On Thursday, July 9, 2015, we headed to Greenwich on the river taxi to visit the National Maritime Museum. Once we got there, we met up with Mike Bevan who split us up into two groups: one to go with him on a tour of the library and one to stay behind with his colleague to get a look at some items from the collection and to view their online components. I was in the group with Mike Bevan. He took us upstairs and gave us a tour of the library and archives. In the library, there is a group study area where patrons can make noise and a quiet study area where patrons are required to be quiet. They have 6,000 open access books and 26,000 books in storage. Besides books, they have charts, maps, atlases, and drawings in their collection and they use the Universal Decimal Classification. Some of the items they have are personal collections from admirals and captains, World War I and II collections, Lusitania collection, slavery, piracy, shipping companies, ship building, navigation, astronomy, voyages and exploration, and more. We were able to see some of these collections throughout our tour of the library and archive.
After our tour of the library and archives, Mike brought us back downstairs to look at some of the items that he had pulled out for us to look at and to look at their online component. Online, Mike showed us how you can access The Illustrated London News Historical Archives. Some of the physical items that he showed us were: a ticket to Lord Nelson’s funeral, a captain competency certificate, and Captain Lyon’s personal diary from 1824.
It was great to tour here to see a specialized collection. Our tour guides were phenomenal and very knowledgeable about the collection and the topic in general.