Janis Blower –
A unique collection of documents and other records, much of it relating to shipbuilding and marine engineering in the North East, is being made available to the public on Tyneside.
The School of Marine Science’s Special Collection at Newcastle University dates back, in some cases, to the 19th century, and covers industries such as marine engine building, shiprepairing, and shipbreaking among others.
The collection includes company records, brochures and catalogues, ship and yard plans and photographs.
Wonderfully, there is also a British shipbuilding database, listing some 80,000 British-built ships of the 19th and 20th centuries, searchable by name etc, though this is only available in-house and not on the Internet.
Funding of the collection has been made possible by a number of organisations, among them the Catherine Cookson Foundation and the Sir James Knott Trust.
It includes company records of Swan Hunter, going back to 1890; British Shipbuilders and its subsidiaries; shipbreaking companies, such as Hughes Bolckow of Blyth, and North Eastern Marine at Wallsend.