Founded in 1824, the RNLI has a long and fascinating lifesaving history. And to keep our stories of courage and innovation alive, we preserve our rich heritage through our archive, collections and museums.
Based in Poole, Dorset, the archive holds records relating to the administration, key figures, lifeboats, lifeboat stations, gallantry medals, fundraising material, legacies and publications of the RNLI.
And the crucial part we have played in seafaring history has now been recognised and honoured by UNESCO, which has listed these early records in its Memory of the World Programme.Our library in Poole contains over 600 books and periodicals relating to the RNLI and lifeboats generally, including histories of individual lifeboat stations.
Our museums celebrate just some of our historical events and people. And some of our historic lifeboats are available to loan.
We have some diverse collections of historic items in our store in Poole, including:
We’re proud of our lifesaving history and want to celebrate and share it with you. That’s why our archive, library and collections in Poole are open to the public.
Visits are by prior appointment only and can be arranged by contacting our Heritage Team.
RNLI HeadquartersWest Quay RoadPooleDorsetBH15 1HZ
The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is a charity registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SC037736). Charity number CHY 2678 in the Republic of Ireland | RNLI (Trading) Ltd - 1073377, RNLI (Sales) Ltd - 2202240, RNLI (Enterprises) Ltd - 1784500 and RNLI College Ltd - 7705470 are all companies registered in England and Wales at West Quay Road, Poole BH15 1HZ. Images & copyright © RNLI 2014.