April 11-14, 2007
San Francisco, California

Demonstrations: Description

Aberdeen Built Ships

Meredith Greiling, Aberdeen Maritime Museum, United Kingdom

The Aberdeen Built Ships website provides an easily searchable list of all the ships built in the city, as well as information on the career and fate of many of the vessels. Wherever possible images, documents, ship plans etc. are scanned and uploaded to illustrate the records.

Collections Management and Web Publishing Software: Gallery Systems products; eMuseum and TMS

Identified User Groups:

  1. Genealogists and family links to ships and shipbuilding – predominantly long-distance enquiries and older people
  2. Former shipyard workers, sailors and trawler men etc. – often retired and many overseas
  3. Historians and researchers – academic interest

The Aberdeen Built Ships website has been developed as a response to the large number of enquiries received by the Aberdeen Maritime Museum.

The Maritime Museum receives thousands of enquiries from all around the world about ships that were built in Aberdeen. Many enquiries are from family history researchers tracing the ships built, owned or sailed by their ancestors.

In response to this demand Aberdeen Maritime Museum has produced an online resource detailing information about the nearly 3,000 recorded ships built between 1811 and 1990.

The project is supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund and by the Hilda Duthie Bequest, a descendant of the Duthie family of shipbuilders.

The project is still in the process of digitizing a large number of objects from Aberdeen Maritime Museum and is due for completion in September 2008.

A second stage to the project is being discussed which would aim to augment the museum’s online collections database with an archive of personal stories and memories about local people’s experiences of shipbuilding in Aberdeen.

It is the nature of ships that their sailing careers will see them end up at far-flung locations across the globe and therefore it stands to reason that that those involved and interested in maritime history are often equally geographically distant. Hence, what might seem at first to be a subject of purely local historic interest; the shipbuilding heritage of a remote Scottish city, is in fact much researched and discussed around the world.

Demonstration: Demonstrations - 1 [Close-Up]

Keywords: industrial heritage, shipbuilding, database, digitization, older users