• photograph of Titanic Exhibition - items displayed in cabinets including model of Titanic

Titanic – The Ship That Shook America

15 March – 2 November 2008

In partnership with world-leading Titanic auctioneers, Henry Aldridge and Son, the American Museum gained access to private collections of Titanic memorabilia in Europe and America, including the renowned Raffield collection.

‘The great Titanic collectors form an exclusive club,’ commented curator, Laura Beresford, ‘If we hadn’t had the Aldridges on board, we would never have had the chance to display such amazing objects – each reminding us of the individuals behind the statistics.’

Over 1,500 perished in the tragedy – more than 1,200 of whom were third class passengers and members of the crew. Just over 700 people survived.

The exhibition provided a rare opportunity to see First, Second, and Third Class menus displayed together. The Third Class example was of tremendous interest because it is dated 14 April 1912. Just before midnight that very evening, Titanic struck the iceberg and sunk.

Other poignant reminders of the tragedy included onboard letters and cards posted from Titanic in Ireland – its last stop in Europe before heading across the Atlantic.

Discharge books of crew members who survived were also on view, as well as marconigrams sent from the rescue ship, Carpathia, all of which vividly represented the events of that black night.