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Building the Titanic: Topics in Chronicling America

The Titanic was designed to be the most luxurious passenger steamship in the world. This guide provides information for researching the topic of the "building the Titanic" in the Chronicling America digital collection of historic newspapers.


Architectural picture of the steamship, Titanic. (Top). View of the giant steel 'cradle' in which the ship is being constructed. (Bottom). December 30, 1909. The Marion Daily Mirror (Marion, Ohio), Image 1. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers.

On April 10, 1912, the RMS Titanic left Southampton, England on her maiden voyage to New York City. Even before this first voyage, the Titanic had already been making headlines, starting in 1908 with the announcement of its planned construction. Designed to be the largest, most luxurious passenger steamship in the world, and thought to be 'unsinkable,' the Titanic is now most remembered because of its tragic sinking. Read more about it!

The information in this guide focuses on primary source materials found in the digitized historic newspapers from the digital collection Chronicling America.

The timeline below highlights important dates related to this topic and a section of this guide provides some suggested search strategies for further research in the collection.


1908 Construction of the RMS Olympic and sister ship,Titanic, is announced. The Olympic is completed first.
March 31, 1909 Construction on Titanic begins.
May 31, 1911 Titanic is launched; engines and interior have not yet been installed.
March 31, 1912 Titanic construction is completed.
April 10, 1912 Titanic begins her maiden voyage.