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History in Focus

the guide to historical resources • Issue 9: The Sea •

The Sea

Old photo of the Lusitania landing dock 1907

The Lusitania landing dock, 1907.

Image courtesy of Portcities Liverpool

More Resources

This section of History in Focus presents an overview of some of the archival and library resources available on the study of 'The Sea' along with some museums that hold collections in the area.

The Dock Museum

Built over an historic graving dock, the museum is home to a wealth of objects and information on the social and industrial history of the Furness area. Collections include permanent exhibitions on 'Shipbuilders to the World', interactive films combining oral and visual history and the Vickers Photographic Archive, a collection of 10,000 images relating to all aspects of shipbuilding, engineering and armament production at Barrow Shipyard from the 1870's until the 1960's

Address: Dock Museum, North Road, Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria LA14 2PW
Tel: 01229 894444
Email: dockmuseum@barrowbc.gov.uk

HMS Belfast

Part of the Imperial War Museum's collections, the HMS Belfast was saved for the nation in 1971 as a unique reminder of Britain's naval heritage.

Address: HMS Belfast, Morgan's Lane, Tooley Street, London SE1 2JH
Tel: 020 7940 6300
Fax: 020 7403 0719

National Museums of Liverpool

Merseyside Maritime Museum

The Merseyside Maritime Museum tells the history of one of the world's greatest ports and the people who used it. For many it was a gateway to a new life in other countries. For others, its importance to the slave trade had less happy consequences. From slavers to luxury liners, submarine hunters to passenger ferries, discover Liverpool's central role in centuries at sea.

Address: Merseyside Maritime Museum, Albert Dock, Liverpool L3 4AQ
Tel: 0151 207 0001
HM Customs and Excise National Museum

The HM Customs and Excise National Museum tells the exciting story of smuggling and contraband from the 1700s to the present day. The museum holds the national collection of the Department of Customs and Excise, one of the most important collections of its type held anywhere in the world. It includes an extensive display of tools of the job, prints, paintings and photographs relating to the work of the Department of Customs and Excise. Other items look at the ingenious and often dangerous world of smuggling, prohibited goods and concealment.

Address: HM Customs and Excise National Museum, Albert Dock, Liverpool L3 4AQ
Tel: 0151 478 4499
Museum of Liverpool Life

The museum tells the story of the people of Liverpool, their culture and contribution to our national life. You can explore the city's rich history, heritage, communities and industries. Interactive displays bring to life the workers, soldiers, entertainers and ordinary people who have made Liverpool such a remarkable city.

Address: Museum of Liverpool Life, Pier Head, Liverpool L3 1PZ
Tel: 0151 478 4080

National Maritime Museum

The National Maritime Museum's collection contains over two million objects related to seafaring, navigation, astronomy and measuring time. The Museum is committed to improving access to its collections. Over 9100 objects are now online, with a further 550 to be made available by spring 2005 as part of an ongoing digitization strategy. Along with useful online catalogues and finding-aids there is also a busy research programme with scholarships available.

Address:National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London SE10 9NF
Tel: 020 8858 4422
Fax: 020 8312 6632

Royal Naval Museum

Located in Portsmouth's historic dockyard, the Royal Naval Museum is the only museum dedicated to ships and the men and women who served on them. Only a small proportion of the Museum's collection is on display, but other items can be viewed by appointment. The Museum's online exhibitions provide a taste of what's available by appointment and there is also public access to the principal research collections held at the Museum. These comprise all of the Library and manuscript collections, including that part of the Admiralty Library that was moved to Portsmouth in 1997. The reading room is open 10.00am–4.00pm, Monday to Friday.

Address: HM Naval Base (PP66), Portsmouth, PO1 3NH
Tel: 023 9272 7562
Fax: 023 9272 7575
Email address for enquiries about any aspect of naval history or the collections: library@royalnavalmuseum.org

Scottish Fisheries Museum

The Scottish Fisheries Museum tells the story of fishing in Scotland and its people from earliest times to the present. Since it was opened in 1969 the Museum has grown in size and in the range of its galleries. The Museum occupies 27,000sq ft including two A listed buildings; a Merchant house (1724) and an Abbot's lodging (16th C), both with fishing associations. In addition to the original courtyard and buildings there is now a covered boatyard and the latest gallery housing a 78 ft ZULU fishing vessel dating from the very early 1900s. The Collection includes more than 66,000 items, 74% classified as of national, UK or international importance and the 18 boats, including two UK national core collection vessels.

Address: Scottish Fisheries Museum, St Ayles, Harbourhead, Anstruther, Fife KY10 3AB
Tel: 01333 310628
Email: enquiries@scotfishmuseum.org

Submarine Heritage Centre

The Submarine Heritage Centre is a Charitable Trust that has been established to create a Centre that will celebrate the design, build and operation of Barrow-in-Furness built Submarines since 1886. It will serve both as an absorbing educational venue and a worthwhile visitor attraction for present and future generations. The Centre will provide a series of displays showing the evolution of submarine building HMS Olympus on a high-speed run and operations at Barrow. Olympus will form the main attraction, enabling visitors to experience first-hand what life was like for the crew onboard this classic British submarine.

Address: Submarine Heritage Centre, 53 Red Oak Avenue, Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria LA13 0LJ
Tel: 01229 820993

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