What Titanic means to me - James Cronan, Records Specialist

What Titanic means to me - Rudi Newman, Academic and Historian

What Titanic means to me - Peter Boyd-Smith, Maritime Historian

A short film highlighting the records held by The National Archives on the sinking of the Titanic.


  • Titanic: the official story

    Titanic: The official story

    Using original documents, James Cronan takes you through a history of the ship, from its construction to its fateful end.

  • A crewman on Titanic

    Titanic lives

    This talk traces the life of a crewman and investigates what life was like in Southampton after the tragedy.

  • The Last Night of a Small Town

    The Last Night of a Small Town

    John Welshman's talk reconstructs the histories of 12 inhabitants of the 'small town' Titanic has been described as.

  • Women and children first

    Women and children first

    This session aims to look at the social context of why women and children were evacuated from the Titanic first.

  • The Belles of Belfast

    The Belles of Belfast

    This talk presents a chronology of the Olympic Class, from conception and construction to disaster and discovery.

  • Emigrant ship or luxury liner?

    Titanic lives

    Titanic was seen exclusively as a luxury liner. Yet, technically, she was an 'Emigrant Ship'. Why was this?

Titanic in numbers

Graphic representing breakdown of passenger numbers


  • 1907

    White Star Line decides to build three new ships, including Titanic, to rival Lusitania and Mauritania.

  • 31 July 1908

    The contract to construct Olympic, Titanic and Britannic is signed by White Star Line and the shipbuilders Harland & Wolff of Belfast.

  • 31 March 1909

    Titanic's keel is laid and construction officially begins.

  • 31 May 1911

    Titanic is successfully launched in Belfast.

  • January 1912

    20 lifeboats are installed on Titanic, four more than the Board of Trade regulations required.

  • 3 April 1912

    Titanic arrives at the port of Southampton.

  • 10 April 1912, 11.45

    Titanic departs Southampton bound for New York.

  • 10 April 1912, 18.00

    Titanic arrives at Cherbourg, France.

  • 11 April 1912, 11.30

    Titanic arrives at Queenstown, Ireland.

  • 14 April 1912, 23.40

    Titanic collides with an iceberg.

  • 15 April 1912, 00.15

    Titanic quickly begins to take in water. Distress call picked up by Carpathia.

  • 15 April 1912, 00.30

    Lifeboats filled and lowered. Women and children are the priority.

  • 15 April 1912, 02:05

    Last lifeboat leaves but over 1,500 people are left on Titanic.

  • 15 April 1912, 02.20

    Titanic sinks into the Atlantic ocean.

  • 15 April 1912, 04.10

    Carpathia picks up survivors from the lifeboats.

  • 15 April 1912, 09.00

    Carpathia arrives in New York with 705 survivors from Titanic.

  • 19 April 1912

    US inquiry into the Disaster held.

  • April 1912

    The Titanic Relief Fund is set up to provide for families and dependants.

  • April 1912

    Fairview Cemetery, Halifax, Nova Scotia, becomes the final resting place for over 100 victims from Titanic.

  • 2 May 1912

    UK Board of Trade Inquiry held (until 3 July 1912).

  • 1914

    Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea is ratified by the major seafaring nations in the wake of the Titanic disaster.

  • 1929

    Atlantic, the first sound movie based on Titanic was released.

  • 1943

    The German propaganda film Titanic is released.

  • 1955

    Publication of 'A Night to Remember' by Walter Lord.

  • 1958

    Release of the British film A Night to Remember, starring Kenneth More.

  • 1959

    Titanic Relief Fund is wound up.

  • 1985

    Titanic's resting place is discovered by Dr. Robert Ballard.

  • 1994

    Exhibition opens at the National Maritime Museum displaying recovered artefacts.

  • 1997

    The film Titanic is released. It became the highest-grossing movie of all time.

  • 1 June 2009

    Millvina Dean, the last survivor of the sinking of Titanic, dies aged 97.

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Titanic in numbers

Graphic describing quantities of food loaded on board