About us


    Quality in research, collection and communication

    The German Maritime Museum in Bremerhaven is a research museum of the  Leibniz Association, and a place of education and dialogue. Maritime questions of relevance to society as a whole are the core of our work. In researching and communicating these questions, we insist on the highest quality requirements and ensure these through a Scientific Advisory Board. The guidelines for our work are formed by international museum standards. Equal opportunities, freedom from barriers and child-friendliness are implemented in our daily work. We enter into active dialogue with our visitors and thus optimise our services and offerings.





    During excavation work in a Bremen harbor basin a medieval cog is discovered. This laid the basis for the foundation of the German Maritime Museum.


    Our German Maritime Museum was founded in 1971 as an independent foundation legally responsible under civil law, and opened in 1975 as a museum.



    The museum was incorporated in 1980 into the joint research promotion by the federation and the states ("Blaue Liste"/today "Leibniz Association).

    Until 2000

    Until 2000 our research focus is oriented on technical and natural scientific aspects, especially on the conservation of large waterlogged finds.

    2000 onwards

    The research focus shifts to the history of research and science.


    The German maritime museum experiences structural and organizational changes, construction and renovation activities begin. It gets the name affix "Leibniz Institute for German…


    2013 the DSM is embarking on a new course. The new research and exhibition programme "Mankind & the Sea" gets visible through the opening of the newly designed cog hall.




    German Maritime Museum Foundation Board and Scientific Advisory Board

    Our highest decision-making body is the Foundation Board. The Scientific Advisory Board is an advisory committee of the research museum, made up of internationally recognised scientists. read on


    Our cooperations


    Overview of our various cooperations


    Institutional cooperation

    University of Bremen

    Our bilateral cooperation with the University of Bremen is part of the "U Bremen Research Alliance" between the university and its non-university research institutions. Against this background, we have been integrated in terms of content in the University of Bremen's joint initiative "Worlds of Contradiction: Humanities-based joint focus" since 2015 in the context of the "Forms of Knowledge" working group. We also take part in the "NatureCultures Lab".

    These initiatives are implemented through four cooperation bodies and two joint appointments. We enable students to complete practical modules at the museum or to gain insight into our scientific work and thus into the field of tasks of a Leibniz research museum in the context of internships.

    Carl von Ossietzky Universität Oldenburg

    Students of the "Museum and exhibition" Masters degree course learn about everyday life at a Leibniz research museum in the areas of collection and communication as part of a project and practical work-based task assignment. In return, we receive impulses for our work from the students of the University of Oldenburg, not least of all on the topic of "modern forms of communication".

    University of Applied Sciences Bremerhaven

    We cooperate with the University of Applied Sciences Bremerhaven in the Media Informatics course, for example, and undertake joint digitisation and programming projects, most recently in the form of a "Cogethon". A visit to our exhibition is also a component of the university's induction week for first year students.

    University of Cambridge

    Through our cooperation projects with the University of Cambridge, we promote scientific exchange in the context of research and exhibition projects as well as the mobility of researchers, in particular of young researchers and educators.


    Mit dem Alfred-Wegener-Institut Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung und dessen Archiv für deutsche Polarforschung (AdP) kooperieren wir auf verschiedensten Ebenen. Gemeinsam entwickeln wir beispielsweise Projekte und stellen Drittmittelanträge für deren Durchführung. Das Forschungsschiff POLARSTERN wird ein wichtiger Teil unserer Ausstellung. Außerdem lernen unsere Doktorand*innen gemeinsam in der Graduiertenschule POLMAR.

    We cooperate with the Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) and its Archive for German polar research (AdP) on a number of levels. For example, we develop projects together and submit applications for third-party funding for their implementation. The POLARSTERN research ship is an important part of our exhibition. Further, our doctoral candidates learn together in the POLMAR graduate school.

    Deutsche Allianz Meeresforschung (DAM)

    As one of two maritime museums (besides the German Oceanographic Museum in Stralsund), the German Maritime Museum / Leibniz Institute of Maritime History (DSM) is part of the newly founded German Marine Research Alliance (DAM) - an association of the leading marine research institutions in Germany.

    DAM provides policymakers and society with knowledge and options for action to protect and sustainably use coasts, seas and oceans. With its focus on solutions and the future, the alliance supports the necessary social change towards more sustainability in the use of seas and oceans.

    German Digital Library

    Selected objects from our collection can be viewed digitally via the German Digital Library.

    Google Cultural Institute

    In order to make selected objects from our comprehensive collection viewable digitally, we cooperate with the Google Cultural Institute. This institute presents parts of our collection on the internet.

    see the Bremen cog

    KultSam joint initiative

    We have joined the "KultSam – Culture-historical collections as stores of knowledge in museums and archives" together with further partners under the leadership of the Deutsches Museum in Munich. We want to digitally bring together the various sources of the culture-historical research museums, collections, archives and libraries and make these available for research and to the public.

    GESIS – Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences

    We cooperate with GESIS – Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences in the area of the web-based, digital publishing of publications (Open Access). It is our goal to have our knowledge viewable worldwide.


    Research Alliance Historical Authenticity

    Joint, cross-discipline and with international perspectives, our research deals with how historical and contemporary notions of authenticity have influenced the handling of cultural heritage. This Leibniz research alliance is a new form of cooperation between historical, spatial research institutes, research museums and educational institutes. Together and for the first time, we have undertaken a survey of curators and visitors in connection with a scientific questionnaire, for example, and evaluated the responses.

    Action Plan Leibniz Research Museums

    In the context of the Action Plan Leibniz Research Museums, we have made it our goal together with the other seven Leibniz research museums to develop new formats of scientific communication. Communication research should be strengthened and developed further. We also want to show how we preserve cultural heritage.

    The Action Plan Leibniz Research Museums is sponsored by the Federal Ministry for Education and Research as well as by the federal states of Bavaria, Berlin, Bremen, Hesse, North Rhine-Westphalia and Rhineland-Palatinate.

    German Marine Research Consortium (KDM)

    In the context of our exhibitions, we not only want to communicate our research but also to offer a research-based "showcase for research" to our cooperation partners of the KDM.

    Nordwest-Verbund Meeresforschung e.V. (NWVM)

    We are involved in the NWVM (North-west association for marine research) as a member of the board. We want to offer members of the NWVM the opportunity to communicate their own research in the context of our exhibition.

    Northern Seas Maritime Museum Network (NSMM)

    We are part of the Northern Seas Maritime Museum Network. The goal of the association is to develop common standards and exchange information.

    Municipal partners

    Pier der Wissenschaft

    The "Pier der Wissenschaft“ event network in Bremerhaven aims to increase awareness of science amongst the public by means of innovative communication formats. We carry out events and campaigns together such as the Water Academy, the Water Summer School or the Migration Reading Circle.

    Oberschule Geestemünde highschool

    Together with the teaching staff of the Oberschule Geestemünde, we develop and implement projects: In collaboration with Class 6c of the school, an animated film was created on trade in the Middle Ages and the Bremen cog. The students were awarded first prize for the film in the German competition of Kid Witness News 2018 in the 5th -7th class category.


    We are in many ways linked to the BIS.


    We are partner of the initiative SCIENCE meets BUSINESS.





    The museum team


    Get to know our museum team.

    Opening hours

    currently closed

    how to reach us

    Deutsches Schifffahrtsmuseum
    Hans-Scharoun-Platz 1
    D-27568 Bremerhaven


    T. +49 471 482 07 0
    E. info@dsm.museum

    Contact person


    Press area

    direct download

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