As well as the archive collection the Heritage & Education Centre holds at 71 Fenchurch Street, we also have a huge collection of plans and survey reports on loan to the National Maritime Museum. The collection itself is unique and irreplaceable. The main aim of the digitisation project is to make our archive more available to the public.
The collection charts a wealth of information and covers a range of topics, from Lloyd's Register's growth and expansion, and the progress of technology, shipbuilding and engineering.
The project has been named 'Project Undaunted' after the first survey report prepared for the re-constituted society, London no.1, belonging to the barque Undaunted. The survey was carried out by Nathaniel Middleton on 1 July 1834.
A pilot 'First and Famous' project has been started, with an aim of digitising the ships that everyone has heard of and some they may not, that Lloyd's Register has classed. This list currently consists of 229 ships, including the Cutty Sark, Mauretania, Sirius - the first vessel to cross the Atlantic Ocean under steam, Dunedin - the first vessel to carry frozen meat from New Zealand to London, Fullagar - the first all-welded ship - and many more...
Part of the collection we are currently working with are the 'Ship Annals', dating from 1834-1960s which contain plans, first and last survey reports and any associated correspondence relating to each ship. The number of ships in the collection is estimated at 65,000, but considering each ship has a number of associated plans and reports, it is likely to be a lot more!
We are planning an ambitious project that aims to digitise these documents,by conserving them, making a searchable database, imaging them and preserving the resulting digital records. These will then be uploaded to an online platform to make them accessible to those with an interest.
Find out more about Project Undaunted through our blog.
Let us know what you think by taking our on-line survey.