Collections Appeal

The National Maritime Museum Cornwall is not only home to the National Small Boat Collection, but also has an extensive collection of objects, paintings, archives, plans and photographs.

Our object collection contains all manner of items relating both small boats and the maritime history of Cornwall, ranging from fishing equipment and sail making tools to boat models and navigation instruments. There are objects relating to personal stories and adventures at sea, prize winning races and salty sea dogs. All manner of maritime life in Cornwall can be found in our galleries and object store.

We have around 2000 boat plans and this is one of our most rapidly expanding collections. We are home to original plans from both designers of small boats, such as Jack Holt, and local boat builders such as Curtis and Pape from Looe. There is a huge amount of work still to be done with this collection, as it is growing faster than we can keep up with the cataloguing.

We are strong believers in providing access to our collections. Anyone is welcome to make an appointment to view collections in storage and we will always accommodate your request if possible.

We are really proud of our collection and we want it to continue to grow, allowing us to expand our knowledge and resources for the public. A museum collection should be dynamic rather than static, ensuring sure that we can preserve and care for our local maritime heritage and record and save the history of our seafaring community.

We are lucky that so many people are generous enough to give us objects and archives as a gift. But this year more than ever we have been offered objects for sale either privately or through auction. We would love to be in a position to buy new star objects for the collection, but we currently have no budget for acquisitions. We would like to invite our friends and supporters to donate a little to an acquisitions fund to allow us to, for example, find a few hundred pounds to buy an object at short notice at auction, or even to provide match funding for grants for more substantial purchases.

If you would like to donate, please contact Amy Richards, amyrichards@nmmc.co.uk.