Quick-Start Tutorial for Searching

the Online Collections Database at the

Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum

It’s hard.  But worth doing.

Searching the CBMM Collections online database can be challenging, and the results are sometimes confusing.  Here’s why:

  • Plans, photos, and objects are found in several different collections.
  • In the online instructions, the collections are also called “directories” and “libraries”.
  • Column names in the search results are misleading.  (For example, Object Name shows object categories.)
  • Not all the available fields show up in the results, unless you know how some search tricks.

 But the online database is a valuable resource.  It’s worth working through the hard parts.

I’m still putting this guide together [Feb 2024].  Contact me if you need help:  cbmm_help@sailingworkboats.es

More about CBMM Collections

Items that are not exhibited around the CBMM campus are kept in the Norman & Ellen Plummer Center for Museum Collections.  This is a climate-controlled facility that was expanded and modernized in 2023.

You can search all the collections online here.  Look for the links at lower left to search these collections separately:

  • Objects, Photographs, Manuscripts, Ships Plans
  • Regional Oral History Database
  • Books and Periodicals


How to see and touch what you find in the Collections

The collections and library are accessible only by appointment.  Email collections@cbmm.org or visit the Library and Research page.  

Voile-Aviron | Sail & Oar


I also write about sail-and-oar cruising in small open boats on the Chesapeake and its tributaries at  Sail+Oar – Chesapeake Log.