Information sheet

Ship plans collections

Sheet number 32


The Maritime Archives & Library's ship plan collection contains original architects drawings from some of the major names in British merchant shipping history.  The Brocklebank Archive represents one of the earliest and finest collections of liner and sail plans of merchant ships, starting with the Nestor of 1792, through to the Everest of 1863.  The collection also contains plans of Brocklebank and Cunard cargo vessels of the 1950s.  The Cunard Archives comprise a wide selection of general arrangements for most classes of vessels, including the Britannia of 1840.  The main bulk of the collection starts from around 1900 and contains plans of Anchor Line and White Star Line vessels taken over in the merger of 1934.  Included are accommodation plans and fittings for the Queen Mary (1924), Mauretania (1938) and Queen Elizabeth II (1969).

The Ocean Archive contains a large selection of general arrangements and capacity plans of 20th century vessels for companies such as the Blue Funnel Line, Elder Dempster and the Glen Line.  The Maritime Archives & Library also holds a large miscellaneous plan collection that covers many of the other major Liverpool shipping companies such as Lamport & Holt, the Harrison Line and P.S.N.C.  Foreign companies include the Hamburg-America Line, Holland-America Line and the Italian Line.  The collection also includes plans of smaller craft such as Mersey flats, Lancashire nobbies and many other examples of local fishing craft.


Requests for reproduction plans for specific vessels should be addressed in writing to the Maritime Archives and Library, Merseyside Maritime Museum, Albert Dock, Liverpool, L3 4AQ.

Information required

When requesting plans, please provide as much information as possible regarding the vessel's date of build and name.  It is also useful to tell us what you need the plans for.  A model maker, for example, needs a different set of plans to that of a Marine Archaeologist.

How to order

A letter listing the plans available for reproduction (together with a copyright declaration/ order form) will be returned within 28 working days.  The customer should return the copyright declaration/order form, listing the plans wanted, along with the remittance.  The plans will be despatched within 28 working days.  Please note: plans can only be sent out after receipt of a signed copyright declaration form and payment.


The reproduction of any plan is dependent upon the size and condition of the original.  The plans are normally supplied at the same scale as the original, but can be reduced upon request.  The standard reproduction rate is £10.00 per plan, plus a charge for postage, packing, research and handling.

Postage, packing, research and handling

The following charges apply and take into account the costs of postage, packing and that of basic staff costs for locating and reproduction plans.  Some larger plans and any plans intended for commercial purposes may incur additional charges.

UK: £10.00

EU: £15.00

Non-EU Europe: £18.00

USA/Canada & rest of the World: £20.00

Methods of payment

Payment from within Europe: please forward a Eurocheque or a draft drawn on a British bank.

Payment from outside Europe: please forward a draft drawn on a British bank.

Cheques should be made payable to: "National Museums Liverpool".

Personal research visits

For general maritime-related research, the Maritime Archives and Library is open to the public from Tuesday to Thursday, 10.30am-4.30pm.  However, to view material from some of the ship plans, maps and charts collections, it is advisable that an appointment is made by telephone (0151 478 4424) giving as much notice as possible to ensure that a curator is available.


All material is supplied for the purpose of research or private study and remains the copyright of National Museums Liverpool and may not be reproduced in any form without their permission.  For permission to publish, please contact us in writing, and sign and return Section B of the copyright declaration form.

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