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Posts tagged with 'maritime archives and library'

Iceberg

21 December 2011 by Sarah

Photograph of crew clearing ice from deck of ship

Clearing ice from the deck of Montrose, 1928 (reference PR 154)

I have been trying to find a photograph on a Christmas/Winter theme for a festive blog post to advertise the Maritime Archives & Library online exhibition Christmas at Sea. I discovered this photograph of the crew of the Canadian Pacific vessel Montrose shovelling ice off the deck after the ship struck an iceberg in fog off Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada.  I could have passed this off as a winter event, but unfortunately it happened on Easter Monday in April 1928.  This is not the festival I was looking for, but a good reminder of how harsh conditions can be at sea.  The Montrose was requisitioned during the Second World War and renamed HMS Forfar.  It was torpedoed and sunk on 2nd December 1940 with the loss of 184 crew – a tragic winter event. Read more…

King Cotton

7 December 2011 by Sarah

Drawing of John Bull worshipping cotton whilst kneeling on a slave

King Cotton postcard, published New York, 1861, on loan from Museum of Science & Industry, Manchester.

The Merseyside Maritime Museum is currently marking the 150th anniversary of the American Civil War with an exhibition outside the Maritime Archives & Library on the second floor and a trail pointing out relevant collections throughout the museum.  This image shows part of an envelope that we have borrowed from the Museum of Science & Industry in Manchester to add to the exhibition.  It was printed in New York and was designed to send a powerful message regarding the economic and moral position of England (represented by John Bull).  England claimed to be powerful and free, but the economic success of places like Manchester was reliant on access to cotton produced by slave labour.  John Bull is kneeling on a slave while worshipping King Cotton. Read more…

Unexpected shrapnel

10 November 2011 by Sarah

Photograph of box containing documents

File of papers relating to postwar repair of the Port of Liverpool building (MDHB collection).

The Maritime Archives & Library holds a very large collection of records relating to the Mersey Docks & Harbour Board (MDHB), who ran the Liverpool & Birkenhead dock system from 1858 until 1971. The MDHB, like most large organisations, were keen on committees and reports, and produced a lot of documents.  These are a great resource for studying the history of Liverpool, but can be a little overwhelming.  Occasionally a box reveals something unexpected, such as this piece of shrapnel stored amongst a file relating to the repair of the Dock Office, the Port of Liverpool Building at the Pier Head.  The note on the envelope states that the shrapnel was taken out of the ‘copper covering of Dome, Dock Office’. The Port of Liverpool Building was hit by a mine on the morning of 3rd May 1941 which caused a fire that destroyed most of the east side of the building before being brought under control. Read more…

Maritime Moustaches for Movember

1 November 2011 by Sarah

Photograph of man with moustache

William C Mylechreest, Mersey pilot, reference D/MORR/4/1/1

November is time for Movember, when men grow moustaches for a month to raise awareness of men’s health issues.  Now this is obviously a laudable effort, but there are always lessons to be learnt from the past. We’ve chosen a few examples of maritime men from the Maritime Archives & Library to demonstrate how to work a moustache with flare.  No comedy intent here, just serious style.  Can the man of today live up to the high standards set by the men of the past?  Images of Movember efforts will be posted on their website for you to judge. Read more…

Politicians

26 September 2011 by Sarah

Photograph of Harrison Line ship named Politician leaving Liverpool

Politician, Harrison Line, leaving dock in Liverpool (reference McR/38/142).

Ok it’s a poor link, but as we don’t have any photographs of politicians, apart from ex-merchant seafarer John Prescot, I thought I’d throw in this photograph of the Harrison Line vessel Politician while the Labour Party Conference is on in Liverpool. 

T & J Harrison, like many shipping companies, used a theme when naming their vessels.  In their case it was professions, which are slightly easier to remember than Blue Funnel’s(Ocean Steamship Company) use of characters from Greek mythology.  Harrison Line never named a ship Archivist, but they did have 3 vessels named Custodian, which is pretty close to my job description.  Read more…

Cunard jigsaws display

13 September 2011 by Sam

old jigsaw with picture of a cruise liner

Jigsaw of RMS Queen Mary, issued to mark her launch in 1934. Accession number MMM.2010.26

Curator of port history Ben Whittaker has news of a quirky new display in the Merseyside Maritime Museum:


“We’ve created a new display in the Life at Sea gallery to mark the arrival of two Cunard liners to Liverpool this month. Cunard’s new flagship the Queen Elizabeth arrived in Liverpool last Thursday, and the Queen Mary 2 is due this Thursday. 

It’s great to see Cunard Liners back in Liverpool, and the new display looks back at some of the older Cunard Liners, depicted in five spectacular jigsaws, including the one shown above. These unusual objects are rarely displayed due to their sensitivity to light.
Read more…

Merchant Navy Day (2)

1 September 2011 by Sarah

Cartoon of man being told not to spoke

Cartoon from Peter Rogan’s wartime log (reference DX/2503)

Merchant Navy Day is celebrated on 3rd September, to commemorate the contribution the merchant navy has made, and continues to make, to Britain.  There is a special service being held on Sunday 4th September at St Nicholas’ Church, Liverpool at 12pm.

This cartoon is taken from the wartime log kept by merchant seafarer Peter Rogan while he was a POW in Milag Nord during the Second World War.  More images from the diary are on our website in a small online exhibition.  With so much merchant navy history to cover, this is just a small example of the service given and hardship suffered by merchant seafarers, plenty more information is available in the records held by the Maritime Archives & Library or on display at the Merseyside Maritime Museum. Read more…

Start of a long journey

12 August 2011 by Sarah

Photograph of ship called City of Chicago

City of Chicago, Inman Line, built 1873 (reference McR/39/312)

A lycra-clad cyclist came into the Maritime Archives & Library last week wanting to know where someone arriving in Liverpool from New York in 1885 would have landed.  We pointed him in the direction of the Princes Landing Stage and the Pier Head. The reason for his interest was that he was about to start cycling around the world, attempting to follow the route of Thomas Stevens’ 1884-1887 journey that made him the first man to cycle around the world.  Read more…

Cold Stores & Ice Factory

13 July 2011 by Sarah

Image of Albert Dock Warehouse and tugboat

Merseyside Maritime Museum building from Canning Half Tide basin, c.1911, reference PR.588.

If you come down to the Merseyside Maritime Museum today, well, to be honest, we’re not looking that great.  As part of ongoing conservation work on our lovely 1846 built warehouse, the front of the museum is being covered in scaffolding. When the scaffolding construction is complete our Estates Department will be putting up some signage to explain what is going on (which I’ll need to read).  In the meantime here is a rather interesting photograph from our collections at the Maritime Archives & Library. Taken around 1911 is shows the building when it was a cold storage warehouse.  It may not look like it, but it is the front of the building, taken from Canning Half Tide basin, so the shed in front, the building on the roof and the built in section in the middle are all long gone. Read more…

Wimbledon, but not tennis

1 July 2011 by Sarah

Confederate solders reunion at Wimbledon Common 1869

B/FT 1/215:Detail of photograph; Group of Confederate States’ war veterans at Wimbledon Common, 1869.

It’s a big weekend for North America this week.  Today is Canada Day and on Monday it’s Independence Day in the USA.  At the Merseyside Maritime Museum we’re currently marking a not so happy time in North America with an exhibition on the important part played by Liverpool in the American Civil War.  There is a gallery trail throughout the museum and a display of documents outside the Maritime Archives & Library on the second floor.  This image is part of a photograph of ex-Confederate soldiers taken at Wimbledon, London in 1869, presumably during the annual National Rifle Association meeting held on the Common. Read more…