100 Years After Titanic, Myths Merge With Fact

A century ago, during the night of April 14, 1912, a great ship collided with an iceberg, and in the small hours of the next day went down into the cold Atlantic Ocean taking 1,514 lives with it. Many myths and legends have enlarged the story of Titanic over the years since the ship sank. Some of them are true, and others have simply been derived from the imagination of the numerous people who have become somewhat obsessed with the history of Titanic.

One of the most fascinating aspects about the tragic history of the Titanic is the eclectic mix of passengers onboard. When the ship sank, the lives of both the famous and the unknown were lost.

There have, of course, been worse tragedies in history. Yet the Titanic catastrophe has powerfully reverberated with us for a century. Because it is a tale of humanity as classic as a Greek tragedy, the story has been retold for the past century in movies, books, songs and articles.

The Titanic was supposed unsinkable but foundered in frigid Atlantic waters off Newfoundland. Around 700 people were rescued but there were too few lifeboats to save the rest. According to BBC news, more than 200,000 records relating to the Titanic have been published online to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the ship's sinking on 15 April.

The documents provide information about survivors and the 1,500 people who died, including a number of wills and hundreds of coroner inquest files. The collection has been gathered by the subscription-based family history website Ancestry.co.uk.

The records include the ship's official passenger list, which shows the names, ages and occupations of those on board. It also details the nationalities, positions, and addresses of the ship's crew which had more than 900 members.

However, access to the Titanic records collection is free until 31 May 2012. The tragic sinking of the Titanic and history of both those who survived and were lost will forever be remembered with nostalgia and sadness.