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Lord-Macquitty collection

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0064 LMQ
Held at: National Maritime Museum
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Full title: Lord-Macquitty collection
Date(s): [1912]
Level of description: Collection

Name of creator(s): Various


Administrative/Biographical history:

Walter Lord (8 Oct 1917-19 May 2002) published his most famous work, A Night to Remember, in 1955. A journalistic narrative history of the TITANIC, the book became a British film (in 1958) and Lord was asked to be a consultant on James Cameron's film 'Titanic'. (1998). He is credited with having revived the memory of the ship, about which not a single book was published between 1913 and 1955. His book has been a bestseller ever since.

His life-long fascination stemmed from his mother's tales of her voyages on the OLYMPIC, one of TITANIC's two sister ships, which she used to tell him as bedtime stories. By the age of nine, the story of the TITANIC had become his greatest interest and he persuaded his mother to take him across the Atlantic on the OLYMPIC, so that he could learn more about the lost liner.

Through the years he talked to and corresponded with scores of survivors, rescuers and others intimately connected with the disaster. He tracked down nearly 60 TITANIC survivors to get their stories for 'A Night To Remember', and collected much commemorative memorabilia, donated over many years by his friends and admirers.

William MacQuitty (15 May 1905 - 5 Feb. 2004) was born in Belfast. He was six when he watched the launch of the TITANIC on 30 May 1911, and saw her set sail on her fateful maiden voyage a year later. During the Second World War he worked in film production for the Ministry of Information but it was only in the 1950s that his interest in the TITANIC was rekindled. His wife had been reading Lord's 'A Night to Remember' and he realised that this was the film he had been waiting for. He took an option on the film rights, met Walter Lord, and together they developed a screenplay based on the book.

MacQuitty then produced the film, also called 'A Night to Remember' (directed by Roy Ward Baker) and following its success won a contract for the Independent Television Authority's franchise for Ulster.


Scope and content/abstract:

Papers of Walter Lord relating to the TITANIC, including orignal letters from survivors, both passengers and crew (see LMQ/7); copies of the second class dinner menu (LMQ/1/12/2, issued as postcard souvenirs) and much contemporary publicity material concerning the ship itself such as deck plans, drawings and White Star brochures, all providing a view of the the great size and splendour of this luxuriously appointed vessel (LMQ/1/9). Also present are 12 fascinating original photographs, showing TITANIC survivors in the lifeboats approaching the SS CARPATHIA at about 8 a.m. on 15 April 1912. They are the only known photographs to show survivors being picked up from the sea (LMQ/1/12/1).

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

Conditions governing access:

In transit - item unavailable from May to August 2011

Conditions governing reproduction:

Please contact the Archive for further information.

Finding aids:

Detailed catalogue online at the: National Maritime Museum website .

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Walter Lord bequeathed his collection to the National Maritime Museum in 2002, encouraged by his close friend William Macquitty, the producer of 'A Night to Remember'. The collection also includes items previously owned by William Macquitty.

Allied Materials

Related material:

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:
Edited by Sarah Drewery, Sep 2011.

Rules or conventions:
Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions:

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