Find out how you can explore the collections for free online or in person.

Plan your visit

Search the Library & Archive Catalogues

Archive Catalogue

Library Catalogue

Collections Catalogue

Please find the item you want to order on the Archive or Library catalogue, click 'Request this Item' or 'Order', login or register and pick a date and time to visit. 

NB: This procedure does not apply to items in the Collections (Objects) Catalogue.
Also: Individual Crew Lists and Masters Certificates do not appear on the catalogue. Click here for more information. 

How to register and order items

To register and to request items to view you will need to use the Library's online request system, Aeon.

Register or Login

How to order items

Our remote copying service - order a scan

The Library offers a document copying service to supply scans of items in our collection.

Find out more

Prepare for your visit

We have prepared a detailed guide to help you prepare for your visit to the Caird Library.

Contact us & FAQs

If you have a question about accessing the Library and Archive collection, we recommend checking our FAQs. If you need further assistance, please do contact us:  


Tel: +44 (0)20 8312 6516 during Library opening hours : Tuesday to Friday 10am to 4:45pm

Tickets and Opening

Tuesday – Friday


  • Greenwich Station
  • Cutty Sark DLR
  • Maze Hill Station
  • Greenwich Pier

Read the Caird Library blog

From major collections to personal diaries, discover more about the stories waiting to be discovered in our collections

About the Caird Library and Archive

The Library collection includes over 100,000 books, 20,000 pamphlets, 20,000 bound periodicals including 200 current titles, and over 12,000 rare books spanning every aspect of maritime history, including: emigration, navigation, piracy, astronomy, shipping companies, shipwrecks, biographies, the two World Wars, horology, Merchant and Royal Navy.

Also included are many original documents, manuscripts, atlases, maps, sea charts and periodicals. There are 6,000 books and printed resources available to study on open access shelves.

The collections are available to everyone and can be accessed for free online or in person. All that is required is to register for a Reader's Ticket.

A team of professional librarians and archivists are available to help and advise readers at all times.

If you are not able to visit the Caird Library and Archive, staff are happy to answer enquiries by telephone, email and letter about items in our collection and can offer up to 15 minutes of free research time.

Explore our collections online

Search our updated digital database to find out more about our objects and archives

Choose your tickets

Caird Library

  • World's largest maritime archive
  • Over 100,000 books
  • Open to all researchers

Free entry

Register to visit

Become a Member

  • Unlimited entry all year
  • Royal Observatory
  • Cutty Sark
  • Planetarium Shows
  • Special exhibitions
Direct Debit One-off
Individual: £50 Individual: £60
Family: from £60 Family: from £70

National Maritime Museum

  • Guaranteed entry time
  • Access to all free galleries and activities
  • Special exhibitions free in 2024
Free entry
Book online