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About the Brunel Institute

What is in the Brunel Institute

  • 6,500 maritime books, including an almost complete run of Lloyd’s Register dating back to the 1700s
  • 7,300 ship plans
  • The National Brunel Collection of objects and archive relating to the Brunel family
  • 100 ship models
  • 35,000 maritime photographic postcards
  • Diaries and personal letters relating to passengers and crew of the SS Great Britain
  • Over 50 films of historic maritime craft
  • Hundreds of works of art


The Brunel Institute collections are used to deliver inclusive and innovative education programmes (supported by The Lloyd’s Register Foundation) , focussing on Brunel, maritime history, archaeology, science and engineering.

For larger groups and educational visits the Brunel Institute offers a lecture theatre and seminar rooms as well as a the Medlock Education Suite within the Dockyard Museum.

These education programmes are currently:

  • The Future Brunels
  • Brunel Badge Workshops and Loan Box Scheme
  • The Golden Ticket
  • Sea Hear storytelling for pre-school children

With thanks to

The Brunel Institute opened in November 2010. The Trust is grateful to everyone who donated to the Founders’ Campaign. In particular, we wish to acknowledge the support of the following Founders, who pledged support of £10,000 or more:

  • John Baker
  • Biffaward
  • John Coates Charitable Trust
  • Ray Daniels
  • Jeremy Dunn
  • Colin Green CBE
  • Esmée Fairbairn Foundation
  • Foyle Foundation
  • J Paul Getty Jnr Charitable Trust
  • Heritage Lottery Fund
  • John & Moyra Horseman
  • Kirby Laing Foundation
  • Leathersellers' Company Charitable Fund
  • Linden Homes Western
  • The Lloyd's Register Foundation
  • Medlock Charitable Trust
  • National Manuscript Conservation Trust
  • Andrew Nisbet
  • Royal Commission
  • Sammermar Trust
  • Society of Merchant Venturers
  • Mr & Mrs Jerry Suenson-Taylor
  • Swire Charitable Trust
  • University of Bristol
  • Viridor Credits Environmental Company
  • Wolfson Foundation
  • Plus legacies from the late David MacGregor and the late April Thornton