Collections and research
Detail of painting of convoy OB330 by Rear Admiral Hugh Hext Rogers
Merseyside Maritime Museum's collections reflect the vitality and importance of the port of Liverpool and its role in world history.
On this website there are some special online features highlighting specific areas of the collections and research, including many items that are not currently on display. For example:
Ship models collection
Our extensive collection is one of the most significant in the country and contains over 2000 models, mostly merchant vessels - from steamships to sailing ships, builders models to ships in bottles. The Dashwood-Howard collection of ships in bottles is of particular note.
Paintings and works on paper collections
The maritime paintings in the Merseyside Maritime Museum collection provide a comprehensive record of Liverpool merchant vessels and the city’s shipping activity.
A large number of the paintings in the collection are ship portraits, which were detailed depictions produced for people who were most familiar with this subject matter. From crew to masters. The collection also represents impressive views of the River Mersey and the port of Liverpool.
You can see all the paintings in the collection on the BBC 'Your Paintings' website.
The museum also holds a vast works on paper collection including posters and watercolours.
The Mapping Memory feature and interactive map on this website showcases the results of a recent project investigating Liverpool's waterfront during a time of great change.
In the museum
At the museum you can see a variety of objects associated with nautical archaeology and the social and commercial history of the port. For a complete floor-by-floor guide to what to see in the museum see our floor plan.
Highlights of the collections include ship models, maritime paintings, colourful posters from the golden age of liners, the Seized! gallery and even some full sized vessels. There is also the major current exhibition Titanic and Liverpool: the untold story.
Ships and quaysides
Two historic vessels, the pilot boat Edmund Gardner and three-masted schooner De Wadden, are kept in dry dock opposite the museum. These are not usually accessible to the public, but tours are available during the summer and there is an in depth online feature on the Edmund Gardner.
World Ship Trust
The archives of Merseyside Maritime Museum are one of the finest collections of merchant shipping records in the UK. They include:
- ship registers
- extensive records of the port of Liverpool, local trade associations, shipping companies, merchant houses, port services, charities and ship builders
- seafarers' personal and family papers plus a wealth of plans, photographs and oral tapes.
See highlights from the Maritime Archives and Library in special online features on the Maritime Archives and Library web pages.