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Virtual Archive in Five

Welcome to Virtual Archive in Five! As we're closed at the moment, our Curators can't open our library doors to you and share our fascinating collection.

Instead, we'll be bringing our objects to you at home with these prefilmed videos from the team!

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for more and check back as we upload weekly.


  • Mollie showcases a First Class menu, served on one of the SS Great Britain’s Melbourne to Liverpool voyages, 1861:


  • Nick tells us more about a letter written by Brunel. It relates to the famous story of Brunel getting a half-sovereign stuck whilst doing a magic trick in 1843:


  • Joanna shares a photograph from the 1880s, showing the SS Great Britain's crew:


  • Nick shares a letter to Brunel from a 10 year old boy. The boy advises Brunel on how he could launch his third and final ship, the Great Eastern, 1858.


Mollie shares a diary from an anonymous female passenger, 1863:


  • Nick shows us Isambard Kingdom Brunel's Screw Propeller Report, which has recently been added to the UNESCO Memory of the World UK National Register.


  • Nick shares more about a new object in the collection, a Bill of Fare from the Great Western, 1846.

Check back for more!