Photographic records relating to the Nottingham boat building firm of H. J. Chapman,1930-c.1975

Scope and Content

The principal series in the collection consists of 54 photographs, mainly black and white,relating to H.J. Chapman, boat builder. These depict Chapman's boatyard, boats, men at work buildingand repairing boats, the boathouse, and views up and down the River Trent. Undated, c.1930-c.1975(MS 516/1);

The collection includes photographs of other subjects, particularly of family images and socialevents. Undated, c.1950-c.1975 (MS 516/2);

A watercolour painting by William Benner is present, showing the interior of, presumably, C.J.Chapman's boathouse. 1954 (MS 516/3);

Correspondence and copy correspondence of Cecil Chapman has been included, concerning bothpersonal matters and professional work relating to Chapman's research into prehistoric woodsurvivals and maritime matters. 1986-1992 (MS 516/4);

Typescript copy of 'Wood Survival: Practical and Historical Evolution v Scientific Dogma', apaper by C.J. Chapman, c.1986 (MS 516/5).

Administrative / Biographical History

Harry James Chapman was a boat builder on the River Trent at The Boathouse, Meadow Lane,Nottingham from 1913 until at least 1941. He is also recorded in trade directories from 1907 as aboat builder living at Radcliffe Mount, West Bridgford. In directories for 1950 and 1956, CecilChapman, presumably Harry's son, is recorded as the boat builder at the Meadow Lane address.

The present collection was created by Cecil Chapman, whose lifelong association with woodenhulled boats prompted him to challenge the accepted view of prehistoric wood survivals and thestrength, buoyancy and preservation of felled wood.


The collection has been divided by document type into five series. Within these series, itemshave been arranged chronologically where possible.

Conditions Governing Access

ACCESS: The photographic series are accessible to allregistered readers. Access to the modern correspondence is restricted.


Other Finding Aids

  • This description is the only finding aid available for the collection and copyright on thedescription belongs to The University of Nottingham.

Conditions Governing Use

REPROGRAPHIC: Reprographic copies can be supplied for educational use and private study purposesonly, depending on access status and the condition of the documents.

COPYRIGHT: Identification of copyright holders of unpublished material is often difficult.Permission to make any published use of any material from the collection must be sought in advancein writing from the Keeper of Manuscripts and Special Collections (email

Custodial History

The collection was acquired by The University of Nottingham's Department of Manuscripts andSpecial Collections in September 1989. Correspondence and other papers were added in July 1994.