Maritime sources

C DPD - Records of Associated British Ports and its predecessor bodies (1776-c1970)

This collection gives a broad survey of the history of the economic, commercial and archaeological development of the Port of Hull and elements of that of the wider Humber estuary.

The Hull Dock Company, established in 1774, was the first example in Britain of a major dock being built through private enterprise. The first dock, later known as Queen’s Dock was opened in 1778. The early period of dock development is represented by the Dock Company transaction (minute) books 1788-1800 and letter book 1776-1800 (C DPD 12/1/1-3) together with a run of published accounts of the Dock Company (C DMX 296). Trade continued to increase and the Dock Company opened Humber Dock in 1809, Junction (later Prince’s) Dock in 1829, and the much larger Victoria Dock in 1850.

C DPD 11 contains extensive architectural and engineering drawings of the above docks, and those built later in the nineteenth century. These drawings include details of the foundations of the docks; locks and lock gates; warehouses and accommodation for support services; and the ground breaking hydraulic system and associated dock machinery.

In 1885 the Hull and Barnsley Railway opened Alexandra Dock. The Dock Company was taken over by the North Eastern Railway in 1893, and the two railway companies co-operated to build King George Dock, opened 1914. The architectural drawings of the twentieth century docks, including the innovative oil jetty at Salt End are also included in C DPD 11.

The trade passing through the docks features in the records of the Commercial Department of the British Transport Docks Board’s Humber Ports C DPD 8. These include a thorough survey of shipping entering and leaving Alexandra Dock 1885-1982 (with a gap 1910-24) and St Andrews Dock, 1946-75. These volumes supplement the information in the Customs Bills of Entry

In the 1960s the British Transport Docks Board assumed all the pilotage, conservancy and other responsibilities exercised by the Humber Conservancy Commission. C DPD 1 contains the records of the Conservancy 1852-1968, and some records of Hull Trinity House relating to buoyage and beaconage.


Information about records of welfare organisations, fishing and associated records, official sources, records of shipping companies, collections relating to the whaling industry and details of useful websites are also available.