Records of the Ben Line Group

Scope and Content

  • Ben Line Group Ltd Annual Reports and Accounts, 1989-1991;
  • Partners Meetings Agenda Books, 1968-1980;
  • Correspondence, 1956-1992;
  • Voyage Record Book, 1973-1981;
  • Ship's Particulars Book, c1970s;
  • Group Fleet Photograph Albums, c1962-1977;
  • Photographs - staff and associated personnel, 1919-1990;
  • Staff Record Cards, 1940s-1990s;
  • Photographs - Group directors and board, c1960s-1991;
  • Papers of A M Peill, Group Public Relations Manager, c1970s-1980s;
  • Crew Lists, 1974-1976;
  • Papers of Michael Francis Strachan, c1980s-1990s;
  • Crew Rank Insignia and Buttons, late 20th century;
  • Postcards, 1942-1991;
  • Calendars, 1948-1991;
  • Brochures and Leaflets, c1960s-1990;
  • Ship Files - partner and joint venture ships, c1960s-1990;
  • Model Ships, c1960s-1991;
  • Group Press Releases and Press Material, 1971-1977;
  • Ben Bulletin, 1974-1991;
  • Ben Bulletin production and unused material, c1890s-1991;
  • Stickers, c1970s-1980s;
  • Block of Ben Line Flag Logo Paper, c1970s-1980s;
  • BEN 40 foot Container Logo Designs, c1970s;
  • Better Ship Ben Line Poster, c1970s;
  • Group Stationery, c1970s-1980s;
  • Cloth Badges, c1970s-1990s;
  • Sailing Ships Whisky and Araby Maid II crew, 1990s;
  • Photographs - office buildings, 1956-c1979;
  • Lists of Ben Line Group records destroyed or retained by the company, 1961-1988;
  • Publications, 1946-c1980s.

Administrative / Biographical History

In 1987 there was a major reshuffle of the Ben Line group of companies and the Ben Line Group Ltd was formed, with all of the active companies becoming its subsidiaries. The records here reflect activities that took place across Ben Line Group companies. The records, for the most part, were created prior to the official formation of Ben Line Group Ltd as a result of acitivities taking place across the companies that would be amalgamated under the Ben Line Group Ltd in 1987. Some records date as far back as the 1890s since much of the material in this collection seems to have been brought together for promotional purposes by the Ben Line Group's Public Relations Manager, A M Piell, during the 1970s and 1980s. Such promotional purposes include the publication of the company magazine, Ben Bulletin.

Access Information

Some files in this collection are subject to Data Protection legislation as they contain sensitive information. These records will not be fully accessible to the public until 100 years from the date on each file. However, they may be accessible to bona fide researchers and academics. Please contact the Duty Archivist for advice on how to apply for access to these files. Contact details are as follows: Duty Archivist, Archive Services, University of Glasgow, 13 Thurso Street, Glasgow, G11 6PE.

Acquisition Information

Gift : E G Thomson (Holdings) Ltd : June 2013 : ACCN 3773

Gift : E G Thomson (Holdings) Ltd : February 2013 : ACCN 3744

Transfer : Edinburgh University Library : June 2006 : ACCN 2949

Other Finding Aids

Digital file level list available in searchroom

Alternative Form Available

No known copies

Physical Characteristics and/or Technical Requirements

None which affect the use of this material

Conditions Governing Use

Applications for permission to quote should be sent to the Archivist.

Reproduction subject to usual conditions: educational use and condition of documents

Appraisal Information

This material has been appraised in line with standard GB 248 procedures

Custodial History

All Materials held by Ben Line Group Limited until it was wound down in 2000. Thereafter transfered to and held by E G Thomson (Holdings) Ltd until deposit at University of Glasgow Archive Services, with exception of ACCN 2949, containing voyage account books and voyage account boxes, which were held by Edinburgh University Library until transfer to University of Glasgow Archive Services in 2006.


None expected

Related Material

Related Ben Line Group companies GB 248 UGC 199

Location of Originals

This material is original


The Ben Line Steamers Ltd,The Ben Line: The Story of a Merchant Fleet at War. London: Thomas Nelson and Sons Ltd , 1946 .Somner, G.Ben Line: Fleet List and Short History. Kendal, England: World Ship Society , 1st edition 1967 , 2nd edition 1980 .Blake, G.The Ben Line - The History of a Merchant Fleet, 1825-1955. Edinburgh: Wm Thomson & Co , 1970 .Strachan, M.The Ben Line 1825-1982. Norwich: Michael Russell , 1992 .Somner, G.Ben Line. Preston: Ships in Focus Publications , 2009 .

Additional Information

Description compiled in line with the following international standards: International Council on Archives, ISAD(G) Second Edition, September 1999and National Council on Archives, Rules for the construction of personal, place and corporate names

Scotland is the location of all place names in the administrative/biographical history element, unless otherwise stated.

Fonds level description compiled by Neil Ogg, Ben Line Archive Cataloguer, 2015.

Family Names