Collections & Research

Our historic collections, and the research associated with them, are at the heart of the Museum. We wish to share these collections as widely as possible and to support research into them – and into the wider history of the Royal Navy – by Museum staff and visiting researchers.

Researching Collections

The collections held by the Royal Marines Museum depicts the history of the Royal Marines from 1664 to the present day through a unique collection of artefacts, pictures and documents. One of the most outstanding parts of the collection is the medal collection consisting of over 8000 items including gallantry, campaign and foreign awards.

The paintings collection is also notable and can be viewed online through ArtUK. Most of the Museum’s collections have been generously donated by the public or serving and former Royal Marines creating a strong emphasis on individuals and their stories. The collection is also strong in contemporary material which reflects the extraordinary acts of heroism and bravery of Royal Marines deployed around the world today.

Now the current Museum galleries have closed to the public, the Collections Management teams will be hard at work behind the scenes conserving the wonderful collections and getting them ready for future display in the new Museum. This is being developed through the SeaMore project, along with a new ‘Centre for Discovery’ where collections from across the whole of the NMRN will be made available, both physically and digitally. This initiative will allow a much greater proportion of these collections to be displayed, and made accessible by other methods, such as online or through new digital facilities, than is possible at the current Museum location. For more information on the development of the project, and to find out more on the work being done behind the scenes on the collections, click here

Research Activity

The Museum has an active presence within the academic community.   Use these pages to discover the latest research taking place at the NMRN, download recent work presented by visiting researchers and keep up to date with our forthcoming research programme.

The Museum has signed a major initiative to produce up to fourteen different volumes on the history of the Royal Navy, the first of which have recently been published.  The topics covered by these books will reach into almost every area of the Royal Navy’s history.  Written by experts in their fields, these volumes will present the most recent analysis and research in an accessible and heavily illustrated format for a popular – not academic – audience.

Nisbet Alexander medal QV head

Queen Victoria’s head features on the silver Naval General Service Medal.