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FAQs - P&O Archive

These FAQS relate to the Archive section of our website.  If you can't find the answer to your question here try our all FAQs page.

  • What is the P&O Heritage Collection?

    The P&O Heritage Collection is a unique company collection of over 30,000 objects and archives related to the history of P&O. The collection is maintained and supported by the continuing generosity of DP World. P&O was acquired by DP World in 2006.

  • How large is the P&O Archive?

    The P&O archive consists of approximately 7,400 manuscripts and is on permanent loan to the National Maritime Museum Greenwich, UK. To find out more read our research guide and search the archive catalogue online.

  • What records do you hold in the P&O Archive?

    Our research guide will give you a brief introduction to the records contained in the P&O Archive.

    The archive is on permanent loan to the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, UK and their archive catalogue is available online. Should you wish to consult the archive, please contact the National Maritime Museum directly to make an appointment and order documents in advance.

  • Where do I start my P&O research?

    We have compiled some research guides, for people who are new to family history research and the P&O Archive along with a number of brief histories of selected shipping lines. These guides will give you the information necessary to get started as well as the most useful repositories and online sources. 


  • Can you carry out research for me?

    Unfortunately we are not able to undertake research for private individuals; however we have produced a number of research guides to get you started. 

    If you wish to enquire about the services of paid or independent researchers, the National Archives can provide you with a list of researchers.

  • Is the P&O Archive available online?

    The P&O Archive is on permanent loan to the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, UK and their archive catalogue is available online. Should you wish to consult the archive in person, please contact the museum directly to make an appointment and order documents in advance.

  • My ancestor travelled onboard a P&O ship or one belonging to a subsidiary company.  Do you have a copy of the passenger list?

    No, but we have compiled a Passengers and Emigration Research Guide which will show you how to find and access passenger lists online.

  • Who were the "Ten Pound Poms"?

    ‘Ten Pound Poms’ was a colloquial term used to describe British subjects (including those belonging to Commonwealth countries) who migrated to Australia after the Second World War under an assisted passage scheme established and operated by the Australian Government. The scheme attracted over one million British migrants between 1945 and 1972 and represented the last substantial scheme for preferential migration from the United Kingdom to Australia.

    The peak year for the ‘Ten Pound Poms’ scheme was 1969, with more than 80,000 people travelling to Australia. In 1973, the cost of assisted passages was increased to ₤75 per family. Although this was still a very cheap fare, the number of assisted migrants from the United Kingdom dropped off significantly. In the early 1980s, assisted passage schemes were gradually phased out.

    Many thousands of ‘Ten Pound Poms’ travelled on P&O and Orient Line ships to their new life down under. 

  • My ancestor was employed by P&O onboard one of your ships.  Do you have his/her service record?

    Our archive contains a number of personnel records but is not fully comprehensive. To get started consult our Merchant Seamen Research Guide or  P&O Sea Staff Research Guide for a more clear understanding of the type of material that is available in the P&O Archive and other resources.

  • What if my ancestor died during a voyage or while employed on a P&O vessel?

    If you believe your ancestor died either during a voyage on a P&O vessel or whilst he/she was employed by the Company, please refer to our Births, Marriages & Deaths Research Guide.

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Have you tried our links or research guides, viewed our timeline, explored our collections and searched our archive at the National Maritime Museum for more information? Still stuck? Use the enquiry form to contact us and we'll point you in the right direction.


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