Cunard Line History and Ephemera

The Cunard Steam Ship Company Limited

The Gjenvick-Gjønvik Archives has extensive holdings in Cunard Line Ephemera from the 1880s through 1954. The Collections are organized by Passenger Lists, Steamship Tickets, Brochures, Menus, Periodicals, Books, Photographs and Miscellaneous.

Primary Cunard Line Steamship Company Ephemera Collections

Cunard Passenger Lists

1904-10-04 SS Carpathia

Cunard Line Passenger Manifests

The Cunard Line's main services — New York-Southampton; New York-Liverpool; New York-London; New York-Bristol; Baltimore- Bristol: New York-Mediterranean; New York-Antwerp; New York-Rotterdam; Boston-Liverpool; Boston-London; Boston-Glasgow; Philadelphia-Bristol; Philadelphia-London; Montreal-Falmouth-London; Montreal-Bristol; U. K.- Mediterranean; U. K.-Levant and Black Sea; U. K.-French Ports.

Vintage Brochures

Front Cover, Reprinted From "BUSINESS ILLUSTRATED".	December, 1902.

The Story of the Cunard Line - 1902

Cunard Steamship Company, Limited, one of the oldest and most famous of British steam navigation undertakings elected to remain independent and outside the scope of the great Trust. This is their Story as published by BUSINESS ILLUSTRATED. December 1902. Lavishly Illustrated including Interior Photographs.


Front Cover, "Famous Cunarders," Published by the Cunard Line 21 March 1910.

Famous Cunarders - 1910

8-Page Booklet/Leaflet from 1910 titled "Famous Cunarders" provided an illustrated introduction to their "A"-List Cunard fleet including the Campania, Carmania & Caronia, Carpathia, Lusitania & Mauretania, Pannonia, and the Saxonia & Ivernia.


Front of Franconia and Laconia - The Largest and Fastest Steamers in the Boston Service Flyer from 1911

Franconia and Laconia For The Boston Service - 1911

Flyer created by Cunard to announce two new steamships for the Boston service, 18,000 tons each. The ships were of the intermediate class and accommodations described in this flyer pertain primarily to the First Class.


Front Cover RMS Franconia and RMS Laconia of the Cunard Line.

RMS Franconia and Laconia - Cunard Line - 1912

A scarce brochure provides a remarkable record of these two short-lived steamships that brought thousands of immigrants from Liverpool to Boston from 1912 to 1916. The Laconia was torpedoed and sunk by the German Submarine U-50 on 25 February 1917; and, the Franconia was torpedoed and sunk by German Submarine UB-47 on 4 October 1916.


Front Cover, Fishguard Information for Passengers. Published 1913 Cunard Line.

Fishguard Information for Passengers of Cunard - 1913

Fishguard is situated on the south-west coast of Wales, and is the nearest British port to New York used by Atlantic liners. It affords the quickest means of reaching London, and is also a convenient port for the Continent.


Front Cover, Cunard Passenger Log Book circa 1913

Cunard Passenger Log Book - 1913

Rare Third-Class Accommodation on Cunard Liners featuring interior and exterior photographs of the ships and accommodations for third class/steerage passengers. Undated brochure circa 1913. Its contents were meant to entice the immigrants to book passage to the New World.


Front Cover, Comparisons - RMS Aquitania of the Cunard Steam Ship Company, Limited.

Cunard Line RMS Aquitania Comparisons - 1914

Aquitania made her maiden voyage from Liverpool on 30 May 1914. This brochure was one of many published in 1914 to exalt the size of the ship and accommodations available. Many comparisons were made with well-known US structures of that era.


Front Cover, Cunard to Liverpool via Cobh (Queenstown) - 1920s Brochure from the Cunard Line.

Cunard to Liverpool via Cobh (Queenstown) - 1920s

Superb interior photographs of the Cunard steamships Carinthia, Franconia, Laconia, Samaria, and Scythia makes this an excellent brochure from the 1920s. The uniqueness of this booklet is greatly improved by the inclusions of context with photo captions.


