We’re Open on Memorial Day!

The National Museum of the Great Lakes, which is typically closed on Mondays, will be open to the public on Memorial Day, Monday, May 29, 2017, from 10am-5pm. To honor those that have served our country, we are admitting all active military and veterans with valid military ID into the museum for FREE. This discount applies to the individual only.

Spring Glass Negatives Exhibit Opening & Wine Reception at the Maritime Museum of Sandusky

Friday, April 21, 2017 from 7-9pm at the Maritime Museum of Sandusky, 125 Meigs Street, Sandusky, OH 44870.

Wine Reception Tickets:

$10 for Museum Members

$15 for Non-Members and Guests.

The Maritime Museum of Sandusky is extending member pricing to the members of the National Museum of the Great Lakes for this program.

The Glass Negatives Exhibit will be on display at the Maritime Museum of Sandusky on April 21, 22, & 23 and April 28, 29, & 30th during normal museum hours with regular admission.

Please contact the Maritime Museum of Sandusky for additional information (via email at sanduskymaritime@bex.net or phone #419-624-0274). Click here for more information.

NMGL Donates Library to BGSU

National Museum of the Great Lakes makes significant donation to BGSU University Libraries: Research destination for Great Lakes history created

(Toledo, OH)  April 6, 2017 – The University Libraries at Bowling Green State University has greatly expanded its collection of Great Lakes research materials thanks to a significant donation from the National Museum of the Great Lakes, which is owned and operated by the Great Lakes Historical Society.

More than 160 cubic feet of photos, pamphlets, slides, bound materials, postcards and archival materials have found a new home in the Libraries’ Historical Collections of the Great Lakes (HCGL), housed within the Center for Archival Collection.

“We are grateful to the National Museum of the Great Lakes for entrusting us with their extensive collection, and we are excited that the consolidation of their materials with our existing Great Lakes archives has now created the largest collection of its kind on the U.S. side of the Great Lakes,” said Mary Ellen Mazey, Ph.D., president of Bowling Green State University. “Thank you to the Museum, its board of directors, the Great Lakes Historical Society and the University Libraries staff who helped to facilitate this exciting and symbiotic new alliance in the name of historic preservation.”

These additional materials bolster the already robust offering of Great Lakes-related research and artifacts curated by the University Libraries at BGSU.

“The Great Lakes materials recently donated to HCGL is a wonderful addition to our holdings and provides many opportunities for collaboration between BGSU, the National Museum of the Great Lakes and the Great Lakes Historical Society,” said University Libraries Dean Sara A. Bushong.

The addition of these materials to BGSU also will make University Libraries a major research destination in the U.S. for Great Lakes history.

“The added scope and depth of the HCGL collection expands research opportunities for BGSU students and faculty, National Museum of the Great Lakes staff and patrons, as well as researchers from beyond campus,” said retired HCGL archivist Bob Graham, who played an instrumental role in bringing the collection to BGSU. “Both organizations view this donation as the first step in an evolving partnership involving students, faculty and museum staff.”

Potential areas of collaboration include internships, lectures series, exhibits, new courses and digital galleries.

“The merging of these incredible archival collections is just the beginning of a long, synergistic journey between our two organizations that will both preserve Great Lakes history, but more importantly, elevate the perception of Great Lakes history in our national culture,” said Christopher Gillcrist, National Museum of the Great Lakes Executive Director. “This collaboration will help ensure the understanding of the role Great Lake history has played in our national story.”

Founded in 1944, the Great Lakes Historical Society was one of the earliest organizations to focus on the history of the Great Lakes region. For the past seven decades, the society has created one of the premier collections of historical materials documenting the Great Lakes, which was previously housed in the Clarence S. Metcalf Great Lakes Maritime Research Library at the former Inland Seas Maritime Museum in Vermilion, Ohio.

