Some national museums have produced narratives of the nation and its history around specifically maritime themes. To what extent are those presented histories â€˜Europeanâ€™? Preliminary research was carried out in two areas: first; narratives based on exhibitions of Norse culture and history (which had an impact across Europe); and secondly; narratives in or about historic ships; vessels created in the context of European conflicts; and often sited on Europeâ€™s littoral boundaries. In each case a photographic survey was undertaken to contribute to an overall record of the physical aspects of each gallery; focussing on specific exhibits and text panels to provide detail. Plans and sample publications were collected; and websites examined to obtain as comprehensive a view as possible of the way different institutions display their collections. Specific national themes were prominent; although the exhibits are about events which were shared European experiences.