The Wreck Archive consists of over 18,000 paper files that hold information relating to each individual wreck recorded in the Wreck Inventory of Ireland Database (WIID).
Each wreck has a unique five-digit wreck number, with the prefix W, which should be used for official reference purposes and with any correspondence relating to a particular wreck, e.g. W01482 is the official wreck number for the HMS Guide Me II which was lost in Dublin Bay in August 1918.
The wreck number can be identified when using the Wreck Viewer or in the list of wrecks that can be downloaded from the Wreck Viewer site. The wreck file very often has more information relating to the wreck site than is currently available when using the Wreck Viewer, and may contain extra source information, such as Lloyd’s List, the Parliamentary Papers, historic newspapers and a wide variety of other source material used to compile each wreck entry.
If a detailed study of a wreck is being carried out it is advised to consult the paper archive to ascertain if additional information is present on file. Generally the WIID contains all the sources used to compile the wreck record and these are listed at the end of each entry; this will be a good indicator of the potential amount of additional source information contained in each paper file.
The Wreck Files can be consulted in the NMS public reading room by prior arrangement with the Archive Unit.