Museum blog

Read our blog to get the lowdown from our experts and go behind the scenes at Royal Museums Greenwich.

Photograph of Lecky (LKY/1/3)

9 January 2018

The spine labels of The King’s Ships, by H. S. Lecky show that ships from ABOUKIR to JUPITER are included in these volumes, the title page states that this is a six-volume work, and the introduction explains that they contain a ‘history of all those ships which are in the Naval service of the Empire’. So where are the last three volumes? 

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14 December 2017

Kent's archives contain details of many aspects of the county's maritime history including shipwrecks, salvage, smuggling and piracy.

The title page of the Fragments of Voyages and Travels Volume 3, Second series (RMG ID: PBE0288)

8 December 2017

The rare book collection at the Caird Library holds numerous delights. One of our readers requested this book and it particularly caught my eye as it is written by an officer who began service in the Royal Navy as a young lad in the 1800s. 

Sinking of the Lancastria, 17 June 1940 (BHC0673)

4 December 2017

Contrary to popular belief, the Titanic disaster of 1912 was not Britain’s greatest loss of life at sea. The Lancastria disaster of 1940 is the most catastrophic loss recorded, see our following story of the event. 

Winsome Mary Kemp (nee Bull), Assistant Principle, First World War Scrapbook (WRN/14)

14 November 2017

One of my favourite things about being an Archives Assistant is that I am able to rummage around in the uncatalogued collections and rediscover items which were acquired for a specific and important reason or event, but have since lost prominence. With the centenary of the formation of the Women’s Royal Naval Service falling this year, I felt it was time some of our uncatalogued Wrens material received some attention!

The 'Dreadnought' off Greenwich

9 November 2017

We’re very pleased to announce the launch of the Dreadnought Seamen’s Hospital online resource. As part of a collaborative project, a team of e-volunteers have generously devoted their spare time to transcribing details from records held at the National Maritime Museum. The Dreadnought Seamen's Hospital Admissions and Discharges, 1826-1930 can now be searched and viewed on the Ancestry family history website.

Pape Illustration

2 November 2017

The Caird Library has recently installed a new display of archive and library material. The theme is Prisoners of War at Home and Overseas, 1793-1815, and it reveals what life was like for the men and boys captured during the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars. During this period, hundreds of thousands of prisoners of war were held captive at depots, barracks, and on board prison ships all over the world, from North America to the Indian Ocean. The documents on display focus on the experiences of captured British and French sailors and soldiers.

Futility by Morgan Robertson (RMG item ID: PBF5926)

3 October 2017

October’s Item of the Month looks at a prescient work of fiction from 1898, Morgan Robertson’s Futility (RMG item ID: PBF5926). 

The Shipmasters' Society: The British Mercantile Marine: it’s Past, present, and probable future.’ pp.1-26, No.1, Jan.1890

27 September 2017

As journals librarian I am always eager to share the discoveries I uncover in the collection. May I introduce ‘The Shipmasters’ Society London’ journal. 

A plan of the 1904 scheme of extension works

13 September 2017

Having grown up in north Kent, I always keep an eye out for archive material relating to shipping on the River Medway and the naval dockyard at Chatham.  During cataloguing work earlier this year, I was drawn to some papers from the period when Admiral Sir Gerard H.U. Noel was commander-in-chief at the Nore station.  They include an appeal for the extension of Chatham Dockyard; see the items numbered NOE/51/5/9 in the Archive Catalogue. 

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