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April 10, 2012 12:00:00 AM
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A website published more than 200,000 documents on Monday relating to the sinking of the Titanic, to mark the disaster's 100th anniversary.

The collection, published by British family history website Ancestry.co.uk, includes a list of passengers as well as the wills of Edward Smith, the doomed liner's captain, and US tycoons Benjamin Guggenheim and John Jacob Astor.

The three men were among around 1,500 passengers and crew who perished when the "unsinkable" ship hit an iceberg on its maiden voyage to New York, and disappeared beneath the North Atlantic on April 15, 1912.

The documents also include more than 300 coroner inquest files, records of 328 bodies recovered at sea, and images of the gravestones of 121 Titanic passengers.

The database, which can be accessed for free until May 31, also includes a passenger list from the Carpathia, a ship that came to Titanic's aid and picked up almost all of the disaster's survivors, numbering around 700.

"Over the generations, many families may have heard rumours that they had an ancestor aboard the Titanic, or even lost the evidence proving it," said Miriam Silverman, content manager for Ancestry.co.uk.

"We're very pleased to be able to offer access to these valuable records for free, enabling thousands to uncover the story of their ancestor's tragic voyage."

The centenary is being marked by the release of a new 3D version of James Cameron's epic 1997 film, "Titanic", as well as a British television drama sold to 86 countries and a flurry of new books and music.

A cruise ship carrying descendants of some of the victims set sail from Southampton on Sunday to retrace the Titanic's route.

An official British inquiry into the disaster in 1912 said there were 711 survivors, but estimates of both the number of casualties and survivors have varied.

AFP

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