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About Us

Founded in 1983 and based in the West of Scotland with sites in Irvine and Dumbarton, the Scottish Maritime Museum holds an important nationally recognised collection, encompassing a variety of historic vessels, artefacts, art, fascinating personal items and the largest collection of shipbuilding tools and machinery in the country. The buildings and sites which the Scottish Maritime Museum occupies are themselves part of the collection.

The Scottish Maritime Museum in Irvine is housed within the vast, glass-roofed Victorian Linthouse. This A listed ‘cathedral of engineering’ was formerly the Engine Shop of Alexander Stephen and Sons shipyard in Govan before being salvaged and relocated to Irvine in 1991.

The Scottish Maritime Museum in Dumbarton is located on the former site of the influential and innovative William Denny Shipyard and features the world’s first commercial ship testing facility, the Denny Ship Model Experiment Tank.

Statement of purpose

To care for, manage, and develop the Museum collection.

To promote intellectual and physical access to the collections through displays, exhibitions and activities at our sites, at other locations, and by other means.

To research the collections and ensure that we develop, retain, and communicate knowledge about our collections.


To be a dynamic, world-class, national maritime museum that informs, educates and inspires.


We collect, preserve, interpret and make accessible Scotland’s maritime past and present in a way that reflects its local, national and international significance.

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