Front Cover, Cunard Tourist Third Cabin Accommodations Brochure. Undated, Circa Late 1920s

Cunard Tourist Third Cabin Accommodations - 1920s

Tourist Third Cabin replaced the old Third Class on the Cunard Steamships, the refinished accommodations attracted students, professors, young business people, and bargain-hunters filling the cabins left mostly empty from the decline of the immigrant trade. This is a photo journal of the accommodations found in the new Tourist Third Cabin class.


Front Cover - Cunard To Boston. Published by the Cunard Steam Ship Company Limited - 1922

Cunard To Boston - 1922

The re-opening of the Liverpool-Queenstown-Boston Service with the “ Samaria,” one of the finest and largest of the new post-War Cunarders, emphasizes the importance which the Cunard Company attaches to this Service.


Cover, The Liverpool Route from Boston and New York via Queenstown (Cobh)

Cunard - The Liverpool Route - 1923

16- Page Brochure provides insight into the Liverpool Route that is shared by both the Cunard Line and Anchor Line. The majority of the booklet is a tour guide of England, and the remainder on passenger service between Boston, New York, and Canada to Liverpool, Queenstown, Cherbourg, and other European ports of call.


Front Cover, Second Class to Europe fromn Boston to Queenstown and Liverpool.

Cunard Line Second Class to Europe - 1927

12-Page brochure covers the Boston to Europe route of the Cunard Line in 1927. Interior photographs help to illustrate the second class accommodations available on the Samaria, Scythia, and Laconia.

Vintage Brochures - Legacy System

1893 Cunard Passenger's Log	Book

1893 Cunard Passenger's Log Book

Excellent source for understanding the history and operations of a steamship including crew requirements.


Service to Boston by the Cunard Line - 1914

1914 Cunard Services to Boston

This 1914 brochure provides an overview of the port of Boston, the Cunard Line piers and the history of the Cunard Line in the Boston to Liverpool route starting with the sailing of the Britannia in 1840.


Passengers' Guide to the RMS Mauretania from 1921

1921 Passenger's Guide: Mauretania

This 1921 brochure covers Saloon and Second Class accommodations, Cutout indicates what is located in Decks A through E and a listing and information about Ocean Sign Posts.

Cunard Vintage Menus

Third Class Dining Room - RMS Laconia and Franconia - 1911

Vintage Menus of the Cunard Line

The rule was always enforced to sacrifice speed to safety, and never to run any avoidable risk. Even now, though newspapers often speak of "racing" and "making a record," it is believed that the Cunard ships are never allowed to practice either.

Miscellaneous Historical Documents from the Cunard Line

Abstract of Log

Letters Written by Passengers on Board Cunard Steamships

Ship Histories

Other Cunard Line Historical Documents

External Sites

We recommend viewing Chicago Film Archives' promotional film produced by the Cunard Line during the 1920s that begins with the RMS Berengaria leaving New York harbor on route to Cherbourg or Southampton with the return trip to New York on the SS Maurentania. The film highlights the features of the ship as well as ship entertainment. 

