Ship Plan and Survey Report Collection (SPSRC)

Scope and Content

The fonds reflects the historic activities surrounding the inspection, classification and maintenance of maritime vessels as undertaken by Lloyd's Register exclusive and non-exclusive surveyors. Reports of survey and plans/technical drawings informed the details of each vessel's entry within Lloyd's Register's annually published Register of Ships. Survey was carried out in accordance with approved and circulated rules and regulations for the construction and maintenance of vessels. Though records are generally internal communications between outport survey offices and the head office, or between committees and departments, records from owners, builders, tradespeople, and other third parties are commonplace. Earliest records begin from the reconstitution of Lloyd's Register of British and Foreign Shipping in 1834 to the computerisation of surveying records in the 1970s/80s. Prior to 1852, surveying actively was almost exclusively limited to vessels built at, operating out of or passing through British and Irish ports. The subsequent period saw the rapid expansion of overseas survey offices, which is reflected in the archival record. The fonds broadly consists of survey reports, plans/technical drawings, forms, correspondence, certificates, and photographs, in addition to other miscellaneous material/objects.


The Ship Plan and Survey Report Collection is housed in ascending sequentially numbered boxes. Within this, arrangement reflects three clerical changes.

  • First series is arranged alphabetically by the creating Lloyd's Register survey office, and within this, in ascending order by that office's unique survey report number;
  • Second series consists of boxes containing bundles of records, each bundle related to the same vessel. Boxes are loosely alphabetised by vessel name;
  • Third series consists of boxes containing numbered envelopes in ascending order, each envelope housing records related to the same vessel.

Access Information

Access information is listed at the catalogue entry record. With the exception of the stipulations below, and any special conservation requirements, our records are considered open access.

Access to records of vessels or installations still in commission or service, or which form the subject of ongoing legal proceedings or official inquiry is closed. Closure periods last for a total of seven years from the date of decommission, or from the conclusion of inquiry/legal proceedings, whichever is later.

The Lloyd's Register Foundation, Heritage & Education Centre is closed for refurbishment in 2021.

Other Finding Aids

  • Complete item level catalogue available online;
  • Original and facsimile vessel index ledgers for the first series ('port boxes') available in reading room;
  • Vessel index cards for the second series ('Wreck/W') available in reading room;
  • Computer printout vessel index for the third series ('report number') available in reading room;
  • Original freeboard index ledgers available in reading room.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright and all other intellectual property rights are reserved by the Lloyd's Register Foundation and/or its licensors.

Use of Lloyd's Register Foundation information or materials is granted under an "Educational License."

Queries or alternative licenses are granted only by direct permission from the Heritage & Education Centre.

Please see our website for further details on licensing and use .



Related Material

Register of Ships , 1764-2000;
Casualty Returns , 1890-2000;
World Fleet Statistics , 1878-2000;
Shipbuilding Returns , 1888-2000
Rules and Regulations , 1834-2000;
British Corporation Register , 1893-1947;
Underwriters' Register for Iron Vessels , 1862-1884

General Committee minutes, 1833-1969 (closed from 1961 onwards);
Surveyors Committee reports and minutes, 1838-1899;
Visitation Committee reports and minutes, 1867-1875 (Visitation committee records for other years are part of the Surveyors Committee records);
Minutes of Overseas Committees, 1914-present (incomplete, access restrictions may apply);
Lists of Lloyd's Register Officers, 1834-1972.