About Us

The Historical Diving Society (HDS) was formed in 1990 in the UK by a group of enthusiasts whose aim is to preserve and protect diving heritage. Since then the Society has grown into an international organisation with affiliated national societies across the world.

Our mission is to advance the study of the History of Diving.

The Society encourages the publication of articles of historical diving interest. It produces its own newsletter, the Historical Diving Times, and the International Journal of Diving History which are issued to all members. It publishes facsimile monographs of important works on diving. A regular email newsletter (Rope Signal) is forwarded to all members.

A past issue of the Historical Diving Times is available to read here on the website.

The Society holds meetings, visits, and lectures. It holds bibliophile meetings visiting member’s collections and important libraries. It has active Working Equipment Groups which seek to preserve classic equipment in a usable form, and this is often demonstrated at rallies and exhibitions.

Each year since 1990, the Society has held an annual conference and dinner at which leading pioneers and researchers give presentations and the Society’s various awards are given.

The HDS also maintains a database of historical divers called The Divers Index. We welcome enquiries about diving ancestors or former colleagues who worked in underwater or allied occupations. This index is constantly being updated.

Since 1990 membership of the HDS has grown steadily to include individuals and organisations across the entire spectrum of diving interests. Among the Society’s members are archivists, archaeologists, authors, artists, bibliophiles, collectors, dealers, engineers, genealogists, manufacturers, museums, oceanologists, photographers, researchers, scientists – and of course divers and ex-divers from all corners of the world!

The Diving Museum’s mission is:

  • To advance the education and interest of the public and interested parties in the study of the History of Diving through the exhibition of a comprehensive
    collection of diving equipment, archives and reference material.
  • Provide all people across society with an opportunity to understand and value the many contributions which human endeavours underwater have and
    continue to make to the world in which we live.
  • To inform and educate our visitors about the heritage of our Diving Museum Buildings Number 2 Battery and the Bunker.
  •  To provide an enjoyable and memorable experience for all our visitors.

Why not join us?

Have a look at the how to join us page to see what you gain by becoming a member.

The HDS is a registered charity run by its members, who elect officers to the board.