Read our blog to get the lowdown from our experts and go behind the scenes at Royal Museums Greenwich.
In the condemned cell - ILN 22/03/1873
Stories of crimes and their perpetuators seem to have had a renaissance in the public consciousness over the last few years. However, this societal fascination in sensational malefactors can be observed far earlier. Indeed, several instances of this can be found within the Caird Library’s rare book collection, including several editions of the Ordinary of Newgate’s Accounts.
The Triumph of Britannia
HMS Hood ca.1928
An interesting item from MSS/84/047, a midshipman’s journal kept by Lieutenant Peter Reginald George Worth DSC, RN, from his time aboard HMS Hood, prior to the outbreak of war in 1939.
Annie Scott Dill Maunder (née Russell) by Lafayette 1931 © National Portrait Gallery, London (tile).jpg
Working in astronomy has always been a challenge for women but somehow they’ve managed to contribute in their own way, whether it’s observing directly themselves or recording and analysing data from other astronomers. Others contributed by writing popular books and developing education materials to share the subject with others. Their work has long been overshadowed by their male counterparts but in this blog I’d like to focus on one particular female astronomer who worked here at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich, during the 1890s and whose story really encapsulates the struggles faced by women in astronomy at the time.
Here in the Caird Library and Archive we are often asked about Royal Naval records relating either to specific individuals, events or ships. Most of the surviving records generated by the Navy during its long history are held by the National Archives at Kew. One set of records we hold on deposit here at Greenwich however are logs written by Royal Naval Lieutenants during the period of 1673-1809.
Title page of The Bogus Surveyor
“If, by repeated efforts, you find the index [of the theodolite] will not return to zero after taking a round of angles…unscrew the instrument from its tripod and replace it in the box, close the lid firmly, then gently roll the box one hundred yards or so down the hill side…”
Marlag 'O' Feb '44 S.W. Corner of Naval Officers Prison Camp, Westertincke, Germany, in winter
JOD/332 is a log kept by Captain Stanley Algar while a Prisoner of War at the Milag Nord camp near Bremen. However, the diary is not all it seems, while I was expecting to read Stanley Algar’s story of his capture and the gruelling day to day life in the camp, what it contained was quite different.
The tweed, after converted to sail
With 2019 marking the 150th birthday of the Cutty Sark, discover the story behind one of its ancestors. What part did The Tweed, an illustrious vessel in its own right, play in the Cutty Sark becoming the fastest ship of her time?
‘Trotsky’ the bear being transferred to HMS Ajax from HMS Emperor of India in 1921
There is a long history of animals and seafarers coming together at sea. Seamen often kept cats and dogs as pets or ship’s mascots, but more exotic companions such as parrots, bears and monkeys also joined the crew. Horses, mules and even elephants were transported across the sea to be used in battle, while cattle, pigs, goats and chickens on board provided a source of fresh milk, eggs and meat.
A view of Greenwich Hospital from the river (BHC1829)
The Caird Library and Archive has hundreds of manuscripts and printed works related to Greenwich Hospital, but only one substantial collection of papers of a naval officer from his time as Treasurer of the Hospital.