On Friday Sean, Charlotte and the Heritage & Education Centre team went down to the National Maritime Museum stores, where most of our documents currently are, to have a look at the extent of the collection. Little did we know just how vast the archives are...and we want to digitise it all! Row upon row of boxes filled to the brim with unique, fascinating documents...an archivist's dream! After a quick tour by the incredibly knowledgeable people who work in this vast corner of the museum archives, we decided to explore a little more so we looked at some of our documents that are stored there. This in itself is a feat as the "catalogue" if formed of beaten up copies of lists of ship documents. Look at the pictures below and you'll see what I mean!
Here's a catalogue page. The ship name is down the left hand column and on the right are lists of numbers that relate to a document held somewhere in the store!
Each of these eight books are huge with extremely thin pages! We'll certainly have our work cut out for us! After debating on a ship to research we decided to have a look at some of the documents on the Lizzie Leslie. This is an especially important ship for Lloyd's Register and we hold her close to our hearts, as she was the first to be given the '100A1' classification after our classing system changed. We weren't disappointed. There were many documents on her that were all extremely interesting and we left the stores bubbling with enthusiasm even though we were a little bit daunted by the scale. What a privilege to be part of such an exciting project.