Our Collection

The Vancouver Maritime Museum houses a world-class maritime collection of objects and images.

THE MUSEUM IS HONOURED THAT ITS COLLECTION HAS BEEN BUILT PRINCIPALLY OBJECT BY OBJECT THROUGH DONATIONS FROM THE COMMUNITY. 

As the primary local repository for maritime history, the Vancouver Maritime Museum houses over 15 000 objects and 100 000 images either in storage or on exhibit. Our holdings reflect the city’s long connection with Vancouver, the Pacific Northwest and the Arctic, and the collection represents European, Asian, North American and First Nations sources. Objects include navigational tools, books, charts, posters, and uniforms that touch on naval history, the Vancouver waterfront, shipping, recreational watercraft, and marine harvesting. We strive to represent these communities and their connections to the sea, through the acquisition of cultural and scientific objects relating to countries on the Pacific and the Arctic Oceans.

HOW DO I DONATE AN OBJECT TO THE MUSEUM?

Accepting a donation is a big commitment for the museum, one that lasts many years. We cannot accept all objects that are offered. Any object we accept must first relate to our area of interest. We then assess its condition and whether there are similar objects already in the collection. If it gets past these checkpoints, we forward it for review to the Collections Committee, which is composed of staff, board members, and knowledgeable volunteers from the community. If it is accepted, you will be asked to sign a formal transfer to the museum. If it does not meet our criteria, it will be returned to you. Tax receipts based on fair market value should be requested at the time of the donation and will be issued after the formal transfer is completed. Museum staff are not permitted to provide you with an appraisal.

We do not accept “drop-off” donations. Please call the museum’s curator before bringing your object to the museum.

curator@vanmaritime.com

CAN I VOLUNTEER IN THE MUSEUM’S COLLECTION?

From time to time there are volunteer opportunities in the collections department. If you are interested, please contact the museum’s Volunteer Coordinator to learn more.