Compiled by Mark F. Hall, Digital Reference Specialist
The sinking of the ocean liner RMS Titanic
on April 15, 1912 was one of the most dramatic events of the
twentieth century. In a mere four hours after striking an
iceberg, the largest passenger ship yet built sank while on
its maiden voyage, claiming the lives of over 1,500 persons.
Many of those lost were from the upper crust of British and
American society. The sinking of the Titanic,
which had been popularly regarded as unsinkable, punctured
the aura of man's triumph over nature that had grown out of
the Industrial Revolution and the Progressive Era.
This page builds on an article
describing Library of Congress holdings concerning the Titanic,
which can be found in the May
1998 issue of the Library
of Congress Information Bulletin. Many of the items described
in this article are now available online.
Search the term "Titanic"
or "Titanic Steamship 1910
1920" in the Prints
& Photographs Division catalog and then select "Preview
Images" to see thumbnails of those images which have
been digitized. Then click on the image to see a larger version.
York Herald coverage of the disaster can be viewed in
Treasures of the Library of Congress online exhibit.
The Chronicling America site allows you to search and view selected historical American newspaper pages. From the Search Newspaper Pages, select "All Newspapers," use "Enter Search" with "...as a phrase" using the term "Titanic."
page of an example of Titanic-related
sheet music can be found on the Publications
on the Hebraic and Judaic Collections page for the Library's
Guide to Hebraic Collections.
Links to a variety of other digitized Titanic-related
items from the Library's collections are available on the
Today in History entry for April
The American and British inquiries into the disaster can
be accessed on the Web site of the Titanic
The entire text of Morgan Robertson's novella "Futility,
or The Wreck of the Titan" can be read online. Robertson's
1898 novella, written fourteen years before the Titanic
sank, tells the story of of a grand "unsinkable"
ocean liner -- the largest in the world -- that on a cold
April night on a voyage across the North Atlantic strikes
an iceberg and sinks. Most of the passengers, many of them
rich and famous, perished because there were not enough lifeboats.
This fictional ship's description (800 feet long, 70,000 tons,
top speed of 25 knots) is remarkably similar to the real Titanic
(882 feet long, 66,000 tons, top speed 24 knots). The most
chilling feature of Robertson's book, however, is the name
he gave his fictional ship -- the Titan.
Another eeire coincidence can be found in W. T. Stead's story, "From the Old World to the New," which was published as the Christmas edition of the Review of Reviews for 1892. In the story a White Star Line vessel, The Majestic, rescues the passengers of another ship after a collision with an iceberg. 20 years later, Stead himself would go down with the Titanic.
Titanica site contains a wide variety of materials on
the subject. Access to the site is free but advertiser-supported;
for a fee, researchers can access special features and use
the site without viewing advertisements and pop-up windows.
The Titanic Newspaper
Article Archive grants access to thousands of original
newspaper articles, including stories on the building of the
Titanic, its launch and eventual sinking as well as complete
coverage of its discovery.
Beasley, Lawrence. The Loss of the
SS Titanic, Its Story and Its Lessons. Boston and New
York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1912. [Catalog
Gracie, Archibald. The Truth About the
Titanic. New York: M. Kennerley, 1913. [Catalog
Thayer, John B. The Sinking of the SS
Titanic. Philadelphia, 1940.
Winocour, Jack, ed. The Story of the
Titanic, as Told by its Survivors. New York: Dover
Butler, Daniel Allen. Unsinkable: the
Full Story of the RMS Titanic. Mechanicsburg, PA :
Stackpole Books, c1998. [Catalog
Eaton, John P. and Charles A. Haas. Titanic:
Triumph and Tragedy. New York: Norton, 1986. [Catalog
Lord, Walter. A Night to Remember.
New York: Holt  [Catalog
Lynch, Don. Titanic: An Illustrated History.
New York: Hyperion, 1992. [Catalog
For Younger Readers:
Adams, Simon. Titanic. New York:
DK Pub., 1999. [Catalog
Ballard, Robert D. with Nan Froman ; paintings by Ken Marschall.
Finding the Titanic. New York:
Scholastic, c1993. [Catalog
Dubowski, Mark. Titanic : the Disaster
that Shocked the World! New York: DK Pub., 1998. [Catalog
You may also wish to search the Library
of Congress online catalog under the subject heading "Titanic
(Steamship)" for a list of other book titles of potential
interest. You may be able to locate many of these titles through
your local public library or through interlibrary loan.