Explore over 200 years of waterways history! 

You can now search over 37,000 archive records in our online catalogue, including over 22,000 historic images freely available to view. This window on a world that has gone forever includes boat people, bridges, aqueducts and, of course, the vast network of waterways that are such an important part of our heritage. So whether your interest is social history, civil engineering or you just want to lose yourself in the wonderful landscapes of Britain's waterways you'll find something here for you.

For more information on how to use the catalogue try our help page


Discover some of the highlights of our collection, grouped thematically. If you're looking for something specific you would need our Search facility above. If you don't obtain the results you're looking for doing that, you might wish to progress to the Advanced Search facility.  
Browse by collection

Our archive holds many different collections. If you know which collection you want to look at, you can browse by collection.



If you would like to see Canal & River Trust's Research Fellow Dr Jodie Matthews talking about waterways' history just go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fn9882n36kw&feature=youtu.be   


There are some FAQs on our help page but if you're still stuck then email our archive team.

Copyright and reproduction

Please see Canal & River Trust's Terms and Conditions. These images are made available for personal enjoyment or private study only. Anyone wishing to reproduce, exhibit or make commercial use of an image in any medium (including books, newspapers, television, films, public exhibitions or computer programmes) must first seek permission from Canal & River Trust.

Where ownership of copyright is uncertain, every effort has been made to contact the parties concerned. In the event that you have some knowledge of copyright of any of the images or think that your copyright had been infringed, please email Canal & River Trust.