Shipping Industry records




A series of collections of archival records and objects from major shipping companies that operated from Australia during the 19th and 20th centuries. Major holdings include the McIlwaraith-McEacharn archives, and the Burns Philp and P&O collections. The material includes records of shipping businesses, reports, transactions, news clippings, promotional material, souvenirs, photographs, letters, ship logs, diaries, accounts and ledgers, as well as other mostly paper based material and ephemera relating to the daily business records of important national and international passenger and cargo operations.

McIlwraith McEacharn & company limited were founded in London in 1875 by two Scottish sea captains, Andrew McIlwraith and Malcolm McEacharn. The company pioneered the export of frozen meat with the first successful refrigerated shipment of frozen beef, lamb and butter from Australia to Britain in 1879 and opened its first Australian office in Melbourne in 1885. P&O began as the Peninsular & Oriental Steam Navigation Company, operating the first true passenger cruises, or 'excursions' from the 1840s. A major world shipping line during the twentieth century, P&O pioneered cruising from Australia in 1932 with its first cruise to Brisbane and Norfolk Island. Burns, Philp & Co Ltd was founded in 1883 by two Scottish men, James Burns and Robert Philp. The company first operated stores on the northern Queensland goldfields and shipped goods between Brisbane and Sydney. During the twentieth century Burns Philp was a household name in Australia as it became synonomous with the passenger travel and cargo trade in the Pacific.

Some material included in this collection may be subject to copyright

By appointment only, please contact ANMM

Parts of this collection are digitised and available on the ANMM web site


1800-2010; Cargo ships; Passenger ships; Sea transport; Shipping records

Archives; Business records

Burns, Philp & Co Ltd; McIlwraith McEacharn & company; P&O

Water transport

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2012-05-30 23:40