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Shipping registers
Archives that hold shipping registers
Records of the registration of shipping run from 1786 (for some ports) to 1994 when the records were computerised. Vessels of over 15 tons with a deck were required to be registered with Customs officers in their home port, the entries being made in large volumes covering several years. The register entry included a brief physical description of the vessel and a list of her owners. They also recorded any changes in ownership. A copy of the register entry was provided for the owner and was part of the ship's papers; a separate copy (transcript) was sent to the Custom House in London. Most of the original registers are now held at local archives close to the port of registry.
 
From 1869, separate registers of fishing vessels were kept, which also recorded the port letter and number assigned to the ship. Copies of the vessel's registration were made as above. The original fishing registers are now usually held with the other merchant shipping records.
 
The transcripts sent to central government are now held at The National Archives and their information leaflet provides details.
 
The list below shows the archives that hold shipping registers and the ports for which they have holdings. Where possible, we have provided links to online catalogues which give details of the individual volumes and, in some cases, the vessels.
 
The icon links to our list of registers for the archive in a standard form. This may be easier to follow than the archives' catalogue and provides links to vessel indexes, images and transcripts where possible.
 
This is not a complete list of holdings - we're still working on it. Please let us know of any more which come to light!
 
The columns of the table show:
  1. the name of the archives, with a link to their web site.
  2. the port(s) of registry for which they hold documents,
  3. the start year and
  4. the end year which the registers cover, though the runs may not be complete
  5. the reference code which the archives uses for their shipping records.
  6. links to online catalogues, either the archives' own online catalogue , the Access to Archives (A2A) catalogue , or the CLIP list of documents .
  7. notes of how to gain more information and indexes available
  8. the source of our information, which include the National Archives of Scotland (NAS) and the Scottish Archives Network (SCAN). Unfortunately, for these sites and for some of the local archives, we are not able to link directly to search results. Go to the search page and try "shipping registers" or the archives reference. Then keep digging!
Archives that hold shipping registers
Archive Ports Start End Archives reference Catalogue Notes Information source
Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire Archives, AberdeenAberdeen18181989CE87CLIP list of documents held by Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire Archives Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire Archives online catalogue Archives online catalogue lists volumes.Archives online catalogue, NAS online catalogue.
Barrow Archive and Local Studies Centre, Barrow in FurnessBarrow18681902BTSRCLIP list of documents held by Barrow Archive and Local Studies Centre Barrow Archive and Local Studies Centre online catalogue Archives online catalogue
Berwick-upon-Tweed Record Office, Berwick-upon-TweedBerwick18241910SB 1CLIP list of documents held by Berwick-upon-Tweed Record Office Berwick-upon-Tweed Record Office online catalogue Archives online catalogue lists volumesArchives online catalogue
Bristol Record Office, BristolBristol18241928 37908CLIP list of documents held by Bristol Record Office A2A entry Bristol Record Office Archives online catalogue lists volumesDiscovery, Archives online catalogue
Burns Monument Centre, KilmarnockArdrossan18591910CE114/11CLIP list of documents held by Burns Monument Centre NAS online catalogue lists volumes.NAS online catalogue.
Ayr18351989CE76/11
Irvine18241947CE71/11
Troon18601988CE72/11
Caithness Archive Centre, WickWick18361974CE113CLIP list of documents held by Caithness Archive Centre Full printed list available at North Highland Archive.SCAN online
Cambridgeshire Archives, CambridgeWisbech18361994R82, R102, R105CLIP list of documents held by Cambridgeshire Archives Archives have an information sheet online hereArchives information sheet
Carlisle Archive Centre, CarlisleCarlisle17861886TSR/4CLIP list of documents held by Carlisle Archive Centre Carlisle Archive Centre online catalogue Archives online catalogue.
Maryport18381933TSR/2
Silloth18691901TSR/5
Carmarthenshire Archives Service, CarmarthenCarmarthen18391849T/SHIP/1/1CLIP list of documents held by Carmarthenshire Archives Service A2A entry Carmarthenshire Archives Service A2A has list of volumesA2A
Llanelli18241977T/SHIP/1-4
Ceredigion Archives, AberystwythAberystwyth18241985AT/SHIPCLIP list of documents held by Ceredigion Archives Ceredigion Archives online catalogue Archives online catalogue has index by vessel.Archives online catalogue.
