A small team of NAS volunteers is working with Southampton University students to catalogue a significant collection and make the archive available for everyone. Over the years, a significant collection of plans, digital scans and photographs of traditional boats has been created, based on the large collection of vernacular boats that used to be in Exeter Maritime Museum. Now that the collection has been auctioned and distributed around the world, these plans, digital files and photos are an important archival resource both of the unique boats themselves, but also as an iconic collection of maritime heritage. 

We've assembled a small team of volunteers who have an interest in small boats, plans and archiving, and together with Southampton University, we're provide them with training and support where needed, so that they can create an archive that makes the plans and photos accessible to the public. 

The tasks that we are doing include:

  • Cataloguing photos and paper plans
  • Online cataloguing of digital scans and photos
  • Preparing documents for scanning
  • Creating inked versions of pencil boat plans
  • Cross referencing spreadsheets with boat plan and documentary data
  • First-aid conservation
  • Photo re-naming
  • Anything else that pops up and needs doing!

Before the global pandemic, our base of operations was the Centre for Maritime Archaeology at the Avenue Campus of Southampton University SO17 1BF. The finished archive will be deposited at the University Archive in the Hartley Library and available for online research through their database.

The cataloguing of physical items is on hold during lockdown but online cataloguing of digital components of the archive has started. To be involved, come to the free training session on Saturday 20th June or contact [email protected]