Historic archive collection

Our irreplaceable archive collection, built up over many decades, provides a unique resource and insight in to the development of classification and the wider marine and engineering industry.

The rich archival heritage of Lloyd’s Register (LR) is maintained by the Lloyd’s Register Foundation for the public benefit.

Utilising this archive, the Heritage & Education Centre offer advice and produce extensive research on many aspects of LR’s history and development, both in the UK and overseas. We receive queries from business, students, academia, institutions and members of the general public. Resources are often used to support TV documentaries and authors, helping to widen maritime engineering and scientific knowledge.

Our work involves cataloguing, preserving, scanning and expanding the archive and library collections to ensure that our material is available and future proof. In addition we capture details of the current activities of the Lloyd’s Register group and the Lloyd’s Register Foundation to add to the archive.

The historic archive contains General Committee Minutes, Surveyors Committee Reports, letter books and many other treasures. The bulk of material that has survived dates from the period after 1834, when the society was reconstituted. Find out more about the collection below and by reading our blog:

Records of Lloyd's Register comprising:

  • General Committee minutes, 1833-1969 (closed from 1939 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);
  • Lloyd's Register List of Surveyors, 1834-1995;
  • List of Offices, 1995-date;
  • Copy letter books, of John Cummings, surveyor of Greenock, 1834-1840;
  • Copy letter book of Bernard Weymouth, Secretary to Lloyd's Register, c.1880s;
  • Minutes of overseas committees, 1914-present (incomplete);
  • surveyors technical papers, 1880s-present;
  • personnel records, 1884-1959 (closed post-1939)
  • some photographs 1970s-present, a number of glass plate negatives;
  • research papers [1914-1940s] of Sir Westcott Abell, (1877-1961) naval architect and surveyor, employed by Lloyd's Register, 1914-1928;
  • and research papers [1930s-1970s] of Dr Simon Archer (1907-1997) employed by Lloyd's Register, 1936-1974.

Publications including:

  • Annual Reports, 1907-1998 (incomplete);
  • Group Reviews 2005-date;
  • Register of Ships, 1764-present;
  • Lloyd’s Register of Yachts, 1878 to 1980;
  • Lloyd’s Register of Classed Yachts, 1981-1996, 1999, 2000, 2002;
  • Lloyd’s Register of American Yachts, 1903-1977;
  • North American Yacht Register, 1978, 1979;
  • British Corporation Register 1893-1947;
  • Underwriters' Register for Iron Vessels, 1862-1884;
  • (World) Shipbuilding Returns 1888-present;
  • Statistical Tables (World Fleet Statistics) 1878-present;
  • and Casualty Returns, 1890-present.

Access and use

Members of the public are welcome to request to use the archive for selected research projects. A database catalogue can be consulted on site. The material is in English. Access to the archive is by appointment only. Please contact the Heritage & Education Centre in writing with a letter of reference.

Lloyd’s Register Foundation Archive & Library
Heritage & Education Centre
71 Fenchurch Street

Email: hec(dot)info@lrfoundation.org.uk 
Tel: +44 (0)20 7423 2475

Related material

Lloyd's Register also has a specialist library which includes the Augustine Creuze library collection on naval architecture, established in 1852. This is open to the public for research during the week. Find out more about our reference library in London. 

Publication note

Annals of the Lloyd's Register, being a sketch of the origin, constitution and progress of Lloyds Register of British and Foreign Shipping (London 1874); Annals of Lloyd's Register, Centenary Edition (1934); Lloyd's Register of Shipping 1760-1960, George Blake (1960); Lloyd’s Register 250 years of service, Nigel Watson (London 2010); Maritime science and technology: changing our world, Nigel Watson (London 2015).