Digital Insights into Maritime History

The German Maritime Museum presents the exhibition "SEH-STÜCKE – Maritimes digital entdeckt", which shows not only the physical exhibits but also their digital representations, which were created with the help of MAPEX – Center for Materials and Processes at the University of Bremen.

The German Maritime Museum (DSM) / Leibniz Institute for Maritime History's new exhibition reimagines maritime history with the help of the 3D X-ray microscope from MAPEX – Center for Materials and Processes at the University of Bremen. The exhibition entitled "SEH-STÜCKE – Maritimes digital entdeckt" (VISUAL PIECES – Maritime digitally discovered) not only presents the physical exhibits, but also their digital replicas. These include box sextants, medicine bottles, and other by-products of the "Bremen cog" from the Hanseatic era.

In the Kogge Hall, visitors are able to view the 24 physical objects of the exhibition on the outer wall of an oversized black box. Inside the box, their 3D models float as holograms in the darkness. A media station provides in-depth information on each exhibit and explains the technology used.

Dr. Mandy Boehnke, Vice President for International Affairs, Academic Qualification, and Diversity at the University of Bremen, who virtually attended the opening of the exhibition on October 19, 2023, emphasized, "This fruitful, interdisciplinary collaboration makes it possible to gain new and deeper insights into the exhibited objects. Insights that go far beyond simply looking at them from the outside. I am pleased that the results will be made accessible to a broad public within the framework of "Seh-Stücke." This is in keeping with the University of Bremen's mission of conducting research outside the "ivory tower" with direct relevance to our society."

DSM Director Professor Dr. Ruth Schilling also explained, "We want to show how digital methods can help to better understand historical objects. CT and X-ray scans are particularly helpful when dealing with delicate exhibits with intricate structures. The images they produce are both illuminating and visually fascinating."

Professor Lucio Colombi Ciacchi, project leader at MAPEX, is excited about the connection between materials science and cultural heritage through the digital processing of museum artifacts: "MAPEX's work, which specializes on the interface of materials and processes, opens up new materialities of the exhibits that were previously imperceptible."

The digital transformation of the exhibits is the result of the collaborative research project "Digital Materialities. Virtual and Analogue Forms of Exhibition" (DigiMat), in which DSM cooperates with MAPEX as well as the Leibniz Institute for Knowledge Media (IWM) in Tübingen. The project, supported by the Leibniz Association's Senate Committee on Science, emphasizes the outstanding importance of materials research for the communication of cultural heritage.

The special exhibition "SEH-STÜCKE – Maritimes digital entdeckt" will run from October 20, 2023, to April 30, 2024, in the Kogge Hall.


Further Information:



Prof. Dr.-Ing. Lucio Colombi Ciacchi
MAPEX Center for Materials and Processes
University of Bremen
Phone: +49 421 218-64570
Email: colombiprotect me ?!hmi.uni-bremenprotect me ?!.de


Digital copy of a chronometer.
Digital copy of a chronometer.