The Catalogue Is Online
One of the main goals of the Trawling Through Time project since the very beginning, way back in April 2018, was to produce an online finding aid for the Cook, Welton & Gemmell archive, that would allow researchers to discover what we hold in the collection and request to see items of interest and potentially order copies. Our initial target for this was to catalogue 600 technical drawings relating to various ships built by the company at Grovehill shipyard.
We recruited a team of volunteers for this task, who all brought a range of expertise and experience from their varying backgrounds in maritime industries, armed forces, administrative, and education sectors, to name but a few.
“The team effort was so impressive that 500 plans had been itemised within 3 months.”
We were really strengthened by the fact that we had volunteers who had served on trawlers (some of them built at Grovehill), been involved in the design, construction, and fitting out of Cook, Welton & Gemmell vessels such as Arctic Corsair, served on Royal Navy and Merchant Navy ships, cargo ships, and others who had substantial sailing experience and knowledge of engineering. This gave us an ‘inside track’ on the shipbuilding process and helped us understand and interpret the highly technical engineering information that we were faced with. Add to this, the administrative expertise of other volunteers and it created a team that was able to learn new skills from each other and pull together in a collective effort to sort, arrange and describe the contents of the archive.
The team effort was so impressive that 500 plans had been itemised within 3 months, and our initial target was well exceeded with an estimated 1825 plans catalogued by the end of the project term, resulting in a catalogue for the entire collection.
“The volunteers’ contribution specifically focussed on the technical sectional drawings relating to numerous significant ships…”
Full credit to our volunteers, their enthusiasm, dedication and ability, but one of the reasons they were able to make such rapid and thorough progress was because Archives staff in the collections management team had laid a solid foundation with work on the general arrangement plans and other material in the years preceding the project, since the archive was first received in 2010. This provided an ideal template from which the volunteers could continue the work through to its completion.
The volunteers’ contribution specifically focussed on the technical sectional drawings relating to numerous significant ships including ‘Thorina’, ‘Arctic Corsair’, ‘Spurn No.14 Lightship’, and ‘Yorkshire Belle’, which complement the general arrangement plans, reports and some miscellaneous ships plans listed by the Archives staff prior to the project.
The combination of this work has resulted in a complete catalogue of the Cook, Welton & Gemmell archive (ref DDCO), now searchable via the East Riding Archives online catalogue.
To find every catalogue entry for the Cook, Welton & Gemmell archive, simply enter ‘DDCO‘ in the ‘FindingNo‘ field of the online catalogue search. You can narrow this down to higher level descriptions by selecting ‘Collection‘, ‘Series‘, ‘SubSeries‘ in the ‘Level‘ field.
Alternatively, try searching for specific vessels by typing the name in the ‘Any Text‘ field e.g. “Arctic Corsair”.
Please note that the catalogue comprises descriptions of physical items that we hold and does not include online images. To see examples of digital images of plans from the archive, go to our Vessels gallery.
With special thanks to our cataloguing volunteers:
Pamela Taylor, Clive Dennison, Peter Holmes, Theresa Longbone, Barry Gibson, Ian Stanley, John Wilkinson, Phil Pick, Stephen Keane, Christine Pinder, Colin Walden, Elaine Woods, Malcolm Cooper, Tony Jennison, Elaine McGuinness, John McGuinness, Neil Parker.
Digital Archivist and Project Coordinator