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Sinking of the Titanic: Topics in Chronicling America

On April 15, 1912, over 1,300 people died in one of the worst maritime disasters in history. This guide provides information on researching the topic of the "sinking of the Titanic" in the Chronicling America digital collection of historic newspapers.


The Titanic and the hymn that was played by the ship's band as it went down. April 28, 1912. Evening Star (Washington, D.C.), Image 75. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers.

Lulled into a false sense of security, Titanic passengers continue their lively parties and return to their beds after an iceberg deals a fatal blow to the "unsinkable" ship. Hours later, panic rushes through the more than 2,000 passengers as the ship begins sinking and the few life boats fill. More than 1,300 people die from drowning and freezing in the early hours of April 15th, 1912, in one of the worst maritime disasters in history. 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.


April 14, 1912 The Titanic hits an iceberg. The following morning, newspapers offer conflicting reports.
April 16, 1912 News reports confirm that the Titanic has sunk and that over 1,300 people are missing.
April 17, 1912 All Titanic survivors are aboard the RMS Carpathia, headed for New York.
April 19, 1912 The U.S. Senate opens an inquiry into the disaster.
May 28, 1912 The Senate committee issues a final report.