Chatham Archive

Chatham Archive
Our Library and Archives are located in the Receiving Room, Chatham Historic Dockyard, in Kent, England.

The Receiving Room is a ground-level property, with a mezzanine floor, which is situated in the heart of the dockyard complex, on the “visitor trail” between the Ropery and the “Steam, Steel & Submarines”.

The mezzanine floor houses the Library and Reading Room, whilst the screened off space under is used for storage, and the front, open, section downstairs contains inspection copies of in-print Society publications, sales tables of duplicate publications and photographs as well as information about the Society.

Although the Library and Archives are intended mainly for the use of Society members, non-members may also use the facilities in return for a suitable donation, and members of the public are welcome in the open section.

The WSS Chatham Library, Archive and Shop is now closed for the Winter and will reopen on 8th February 2020. Please always check with the undernoted that a volunteer will be on duty before visiting? –

Robin Neale, Mobile: 07377 37 9830

As well as over 7000 shipping books including good runs of Lloyd’s Registers, Jane’s Fighting Ships, etc., the Library contains runs of both technical and popular shipping magazines and periodicals, all available for WSS members to consult and borrow. Surplus, duplicate books and periodicals are available for sale. The facility also holds archival material bequeathed from the likes of Talbot Booth, Isherwood, Bonsor, Colledge and Lenton, which, once catalogued, will be available for WSS members to peruse. The facility also contains stocks of most in-print WSS publications which are available to all personal callers without having to pay postage. Payment can be made in any of the following ways:- Sterling cash or cheque, Visa and MasterCard cards. There is a cash machine at the “Shell” filling station about 300 yards away.

New Loan Addition to Chatham Library

The replica Admiral’s Lantern, as could have been sited on HMS Victory’s mainmast, was made by Mr Albert Bagshaw, son of the late Captain “Harry” Bagshaw of the Thames sailing barge “Scone”, and loaned in 2009 by the Bagshaw Family to the Chatham Library and Archives of the World Ship Society to enhance their premises.

It is now proudly displayed, suitably roped, behind the ground floor sales position, with the explanatory notice alongside, and is a frequent source of interested inquiry from visitors.