Cheshire Archives and Local Studies, ChesterChester19141994NRCLIP list of documents held by Cheshire Archives and Local Studies Shipping registers for Runcorn are held at Merseyside Maritime Museum ArchivesArchives online catalogue
Cornwall Record Office, TruroFalmouth18431989MSR/FALCLIP list of documents held by Cornwall Record Office Archives online catalogue has list of volumes.Archives online catalogue.
Fowey17861992MSR/FOW
Hayle18641879MSR/HAY
Looe18241834MSR/LOO
Padstow18241992MSR/PAD
Penzance17861989MSR/PENZ
Scilly17861987MSR/SCI
St Ives17861986MSR/IVES
Truro18241992MSR/TRU
Devon Heritage Services, ExeterBrixham18641994DSR/BRICLIP list of documents held by Devon Heritage Services Devon Heritage Services online catalogue Archives online catalogue lists volumes. Transcription project under way and some vessel names included in catalogue entries.Archives online catalogue.
Dartmouth18241999DSR/DAR
Exeter17861934DSR/EXE
Salcombe18631958DSR/SAL
Teignmouth18531987DSR/TEI
Dumfries and Galloway Archives, DumfriesDumfries18361989CE51/11CLIP list of documents held by Dumfries and Galloway Archives Dumfries and Galloway Archives online catalogue Index of vessels for all ports available on archives site here. NAS online catalogue lists volumes. Archive online catalogue, NAS online catalogue.
Stranraer18241908CE77/11
Wigtown18361920CE61/11
Dundee City Archives, DundeeArbroath18441990CE80/11CLIP list of documents held by Dundee City Archives NAS online catalogue lists volumes.NAS online catalogue.
Dundee18241989CE70/11
Montrose18241988CE53/11
East Riding of Yorkshire Archives, BeverleyBridlington17861847NSBCLIP list of documents held by East Riding of Yorkshire Archives East Riding of Yorkshire Archives online catalogue A2A entry East Riding of Yorkshire Archives Archives online catalogue and A2A have lists of volumes for both ports.Achives online catalogue and A2A.
Goole18281957NSG
East Sussex Record Office, LewesNewhaven18551994RSS/3CLIP list of documents held by East Sussex Record Office A2A entry East Sussex Record Office A2A has list of volumes.A2A
Rye18561993RSS/4
Essex Record Office, ChelmsfordColchester18011989A/SR 3CLIP list of documents held by Essex Record Office A2A entry Essex Record Office Archives online catalogue and A2A list volumesArchive online catalogue and A2A
Harwich18331994A/SR 2
Maldon17861994 A/SR 1
Falkirk Archives, FalkirkBorrowstounness17801975CE58CLIP list of documents held by Falkirk Archives Archive finding aids have lists of shipping registers for Bo'ness and Grangemouth.NAS online catalogue. Archives online finding aids.
Grangemouth18101861CE68
Flintshire Record Office, HawardenChester18361970SCLIP list of documents held by Flintshire Record Office A2A entry Flintshire Record Office A2A lists volumes and vessel names.A2A
Glamorgan Archives, CardiffCardiff18241994DRBSCLIP list of documents held by Glamorgan Archives A2A entry Glamorgan Archives A2A lists volumesA2A
Glasgow City Archives, GlasgowCampbeltown17631989CE82/11CLIP list of documents held by Glasgow City Archives NAS online catalogue lists volumes.NAS online catalogue.
DumfriesCE51/11/1
Glasgow18421960CE59/11
Gloucestershire Archives, GloucesterGloucester18151994D4292CLIP list of documents held by Gloucestershire Archives A2A entry Gloucestershire Archives A2A has list of volumesArchive online catalogue, A2A
Gwent Archives, Ebbw ValeChepstow17861880D.1847CLIP list of documents held by Gwent Archives Archives catalogue
Newport18241981D.1847
Gwynedd Archives Service, CaernarfonBeaumaris17861901X/SRCLIP list of documents held by Gwynedd Archives Service 
Caernarfon18401918X/SR
Pwllheli18401851X/SR
Highland Archive Centre, InvernessInverness17861989CE62/11/1-36CLIP list of documents held by Highland Archive Centre NAS online catalogue lists volumes. Most recent documents are at NAS.NAS online catalogue.
