Titanic Tag It Tuesday!

As a little girl, I was fascinated by the tragic side of history – assassinations, kidnappings, earthquakes, floods, and other disasters.  I was a very cheerful child.

One of the tragedies that still holds my interest today is that of the Titanic.  100 years later, people are still fascinated by stories about the Titanic and her crew and passengers, 1,514 of whom died on her ill-fated maiden voyage.  Those stories are detailed in the records about the tragedy, some of which are in the holdings of the National Archives.  This Tag It Tuesday, we invite you to embark on the Titanic Tagging Mission that is featured on the Citizen Archivist Dashboard.

Here is one of the images that is included in the mission:

Titanic Tagging Mission

Photograph of a Lifeboat Carrying Titanic Survivors, 05/14/1912 (NAI 278337)


Some possible tags that you can add are “Titanic,” “lifeboat,” “survivors,” “sinking,” “iceberg,” or “S.O.S.”  Or you might want to examine the manifest of alien passengers on board the R.M.S. Carpathia and tag the record with the names of passengers to help improve searchability.

If you have suggestions about records that you would like to see featured on Tag It Tuesdays, please email us at search@nara.gov.

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6 Responses to Titanic Tag It Tuesday!

  1. Jim Kelling says:

    Several new books on the Titanic have already appeared this year; expect more to be published by year’s end. But without James Cameron’s somewhat flawed 1997 film, would there be as much interest in the Titanic today?


  2. Denise says:

    Jim, I think there would still be as much interest. While I admit seeing Cameron’s film (twice, although not in its latest 3-D incarnation), I and other kids I knew were fascinated by the Titanic in the late 80s long before the film. Maybe because it was such a big story – and I don’t mean a news story – but a story of huge grandeur, huge ship, huge iceberg, huge loss, and people find those types of stories endlessly fascinating.


  3. Mark Meader says:

    Ths saddest part of this anniversary is that many young people did not know that the disaster was real, they thought it was just a movie made in 1997 and rereleased this year. What a sad comment on our times!


  4. Denise says:

    Okay Mark…that IS sad!! Not to mention, concerning!


  5. Jim Kelling says:

    What happened to Titanic’s lifeboats after the disaster? They remained property of White Star Line, but apparently none were preserved. I have seen a 1912 NYTimes photograph of some piled up on a New York pier, taken after the Carpathia unloaded them. There are still a few cork life rings around, very rare, however.


  6. Christopher Zarr says:

    As the only salvaged materials for the Titanic, they were assessed as part of the limited liability court case involving the Titanic disaster. The value of the lifeboats, cargo receipts and total of passenger fares was the total amount the survivors and the families of victims may have been entitled to if it was decided that the company did not play a role in the disaster through negligence.

    For some reason, only 14 lifeboats (13 wooden and 1 collapsible) were salvaged and assessed. The 13 wooden lifeboats (11 large, 2 small) arrived with the Carpathia in April 1912; the 1 collapsible was picked up by the Oceanic and brought to New York in May 1912. What happened to the remaining lifeboats that were launched during the Titanic’s sinking, I am not aware.

    The 14 lifeboats were examined by Frank Martin and Henry Masters in September 1912. In his testimony (http://arcweb.archives.gov/arc/action/ExternalIdSearch?id=6254783), Martin valued them to be worth a total of $4,520; that later was changed to $4,972 for some reason. The contents within the lifeboat were valued at $474.31.

    In his testimony, Frank Martin stated “They were all more or less damaged; some of the planks were broken and they were all chafed. Some of them had the gunwale moldings partly torn off.” Later, he said “You could see the names on the side of the boats, although the name in some places, the name plate had been taken off and the numbers had been taken off but the marks from the letters were still on the boat where the enamel letters had been.”

    After this valuation, I am unsure specifically what happened to these lifeboats and have seen conflicting reports.

    For more information about the lifeboats, visit the following ARC entries:

    Contents of the “Titanic” Boats, 11/27/1912

    Inventory of the “Titanic” Lifeboats, 01/13/1913

    Stenographer’s Minutes, 11/20/1912 – 01/07/1913


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