MIT has been producing global leaders in marine technology for more than four generations. This outstanding tradition of educating marine engineers and designers can be traced back to one of the Institute’s earliest students, Nathanael Greene Herreshoff, MIT Class of 1870.
As the guardian of the world-famous Herreshoff Manufacturing Company design record, the MIT Museum is uniquely equipped to tell this important story. The 14,000 plans in the Hart Nautical collection document designs for over 2,600 rowing, sailing and power vessels from 1869 to 1945, including many of the most significant vessels of their type. This unique marine design collection is the most heavily accessed of the MIT Museum's many collections and has vast educational potential.
In this project, the MIT Museum will create a stunning exhibition about the extraordinary Herreshoff legacy that seamlessly interacts with an online database of the Herreshoff design record. Together they will dramatically enhance the educational value of the collection and increase interest and use of this and related collections. A lasting benefit will be high quality digital scans of the plans to preserve the visual data, with innovative tools to search and explore the collection.