RNLI collections

The diverse range of objects in our historic collections date back to our foundation in 1824 right through to present day.

Museum art collections
Model of Clovelly RNLI’s self-righting pulling and sailing lifeboat, Alexander and Matilda.

The central repository for our collections is based at RNLI Support Centre in Poole, Dorset, along with our archive and library.

Objects include:

  • a fine art collection
  • medals and certificates
  • model lifeboats
  • technical plans
  • fundraising memorabilia
  • lifesaving equipment and kit
  • clothing.

In addition, collections at our six museums celebrate some of our historical events, people and local lifeboat history. 

Historic items are also displayed in many lifeboat stations and visitor centres.

RNLI Grace Darling Museum
Dedicated to heroine Grace Darling who rescued nine people from the wreck of the steamship SS Forfarshire in 1838.
Visit the Museum
RNLI Henry Blogg Museum
Relive the life of Coxswain Henry Blogg, the RNLI’s most decorated lifeboatman, who served 53 years at Cromer.
Visit the Museum
Whitby RNLI Lifeboat Museum
Once an RNLI lifeboat station, this Victorian double boathouse celebrates Whitby’s award-winning lifeboat history.
Visit the Museum
RNLI Historic Lifeboat Collection
Get close to RNLI lifeboats through the ages with this impressive collection at The Historic Dockyard in Chatham, Kent.
Visit the Collection
Eastbourne RNLI Lifeboat Museum
Housed in the 1898 RNLI William Terris Memorial Boathouse, learn about the history of lifeboating in this Sussex town.
Visit the museum
Salcombe RNLI Lifeboat Museum
Experience over 140 years of courageous lifesaving history, featuring award-winning rescues and lifeboat disasters.
Visit the Museum