Other Cunard Line Ephemera Not Digitized

  • 1900-03-20 Certificate of Discharge for a Seaman aboard the Lucania
  • 1910s Poster - Cunard Line Royal Mail Steamers From Liverpool to New York and Boston via Queenstown - 5 1/3 Days across the Atlantic.
  • 1912-06-29 Letter written during the voyage on the RMS Caronia giving a great slice of life on board ship and a recap of how the passengers met.
  • 1912 Photograph of the RMS Laconia at Riverside Docking Area, Liverpool.
  • 1912 Photograph of the RMS Laconia in Open Sea.
  • 1912 Photograph of the RMS Laconia from the Frank Braynard Collection
  • 1913 Letter written on board the RMS Franconia during voyage about activities and observations made about the ship.
  • 1913-07-02 Itinerary and Souvenir Program, Tour B Conducted by E. W. Van Deusen, RMS Carpathia Voyage from 2 July to 23 August 1913
  • 1913-07-29 Abstract of Log, RMS Laconia, Boston to Liverpool in 6 Days, 22 Hours, 42 Minutes. Reverse side is Photograph of RMS Laconia.
  • 1920s (Undated) Handwritten letter (partial) from passenger aboard the Cunard Berengaria (in service at Cunard 1921-1938
  • 1920-04-15 Ricevuta Vaglia - Currency Exchange Receipt Text in Italian.
  • 1920s Fold Out Maps: Ports of Call: Maps of Approaches to North Atlantic Ports - Cunard Line. Includes Quebec - Montreal & St. Lawrence River; New York and Hudson River Approaches; English Channel and Southampton; English Channel - Cherbourg & Le Havre; Liverpool & The River Mersey; and South Coast of Eire and Cobh.
  • 1922-08-24 Program of Concert: In aid of the Seaman's Charities of New York and Liverpool, RMS Scythia
  • 1923-06-17 Abstract of Log of the Cunard RMS Andania, Voyage 12, Captain E. T. Britten, R.D., R.N.R. From London, Southampton and Cherbourg To Quebec and Montreal. Voyage June 7-17. Illustration of RMS Andania on Reverse Side.
  • 1925 ca. Atlas of the World: Cunard Line, Anchor Line 36 pages of mostly maps with a hand-written notation of "around 1933-34 - another estimate of the time this was printed.
  • 1926: Atlas: Cunard and Anchor Lines - Atlas of the World. 36 Pages.
  • 1927-01-23 Abstract of Log, RMS Laconia II, Liverpool to New York via Queenstown. Recap of voyage January 15-23 of 7 Days, 14 Hours, 39 Minutes. Captain E. T. Britten, R.D., R.N.R. Illustration of RMS Laconia II on reverse side.
  • 1928-10-07 Abstract of Log, RMS Ausonia, Southampton to Quebec and Montreal via Queenstown, Captain G. R. Dolphin, R.D., R.N.R. Voyage from September 29-October 7: 6 Days, 10 Hours, 36 Minutes, 2,296 Miles. Photograph of RMS Ausonia on Reverse Side.
  • 1929-07-16 Landing Arrangements at Cherbourg & Southampton, RMS Berengaria, New York to Cherbourg and Southampton.
  • 1929-07-19 Entertainment Program: In aid of British and American Seamen's Institutions, RMS Berengaria. Includes a complete listing of the institutions which benefit.
  • 1929-07-22 Abstract of Log, RMS Berengaria, 5 Days, 18 Hours, 47 Minutes New York to Southampton via Cherbourg. Photograph of RMS Berengaria on reverse side.
  • 1929-09 Program of Events, Monday through Thursday, RMS Aquitania. Typo in omission on complete date.
  • 1930-07-12 Immigration Control Card, Form B 46, Tourist Third Cabin Passenger Barah Smith, SS Ascania, From Cherbourg to Quebec and US.
  • 1930-09-15 Abstract of Log, RMS Lancastria, Southampton to New York via Havre, Captain B. B. Oram, R.D., R.N.R. Voyage from September 6 - 15, 1930 covering 3,152 Miles. Length of Passage: 8 Days, 10 Hours, 36 Minutes. Photograph of the RMS Lancastria on reverse side.
  • 1931-01-10 Program of Events, RMS Scythia, Listing of Social Events from Monday, January 12th through Saturday, January 17th on a voyage from Liverpool to New York via Belfast and Halifax. Captain G. Gibbons, R.D., R.N.R. Includes Deck Sports Program on back cover.
  • 1932-09-02 List of Passengers - Weekend Cruise, RMS Berengaria, New York to Halifax and returning to New York on 6 September. Captain E. T. Britten, R.D., R.N.R.
  • 1934-02 Postcard: The Queen Mary No. 534 The World's Largest Liner with London skyline in background - Valentine's Post Card Printed in Great Britain.
  • 1954-06-17 Postcard: Illustration of Cunard RMS Queen Mary
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