Founded in 1995, French Lines works to safeguard and promote the heritage of the French maritime companies. At its Le Havre conservation center, French Lines has a 3,000 m² space in which it houses its extraordinary collection retracing more than 150 years of merchant navy history, largely taken from the historical archives of the Compagnie Générale Maritime, the Compagnie des Messageries Maritimes, the Compagnie Générale Transatlantique and the Société Nationale maritime Corse Méditerranée.
This heritage is unique in Europe and includes more than 6 km of archives, 80,000 photographs, 300 films and a collection of almost 32,000 objects and works of art (sculptures, paintings, graphic arts, posters, furniture and decorative items, tapestries, scale models, technical items, tableware and so on), all linked to legendary ships with evocative names such as France, Normandie, Amazone, Pasteur, Liberté and Champollion.
The direct heir of the great maritime companies, French Lines has brought together in the same depository all the archives, iconography and collections of those companies, to establish a broad but in-depth view of every aspect of their history: social history, transport, ship-building, the development of tourism, on-board accommodation and its decorative features, merchant navy professions, and so on.
Today, French Lines brings this heritage to life, giving people in France and abroad the chance to see it at numerous exhibitions or in its publications, projections and conferences, or by lending its collections. There is also a website: www.frenchlines.com.
Exposition Lalique et l’art du voyage (Musée Lalique, Wingen-sur-Moder – 2016) © Roland Letscher / Collection French Lines