Explore the collection
HMS Unicorn’s historic collection spans over 200 years of British maritime and naval history.
The collection helps to tell the story of HMS Unicorn, from the ship’s origins in the Georgian Navy of the early 19th century to her century of service in Dundee for the Royal Naval Reserves. With thousands of individual pieces and objects, the ship’s collection is of both national and international interest and significance.
Find out more about our collection themes and highlights below.
Royal Naval Reserve (RNR) & Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve (RNVR)
In 1873, HMS Unicorn arrived in Dundee to begin her life as a training ship for the city’s RNR & RNVR recruits.
From documents and letters to uniforms and photographs, this collection tells the story of Unicorn’s life in Dundee and the proud history of Britain’s naval reserve force.
Shipbuilding & Ship Design
HMS Unicorn is unique in her design and construction, and the ship combines traditional wooden craftsmanship with modern iron technology.
From publications and ship plans to artwork and historic tools, this collection explores the changes in shipbuilding and ship design in the Royal Navy, with a focus on the early 19th century and the Industrial Revolution.
The collection is available for research on request. Please contact our Collections Officer to arrange an appointment.