Collection Items

We have a huge collection of books, magazines, scrapbooks, images and other ephemera at our base in Canford Cliffs Library. You can explore more information and some examples below.

If you would like to arrange to visit, or would like some more information about anything we have in the collection, please do contact us to find out more. Volunteers are keen to provide any assistance to those people who are undertaking research, either on-site at our offices on Western Road, Poole or liaising by email with our volunteers. Download research charges information.

We can photocopy or scan material for a small charge:

  • A4 photocopy: 50p black & white, £1 coloured
  • Scans: £1 per item

We can accept payment by BACS transfer: Lloyds Bank sort code 30-99-50 account 17098962

PMT Master Archive

The PMT Master Archive lists the boxes of material available at the PMT Office above Canford Cliffs Library. The documents are available to view at the office. There are many records relating to Poole and the local area as well as neighbouring towns such as Southampton and Weymouth. The collection also includes Personal Archives and interviews with local and national personalities e.g. Sandy Wills, Gerry Wareham, Cmdr. Claude Woollard. There are also company records including Townsend Thoresen, Southern Sea Fisheries, Condor Ferries etc. Other files include Flying Boats, Poole & World War II, Newfoundland, Paddle Steamers plus boxes of Ephemera – tickets, timetables, flyers, etc.

A complete list can be downloaded here.

A collection of ephemera taken from various sources e.g. local newspapers, national newspapers, magazines, Facebook etc.  They cover a vast range of subjects both local and national e.g. accidents, paddle steamers, Dorset oil industry, Bolsons etc. The volunteers at PMT can research for you and send photocopies of material or you can make a personal visit and search for yourself. These are ongoing indexes being added to all the time.  They will be updated on the website from time to time.

There are two display cabinets of artefacts which have been collected or donated by PMT members. The artefacts include cannon balls, glass bottles, pieces of pottery collected from the harbour, clay pipes and a collection of mugs as well as equipment such as sextants.  We also have a small temporary collection on the Titanic with original material donated by descendants, including a portrait of John Hatfield Cribb who was lost in the disaster. He was the father of Laura Cribb who wrote a letter describing her experiences on Titanic. There is a copy of the letter in the display. It is hoped to put on further temporary displays in the future.

PMT has a collection of DVDs and films covering all aspects of maritime history both local and national. They include “Time Team on Green Island” (BBC), RNLI 175th anniversary, the Story of Poole, Story of the Titanic, “Any more for the Skylark” etc. We also have a small collection of videos. These DVDs can be borrowed by members from the library.

The image archive list the photographs in the Archive that are stored digitally or in albums. They include both local (e.g. Bolsons / pleasure boats etc.) and further afield (e.g. Southampton / Portsmouth etc.) images. Copies of these can be made for a small donation (subject to copyright).

PMT has a library of almost 3,000 books which is held at the Office above Canford Cliffs Library. These cover a vast array of maritime subjects both local and national. The subjects include paddle steamers, ferries (UK & Foreign), biographies of sailors such as Chay Blyth, Poole histories, sailing, piers, liners etc. PMT members can borrow these books when visiting the library.

PMT has a collection of magazines and periodicals. There are 44 different titles including Sea Breezes (1946-2018), Ships Monthly (1968-2019), Piers (2009-2020 incomplete), Paddle Wheels (1960-2020) etc. There are also short incomplete runs of some titles. These magazines can be viewed at the library.

Poole Maritime Trust also has several small archive collections which have been donated by individuals  e.g.  Greg Child,  Gerry Wareham,  Eric Payne,  Robert Norman Bush.

There are also collections of Tickets and Handbills for many local and national boat trips. A collection of historic nautical charts are being indexed and will be available to view.  There is a collection of various material relating to Swanage Pier including stock transfers, visitors books, reports and maps as well as a collection of photographs. The archive also includes autobiographical material on shipping personalities.

Download the Greg Child archive here

Download Eric Payne negatives here

These records were recovered from the roof space of the old Harbour Office. The ledgers include Day Books, Invoice ledgers,  Wages books,  Dredging books, Treasurer’s Accounts, Cash Books, Harbour Dues, Ships Movements.  

Many of these ledgers are in a fragile condition and should be sent to the Dorset History Centre where they can be cared for properly. The most useful volumes are the Ships Movements. Some of these have been transcribed and more have been photographed in preparation for transcription.

These files contain photocopies of photographs which are only held in electronic format. The index is arranged alphabetically by subject e.g. aerial views – Poole;  J Bolson & Son; Brownsea Island;   Queen Elizabeth  etc. etc.   This is an ongoing index that is being added to all the time.  It will be updated on the website from time to time.

see Queen Elizabeth II


Paddle steamer Majestic alongside Bournemouth Pier

The small craft landing stage Bournemouth Pier with the council safety / diving boat strung in davits

Carving photographed by divers in the Swash Channel, Poole