Guildhall Library’s historic ‘Lloyd’s Marine Collection’ offers information about vessels, shipping movements and casualties for your maritime research dating back to 1740.
If you are looking for more recent sources for your family or maritime history the Library subscribes to the Lloyd’s List Intelligence (LLI) ‘Seasearcher’ service, a website which includes an invaluable archive of shipping movements from 1997 to the present.
This impressive addition to our maritime resources offers searches by shipping company which can supply maritime enthusiasts with fleet details, history of ownership, brief details of incidents and vessel reports. LLI describe Seasearcher as ‘your digital engine room’ and you are welcome to visit to explore.
A highlight of the service is the ability to search by place and discover which ships were in port on a given day; so on the 21st June 1998 we can see that there were ten arrivals at Southampton. These included four vehicle carriers (‘Setubal’, ‘Golden Ray’, ‘Elduga’, ‘Jingu’), the refrigerated cargo ship ‘Dunedin Star’ and the ‘V.Express’ (roll on –roll off)
An example of the depth of information you can find on a vessel would be the ‘Queen Mary 2’. Apart from giving the detail you would expect to find in our ‘Lloyd’s Register of Ships’ like official number, flag, tonnage, dimensions, year of build, ownership etc. you can also see photographs of the vessel and the specifics of when she was ordered, when construction began, launch date, date of her first movement…etc. In short you have a potted history of the vessel.
The site also offers detail of a vessel’s sailings and arrivals which can be filtered by date or by port so for example you can search for QM2’s ports of call in 2006 which included several in South America including Rio de Janeiro, Montevideo and Valparaiso.
Along with ‘Lloyd’s List Intelligence’ Guildhall Library also subscribes to ‘Lloyd’s List’ which we hold from the earliest surviving issue (1740). This historic newspaper ceased to be published in hard copy in 2013 but our online subscription means you can access their shipping news back to 1997 as well as look at recent editions of the e-newspaper.
Access is available in Guildhall Library only and you will need to provide proof of your name and address. You may also wish to bring along a notebook to record the gems you discover as printing and downloading of content is not permitted.
Assistant Librarian and Keeper of the Lloyd’s Marine Collection
(All images are from the Lloyd’s Marine Collection)