“The archival collection that we donated to BGSU represents over 70 years of library-based materials donated to and acquired by our organization,” said Anna Kolin, development director for the National Museum of the Great Lakes. “By merging it with a large university, it increases its access to those looking to do research on Great Lakes topics, which is why, in part, BGSU was chosen.”


The National Museum of the Great Lakes is owned and operated by the Great Lakes Historical Society. Founded in 1944, the Great Lakes Historical Society has been preserving our shared cultural history by publishing a quarterly journal Inland Seas since 1945; by operating a maritime museum and research library since 1952; by offering educational programs to the general public since 1956; and by conducting underwater archaeological research across the Great Lakes since 2001.

Celebrating 50 years in 2017, the Wm. T. Jerome Library thrives as a central part of the academic life at Bowling Green State University.  The Library fosters excitement in the process of discovery and advances teaching, learning and research through quality resources and services including more than 7 million items in multiple formats. Its special collections include the Browne Popular Culture Library, the Center for Archival Collections, the Curriculum Resource Center, and the Music Library & Bill Schurk Sound Archives.

We’re Open for Presidents’ Day!

We will be open this year for Presidents’ Day, Monday, February 20, 2017 from 10am to 5pm! We are usually closed on Mondays, but we wanted to open up for the holiday. We hope to see you here!

Find information and admission rates here.

Holiday Hours

Come and Visit this Holiday Season!
We have some changes to our hours over the holiday season:
Christmas Eve: 10am to 3pm
Christmas Day: Closed
Monday, December 26: 10am to 5pm
New Year’s Eve: 10am to 3pm
New Year’s Day: Closed

We are usually closed on Mondays, but this Monday, December 26 we will be open from 10am to 5pm. Looking for something to do with the family the day after Christmas? Bring them to see us!

Starting January 2, the National Museum of the Great Lakes will be closed Monday AND Tuesday.  This will continue through the end of March.

2016 Christmas Card

Fall 2016 Chadburn and Holiday Catalog

Its that time again! We have our Fall 2016 Chadburn and Holiday Catalog. Four times a year we mail our newsletter to our members, but you can check out the digital version here:

Fall 2016 Chadburn and Holiday Catalog

New Rates for 2017

And the Winners Are . . .

Congratulations to the winners of the 2016 Luck of the Lakes Raffle!

1st Prize: $10,000 to Gary Murphy of Perrysburg, Ohio

2nd Prize: Interlake Steamship Freighter Trip to Fred Stueber of Cleveland, Ohio

3rd Prize: Saltie Freighter Trip to Jim Karpinski of Vermilion, Ohio

4th Prize: NMGL Lifetime Membership to Scott Stewart of Perrysburg, Ohio

5th Prize: 25 Tickets for the 2017 Luck of the Lakes Raffle to Jeff Bauriedel of Lake Mills, Wisconsin

We appreciate the support of all of our participants and we hope you will join us again next year for the 2017 Luck of the Lakes Raffle.

Click here to learn more about the Luck of the Lakes Raffle.

H2Oh! Auction

The National Museum of the Great Lakes is excited to announce a new program with our annual fundraiser, H2Oh! Making Waves.  This year, we want everyone to have a chance to be involved, even if you cannot attend the event.  We have six exciting items in our live auction that you may be interested in bidding on.  This year, you can call and register a bid for any of these items and we will have someone bid for you during the live auction on Saturday, October 15, 2016.  They will bid during the live auction in increments with other live bidders, if it sells for less than your maximum bid, you will pay the lower price.  The items available are:
1) Chadburn from the whalback Meteor
2) Set of Ship’s Position Lights
3) Golf at the Inverness Club
4) Wheel from the tug Roger
5) Chelsea Ship’s Clock
6) Commissioned painting by Paul LaMarre, Jr.

You can learn more about each of these items here.

To register a bid, call 419-214-5000 x 200 by Friday, October 14, at 5:00 pm.  Register your maximum bid and a form of payment and we will notify you on Monday, October 17 if you have won.

Don’t forget to get your Luck of the Lakes Raffle tickets as well.