Cunard Archives Catalogue

Held at the University of Liverpool

Catalogue of the Archives of the Cunard Steamship Company

Front Cover, Catalogue of the Archives of the CUNARD STEAMSHIP COMPANY held at the University of Liverpool University Archives, Archives, Liverpool. Published by the University of Liverpool. Printed in the Administrative Department, University of Liverpool, The University of Liverpool 1980. ISBN 0907156002.

University Archives, Liverpool, A Catalogue of the Archives of the Cunard Steam-Ship Company held at the University of Liverpool, Two Volumes, © 1987, University of Liverpool, Liverpool, England, Loose leaf, 0-907156-00-2. Blue plastic ring-binders; gilt lettering & arms to front covers.

When Cunard withdrew its headquarters from Liverpool in favour of Southampton, the surviving archives of the Cunard Steam-Ship Company were deposited with the Archive Unit at the University of Liverpool in batches over the period 1970-1972, with some subsequent small additions.

Its importance cannot be overstated and it has been consulted by maritime historians from all over the world ever since. The archives are sorted under headings corresponding to the departments of origin, each of which has been given an alphabetic code.

Contents in 17 Sections including:

  1. Introduction
  2. Shareholders' Archives
  3. Board and Committees
  4. Chairman's Correspondence
  5. Secretary's Office
  6. Accounts Department
  7. General Manager's Office
  8. Public Relations Office
  9. Port Line (Australian Service)
  10. Cunard House Co.
  11. Solicitors: Trusts--deeds--agreements
  12. Associated companies
  13. Tyser Line
  14. Miscellaneous holdings
  15. Summary of related archives deposited at the University
  16. Summary of related archived held elsewhere
  17. Index of Names

Introduction

Following the Company's withdrawal from its headquarters in Liverpool, the surviving archives of the Cunard Steam-Ship Company Limited were deposited with the Archives Unit, University of Liverpool in batches over the period 1970-1972, with some subsequent small additions.

A summary of the content and makeup of the archive is in M Cook 'The Cunard Archives at Liverpool', Business History 20 (1978), 240-252.

The archives have been sorted under headings corresponding to the departments of origin, each of which has been given an alphabetic code. In the catalogue Departments are arranged in the order indicated on the title page. Items within Departments are coded numerically.

The catalogue has been compiled by many hands over the period since 1970, and shows therefore many inconsistencies. We are grateful to the Social Science Research Council (now the Social & Economic Research Council) for a grant towards the work in 1973-5, and to the Manpower Services Commission, which provided temporary staff to assist its progress over the years 1976-9. Other assistance has been given by volunteers, who are too numerous to mention, but to whom we are grateful.

August 1987 University Archives Unit Liverpool, L69 3BX

Shareholders' Archives - Index to Section A

  • A1 :- Shareholders Meetings
  • A2 :- Stocks and Shares: Ledgers And Registers I
  • A3 :- Stocks and Shares: Ledgers And Registers H
  • A4 :- Shareholders: Loose Papers I
  • A5 :- Shareholders: Loose Papers H
  • A6 :- Register of Government Debentures

Accounts Department - Index to Section AC

  • AC1 – 2 :- Correspondence, Reports And Accounts Relating To Cunard & Subsidiary Companies
  • AC3 :- Cunard White Star Receipts, Payments And Accounts
  • AC4 :- Miscellaneous Records
  • AC5 :- Monthly Accounts
  • AC6 :- Shareholder's Affairs
  • AC7 :- Revenue, Salaries Etc
  • AC8 :- Ledgers
  • AC9 :- Journal Transfer Books
  • AC10 :- Balance Books & Balance Sheets
  • AC11 :- Steamship Disbursement Books
  • AC12 :- Voyage Abstract Books And Summaries Of Voyages
  • AC13 :- Voyage Receipts And Disbursements
  • AC14 :- Transfer Cases
  • AC15 :- Staff Salaries
  • AC16 :- Financial Statement

Records of Companies Associated With the Cunard Company- Index to Section ASC

The Cunard Steamship Company began from the turn of the century, to purchase majority shareholdings in other companies and, later, to carry out mergers. Some records relating to these associated companies can be found in other parts of the Cunard Archives. The following section comprises records which originated from the companies themselves.

