In time for the 100 anniversary of the Titanic's on sinking on April 15, 1912 more than 200,000 illuminating records relating to the disaster been published online.
The just published documents provide comprehensive and often moving information about ship's survivors and the 1,500 people who perished, including a number of their wills and details of hundreds of coroner inquests files lodged after the sinking.
The new collection was compiled by the subscription-based family history website Ancestry.co.uk and access to their Titanic records collection will be free until 31 May, 2012, the BBC reports.
The Titanic, which was built in Belfast's legendary shipyard, sank after hitting an iceberg during its maiden voyage to New York.
The just published ship's records reportedly include the Titanic's official passenger list, including the names, ages and occupations of all those on board the mammoth liner. It also details the nationalities, work positions and addresses of the ship's crew which had more than 900 members.
Tragically the last will and testament of the Titanic's captain, Edward John Smith, is among the documents which can now be read online. The wills of American tycoons Benjamin Guggenheim and John Jacob Astor can also be viewed on the new site - all three men lost their lives in the sinking.
Members of the public can now search through more than 329 coroner inquest files and records of the 330 bodies that were recovered at sea. Images of the grave headstones, the final resting place of 121 of the ship's passengers have also been published.
In an example of the exhaustive research that has been compiled, the website also reproduces the passenger list from the Carpathia, the famous ship that rescued more than 700 people from the Titanic.
Ancestry.co.uk content manager, Miriam Silverman, told the Press Association: 'Over the generations, many families may have heard rumours that they had an ancestor aboard the Titanic, or even lost the evidence proving it. We're very pleased to be able to offer access to these valuable records for free, enabling thousands to uncover the story of their ancestor's tragic voyage.'
The website aims to help the public discover the real story of the Titanic, stripping away all the myths and legends that have grown up around it over the years. The new records have been released to help the public discover the real people who sailed onboard, they said in a statement.
'Most important of these is the official passenger list, which reveals the names, ages and occupations of ‘the great and the good’ who bought the sought-after tickets,' Silverman added.
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