John H Marsh Maritime Research Centre

The Iziko Maritime Centre provides an overview of shipping in Cape Town. Images depicting Table Bay from the 17th to 20th century give an idea of the development of the harbour. Exhibitions include the earliest existing model of Table Bay harbour, completed in 1885 by prisoners and wardens of the nearby Breakwater Prison, and a collection of ship models and objects associated in particular with the era of mail ships. An exhibition of images, ship models and objects gives insight into the Union-Castle Line and shipwrecks around the Cape coast.

The John H. Marsh Maritime Research Centre provides an archive of nearly 20 000 photographs, depicting 9 551 ships dating from the late 1920s to the early 1960s. An online service for the answering of queries regarding ships and for ordering images of these ships is available at