The National Maritime Museum, incorporating the Queen’s House, the Royal Observatory and the Cutty Sark (together branded as ‘Royal Museums Greenwich’) holds the country’s pre-eminent maritime collections, with approximately 2.5 million items including: ship models and plans, paintings, prints and drawings, photographs, uniforms, weapons, scientific instruments (astronomical, navigational and time-keeping), charts and maps, ceramics, glass, plate, coins, medals, decorative arts, flags, figureheads, maritime relics and antiquities.

The institutional mission is ‘ ‘to enrich people’s understanding of the sea, the exploration of space and Britain’s role in world history’.

As an IRO the National Maritime Museum undertakes research into its collections and themes including maritime and naval history; history of science, timekeeping, astronomy, navigation; history of art (fine and decorative).


Research into our collections and subject matter plays a fundamental part in informing our public displays (galleries and exhibitions) and learning programmes.  The Museum has long-standing links to many of the key subject specialists in the relevant academic fields both in the UK and overseas, which have developed into formal partnerships in a number of instances, for instance on collaborative doctoral awards, developing academic conferences and seminars, co-writing or editing academic publications, delivering Masters’ programmes, and also in developing research projects.

Specific partnerships on conferences and seminars in recent years, often resulting in publications, have included: a long-standing partnership with the Institute of Historical Research, University of London; the Huntingdon Library in the US, with which we developed several conferences and seminars; a Leverhulme-funded partnership with the University of Greenwich; the Royal Society, among others.