Starting your search

man looking at a book next to bookshelves in the Maritime Archives and Library

Please note we do not provide a research service. Staff are able to advise and guide visitors with their queries.

First you need to gather as much background information as you can. This may be anything from birth or 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.

Temporary closure

The Maritime Archives and Library will close to the public for Christmas from 4.30pm on Tuesday 17 December 2019 and will not reopen until Monday 30 March 2020 at 10.30am, due to the closure of the second floor of Merseyside Maritime Museum as we prepare the new Life on board gallery.

Staff can be contacted via email and telephone during the closure period but will only have limited access to collections.

We apologise for any inconvenience caused.