The Education Collection at Mystic Seaport

Scrimshaw, Harpoons, Photographs, Documents, and Lots More!

Date posted: January 15, 2016

For the past few years, the Museum's Education Department has been gathering a collection of objects, specifically to use for programs with school students.  The collection is mostly comprised of deaccessioned objects from our main collection and reproduction objects.  These objects are used in a variety of programs, including primary source workshops like the Curator's Challenge.  

In the Curator's Challenge workshop, students work in teams to design an exhibit.  Prior to the program, our Museum Teachers carefully select and place objects on tables in the Howell Classroom.  When the students arrive, they work in small teams to do the following:

-study the objects at their table,
-decide if the objects are connected in any way,
-write exhibit labels for the objects on the Curator's Challenge worksheet,
-name the exhibit (creativity encouraged!).

At the end of the program, each team reports out to their classmates, sharing their exhibit and objects.  This activity paired with the education collection gives students hands-on experience with analyzing artifacts, documents, photographs and other types of resources.

We continue to add to the education collection every year.  Just this month, we've acquired several fascinating new objects including swordfish and sawfish bills!

If you are interested in booking a primary source workshop in the Museum's Howell Classroom or in YOUR classroom (yes, this program travels!), please contact Rebecca Shea to make a reservation:  860.572.5322 ext. 1 (weekdays between 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.) or email