Hull City Archives, HullHull18041994C DPCCLIP list of documents held by Hull City Archives A2A entry Hull City Archives Archives online catalogue for Hull Archives online catalogue has list of volumes - use advanced search for C DPC/1/*A2A, Archives online catalogue
Isle of Wight Record Office, NewportCowes17861930CWS/54Isle of Wight Record Office online catalogue Archives online catalogue lists vessels but with little further detail and no list of the volumes they hold.Archives online catalogue
Kent History and Library Centre, MaidstoneDeal18251878RBD/DeCLIP list of documents held by Kent History and Library Centre Kent History and Library Centre online catalogue A2A entry Kent History and Library Centre Archives online catalogue lists volumesArchives online catalogue and Discovery.
Dover18241994RBS/Do
Faversham18241909RBS/Fa
Folkestone18481994RBS/Fo
Ramsgate18531994RBS/Ra
Sandwich17861854RBS/Sa
Lancashire Archives, PrestonFleetwood18501937SSCLIP list of documents held by Lancashire Archives Lancashire Archives online catalogue Archives online catalogue.
Lancaster17861987SS
Preston17861987SS
Lincolnshire Archives, LincolnBoston18271966MSR/BOSTONCLIP list of documents held by Lincolnshire Archives Archives catalogue
Gainsborough18411879MSR/GAINSBOROUGH
Manx National Heritage Library, DouglasCastletown18631971CLIP list of documents held by Manx National Heritage Library Full details and transcripts on this site.Archives catalogue
Derbyhaven18241853
Douglas18241930
Peel18241935
Ramsey18241900
Medway Archives and Local Studies Centre, RochesterRochester18241927RBS/RoCLIP list of documents held by Medway Archives and Local Studies Centre Medway Archives and Local Studies Centre online catalogue Archives online catalogue lists volumes and includes online images, though unfortunately they are not indexed by ship's name.Archives online catalogue.
Merseyside Maritime Museum Archives, LiverpoolLiverpool17861987C/EX/L/1 - 9Merseyside Maritime Museum Archives online catalogue Archives online information and Cheshire Archives online catalogue
Runcorn18331981C/EX/R/1 - 2
National Archives of Scotland, EdinburghAnstruther18241852CE103/11CLIP list of documents held by National Archives of Scotland Shipping registers are held offsite.NAS online catalogue.
Banff18011989CE64/11
Buckie18691989CE89/11
Burntisland19051982CE96/11
DumfriesCE51/11/12
Fraserburgh18441988CE66/11
Granton18661993CE106/11
Greenock17851979CE60/11
Inverness18791989CE62/11/37-69
Kirkcaldy18241990CE63/11
Kirkwall19041999CE55/11/25-27
Leith18261993CE57/11
Methil19041982CE88/11
Peterhead18441990CE65/11
Port Glasgow17851979CE60/11
Stornoway17861989CE86/11
Norfolk Record Office, NorwichCley18321881P/SH/L/7-12CLIP list of documents held by Norfolk Record Office Norfolk Record Office online catalogue Archives have information leaflet on shipping records here.Archives online catalogue.
Lynn18361989P/SH /L
Wells18321881P/SH/L/7-12
Yarmouth18341994P/SH/Y/1-60
North Devon Record Office, BarnstapleBarnstaple18241940DSR/BARCLIP list of documents held by North Devon Record Office 
Bideford18241908DSR/BID
Ilfracombe18241837DSR/ILF
North East Lincolnshire Archives, GrimsbyGrimsby18241937365CLIP list of documents held by North East Lincolnshire Archives North East Lincolnshire Archives online catalogue A2A entry North East Lincolnshire Archives Archives online catalogue and A2A list volumes.Archives online catalogue and A2A
North Yorkshire County Record Office, NorthallertonScarborough17861923NG/RSCLIP list of documents held by North Yorkshire County Record Office North Yorkshire County Record Office online catalogue All records are on microfilm and there are copies at Teeside Archives Service, Middlesborough.Archives catalogue.
