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Collection Summary

Collection Title
Maritime Collection
Description
Whaling collections are lagrely 19th century when up to 1840 Hull dominated the Arctic whale fishery;it continued up to 1869.. South Sea whaling and modern pelagic industry also represented. Scrimshaw collection recently augmented by the .......collection is probably the largest in Europe, includes the Boynton Collection purchased in 1919 by Tom Sheppard, the first curator of Hull Municipal Museums.
Fishing collections range from fine sacle models of local craft through photographs, charts, equipment, personalia to paintings relating to the inshore, North Sea, and deep sea fisheries pioneered by Hull in the 19th and 20th centuries of Barents Sea, Norway, Faroe, Iceland, Greenland and latterly the South Atlantic.
Merchant shipping collection includes many ship models,both full and half, posters especially the work of Harry Hudson Rodmell, ship equipment, objects, figureheads, records and plans.
Over 15,000 plans, associated archives and models represent the output of local shipyards at Hull, Hessle, Beverley, Selby and New Holland (c.1890-1990s). These demonstrate the range of vessels built in the region, from Humber Keels to trawlers, merchantmen and warships, both for local use and for ship owners worldwide. A series of plans (general arrangement and engineering), build lists, ledgers, documents and photographs from local shipyards detail their history and development. Smaller collections relate to Samuelsons (1834-1864) and Earles shipyards (1853-1932). Since 1995, the plan collections have been sorted. Almost three-quarters have been organised on specialist racking, enabling individual items to be located and researched.
Format
Strength(s)
Probably the largest collection of Scrimshaw in Europe. Includes decorated baleen, jawbone, sperm teeth and walrus tusks some related to the 18th and 19th century Arctic fishery, but most of the striking examples are sperm whaling also known as the South Sea fishery.' Scrimshaw- The art of the whaler' published in 1995 illustrates many objects from the collection.ISBN 1 872167 72 1 350 items of scrimshaw, the unique folk art of the whaler comprising carved or decorated baleen, whalebone and sperm teeth. Modern examples include pieces from the shore station at Paita, Peru, whale factory ships of the 1950s and items from the Azores. Contemporary sailor-made ship models of British Arctic whalers are unique in a public collection; the only other examples are in Hull's Trinity House. Rodmell collection contains examples of practically every piece of graphic art produced by the artist comprising printed posters, studies for posters, pen drawings, and hundreds of proofs of miscellaneous illustrations and adverts.'Shipping posters' Harry Hudson Rodmell (1896-1984) published in 1999 ISBN 1 902709 01 2 Plan collection of ships from a variety of yards -Earle's, Beverley Shipyard, Dunstons, Cochranes and Yorkshire Dry Dock. Beverley Shipyard, 1901-1975: 6000 plans and a series of photographs and engineering records. This yard was one of the main builders of distant water trawlers. Hull was the biggest fishing port in the world for 60 years in terms of the fleet size and tonnage of fish caught. The Beverley shipyard material is being studied for a forthcoming book describing the first 60 years of the yard. Selby Shipyard, 1902-1993: 5000 plans, and ledgers, documents and photographs. Selby rivalled Beverley in the production of distant water trawlers (as well as tugs, coasting vessels and specialist craft). A sample of plans indicating the range of vessels built is also in the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich. The archives of these two yards are a vital source for tracing the origin and development of the steam trawler and its motor powered successors. Both yards were at the forefront of trawler design. The products of the yards dominated the Hull and Grimsby fleets, the former chiefly distant-water vessels, the latter a mix of distant and mid-water fishing vessels. Trawlers built here also played a key defensive role during both world wars. Richard Dunston of Hessle (and Thorne), 1931-1994: Documents, ledgers, build lists, photographs and models covering the yard's development mainly on the Hessle site, (also a limited record of the Thorne site). This archive is shared with the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, which has the ship plans, including tugs, fishing vessels and M.O.D craft. W. H. Warren, New Holland, active 1897-1960: No less than 30,000 items from this small building and repair yard, including build lists and plans. They built iron and steel keels, crane and grab pontoons, specialist craft for the Admiralty in two world wars, and seaside pleasure steamers. The Beverley and Selby material is a vital resource for any study of trawler evolution. The aim over the last 20 years has been to build up a cross section of material relating to the yards based on the Humber and the Ouse. The trawler types were vital to the development of Hull and Grimsby as major fishing ports, but they were also sold worldwide to owners in Iceland, France, Germany, Spain and South Africa. Vessels peculiar to the Humber and its connecting system of waterways, like the keel, were produced by Warrens and Dunstons. Where possible it is intended to add to these collections, to enhance the documentation and acquire associated items like tools and ship models. The Whaling Collection This is the most comprehensive collection in existence of documents and artefacts relating to Britain's involvement in the Arctic whaling trade (which Hull dominated c. 1790-1840) during the 19th century. It comprises a complete cross-section of whaling implements, log books, personalia, contemporary ship models (made by the whalers themselves) and paintings and prints of the Arctic fleet. There are also skeletons of the most important Arctic and Atlantic species. Hull dominated the British Arctic whaling trade from 1800-1840 and continued its involvement until the loss of the Diana in 1869. A particularly important acquisition is the journal of the Diana, the last of the Hull whale ships, recording her enforced wintering in Davis Strait 1866-1867. It was written by the ship's surgeon, and was bequeathed by his son in 1952. An important sub-collection is the series of some 350 items of scrimshaw, the unique folk art of the whaler comprising carved or decorated baleen, whalebone and sperm teeth. This is the largest collection of scrimshaw on this side of the Atlantic, and contains pieces associated with whaling in both the northern and southern fisheries, dating from the 18th century to the present. Modern examples include pieces from the shore station at Paita, Peru, whale factory ships of the 1950s and items from the Azores. Contemporary sailor-made ship models of British Arctic whalers are unique in a public collection; the only other examples are in Hull's Trinity House. The outstanding paintings by local artists (see Works of Art below) are a vital pictorial record of the Arctic fleet covering the period c.1760-1869. In association with the Arctic whaling material is a small but important collection of Inuit artefacts including a Greenland kayak brought to Hull by Captain Sir John Ross, Arctic explorer (1777-1856). There are cast portrait heads of two Inuit and the ship's master who brought them to England, made by the sculptor W.D. Keyworth in 1849, when they were shown at Hull and around the north of England. An attempt has also been made to illustrate other branches of the whaling trade: the museum has acquired a blubber pot from the South Seas fishery, sent from W. Australia with the last consignment of whale oil. Hull's direct involvement in the whaling trade ended in 1869, but local men continued to be recruited for Polar expeditions. The collection includes photographic material and documents relating to Benjamin Leigh Smith's expeditions to Spitsbergen and Novaya Zemlya in the 1870s and 1880s, photos and items relating to Hull men sailing with Scott and Shackleton and with the whale factory ships in the 1930s and 1950s. In association with the Arctic whaling material is a small but important collection of Inuit artefacts including a Greenland kayak brought to Hull by Captain Sir John Ross, Arctic explorer (1777-1856). There are cast portrait heads of two Inuit and the ship's master who brought them to England, made by the sculptor W.D. Keyworth in 1849, when they were shown at Hull and around the north of England. An attempt has also been made to illustrate other branches of the whaling trade: the museum has acquired a blubber pot from the South Seas fishery, sent from W. Australia with the last consignment of whale oil. Hull's direct involvement in the whaling trade ended in 1869, but local men continued to be recruited for Polar expeditions. The collection includes photographic material and documents relating to Benjamin Leigh Smith's expeditions to Spitsbergen and Novaya Zemlya in the 1870s and 1880s, photos and items relating to Hull men sailing with Scott and Shackleton and with the whale factory ships in the 1930s and 1950s.
Date range of collection
-
Accumulation Dates
-
Suggested Audience
Not Specific
Associated Places
Associated Times

