roots of the Peabody Essex Museum date to the 1799 founding of the East
India Marine Society, an organization of Salem captains and
supercargoes who had sailed beyond either the Cape of Good Hope or Cape
Horn. The society’s charter included a provision for the establishment
of a “cabinet of natural and artificial curiosities,” which is what we
today would call a museum. Society members brought to Salem a diverse
collection of objects from the northwest coast of America, Asia,
Africa, Oceania, India and elsewhere. By 1825, the society moved into
its own building, East India Marine Hall, which today contains the
original display cases and some of the very first objects collected.
For this project we overhauled the existing site and re-examinded strategy, audience, usability, and purpose. Through a user-friendly approach where everything is within arms reach we have sped up PEM's web experience substantially while also informing visitors of valuable resources that exist online for art exploration at any time.