At the beginning of January 2024, a joint project between the NIhK and the Coastal Museum was launched, funded by the Pro*Niedersachsen program of the Ministry of Science and Culture. Both institutions want to work together on a new concept for the permanent exhibition. To kick off the project, those involved from the NIhK (Prof. Dr. H. Jöns, Dr. Ines Siemers-Klenner) met with the deputy museum director of the Küstenmuseum, Michael Steinert, to make initial plans.
There is hardly any other region that has been so strongly influenced by landscape changes over thousands of years as the local coastal region. During the Mesolithic period, for example, the North Sea did not yet exist as we know it today. Germanic tribes, on the other hand, built dwelling mounds in order to be able to live dry, and in more recent times extensive dyke systems were built to protect themselves from the floods. Much land was lost with the creation of the Jade Bay; however, this provided the rare opportunity to create an ice-free deep-water port, which Kaiser Wilhelm I finally used to found the naval base of Wilhelmshaven. Thus, what was initially an enormous economic disadvantage for the region could, with different technical conditions, be used as a major locational advantage, from which Wilhelmshaven still benefits today as an "energy hub". Under the motto "Man and the Sea", a new exhibition is therefore to be created which will show how mankind reacted to landscape and climate changes in the coastal region in the past and today.
Dr. Ines Siemers-Klenner will be compiling the scientific basis for this and drawing up a new exhibition concept for the eventful history of the region and the city of Wilhelmshaven.