Seafaring archives find their resting place at history centre

RESEARCHERS interested in maritime history have a fascinating new source of information now the archives of the Mission to Seafarers have been deposited in Hull.

The records, which date from the 1800s, cover all the ports that the Mission operated in and contains photographs, film footage, magazines and reports.

The archive containing thousands of documents, and which arrived at Hull History Centre in 520 boxes, has yet to be catalogued. Staff and volunteers have started work, but it will take many months to finish.

Assistant archivist Michael Ewen said: "There's a file for almost every port they operated in from Australia to England and everywhere inbetween it seems.

"It's of interest to the people of Hull because of the fishing links and the work people did with fishermen."

Originally founded in 1856 as the Mission to Seamen, the society's work has spanned two world wars, economic shifts and increasing industrialisation.

The archives are split between the city council and the University of Hull, and the Mission documents, including files relating to chaplains working for the Mission since 1900, and magazines such as The Church and the Sailor, will be held within the university's section, which is a specialist repository for papers of maritime organisations.