Library receives major donation of steamship ephemera


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Last week, a very large collection of items relating to passenger liners from the late 1800s up to the 1980s landed at the Museum.  Besides a large number of artifacts, over 14,000 archival items, ranging in description from menus to brochures to stationery to family snapshots, were donated by Mrs. Norma D. Beazley from her late husband Herbert Beazley’s collection.  Archives may have gotten the lion’s share of the gift, but the book collection too is now adorned with beautiful volumes on the Golden Age of Steamships.  By our measure, the amount of steamship ephemera at the Library (anything archival that isn’t a book or a photograph, for our purposes here) has increased by about 60%, conservatively speaking.

The long road to making this massive collection available to the public has begun, but this author cannot resist the temptation to give you a few sneak-peeks below.  These are items from the file on the beautiful RMS Aquitania, sister to Cunard’s Lusitania and the last of the four-funnelled liners to grace the ocean.  Enjoy!

R.M.S. Aquitania
From a 1930 cruise, signed by a boy who was in Grade 2 that year.
Ticket on the a special train from Cherbourg to Paris
A passenger list from a March 1928 run from New York to Cherbourg / Southampton
Gorgeous emblem of the Cunard Line, from the verso of the above passenger list.
Aquitania Sport Menu
A 1920 "Programme of Sports" held on board

3 thoughts on “Library receives major donation of steamship ephemera”

    1. Thank you for your good wishes, Dan. The Beazley material is a fabulous collection, indeed! We are looking forward to making it pretty and accessible to the public, both here in a well-organized collection and on-line through our new online image collection! I think the image collection isn’t quite online yet, but very soon!! Keep returning for detail, and thanks again for your comments.