National Archives
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Titanic anniversary

This week sees the 97th anniversary of the sinking of the RMS Titanic; one of the worst passenger ship disasters in history. Its high-society victims, legends surrounding the sinking and the discovery of the wreck all contribute to the public's ongoing fascination with the tragedy, along with numerous silver screen depictions including, most famously, 1997's multi-Oscar winning Titanic.

In her time, the Titanic was the largest passenger steamship in the world, built using some of the most advanced technology available, and was popularly believed to be 'unsinkable'. However, on the night of 14 April 1912, during her maiden voyage to New York, the Titanic hit an iceberg and sank, taking more than 1,500 lives with her. 

The National Archives holds many interesting documents about the doomed ship, including registration documents, passenger lists, crew lists, and a telegram sent by the Titanic's wireless operator that captures the desperate circumstances of the crew and passengers alike.

There is also a school activity, that reveals more about the lives of the passengers and the documents we hold, on our educational Learning Curve site.

You can find out more about the Titanic at a free talk at The National Archives: Titanic lives: the officers and crew of RMS Titanic takes place on Tuesday 14 April, 14:00 - 15:00.

David Hutchings' book The Titanic Story is available from our online bookshop.

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