chapter  19
14 Pages

Arctic ‘relics’: the construction of history, memory and narratives at the National Maritime Museum

This chapter analyses the Polar collections of the National Maritime Museum (henceforth the NMM), Greenwich,1 and examines their contribution to notions of national identity, as well as to personal histories. It aims, through an investigation of the movements through the museum of a particular set of artefacts, to ask questions about the nature of the institution, the relationship between objects and people and how meanings relating to both personal and wider social narratives are constructed around things. It connects the history of exploration and empire with that of the museum, and thereby demonstrates how each has played its part in constructions of Britishness over time.