Saturday, August 15, 2015

National Maritime Museum Library and Archive

National Maritime Museum, Greenwich
Just a short water taxi ride from London, Greenwich hosts the National Maritime Museum, the world's largest maritime museum. The museum itself is also host to the Caird Library and archive devoted to maritime history. 

Trade, exploration, and war sent men to the seas, and the library and archives at the National Maritime Museum hold the records of certification for master mariners, crew lists, handwritten journals, atlases, rare books, and reference materials. 

National Maritime Museum
Surprisingly, the archives at the museum are an excellent resource for genealogists searching for ancestors. Certificates for master mariners, which detail a captain's vessel(s), physical description, address, and contain a signature from the mariner in question, can give a lot of information. Additionally, crew lists for the British Merchant Navy from 1915 to 2015 are available online.

Aside from family history and ancestry, the Caird Library's collections serve to expand the context of the museum holdings and to aid researchers and historians. Particular items in the collections, such as a handwritten account of a trip by sea from Plymouth to London, detail the technologies and methods of the period in question. Another item, a children's book containing illustrations of Eskimos, demonstrates Britain's impressions of the native people in newly explored lands.

With 100,000 printed books, 12,000 rare books, and 80,000 maps and charts, the library and archives at the National Maritime Museum are a major resource for maritime research. The reading room of the Caird Library sports reference materials in abundance, as well as microfilm machines, scanners, computers, and a quiet area for research.

Britain has a long and vast maritime history, and the records held here reflect this seafaring heritage.

For more information and access to the online catalog, visit The National Maritime Museum online.

No comments:

Post a Comment