Starting your search

First you need to gather as much background information as you can. This may be anything from birth/death certificates to discharge papers and photographs. This will help both you and our staff narrow down your search.

Next we'd suggest that you have a good look at this site and decide exactly what you want from your visit before coming to the museum. We have compiled a searchable list of information sheets that will help. We've also included examples of the type of query we receive on the frequently asked questions page - yours may be similar.

Many records are not kept in our archive and library. For example we do not hold official lists of passengers or emigrants or official records of seamen. We can, however, advise on where you might find records on passenger, emigration and seafarers records. Again, check the information sheets. Some of the websites included on the useful links page may also be of help.

Maritime Archives temporary closure

As part of the new Sea Galleries development at Merseyside Maritime Museum, National Museums Liverpool is creating an improved Maritime Archives research centre. The improved Archive facilities will open in December 2018. They will offer an enhanced public space providing information about archive material relating to Liverpool shipping and seafarers, as well as improved research facilities for visitors accessing National Museums Liverpool’s Maritime Archives.

To enable this work to take place, Maritime Archives is temporarily closed to the public from 1 September 2017 until December 2018, and during this time we will be unable to accommodate researchers or answer enquiries.

A woman reading a book in a library