About us

Historical research service

Please note that the Heritage & Education Centre is closed for refurbishment throughout 2023. As our library and archive are not open during this time, we cannot provide physical access to our resources.

We can provide information on Lloyd's Register classed ships dating back to 1764, and on merchant ships of more than 100 gross tons, regardless of class, dating from the mid-1870s. Our records of shipowners date from 1876 and the Lloyd's Register of Yachts dates from 1878 to 1980 (this was superseded by the Lloyd's Register of Classed Yachts, which itself ceased publication in 1996, with special editions in 1999, 2000 and 2002). Please see our Register of Ships page for online editions.

We hold brief records of casualties to ships (that is the ships themselves not the passengers or crew) dating from July 1890. These show the date and position of sinking, voyage, cargo carried (where known) and the nature of the casualty, i.e. wrecked, foundered, lost, broken-up, etc. These Casualty Returns can be accessed online here.

During the Second World War and up until 1977, Lloyd's Register maintained Wreck Books. This is a manuscript source, the only copy of which is available to view at the Heritage & Education Centre library. 

Information sheet no.10: Sources available to researchers gives further details of the publications that we have in our public reference library. The Heritage & Education Centre also holds the former IMarEST collection as well as much of RINA's Denny Library collection. Researchers can search the combined library catalogue and all resources are available to the public in the Heritage & Education Centre library.

To submit an enquiry, please visit our contact us page.