Major collections

The Maritime Library

The reference library covers all aspects of maritime history, with specific emphasis on the Merchant Navy and the port of Liverpool. The library contains substantial collections of several benefactors, shipping companies, merchant ships' libraries and business associations. These include the Liverpool Nautical Research Society's collections which feature the Captain Beard and Cochrane collections (alphabetical compilations of sailing ship histories and steamships respectively). Both are available on microfiche.

The library also includes many rare and unique items including first editions. There are substantial slavery and emigration collections, with printed bibliographies available for purchase. There are also books, pamphlets and extensive runs of periodicals, including a selection of house magazines and newsletters on shipbuilding and shipping companies. The library has the second most complete series of Lloyd's List 1741-1974 in England, Lloyd's Register of Shipping from 1764, Lloyd's Captains' Registers, 1874-1887, and the national set of Customs Bills of Entry for Britain and Ireland, 1820-1939.

The Maritime Archive

Use these links to access further information or visit the Information sheet section and search for yourself.

We do not hold any official records of seamen's careers, but sources held elsewhere are described in Information Sheet number 43: Tracing Your Seafaring Ancestors. For further information please contact the Archives.