Special collections

All the items we hold are important.  ‘Special’ collections are groups of items that hold a wealth of original information often from one source – one business or organisation or one individual for example.  They are often consulted for research purposes.

War Office Tn5 department (Mulberry Harbours) collection
Papers concerning some of the early designs for the Mulberry Harbours.

McAlpine (Mulberry Harbours) collection
Technical papers from the construction firm McAlpine about the design and construction of the Phoenix caissons (concrete breakwaters for the Mulberry Harbours).

Commander Eric Middleton (PLUTO) collection
Commander Eric Middleton RNVR was senior naval experimental officer on the Combined Operations staff, 1942-1944. He played a key role in the development of PLUTO (Pipeline Under the Ocean) which was developed to pump fuel across the English Channel from the UK to Normandy after D-Day. His papers comprise his memoirs, wartime documents, as well as post-war letters and memoirs from many other people who were involved in PLUTO.

Commander Rupert Curtis collection
Commander Rupert Curtis RNVR commanded the landing craft flotilla that carried Lord Lovat’s commandos (1st Special Service Brigade) to Sword Beach on D-Day. After the war, Rupert Curtis built up this extensive set of papers about 1st Special Service Brigade, the experiences of naval personnel in his flotilla on D-Day, and the characteristics of his landing craft (the LCI, or Landing Craft, Infantry).

LST and Landing Craft Association collection
This collection was mostly compiled by the Association’s late archivist, Tony Chapman. It covers the experiences of the crewmen of landing ships and craft, including those who served on the LST (Landing Ship, Tank), and related topics. The majority of the collection relates to the Normandy Landings but there is also material about other landings such as those at Walcheren in November 1944.

Normandy Veterans Association oral history collection
The Normandy Veterans Association (NVA) interviewed over 160 Normandy veterans in around 2013-2014. The Heritage Lottery Fund have made a grant to Legasee and the NVA for putting 100 of the interviews online, and producing educational resources for schools that make use of the interviews.

D-Day Story oral history collection
We hold a significant oral history collection consisting of around 200 interviews with Normandy veterans, most of which were conducted by Museum staff. There are also around 100 recordings of local people’s memories of Portsmouth during the Second World War. The catalogue for these interviews can be viewed in our collections. In due course relevant interviews will be added to our website.

Warren Tute collection
The author’s research papers from Warren Tute’s book ‘D-Day’ (1973). This collection comprises hundreds of letters written to the author following public appeals, giving the memories of service personnel and civilians who took part in or witnessed Operation Overlord.

Russell Miller collection
The author’s research papers from Russell Miller’s book ‘Nothing Less Than Victory. The Oral History of D-Day’ (1993). This collection includes interviews with Normandy veterans that Russell Miller conducted in the early 1990s, as well as copies of some material from US and other overseas archives such as transcripts of some 50 interviews conducted by Cornelius Ryan with German veterans for his book The Longest Day (the originals are now in the Cornelius Ryan Collection at Ohio University).

Frank and Joan Shaw collection
The authors’ research papers from by Frank and Joan Shaw’s book ‘We Remember D-Day’ (1994). This collection comprises hundreds of letters written to the authors following public appeals, giving the memories of service personnel and civilians who took part in or witnessed Operation Overlord.

Artefact donations
Please see our Artefact Wishlist page.