We are the DDB: The Peter Tamm Sen. Foundation/the International Maritime Museum Hamburg

The International Maritime Museum Hamburg is housed in the listed quayside warehouse B. The history of shipping from three millennia is shown on nine "decks" with valuable exhibits, ship models and paintings. The museum is run by the private non-profit Peter Tamm Sen. Foundation. It features the largest private maritime collection in the world, the Peter Tamm Collection.

The history of the International Maritime Museum Hamburg begins with the story of a young boy who grew up to be an enthusiastic collector of maritime objects. Peter Tamm (1928 - 2016) collected everything related to maritime history throughout his life. Even as a small child, his mother always brought him a present when he was ill and had to stay in bed - a miniature ship. And with that, his passion for collecting was awakened. Today, more than 1 million photographs, 100,000 books and 50,000 miniature ships and ship models as well as countless oil paintings, historical documents, nautical instruments, uniforms, maps, telescopes and other nautical collectibles make up the archive of the Peter Tamm Sen. Foundation.

The heart of the historical archive of the Peter Tamm Sen. Foundation and the focus of the digitisation is the extensive maritime library and the historical estates. Here, digitisation focuses on the preservation and publication of special bibliographical works and historically important convolutions. This is entirely in the spirit of the founder, Professor Peter Tamm: 

"It is my deep conviction that it is one of the tasks of every responsible citizen to preserve history, to learn from history, and to visualise historical processes in order to help shape the future". "I, Peter Tamm Sen., founded the "Peter Tamm Sen. Foundation" with the aim of inspiring future generations to seafaring and making them aware of its importance for the prosperity of the world's population. My intention is to help make history tangible in documents, to enable scientific research, to preserve art and culture as the historical conscience of a nation, and to learn from it, free from political currents and momentary demands of the zeitgeist."

With the digitisation of the holdings of the Peter Tamm Sen. Foundation, important monographs and contemporary historical documents from the 16th to 19th centuries are thus made available to science. These can be, for example, navigational methods and techniques of seafaring from the early modern period as well as early cartographies of the coasts and oceans. A special complete work are the earliest known copies of a total of eleven handwritten manuscripts of the "Nomenclator Navalis" - one of the important indexes for nautical terms from the 17th century. The unpublished manuscript was handwritten by Henry Manwayring in the early 17th century (D1/2/4-46538-19).

"An Abstract and Exposition of all things, pertayning to the Practick of Navigation", Henry Manwayring, ca. 1620 (Sign. 46538-19, S. 5) (CC BY-NC 4.0)

In addition, regarding digitisation projects, biographies from the 17th and 18th Century to great explorers of the world and important personalities of maritime history, such as James Cook and Horatio Nelson have been digitised and made accessible to the public.

"A Narrative of the Voyages round the World Performed by Captain James Cook", Andrew Kippis, 1788 (Sign. 57867-43, S. 160)(CC BY-NC 4.0)

The Peter Tamm Sen. Foundation owns an extensive collection of over 500 document volumes, including manuscripts of historically important naval personalities from the 19th and 20th Century. Among them a personal diary of Prince Heinrich of Prussia (1862-1929) about his training voyages to become a naval officer on board the SMS "Niobe", "Renown" and "Prinz Adalbert" (1877-1880).

Personal diary of Prince Henry of Prussia, 1877-1880 (p. 1) (CC BY-NC 4.0)

The Peter Tamm Sen. Foundation has been involved in the DDB since the project funding for the digitisation of the IMMH's holdings. As part of the project funding, more than 60,000 objects with over 1 million digitised items will be digitised by the end of 2022 and made available to the public and the scientific community. The project is funded by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media (BKM).

Digital objects in the IMMH online archive: https://iserver.imm-hamburg.de/

All objects of the IMMH in the German Digital Library