The National Maritime Museum Cornwall holds an archive of boat plans, documents and photographs relating to the maritime history of Cornwall and the development and use of boats. Some of the archives are small – barely a single photograph – others are very large. Below is a small sample of the main archives at fonds level with a brief description. You can view the archives by making an appointment with our curator via email to:

Copies of documents or photographs for personal research can be supplied, subject to a small fee and normal copyright law.

Archives Search Form

Fonds ID Fonds Summary
0641 Hodge T 1865 indenture for Thomas Hodge, apprenticed to a Falmouth shipbuilder
0650 Bill of Sale for the Hobah
0310 Peter Milne Collection of 69 Plans of boats designed by Peter Milne 1934 – 2008
0330 Westell J Plans by John Westell, best known for the design of the 505 and an early foreunner of the Fireball designed by Peter Milne. See Milne P 0310 collected May 2017
0651 Penzance Harbour and Dock Notice, 1889 This notice is in three sections, the first detailing tariffs payable on vessels using the harbour, but not the dock and a list of rates on goods shipped or unshipped in the harbour, on rates on vessels using the dock and on trawlers using the dock, signed by Walter H Borlase, the Mayor.
The next part of the document details the Penzance Corporation Act of 1883, including the Harbours Docks and Piers clauses Act, 1847, signed by Thomas Cornish, the Town Clerk and the Directions and Regulations as to Vessels entering and using the Dock, signed by John Morrish, the Harbour Master
0652 Silley Cox & Co decasualisation of the labour force in 1967. Diploma in Management Studies (1967) project report on the subject of the negotiations by Silley Cox & Co to decasualise their labour force by P R Cobbe
0655 Local views This fond contains a number of postcards showing local views from around the 1920s. These include the Cutty Sark off Trefusis Point, St Mawes Harbour and Helford Village. They were commercially produced by Francis Frith. Another set show Newquay, Fowey, Pont and Par
0656 Robin Knox-Johnston returns to Falmouth following his solo circumnavigation of the globe A copy of the Falmouth Packet newspaper dated 25/04/1969 reporting the return of Robin Knox-Johnston following his solo circumnavigation of the globe race in 1969. There are various adverts for Falmouth businesses and the newspaper cost 5d
0659 John Bartlett archive Personal records of John Bartlett, maritime expert, including over 60 albums of original photographs and 260 scrapbooks covering the late 1940s to 2017
0370 Proctor Archive Collection of Images and other material
0260 Albert E Benney Managing Director of the River Fal Steamship Company This is a single item fond. It is a piece of blank letter head paper of the River Fal Steamship Company and arrived with a writing slope used by the Chairman, Captain Albert Edward Benney. The paper reads: Albert E. Benney Ship Owner. Managing Director, River Fal Steamship Company. It also has Benney’s address details. 13 Frobisher Terrace, Falmouth
0263 Lake’s Illustrated Guide to Falmouth with walks in the neigbhourhood 54 page booklet (including grey/blue covers) with two rusted staples. The title of the publication is ‘Lake’s Illustrated Guide to Falmouth with walks in the neighbourhood’. It is printed and published by J H Lake & Co., Ltd, who wrre based in 11 and 12 Market Strand, Falmouth. There are 6 black and white photographs showing various places around the town including, a view of the seafront and Gyllynvase Beach, near Swanpool Beach, sunbeams racing by Flushing, St Antrhony Lighthouse, Queen Mary Gardens, and children playing on Gyllynvase Beach. There is also a street plan of Falmouth and a large number of advertisements for local businesses and details of local walks around the area. The booklet was purchased in 1948 by a couple on their honeymoon, who had travelled from Burnley
0264 Dynacraft Hoverboat A six page fold out leaflet advertising the Dynacraft Hoverboat called ‘Pilot your own hoverboat’. It includes a general arrangement drawing of the boat, specification, various photographs and persuasive reasons to buy and enjoy a Dynacraft hoverboat. It is printed in black, blue and white. It was printed by Southern Publicity Ltd
0274 Tom Weller and Professor and Mrs Jenks Old Curiosity Shop collection This is a collection of original and copy documents relating to John Burton’s Old Curiosity Shop, one of the best known of Falmouth’s shops. It includes a newspaper clipping, bill of sale, photographs and postcards. There is also a collection of tokens from the shop in the object collection. The items were collected by Tom Weller and bought by Prof and Mrs Jenks to go into the museum’s collections.
0281 Valler family archive Details relating to the Valler family, who were Falmouth Packet Captains. The archive is predominantly early to mid twentieth century and includes newspaper clippings, photographs and certificates.
0284 Sinking of the Penlena An article about the sinking of the Penlena and the rescue of the Lane family 1990
0285 Sixty Years and More: A History of Flushing, Cornwall, by James Rowe Small booklet on the history of Flushing

Show all entries