• Our collections

    Our collections

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.

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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.

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Contact Us

If you would like to find out more about our collection or any of the objects held in our care, please contact our Collections Officer by phone 01382 200900 or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The collection is available for research on request. Please contact our Collections Officer to arrange an appointment.

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