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Titanic Centenary

A guide to resources about the Titanic disaster.

Welcome to the Titanic Library Guide, a collection of Library resources to help you find out more about the Titanic. Please get in touch if you would like to find out more about any of these resources or if you have any comments about this guide:


SS 'Titanic' leaving Southampton. Photo:National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London

Image: SS 'Titanic' leaving Southampton. National Maritime Museum via Flickr

When she was launched, the RMS Titanic was largest moving object ever built – 269 metres long and weighing 46,000 tons. One of three Olympic class ocean liners operated by the White Star Line, she was built between 1909–11 by the Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast. On 10 April 1912, the Titanic departed on its maiden voyage from Southampton to New York.

On 14 April 1912, despite warnings of ice fields, the ship did not reduce speed and struck an iceberg shortly before midnight. The iceberg ripped a long gash in the side and the ship began to flood. Passengers were unaware and joked about the ice found on the deck. The Captain ordered the lifeboats to be filled and lowered, with women and children first. More than two hours after hitting the iceberg, Titanic sank into the Atlantic Ocean.

Oceanic Steam Navigation Company (Ismay, Imrie & Co) popularly known as the White Star Line

Ship type: steel triple screw steamer

Registered dimensions:
Length: 852.5 feet
Length overall: 882.75 feet
Breadth: 92.5 feet
Depth: 59.6 feet

Registered tonnage:
Gross: 46,329
Net 21,831

Official number: 131428

Signal letters: HVMP

Number of decks: 7

2 triple-expansion 8 cylinder engines and 1 low pressure turbine

Registered horsepower: 6906
Total horsepower: 46,000
Service speed: 21 knots
Estimated top speed: 23/24 knots

Passenger capacity
First class: 735
Second class: 674
Third class: 1026

Crew: 885

Number of lifeboats: 20; capacity 1178 persons

Sister ships
Olympic: launched 20 October 1910, arrived at Jarrow for scrapping 13 October 1935
Britannic:launched 26 February 1914, sunk by mine 21 November 1916

Builders: Harland and Wolff, Belfast

Yard number: 401

Hull number: 390,904