The collection holds one hundred and eighty one items of weaponry and equipment that were in use in the Dubrovnik Republic over the centuries. Although many kinds of weapons were produced in the Republic (the best known is the work of Ivan of Rab, bell and cannon founder), in times of crisis preparations for defence against possible assaults were stepped up and major quantities of arms were procured from abroad. For this reason, most of the collection consists of weapons imported from Italy and Turkey, acquired from the Balkan workshops in the 18th and 19th centuries; cold weapons and firearms are represented.
Also in the collection are weapons from the military arsenal of the Habsburg Empire (19th and early 20th century), and to a lesser extent, from the Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, or Yugoslavia. The collection provides valuable information about the art of war and the technological development of the centre in which the weapons were produced, while some specimens tell of the high achievements of fine crafts.
In the permanent display, there is a thematic treatment of the history of the production of armaments in Dubrovnik and of the defensive system of the Republic, the most valuable specimens of arms from the museum collection connected with the period being exhibited.