Archive and Library

The bulk of the Royal Navy Submarine Museum Archive collection was formed from original documents and papers transferred from Flag Officer Submarines Historic Document Section and drafting records covering the period 1918-1969 from the Submarine Drafting section in HMS Centurion. The Wardroom Officers Mess Library was also transferred to the museum when HMS Dolphin, the submarine depot, was decommissioned in 1999. The museum has continued to add to this collection by accepting donations that include: personal documents, diaries, memoirs and other submarine related books and articles. In addition there is a modest sound and video archive.


The Archive & Library is currently housed in the Administration building (Torbay Block) adjacent to the main museum entrance and car park. Research visits are by prior appointment only. Please be aware that photographs are kept separately from the main Archive & Library.

If you want to book an appointment to visit the Archive & Library or to make a research enquiry; then please complete the online form. Please note from 1st April 2013 a charge for this service may apply.

Terms and conditions for making a research enquiry

  1. All research enquiries will be responded to within 28 days by a member of the Royal Navy Submarine Museum's (RNSM) curatorial team.
  2. If a research enquiry is more complicated then first anticpated, the RNSM reserves the right to renegotiate any fee.
  3. A research visit to the Museum and Archive includes a half day visit to the archives (photographic and/or document) and library complete with a consultation with a member of the curatorial team.
  4. A visit to the archive is by appointment (please include preferred visit date on the enquiry form) made at least 2 weeks in advance.