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Library receives major donation of steamship ephemera

Last week, a very large collection of items relating to passenger liners from the late 1800s up to the 1980s landed at the Museum. Besides a large number of artifacts, over 14,000 archival items, ranging in description from menus to brochures to stationery to family snapshots, were donated by Mrs. Norma D. Beazley from her late husband Herbert Beazley’s collection. Archives may have gotten the lion’s share of the gift, but the book collection too is now adorned with beautiful volumes on the Golden Age of Steamships. By our measure, the amount of steamship ephemera at the Library (anything archival that isn’t a book or a photograph, for our purposes here) has increased by about 60%, conservatively speaking.

The long road to making this massive collection available to the public has begun, but this author cannot resist the temptation to give you a few sneak-peeks below. These are items from the file on the beautiful RMS Aquitania, sister to Cunard’s Lusitania and the last of the four-funnelled liners to grace the ocean. Enjoy!

From a 1930 cruise, signed by a boy who was in Grade 2 that year.
Ticket on the a special train from Cherbourg to Paris
A passenger list from a March 1928 run from New York to Cherbourg / Southampton
Gorgeous emblem of the Cunard Line, from the verso of the above passenger list.
A 1920 “Programme of Sports” held on board
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