Location Details

Maritime Museum
Queen Victoria Square Hull HU1 3DX
Open Map
DOMUS
YH000133 
Email
museums@hullcc.gov.uk
Telephone
01482 613 902
Fax
01482 613 710 
Building Information
Built originally as the Dock Offices of the North Eastern Railway Co in 1867-71 by Christopher Wray.The 3 domed structure in a Venetian Renaissance style fitted a triangular site at the juction of Queens Dock, now Queens Gardens, and Princes Dock. A 9 bay convex front on to Queen's Gardens and flat elevations on the two other fronts. Grade 11* listed. Three storeys and three lanterns with a basement, faced in Ancaster stone with Bramley Fell stone from Hawksworth , Leeds and Portland stone for the details. Ground floor windows are round-headed ,separated by Ionic pilasters or half columns and Corinthian on the first floor. The west entrance front from Queen Victoria Square has a pediment at roof level with Neptune and Amphitrite by John Underwood. Domes topped by lanterns supported by dolphins. Cast iron railings with alternate trident and harpoon heads surround the building. Inside a spectaular stone staircase leads up to an even more spectacular Court Room, the Docks Offices board room, running through two floors and lined with red scagliola full and half columns and guilded cCorinthian capitals.
Collections Overview
These Designated collections have regional, national and international importance and were originally part of the general collections of the Hull Literary and Philosophical Society formed in 1823.The elements with more than local or regional significance are the collection of artefacts and documents relating to the Hull whaling trade, the archives of Humberside shipyards and the extensive collection of marine paintings. Together the photographs, paintings and ship plans are a comprehensive record of types of vessel built in the region or engaged in trade with Hull and its hinterland, the rest of Europe and the world at large. Christopher Pickering, JP the benefactor of the park and museum in 1912 , and Trawler owner also donated models of his trawler fleet. The core of the whaling collection was the donation of Charles Henry Wilson, 1st Lord Nunburnholme, originally displayed at Wilberforce house. The collections survived World War Two, but the documentation for the museums collections did not when Albion Street Museum was hit by incendaries in June 1943. Since 1975 the collections have been stored and displayed at the Maritime Museum. Scrimshaw, whaling, fishing, merchant shipping and 5 vessels comprising a vast number of associated objects, plans, drawings, models, specimens, posters, photographs, records and paintings make up the collection numbering over 15,000.
Display Overview
Displays include Arctic whaling, North Sea and deep-sea fishing, scrimshaw work, skeletons of major whale species, merchant shipping represented by ship models, paintings, drawings, plans, figureheads, instruments, nets, trawl doors and cut-away boats, binnacle and steering wheel and models of the docks and a re-created dock side. Acquired by Hull City Council in 1968 it was opened in 1975 as the Town Docks Museum and re-named the Maritime Museum in 1997.
Star Objects
paintings, CourtRoom, scrimshaw. Figurehead, a black dog, of the paddle steamer, Sirius, the first vessel to cross the Atlantic, east to west, entirely under steam.
For details of other collections held at the same location: See the location record

Additional Collection Information

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Management Information (Type)
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