  • ASC1 :- Anchor Line
  • ASC2 :- Gosman And Smith Ltd
  • ASC3 :- Funch Edye And Co Ltd
  • ASC4 :- Liverpool Dock Canteen Co Ltd
  • ASC5 :- Albion And Overseas Sh1pping Agency Ltd
  • ASC6 :- Charles Howson And Co Ltd
  • ASC7 :- Bigland Hogg And Co Ltd
  • ASC8 :- H E Moss And Co Ltd
  • ASC9 :- T And J Brocklebank Ltd
  • ASC10 :- Star Line - J P Corry And Co Ltd
  • ASC11 :- London Steamship Owners' Mutual Insurance Association Ltd
  • ASC12 :- Wh1te Star L1ne
  • ASC13 :- Anglo-Australasian Steam Navigation Co Ltd
  • ASC14 :- Miscellaneous

Board of Directors - Index to Section B

Minute and agenda books for the meetings of the Board, as well as other committees. Board meetings covered general company policy, senior appointments and the like. In general reports laid before the Board and its committees were not kept, but copies may exist in the correspondence of the Chairman. General Board meetings were held monthly, with special meetings on occasion. The Executive Committee was a committee of the whole Board, and the Chairman would normally preside.

  • B1 :- Cunard Board Minutes
  • B2 :- Cunard White Star Board Minutes
  • B3 :- Cunard Agenda for Directors' Meetings
  • B4 :- Cunard Minutes of Executive Committee
  • B5 :- Cunard Agenda for Executive Committee
  • B6 :- Cunard White Star Minutes Of Executive Committee
  • B7 :- Cunard Minutes of Finance Committee
  • B8 :- Cunard Other Committee Minutes
  • B9 :- Registers of Directors
  • B10 :- Cunard Line Ltd. Minute Books
  • B11 :- General Purpose Committee 1963-1966

Chairmen - Index to Section C

Sections C1-5 contain correspondence to and from the respective chairmen whilst in their term of office. The files span the chairmanship of Lord lnverclyde, Sir Alfred Booth, Sir Thomas Royden, Sir Percy Bates, Mr F A Bates, and Col Dennis H Bates covering 1902 - 1959. The correspondence received and entered into by each chairman includes official, semi-official and personal letters.

  • Ca :- Lord Inverclyde (2nd)      1902 - 1905
  • C1 :- Sir Alfred Booth  1909 - 1922
  • C2 :- Sir Thomas Royden        1922 - 1930
  • C3 :- Sir Percy Bates    1930 - 1946
  • C4 :- Mr F A Bates      1946 - 1953
  • C5 :- Col Dennis H Bates         1953 - 1959

The information under the heading 'Principal contents' is a summary of the file title, occasionally with a note of the main subjects within the file.

Cunard House Limited - Index to Section CH

Incorporated 1930, Principal shareholders Cunard (78,334) and C & D Line Ltd (166, 664). Directors H W Corry (Chairman), Sir Percy Bates, Sir Alfred Booth, S J Lister, J R Rooper. Originally (1929) called New Avenue Co

  • CH1 :- Board
  • CH2 :- Registers of Stock, Etc
  • CH3 :- Legal Documents
  • CH4 :- Correspondence Files
  • CH5 :- Accountant's Files
  • CH6 :- Public Relations & Miscellaneous

Cunard-Related Archives Deposited At Liverpool University Archives - Index to Section D

  • D1 :- Major Ship Collections
  • D2 :- Voyage Memorabilia
  • D3 :- Diaries
  • D4 :- Personal Papers
  • D5 :- Plans, Photographs, Technical Details
  • D6 :- Miscellaneous

For reference to the material listed in this section, please quote the number headed 'D.' which appears below the title of each entry.

Cunard-Related Archives Held Outside the University - Index to Section F

Cunard related archives that are held or listed by repositories outside Liverpool University.

  • F1 :- General Manager's Office
  • F2 :- Crew Lists
  • F3 :- Company Secretary
  • F4 :- Public Relations
  • F5 :- Naval Architecture
  • F6 :- Major Ship Collections

General Manager's Office - Index to Section GM

Records from the General Manager's Office, sub-divided into the following series GM1 -6, 11-14 all conic under the general heading of the management of ships. GM7 represents virtually the whole surviving personnel record.

