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Safety in the Trawl Fisheries and Merchant Shipping: An Appraisal of the Archives

People Involved

Professor David Starkey

Project Description

We propose to appraise the archival holdings of the LRF's Heritage and Education Centre and records held in selected repositories in east central and north east England (from the Humber to the Tyne). The focus of the appraisal will be material relating to the safety of vessels, seafarers, fishermen, passengers and cargoes. Two contrasting perspectives will frame the work. First, we will examine primary sources generated and preserved by Lloyd's Register, an organisation engaged primarily in enhancing safety at sea, and we will also assess archival material created for various purposes - many of which were incidentally connected with safety at sea - and maintained in the various collections of provincial record offices. On the one hand, for instance, we will appraise the extent, character, problems and potential of the safety driven Lloyd's Survey Reports, while on the other hand we will examine material that is more reactive and indirect, such as regional newspaper accounts of particular losses at sea. Second, our investigation will embrace source materials relating to the distant-water trawl fisheries and merchant shipping. Although these activities are very similar with regard to the nature and extent of their operational risks, they are different in many respects; whereas the trawl fisheries experienced a rapid transition from sail to steam and from wood to steel, technological change in merchant shipping was much more gradual; whereas the trawl fisheries tend to be spatially concentrated on land and sea, merchant shipping is more dispersed in terms of ownership patterns and markets; and whereas trawlers are relatively small and conform to fairly standard designs, merchant ships vary greatly in size, shape and function. In considering the various archival materials generated by these different, yet related, activities, we will test the evidential quality of a range of primary sources that could potentially inform a significant research investigation into safety at sea.

Status Project Live
Funder(s) Lloyd's Register Foundation
Value £10,000.00
Project Dates Apr 1, 2018 - Jun 30, 2021

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