide your contact information, description and history of the item, and reference photographs.