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Case Study - Moving Forward conservation project

HMS Unicorn has been working with students from the Moving Forward class at Dundee and Angus college on a project to understand more about how museums look after objects.

The group learned how to package and label museum collection items and found out what jobs there are 'behind the scenes' in a museum. They also researched museum conservation and created a trail for the ship so visitors can find out more about the items on board HMS Unicorn that have been conserved. 

This project was supported by Industrial Museums Scotland as part of their Powering our People project. 

Some of the students have written about what they enjoyed about from the project and the skills they gained from it:



I am a student at Dundee and Angus College and we started this project on 6th October 2023 at the college and first came to HMS Unicorn on 27th October 2023.

During this project we learned how to preserve objects and wrap and label them. We also created a trail for the museum.

Through this project I gained skills in working as a team, listening, communication and researching.

I am proud that I did well at the hands-on activities, especially wrapping the museum objects and writing as small as possible on the rock when learning about museum labelling.

We learned about the different jobs on the ship and how they help save/protect their objects.

This project helped me to learn more about preservation of objects and I would definitely recommend it to other people.




I come from Dundee and Angus College. For this project we started wrapping items to preserve them and we practiced writing on stones to learn how museums label objects. I gained new skills in this as well as working independently and communication.

I am proud that when we were learning how to label objects I managed to write really small (which is what you need to do in museums to not take up too much space on the object).

I have learnt a lot about museum job roles and the history of the ship. It has opened my eyes about the past on the ship. If you like history you will like HMS Unicorn!



I am a student at Dundee and Angus College and I like history. For this project I did the research for the conservation trail that we made and learned some of the history behind it. I also found out how museums look after their historic items.

This project gave me an insight about what people at the museum do behind the scenes.



I am a student from Dundee and Angus College (Gardyne Campus). For this project I researched and gathered information as well as wrapping museum objects to look after them. I learned new skills in working independently and as part of a team. I also found out how to research and record information.

I am proud that I was able to go onto the ship and get down right to the bottom deck where it is really low.

Before this project I didn’t realize how many people work in the museum and how much their job entails.

It was a different experience and I would definitely recommend going and finding the information about the ship.



My name is Sean. For this project I researched and wrote about the roof of the Unicorn. We all took roles on writing about a part of the ship for the conservation trail.

I also learned how to properly look after museums objects and I found out it’s a hard job conserving the ship as cheap materials can ruin items and the materials they need are VERY pricey.

This project helped me as I have become more able to adapt at things quicker.



I am a student from Dundee and Angus College who boarded the ship to do a task.

I learned how to wrap old objects and how to write about what an item is. I also did a presentation. I have learned writing and listening skills through this.

This project has given me a lot more skills and given me work experience in a museum and I am proud of being a part of something on the HMS Unicorn.




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