The Royal Institution of Cornwall, the organisation that owns and manages the Royal Cornwall Museum and Courtney Library, was founded in 1818 for the promotion of knowledge in natural history, ethnology and the fine and industrial arts, especially in relation to Cornwall. Over the years generous benefactors have donated an amazing array of objects, broadening the collection so that it covers for example Egyptology (hence the famous unwrapped mummy), fine art and world cultures, as well as classical Greek and Roman objects. The Rashleigh Gallery contains a world-famous collection of minerals, the core of which was amassed by Philip Rashleigh of Menabilly at the end of the 18th century. The Museum's decorative arts collection and old master drawings are also very strong, the latter chiefly due to Alfred de Pass, another generous benefactor.
The most complete collection of working submarine telegraphy equipment in the World. This fascinating collection is housed in underground tunnels created in the Second World War and demonstrated by volunteers.
Located on the historic site of the one of the largest preserved mine sites in the country and housed in two acres of listed buildings, Geevor's outstanding collections tell the story of Cornwall's industrial mining past. Geevor is a key part of Cornwall's World Heritage Site and offers a unique opportunity to go underground and experience hard rock mining for yourself.
Housed in an award-winning building on the Falmouth harbour-side, the National Maritime Museum Cornwall transports you into the world of small boats and Cornish maritime history. The Museum's collections consist of a range of objects, boats, art, books and archives in support of its mission to promote an understanding of small boats and their place in people's lives, and of the maritime heritage of Cornwall.
The collections include agriculture, archaeology, archives, arms
& armour, biology, costume and textiles, fine art, geology,
maritime, medals, medicinal, music, numismatics, oral history, natural
history, science, social history and transport.
The most significant collections and artefacts are: in archaeology, the Knackyboy Collection (Bronze Age); in wrecks, The Association, Hollandia Collections and the Gig 'Klondyke'; in natural history, the shell collection and the Dorrien-Smith Bird Collection from Tresco.