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Portsmouth students

Why does the maritime past matter?

Lloyd’s Register Foundation Heritage and Education Centre is the custodian of Lloyd’s Register’s unique heritage collection, which contains more than 250 years of ship plans, survey reports, letter books, photograph collections and so much more.

The collection is one of the great resources still available for maritime history, marine engineering, naval architecture, offshore engineering and ocean technology. In the past year, the Foundation has been exploring ways the collection can be used in pursuit of our charitable mission.

Supporting our purpose today

For the first time we have been working with a set of narratives for our research and education initiatives.

  1. Development of ship and yacht building since the 1800s.
  2. Impact of the maritime sector on world trade and trade routes.
  3. Safety at sea.
  4. Depiction of maritime technology in art.

These narratives will enable us and others to make the most of our unique collection, look at broader socio-economics beyond maritime history, focus on benefits to society in areas important to the Foundation and engage wider audiences with our archive, including the next generation.

Informing contemporary issues

The Foundation has agreed a grant of £500,000 to fund a Curator of Contemporary Maritime Impacts at the National Maritime Museum. The curator will promote public awareness and understanding of the connections between maritime history and contemporary maritime issues – from trade and migration to technology. The role will draw upon the Centre’s collection and benefit from Lloyd’s Register’s first-hand knowledge and experience of industry issues, providing us with an end-user perspective. This is an exciting first for both the Foundation and the renowned museum.

Inspiring new research into safety

The Foundation is funding the first-ever postgraduate research scholarships to focus on the Centre’s collection and archive. Two Lloyd’s Register Foundation Thomas Chapman Scholarships (named after the organisation’s longest-serving Chairman) will investigate ship design in the mid-nineteenth century and focus on safety measures in the distant-water trawl fisheries since the 1900s.

We have also encouraged small-scale research projects that will use the Centre’s collections. Once more of our digitised material is available online (see over the page for details on this project) another call will be aimed at universities, libraries and archives later this year. These activities are all part of our Opening Access to the Heritage and Education Centre Programme.

Reaching out

The Foundation has awarded a small grant to the 1851 Trust, the charitable arm of the America’s Cup yacht racing team. The Trust is using some of our yacht plans and survey reports in their education programme and has reached more than 1,000 young people in the UK. We are also exhibiting the collection for the first time; Waterproof: Safety at Sea is at Rotterdam Maritime Museum and showcases Lloyd’s Register’s role in developing maritime safety and it’s 150 years of work in the Netherlands, including some Foundation-funded projects. The exhibition runs until June 2019.

The Centre’s team will continue to grow a programme of evening and lunchtime lectures, enabling more people from diverse audiences to contribute to our understanding of our archive and collections. The year’s highlights include the annual Proctor Lecture, which we host, and a collaboration with Museum of London Archaeology.

Find out more by visiting our website


Making a difference

How our strategy is changing perceptions

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