Marine Technology Special Collection

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

Historical maritime technical documents from the British shipbuilding and related industries. Technical and engineering not social history. It spans the mid-19th century to 2000 with an emphasis on the north east of England and includes the less well documented industries of marine engine building, shiprepairing, and shipbreaking :-

1. Company documents many are unique including company records (correspondence, ledgers, minutes of meetings), company publicity brochures and catalogues, ship and yard plans. Including ship plans, works layout plans, ship and yard photographs, ship and marine engine trial records, plant and equipment plans, photographs; these originating from, and associated with, the industries of shipbuilding, marine engine building, shiprepairing, and shipbreaking. From companies such as Swan Hunter, British Shipbuilders, North Eastern Marine of Wallsend and Sunderland; shipbreaking companies, e.g. Hughes Bolckow of Blyth, T. W. Ward of Sheffield, Shipbreaking Industries of Faslane. We have the largest and most complete shipbreaking collection in the UK.

2. Technical publications including trade and industry magazines, professional technical journals (‘Transactions’ and ‘Proceedings’), ship registers & trade directories, historical textbooks, company histories, statistics and market reports, rules and regulations, bibliographies, biographies, and textbooks.

3. “British Shipbuilding Database” an authoritative and uniquely detailed database of 80,000 British-built ships of the 19th and 20th century. Compiled and edited by Ian Buxton et al.

Conditions Governing Access

By appointment, usually Tuesdays and Thursdays 11am to 15pm under supervision of Collection staff.

The "British Shipbuilding Database" is not yet available online via the internet and currently can only be searched by collection staff on behalf of enquirers.