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Due to refurbishment works in the Sydney Jones Library, Special Collections and Archives is closed to users from Monday 3 June until Monday 16 September (inclusive). We're still available for your enquiries via email.

Special Collections & Archives: Cunard Archiveaccredited archive service logo

SC&A includes manuscripts and archives, medieval to modern; early and finely printed books, and science fiction collections.

Cunard Archive

Cunard RMS Queen Mary poster showing woman waving and Queen Mary along New York skyline

The archive of the Cunard Steamship Co Ltd contains most of the surviving business records produced by Cunard since it became a limited company in 1878. A unique source for researching Cunard's growth and development, the administrative papers reflect the management and operational activities of the company.

Occupying over 400 linear metres the archive is arranged to reflect the departments and functions present within the business. Many of the records date from the inter-war period. There are records across various media ranging from committee papers and minutes to correspondence and publicity material.

Please note that not all catalogues are searchable online, work is currently underway to make further catalogues available electronically. All catalogues can be consulted in printed form in the reading room.

The archive is complemented by Cunard Associated Deposits, a collection of items deposited by individuals with personal connections to the shipping company.

The Special Collections and Archives blog, Manuscripts and More, features the Cunard Archive in many posts. See an overview of the posts.

Revisiting 'Cunard 175 - a voyage through history'

Cunard White Star poster 1930s, showing passengers on deck and the RMS Queen MaryIn 2015 Cunard celebrated its 175th anniversary which presented a fantastic opportunity for Special Collections & Archives (SCA) to showcase the Cunard Archive. 

The exhibition Cunard 175 – a voyage through history was the first to occupy the full extent of SCA’s newly-expanded exhibition area. It attracted many visitors, particularly those from outside of the University. Its aim was to represent Cunard’s rich heritage through the presentation and interpretation of original documents and photographs.

Five years on, in 2020, we revisited Cunard 175 - a voyage through history and brought some of the highlights of the exhibition online.