IT IS THE QUEEN MARY HERITAGE FOUNDATION’S GOAL to create a world-class museum and science center aboard the Queen Mary, located on the coast in Long Beach, California. The objective of the museum is to be an important destination where visitors will learn about the ship’s impressive history as well as maritime economics, oceanography, space and solar education, import/export commerce and other related themes that center around sea technologies and travel. The museum will implement state-of-the-art learning and interactive systems.
Positioned on the Queen Mary at amidships on D, E, & F decks, the museum will occupy the former Aft Turbo Generator Room, Number 5 Boiler Room and Forward Engine Room. Approximately 65,000 square feet will be dedicated to a science center, educational classrooms, 4D theater, and museum-quality exhibition spaces for in-house curated installations as well as traveling shows.
The Queen Mary currently holds in its archives thousands of objects such as archival photographs ranging from ship construction to the early maiden voyage and contemporary views, artwork, textiles, furniture, magazines and shipbuilder models. The ship’s archives also feature an important manuscript collection and other ephemera such as passenger lists, period advertisements and poster graphics. In the museum galleries the Queen Mary story will include a series of films documenting oral interviews with War Brides, crew and passengers. Along with presenting thematic exhibitions on this subject matter, shows on loan from other sea and space institutions will be displayed.
A significant aspect of this new museum venture is the establishment of partnerships and strong collaborations with other maritime institutions and U.S. federal agencies. In the future, we hope to partner with Ellis Island National Park, US Coast Guard, NOAA and the Port of Los Angeles/Long Beach. Additional institutional outreach includes Glasgow Museum of Transport, British Museum at Greenwich, Smithsonian Museum in Washington D.C., United States Navy, and Seaport Museum in Philadelphia among others.
Queen Mary Overview
The height of ocean transport began at the turn of the 20th century. At its pinnacle, the Mauritania, Titanic, Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth, S.S. United States, France, Andrea Doria and other ocean liners dominated the international and national waterways. Each was an engineering marvel, a projection of capital force and national pride.
Conceived in the 1920s, the golden age of ocean travel, the Queen Mary became the most beloved liner of all time. In 1940, the Queen Mary was drafted into service as a troopship in the Second World War where it alone carried 810,000 military personnel. In 1947, the Queen Mary resumed normal civilian service requiring 1,200 employees and used 1,000 tons of oil each day to operate the ship. The Queen Mary was sold to the City of Long Beach, California in the summer of 1967 where it started a new life as a hotel, attraction and a place for special events. The ship has been open since May 8, 1971 and still stands as a symbol of its continent-bridging abilities and impeccable design as a vigorous and bold statement in transportation’s grandest era.
The museum will be relevant, inclusive and accessible to everyone. Visitors will include educators, museum curators, scholars, students, school groups and the general public interested in the history of the Queen Mary and maritime past, present and future. It is a unique endeavor to dedicate a portion of a ship’s vessel to a museum and be tantamount to fostering the education and learning of science, maritime and a ship’s strong narrative. The Queen Mary Museum and Science Center will provide an authentic atmosphere, enriching learning experience and fulfill an important niche as North America’s preeminent steam-ship museum.