Celebrating over 40 years of serving as the memory and educational voice of America's Ship of State. Our hands-on exhibits welcome visitors of all age!
The USS Constitution Museum serves as the memory and educational voice of USS Constitution, by collecting, preserving, and interpreting the stories of “Old Ironsides” and the people associated with her. We seek to create a positive, memorable experience for both children and adults by inspiring within them a love for the freedom that Constitution symbolizes. We will share Constitution’s contributions with a global audience, and we will strive to be the best museum possible based on scholarship and innovative ways of sharing Constitution’s stories.
The Museum was incorporated in 1972 as a private, non-profit and non-government funded interpretive complement to USS Constitution, an active-duty US Navy vessel and the oldest commissioned warship afloat in the world. This allowed the Navy to clear Constitution’s decks of display cases so that visitors could see the Ship as a sailing vessel, rather than as a floating museum, and for artifacts to be cared for in proper environmental conditions.
On April 8, 1976, naval historian Samuel Eliot Morison cut the ribbon to open the Museum to the public in its present facility in Charlestown Navy Yard’s Building 22 (the old pump house for Dry Dock #1), located just across the pier from “Old Ironsides.” Working with the National Park Service, the Museum expanded into two adjacent buildings and built a connecting corridor in the mid-1990s. In 2001, the Museum completed renovations on a new state-of-the-art collections storage facility and research library.
Learn how a wooden hull helped earn the nickname Old Ironsides.
Discover how “Old Ironsides” has remained undefeated since being launched in 1797.
Find out how school children contributed pennies to help save “Old Ironsides.”
See how sailors ate a diet of hardtack and grog, and climbed masts 200 feet in the air.
Be part of the legacy of USS Constitution and sail into a year of excitement and discovery, all the while knowing that you are helping to inspire the future while preserving the past. Members receive subscriptions to museum publications, a 10% discount at the museum store and special discounts for museum events.
Cover photo credit: @usscm via Instagram.