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UNITED STATES CONGRESS. SENATE COMMITTEE ON COMMERCE.

[TITANIC] Hearings before a Subcommittee of the Committee on Commerce United States Senate, Sixty-Second Congress, Second Session, Doc. no. 726 Pursuant to S. Res. 283, directing the Committee on Commerce to investigate the causes leading to the wreck of the White Star Liner “Titanic”.

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Washington, D.C. : Government Printing Office, 1912. First edition. Thick octavo (235 x 155 mm), contemporary cloth over boards (unmarked, unrubbed), spine with gilt-stamped cloth title-piece; pp. iv, 1163, with three fold-out maps (all perfect); internally superb (no foxing, no marks), binding nice and firm; fore-edge with a superficial and minor pale stain; a discarded library copy with occasional stamps (including to the half-title and title) of the Public Library of Western Australia.

The rare published report of the U.S. Congressional hearings held in the aftermath of the sinking of the Titanic, something of a holy grail for collectors of ephemera relating to the Titanic disaster.

This first edition can be rightfully regarded as the most contemporary comprehensive account of the catastrophe, as the hearings – organised by Michigan Senator William Alder Smith – were opened a mere four days after the sinking. It contains the testimonies of 89 witnesses, most of them surviving passengers and crew members. The first to give testimony was J. Bruce Ismay, managing director of the White Star Line.