The Dover Museum's collection of English Channel swimming photographs will be live online by May 2009 with a new searchable database.
The Museum plans to have a photography and short biography of every English Channel swimmer attached to its new database, but is lacking information and photographys from swimmers over the last 50 years.
The Museum is requesting individuals to mail or email biographies, photographs and swimming logs in order to make the archive complete, regardless of whether the Channel Swimming Association or the Channel Swimming & Piloting Association ratified the crossing.
The Museum is attempting to make a definitive list of successful crossings, including a list of all failed attempts up to 1960, based on its meticulous research from original newspapers, swimming publications and other sources from 1875 onwards. Much of this research is being done by Museum volunteers, mainly Channel swimmers Joe Smith and Norman Trusty, a 2003 honoree in the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame,
A number of early swims are missed from official records and many others have been recorded with inaccurate details. The Museum will assign numbers to each swim and swimmer (e.g., in 1969, Mervyn Sharp made the 200th successful crossing, the 43rd crossing from England to France as the 132nd individual to succeed).
Previously, Julian of Solo Swims has maintained a master database of English Channel swimmers at Solo Swims.
Please send information, photographs and logs to Mark Frost at Dover Museum, Market Sq, Dover, Kent, CT16 1PB, United Kingdom or firstname.lastname@example.org. Your assistance is greatly appreciated.
Photos of Matthew Webb, Florence Chadwick, Marilyn Bell and Henry Sullivan are courtesy of the Dover Museum.