Digital resources

Lloyd's of London Missing Vessels Books

Digitised maritime resources freely available online

These books are a unique manuscript resource listing all the ships posted as missing to Lloyd's of London. They were originally used to settle insurance claims, and the earliest volume to survive covers the years 1874 to 1875. The books were produced until 1954 and state details of the ship at the time of her disappearance, including the port of registry, voyage, and cargo. At times, the books also contain the names of the insurers or cuttings from Lloyd's List. The fourteen books are arranged chronologically, each volume covering an irregular number of years, with the ships recorded listed in alphabetical order. 

The Missing Vessels Books provide a glimpse into the common issue of disappearing ships at sea. Little to no information is known about what happened to these ships and their crews, primarily because there were no survivors to tell the story. However, modern technology is helping maritime archaeologists and others involved in seabed mapping and exploration to locate multiple of shipwrecks, and the Missing Vessels Books can assist in their identification. 

Thanks to the efforts of the Heritage & Education Centre, these books can now be consulted online by researchers and enthusiasts. This exciting step in making key archival collections more accessible has been made possible through a collaboration between Lloyd's Register Foundation and Lloyd’s of London. 

Don't miss out on the opportunity to explore the endearing history of missing vessels at sea and the valuable insights the Missing Vessel Books can provide. Dive into this unique resource and uncover the mysteries of the past.

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