RMS Olympic arriving in New York 1911 (Library of Congress)

About RMS Titanic

  • Introduction

    • RMS Titanic

      RMS Titanic was a British registered four funnelled ocean liner built in 1912 for the transatlantic passenger and mail service between Southampton and New York.

      Constructed at the Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast, Ireland Titanic was, on her maiden voyage, the largest vessel afloat.

      On 10 April 1912 the RMS Titanic sailed from Southampton, England with 2,200 passengers and crew, four days later the Titanic collided with an iceberg and sank: 1500 people died and 700 survived. This website attempts to tell their story and that of the great ship with which their fate would be inextricably linked.

      Was your relative on RMS Titanic?

    • Passenger and Crew Search

      Quickly find biographies by searching by surname or use other keywords to find relevant articles.
    • Quick Facts

      324 1st class passengers, 201 survived.
      277 2nd class passengers, 118 survived.
      708 3rd class passengers, 181 survived.
      885 crew members, 212 survived.
      13 postmen/musicians, none survived.
      Grand total: 2,207 on board, 712 survived.

      Length: 882 feet 9 inches
      Beam: 92 feet
      Gross tonnage: 46,328 tons
      Propulsion: Three propellers
      Engines: Two triple-expansion reciprocating steam engines
      One low-pressure Parsons turbine
      25 double-ended and 4 single-ended Scotch-type boilers
      159 coal burning furnaces
      Top speed : 23 knots.

      For more detailed statistics see Lester Mitcham's The Statisics of the Disaster

  • People

    Passenger List | Crew List | Survivors | Victims

    RMS Titanic carried 2207 people. People all ages, people of great wealth and of bitter poverty. Unsuspecting witnesses to an event they could never have envisaged

    If you could walk the decks of RMS Titanic you would hear a dozen or more languages being spoken with every imaginable dialect. Not surprisingly RMS Titanic is often described as a microcosm of society.

    The route to understanding the RMS Titanic story is to learn about and understand the people that built her, the people that sailed on her, those that died and those that survived when she met her end.

    Encyclopedia Titanica contains a biography for every single person that travelled on RMS Titanic on her maiden voyage as well as information about the places people came from and the ships her crew served on.

    Constantly revised and updated by a dedicated crew of our own, Encyclopedia Titanica is the ultimate RMS Titanic resource.

    Use the search engine to find people by name, perhaps even someone related to you or browse the comprehensive RMS Titanic Passenger List and Crew List.

    You can also support the work of Encyclopedia Titancia in keeping alive the memory of the people by helping us tell the story of people from your own area.

  • History

    According to legend RMS Titanic was conceived at a dinner between Lord Pirrie of the Harland & Wolff shipyard and Joseph Bruce Ismay, Chairman of the White Star Line, at Downshire House, Lord Pirrie's London home.

    With the introduction of the Lusitania and Mauretania Curnard had stolen a march on the White Star Line; with Olympic, Titanic and Britannic Bruce Ismay and Lord Pirrie saw an golden opportunity to regain the initiative and with it a hefty slice of the transatlantic passenger trade.

    The new vessels would forsake speed for the increased safety and comfort that would come with a significant increase in scale. Fittings and appointments would also be improved over the competions. Lavish staterooms, a swimmings pool, squash raquet court, gymnasium, stylish cafe and plush a la carte restaurant would attract the wealthy, while significantly improved accommodation in other classes was also provded. Millionaires might grab the headlines but it would be steerage (Third Class) and the growing middle class (Second Class) that would drive economic success.

    Having been laid down in 1909 it would take three years of construction and fitting out before RMS Titanic was ready for sea, commanded by veteran Captain Edward John Smith. After brief sea trials she departed Southampton on 10 April 1912.

    After brief stops and Cherbourg and Queenstown she turned her head to the Atlantic ocean never to return.

  • Design

    RMS Titanic was designed and constructed at the Harland & Wolff shipyard in Belfast, Northern Ireland under the supervision of marine architect Alexander Carlisle and chief designer Thomas Andrews

    She was 882 feet 9 inches in length and 92 feet in breadth. Her gross tonnage was 46,328 tons. Three propellers were driven by two four-cylinder, triple-expansion, inverted reciprocating steam engines and one low-pressure Parsons turbine. Steam was provided by 25 double-ended and 4 single-ended Scotch-type boilers fired by 159 coal burning furnaces that gave her a theoretical top speed of 23 knots.

    Although she was the largest ship in the world, she was only fractionally greater in size than her sister ship RMS Olympic. RMS Olympic and RMS Titanic were constructed side-by-side and less than one year would elapse between their respective maiden voyages. They were practically identical in both appearance and fittings. A third sister Britannic would follow, but would enter World War One as a vast hospital ship; she would never see service as a passenger liner.

    The fascination with RMS Titanic is not confined to the lives of her passengers and crew but in the fine technical details about which more is learnt all the time. On Encyclopedia Titanica you can view RMS Titanic Deckplans for a deck-by-deck view of the ship and read technical articles and follow technical discussions which explore this aspect of the RMS Titanic story in incredible detail.

  • Culture

    RMS Titanic forms part of our cultural landscape. Since 1912 she has been depicted in countless films and books.

    Through art, drama and music her tragedy is replayed and reinterpreted and collections of her relics can be seen in museums and exhibitions across the glode.

    RMS Titanic has even entered the language: the phrase re-arranging deckchairs on the Titanic exemplifies a futile exercise and the essence of her tragedy has formed the metaphorical basis of many an academic thesis.

    Encyclopedia Titanica enables you to learn about how the RMS Titanic has been reflected in contemporary culture; Titanic on film and record, in photographic image and in art.

    You can also learn about the true stories that inspired the movie makers including The Real Jack Dawson, the story of a real life Titanic victim who's namesake was the hero of James Cameron's 1997 epic Titanic.

    You can also watch the rarest of all motion pictures: RMS Titanic archive film.

    Other Destinations
    Sheet Music | Recorded Music | Animation

  • Community

    Titanic has spawned a thriving community. On our Facebook page and discussion board you'll meet historians, enthusiasts and the descendants of Titanic passengers and crew.

    The members will be happy to answer your queries about RMS Titanic and help you with researching her history and the stories of the people who sailed on her.

    If you would like to submit stories and pictures to encyclopedia Titanica you can join the Editorial Group.

    Register if you want to post on our forum.