Titanic and Liverpool: the untold story

Temporary gallery closure

The second floor of Merseyside Maritime Museum is closed from 6 January until 28 March 2020 as we prepare to open Life on board; a new gallery exploring Liverpool’s seafaring history. Titanic and Liverpool: the untold story, the Archive Centre and the changing places accessible toilet on the second floor are closed during this time.

The nearest changing places toilet is located at the Museum of Liverpool at the Pier Head. Please enquire at the Information Desk or ask a Visitor Services Assistant if you need help with directions.

We apologise for any inconvenience caused.

Free entry

ERDF logo

This exhibition is part of the Liverpool and the World exhibition series, part-funded by the European Union.

This compelling exhibition explores Liverpool's central role in the Titanic story. 

Titanic, then the largest ship in the world, left Southampton for New York on Wednesday 10 April 1912. On board were 922 passengers, later rising to 1316 after calls at Cherbourg and Queenstown. With her crew of 892 she carried 2,208 people in all. Although she was little more than half full, her 20 lifeboats could only carry about half of the people on board.

At 11.40pm on the night of Sunday 14 April she struck an iceberg to the south-east of Newfoundland, which fatally damaged the hull. The ship sank two hours and forty minutes later with the loss of more than 1,500 lives.

Titanic was registered in Liverpool, and so carried the city’s name on her stern. Find out more about how the Titanic story is linked to Liverpool here.


Titanic at sea

Other highlights include:

  • Letters from passengers
  • Many photos, including J Bruce Ismay and crew survivors returning to Liverpool
  • An original copy of the British inquiry proceedings
  • Telegrams from the rescue ship Carpathia

Unique insights from the key personalities

Told from perspectives of key personalities in the drama, the exhibition gives a unique insight into events surrounding the launch, voyage, the sinking and its aftermath. This is an incredible story told from a Liverpool angle.

"Not only was the Titanic's sinking a major world event, the tragedy was a bitter blow to the port and the people of Liverpool. The exhibition lifts the lid on this largely-overlooked turmoil in the wake of the sinking which resounds to this day." Dr Alan Scarth, author of Titanic and Liverpool

Among the many featured personalities are :

  • J Bruce Ismay , chairman of the White Star Line, who controversially survived the disaster in one of the last lifeboats to leave the stricken liner.
  • Former Crosby resident Captain Edward Smith , the veteran master approaching retirement when he went down with his ship.
  • Chief Officer Henry Wilde, Liverpool-born, who lived in Walton.
  • Fred Fleet, abandoned as a child in Liverpool, was the lookout who spotted the iceberg. He survived after taking charge of a lifeboat.
  • Passenger Gladys Cherry, who survived the sinking and gave a moving first hand account of the moment the liner struck the iceberg.
  • Fireman Fred Barrett, who was in the ship's boiler room number 6, and escaped from the inrushing water.
  • Passenger Millie Brown who describes the experience of leaving the stricken ship in a letter written on board the Carpathia.
  • Able Seaman Thomas Jones who took charge of number 8 lifeboat and described the rescue of passengers by the Carpathia.

Further information

The Maritime Archives and Library  also hold a lot of relevant material about the Titanic, including the only surviving first class ticket. You can read more online, with information sheet number 41: RMS Titanic.

Read the full story in the Titanic and Liverpool book, which is available to buy from the online shop, along with a range of Titanic merchandise.

Museum events

There are regular free events, talks and roleplayer performances about the Titanic. Further details and upcoming dates are in our Titanic events programme.