  • GM 1 :- Ships Movement Books
  • GM 2 :- Ships Passage Books, Record Of Passages and Sailings and Arrivals
  • GM 3 :- Ships Average Speed Books
  • GM 4 :- Ships Oil Consumption Books
  • GM 5 :- Ships Mail Books
  • GM 6 :- Ships Abstract Journals
  • GM 7 :- Staff Registers
  • GM 8 :- Policy and Agreements
  • GM 9 :- Requisition for War Service
  • GM10 :- War Files
  • GM11 :- Monthly Results - Voyages
  • GM12 :- Monthly Results - Voyages
  • GM13 :- Analyses Of Voyage Accounts
  • GM14 :- Various Sh1ps' Records
  • GM15 :- General Managers Shipbuilding Papers
  • GM16 :- General Manager's Miscellaneous

Miscellaneous Records - Index to Section M

Archives unattributable to particular departments

  • M1 :- Official Negotiations and Agreements
  • M2 :- Charts, Drawings, Maps and Plans
  • M3 :- Framed Portraits of Chairmen, Directors, Etc, Of Cunard and Related Companies
  • M4 :- Framed Documents
  • M6-7 :- Materials for a Historical Study
  • M8 :- Track Charts
  • M9 :- "Q3"

Port Line - Index to Section PL

Port Line Ltd, originally known as the Commonwealth and Dominion Line, was registered in 1914. The company was an amalgamation of four shipping companies: Tyser & Co, part of the Star Line of James P Corry & Co, The Indra Line of T B Royden & Co, and the Anglo-Australasian Steam Navigation Company of William Milburn & Co. The Commonwealth & Dominion Line was taken over by Cunard in 1916. The company's name was changed to Port Line on 1 Feb 1936 but the change was not officially adopted until 11 Nov 1937.

  • PL1 :- Board
  • PL2 :- Registers And Transfers Of Stocks And Shares
  • PL3 :- Correspondence And Company Administration — 'Old Files'
  • PL4 :- Correspondence And Company Administration — Main Filing Series
  • PL5 :- Correspondence And Company Administration
  • PL6 :- Correspondence Of Directors, Manager And Assistant Manager
  • PL7 :- Correspondence Of Directors, Manager And Secretary
  • PL8 :- Loss Of Ships
  • PL9 :- Private Letter books, Correspondence And Indexes
  • PL10 :- Charter Parties
  • PL11 :- Accountant's Department
  • PL12 :- Publicity Department
  • PL13 :- Miscellaneous

Public Relations Department - Index to Section PR

  • PR1 :- Bound Volumes Of Photographs, Block Books And Postcard Books
  • PR2 :- Loose Photographs
  • PR3 :- Historical Collection Of Primary And Secondary Sources
  • PR4 :- Files On Individual Ships, Biographies, Ports And Other Topics
  • PR5 :- Cunard Magazine
  • PR6 :- White Star Magazine
  • PR7 :- Other House Newspapers And Bulletins
  • PR8 :- Press Cuttings
  • PR9 :- Cunard News
  • PR10 :- Commemorative Booklets And Albums
  • PR11 :- Posters
  • PR12 :- Miscellaneous
  • PR13 :- Lusitania Collection

Company Secretary - Index to Section S

  • S1 :- Secretary's Letter Books I
  • S2 :- Secretary's Letter Books Ii
  • S3 :- Chairman's Letter Books
  • S4 :- Directors' Letter Books
  • S5 :- Letters Written By Directors, Chairmen and Directors, and Chairmen
  • S6 :- Other Letter Books
  • S7 :- Files on Particular Ships
  • S8 :- Legal Documents
  • S9 :- Registers of Documents Sealed
  • S10 :- Box Files 1892-1931
  • S11 :- Personnel Records, Secretary’s Office
  • S12 :- Records Relating To Directors of the Company
  • S13 :- Indexes and Miscellaneous Records, Secretary's Office
  • S14 :- Leases, Insurance Policies and Miscellaneous Agreements

Solicitors: Trust Deeds and Agreements - Index to Section SL

SL1- 21 Proofs, drafts, reports and final copies of various trust deeds and agreements between Cunard/Cunard White Star and other parties, prepared by the company's solicitors, Hill Dickinson & Co, Liverpool and London 1903-1949

Tyser Line Limited - Index to Section TL

Founded by George Dorman Tyser. In the 1800's he ran a number of sailing ships, mostly in the Indian Trade. In 1881 G D Tyser and Company commenced a line of Clipper packets to Australia. Later steamers were chartered and Tyser had an interest in a number of companies. Tyser Line Ltd came into existence in 1889, the 1st Board Meeting taking place on 10 Sep of that year. In 1914 the company was amalgamated into the Commonwealth & Dominion Line (Port Line) which was later, in 1916, taken over by Cunard.

