record year FOR THE MARITIME MUSEUM
We passed three important milestones in recent years. We merged, we opened the Offshore Experience in collaboration with the maritime and offshore industries and we achieved a complete "makeover" of the Maritime Museum Harbour. In this annual report, we reflect on an extremely successful 2017, which broke all records.
Updated presentation in the Maritime Museum Harbour
This year, we improved our presentation of information by launching the Maritime Museum App, and storytelling on the museum harbour and with the refurbishment of the museum ship "Annigje". This was the second phase of our ambition to create a dynamic museum harbour, where maritime events for young and old are held and where we are working on a unique collection of floating cultural heritage. Together with a large number of businesses, artists, educational institutions and the Municipality of Rotterdam, we will further develop the museum harbour and Maritime District in the years to come and turn it into an inviting tourist attraction in the heart of our great city.
> Read more about the Maritime Museum Harbour;
> Free tour through the Museum Harbour and an audio tour with the new Maritime Museum App;
> Impression of the new pavilion at the Leuvehaven.
Contemporary programming for a wide audience
We want to surprise our visitors, to inspire them and touch them with our stories about the effects of the maritime world on our daily lives - from the energy we use each day to the typically Dutch concept of living on the water. We want to offer three generations of visitors - who may not have any special interest in the maritime world - a memorable museum visit. We do this by having a programme of socially relevant and contemporary exhibits and activities. In 2017, we mounted eight exhibitions, two of which were new: 'The Bright Minds Expedition', with astronaut André Kuipers, and 'How We Ditched the Dutch', about the hijacking that marked the end of the Dutch East India Company. With the opening of the 'Offshore Experience' at the end of 2016, we were able to reach a wide audience. The National Maritime Museum in Helsingør, Denmark presented our successful exhibit of 'Sex & the Sea' (16+).
> Press release (in Dutch) about the festive opening of our sailing season in the renovated Museum Harbour;
> 11,300 children participated this summer in our educational family programme.
We manage a collection that is one of the world’s best and we use our programming, lectures, publications and congress presentations to make it accessible to a wide audience. In 2017, the focus was on inventorying the nearly 200,000 technical drawings from the Dutch shipbuilding industry that we wish to digitise in the coming years. In 2018, we will start with the fund-raising for this large-scale digitisation project. The collection has been enriched thanks to donations from both private individuals and the business community. At the same time, we are charting a new course for the collection of operational heritage - the maintenance of which is extremely expensive. In a public collection, you have to make decisions about what you do and do not retain. After an extensive historico-cultural evaluation in 2017 and in conformity with LAMO (the Guidelines on Disposal of Museum Objects), a new purpose was found for a number of vessels and some large machines.
> Read more about our collection.
Research and education
The ‘Rotterdam Centre for Modern Maritime History’, the collaborative venture between the museum and the Erasmus University Rotterdam, was very active in the academic and museum world in 2017. The emphasis was on integrating the modern maritime history element into the university educational curriculum and on helping get research carried out. Maritime lectures and seminars and a master’s research workshop were organised from the Centre. Ten undergraduate and master’s students used the collection for research internships. This demonstrates the collection's value for both academic education and as a source for scientific research. The focus within the research programme, in which two PhD students are active on the museum’s behalf, was on shipbuilding and offshore history. Two new PhDs also started in 2017.
> Read more about the Rotterdam Centre for Modern Maritime History.
Technical education development
In 2017, we welcomed more than 15,000 students to a broad range of educational programmes, museum lessons and family programmes. Last year, the development of technical education was paramount. We concluded a multiple-year cooperation with the Verolme Trust Foundation for providing technical education programmes between 2017-2021 for the purpose of inspiring students' interest in technology. We worked as a partner in the Heritage Coalition alongside eight cultural institutions in order to develop ongoing lines of education about our heritage for and by education in Rotterdam. The cooperation with the Shipping and Transport College was continued, thanks to the deployment of two cultural coaches for the vocational education sector. The ‘Travel Back in Time’ project was organised jointly with Rotterdam University’s teacher training programme to give over 1,000 primary school pupils and dozens of future teachers an introduction to Dutch maritime history.
> Discover how we inspired to 2200 students with our new technical education programme;
> Pitch for "technasium" students was named 2017's best idea for sustainable energy at sea.
Marketing and communication
In 2017, we achieved 12% growth in visitor numbers and even greater growth in terms of revenue from entrance fees as compared with 2016. This exceeded our objectives considerably. We were able to welcome many new visitors because of our media campaigns for the Offshore Experience and updated Museum Harbour. In addition, we increased return visits using CRM and e-mail marketing. We successfully launched the Offshore Experience in the market as a large draw for the public and continue to invest in the reinforcement of the power and experience of our brand for individual museum visitors, the business market and education. 2017 was also characterised by the professionalisation of our sales activities.
> Interested to hear what our visitors thought of the museum? Read their reviews;
> Stijn won a helicopter ride over the harbour. View his adventure;
> Check out NOS youth journal report about the Offshore Experience.
WE ARE PROUD OF OUR AMBASSADORS
> 85 Partners, 40 funds and foundations committed to the museum.
> 500 (family) Friends, Benefactors and Patrons;
> 6200 members of the Professor Pete's Splash Club (ages 4-10);
> 23,000 subscriptions to our digital newsletter;
> 1033 business relations enjoyed an exclusive dinner in our Masterpieces exhibition;
> And, last but not least, 64 employees - including 4 PhDs, 11 interns and 160 volunteers who generously supported the Museum.