The National Museum of Bermuda (NMB) is turning 50 this year. Located at the historic Royal Naval Dockyard and commanding Bermuda’s westernmost point, NMB is a non-government, not-for-profit organisation created by the Bermuda National Trust in 1974 as the Bermuda Maritime Museum. The museum has since expanded beyond its original mandate, which focused on maritime history and the restoration of Bermuda’s largest fort, The Keep, where the museum is housed.

Over the past five decades, a small, dedicated team of museum and heritage experts—along with board members and individual and corporate volunteers— has transformed once-derelict ramparts, bastions, and historic buildings into a first-class museum. NMB has also built Bermuda’s largest collection of historic objects (80,000+ objects relating to 500 years of Bermuda history), partnered with overseas and local institutions to carry out archaeological and historical research, and re-imagined historic military buildings as exhibition, education and community spaces, research labs, and event venues. With the support of the government of Bermuda, the museum acquired the Casemates complex in 2013, officially becoming the National Museum of Bermuda and growing from a 10- to a 16-acre property.

Reflecting on the museum’s past and future, NMB executive director Elena Strong explains: “For 50 years, NMB has stepped in to save and secure Bermuda’s past and heritage. Now, the museum is home to Bermuda’s cultural past and our collective future, remaining strong thanks to a 50-year history of committed partners, generous donors and determined resolve.”

Thanks to a recent campaign, NMB is entering a new era, building on strong foundations to shift how history is shared and taught in Bermuda. Upcoming plans include a designated Learning Centre with dynamic, flexible spaces to welcome learners of all ages. Critically needed exhibit updates will ensure everyone can find their story at NMB, and that Bermuda history is framed in an Atlantic World lens.
“This helps broaden our understanding of each other and the larger context of Bermuda’s interconnected histories, cultures and influences that shaped the Atlantic region,” says Strong. “Our expanding and new programmes provide opportunities for students, teachers and lifelong learners to explore Bermuda’s diverse past in ways that build critical and creative thinking skills.”

To celebrate, the museum will be rolling out events, activities and special offers all year. The first of which is an anniversary discount for new NMB members. NMB advancement director Katie Bennett: “We are so grateful to everyone who has joined us along this journey, and to newer friends, all who are helping us usher in a new era at NMB. Thank you to our community of volunteers, interns, students, staff, trustees, members and donors. Your support is helping us continue to grow as a vital educational resource and steadfast community partner as we elevate Atlantic World research and thought leadership. We look forward to celebrating this milestone with you this year!”

NMB’s executive director, Elena Strong.

Click here to learn more, see the museum’s 50-year timeline with historic photos and join the celebration.