(Contents Covering dates)

Minutes of Board of Directors          1889-1915

  • TL1 :- No 1 - Indexed - 1889-1893
  • TL 2 :- No 2 - Indexed - 1893-1899
  • TL 3 :- No 3 - Indexed - 1899-1905
  • TL 4 :- No 4 - Indexed - 1905-1912
  • TL 5 :- No 5 - Indexed - [Merger 1912-1915 with C and DL]

Agenda Books - 1903-1915

  • TL 6 :- No 5 - 1903-1907
  • TL 7 :- No 6 - 1907-1912
  • TL 8 :- No 7 - 1912-1915

Registers of Members etc

  • TL 9 :- Register of members, share - 1889-1899 ledger, register of transfers, annual summary Index
  • TL10 :- Register of debentures, 1892-1914 transfers, and debenture ledger
  • TL11 :- Annual Summary - 1901-1910 [list of members]

1889-1914

  • TL/ 9-13 :- 12  Ibid  - 1911-1914
  • (cont.) 13 :- Register of mortgages and 1891-1909 register of directors [volume dismembered and only few pages remain]
  • 14-15  :- Voyage Summary Books - 1891-1919
  • 14 :- No 1 - 1891-1912
  • 15 :- No 2 - 1912-1919
  • 16 :- Cash Book, No 11 - 1913-1921
  • 17 :- Ledger No 7, Indexed, [Australia] - 1912-1914

Conference Agreements  - 1909-1911 [and relevant extracts from Board Minutes]

  • 18-19 :- Australian Homeward Trade Agreements - 1909-1911 [Other parties to the Agreement, White Star Line, Aberdeen Line, Ocean SS Co Ltd and China Mutual SN Co Ltd; Blue Anchor Line, Wm Milburn and Co and the Anglo-Australasian SN Co Ltd]
  • 20 :- Charter Party Agreements - 1889-1891 [between a variety of lines (including Tyser) engaged in the Australian Freight business]
  • 21-27 :- Contract Books - 1890-1914
  • 21 :- No 1 - Indexed
  • 22 :- Unnumbered Indexed
  • 23 :- No 2 - Indexed
  • 24 :- No 3  - Indexed
  • 25 :- No 4 - Indexed
  • 26 :- No 5 - Indexed
  • 27 :- No 6 - Indexed

Newspaper Album

  • 1890-1896
  • 1892-1893
  • 1896-1900
  • 1900-1906
  • 1903-1907
  • 1907-1913
  • 1910-1914
  • 1899-1911

Note from the University of Liverpool

Following the Company's withdrawal from its headquarters in Liverpool, the surviving archives of the Cunard Steam-Ship Company Limited were deposited with the archives unit, University of Liverpool in batches over the period 1970-1972, with some subsequent small additions.

A summary of the content and makeup of the archive is in M Cook "The Cunard Archives at Liverpool", Business History 20 (1978), 240-252.

The archives have been sorted under headings corresponding to the departments of origin, each of which has been given an alphabetic code.  In the catalogue departments are arranged in the order indicated on the title page.  Items within Departments are coded numerically.

The catalogue has been compiled by many hands over the period since 1970, and shows therefore many inconsistencies.  We are grateful to the Social Science Research Council (now the Social & Economic Research Council) for a grant towards the work in 1973-5, and to the Manpower Services Commission, which provided temporary staff to assist its progress over the years 1976-9.  Other assistance has been given by volunteers, who are too numerous to mention, but to whom we are grateful.

August 1987

University Archives Unit
Liverpool, L69 3BX

Information on The Catalogue

  • Title: A Catalogue of the Archives of the Cunard Steam-Ship Company Held at the University of Liverpool, Volumes I and II
  • ISBN10: 0 907156 00 2 (0907156002)
  • Binding: Hard Cover Loose leaf Notebook - 3-Hole Punch
  • Dimensions: 17 x 21.8 x 3.3 cm
  • Reference Number: GB 141 D42
  • Held at: Liverpool University, Special Collections and Archives
  • Dates of Creation: 1840-1990 [principally 1878-c1965]
  • Physical Extent: boxes, volumes and oversize items - the number runs to over 1000
  • Name of Creator: Cunard Steamship Co Ltd
Return to Top of Page

GG Archives Category or Section

Maritime Book Titles

Music

Improve Your Family History Through Illustrations

Make Your Family History More Readable Through Illustrations From the GG Archives