Whitby17861896NG/RS
Northumberland Archives, AshingtonBlyth18971988NRO 05986CLIP list of documents held by Northumberland Archives Northumberland Archives online catalogue Online catalogue lists volumesArchives online catlogue
Orkney Archive, KirkwallKirkwall18441988CE55/11/1-24CLIP list of documents held by Orkney Archive NAS online catalogue has list of volumes. Archives web site has list of fishing vessels, compiled from CE55/11 here. Three fishing registers are at NAS.NAS online catalogue.
Pembrokeshire Archives, HaverfordwestCardigan18271994T/SHIPCLIP list of documents held by Pembrokeshire Archives Pembrokeshire Archives online catalogue Archives online catalogue.
Milford18691992T/SHIP
Perth and Kinross Council Archives, PerthPerth17161942CE52CLIP list of documents held by Perth and Kinross Council Archives NAS online catalogue has list of volumes.NAS online catalogue.
Plymouth and West Devon Record Office, PlymouthPlymouth18241994CLIP list of documents held by Plymouth and West Devon Record Office Plymouth and West Devon Record Office online catalogue Archives have CD with details of shipping records.Archives online catalogue.
Portsmouth Records Service, PortsmouthPortsmouth18241873PR/SCLIP list of documents held by Portsmouth Records Service Archives catalogue
Public Record Office of Northern Ireland, BelfastBelfast18471950CUS/1/6CLIP list of documents held by Public Record Office of Northern Ireland Public Record Office of Northern Ireland online catalogue PRONI online catalogue lists the volumes - browse for CUS and dig down!PRONI online catalogue
Coleraine18681968CUS/4/2
Londonderry18311987CUS/2/6
Newry18241973CUS/3/6
Shetland Archives, LerwickLerwick18371989CE85CLIP list of documents held by Shetland Archives Shetland Archives online catalogue NAS online catalogue lists volumes. Archives online catalogue. NAS online catalogue.
Somerset Archive and Local Studies, TauntonBridgwater17861996DD\RSHCLIP list of documents held by Somerset Archive and Local Studies A2A entry Somerset Archive and Local Studies Archives online catalogue and A2A have list of volumes.Archives online catalogue and A2A
Stirling Council Archives, StirlingAlloa17361989CE67CLIP list of documents held by Stirling Council Archives Stirling Council Archives online catalogue NAS online catalogue lists volumes. Archive online catalogue, NAS online catalogue.
Suffolk Record Office, IpswichIpswichThe Ipswich branch of Suffolk Record Office holds registers for the port of Ipswich, but can provide no further information.
Suffolk Record Office, LowestoftLowestoft1852199425/CLIP list of documents held by Suffolk Record Office Suffolk Record Office online catalogue Archives online catalogue has details of volumes.Archives online catalogue
Teeside Archives, MiddlesbroughHartlepool184519401258CLIP list of documents held by Teeside Archives A2A entry Teeside Archives A2A has details down to ships names.A2A
Middlesbrough186119231258
Stockton183919041258
West Hartlepool186019371258
The National Archives, RichmondLondon17861994CUST 130The National Archives online catalogue TNA online catalogue
The National Archives of Ireland, DublinDundalk18351900Rev 8/3,4CLIP list of documents held by The National Archives of Ireland It is thought that these are the only registers for Irish ports to have survived.Archives catalogue.
Limerick18361901Rev 8/5,6
Waterford18451877Rev 8/8,9
Westport18621911Rev 8/11
Wexford18411882Rev 8/14,15
Tyne and Wear Archives, Newcastle upon TyneNewcastle17861931EX.NCCLIP list of documents held by Tyne and Wear Archives Archives online catalogue for Newcastle Archives online catalogue has details of volumes for all ports.Archives online catalogue.
North Shields18481949EX.NSCLIP list of documents held by Tyne and Wear Archives Archives online catalogue for North Shields 
South Shields18591901EX.SSCLIP list of documents held by Tyne and Wear Archives Archives online catalogue for South Shields 
Sunderland17861964EX.SUCLIP list of documents held by Tyne and Wear Archives Archives online catalogue for Sunderland 
West Glamorgan Archive Service, SwanseaPort Talbot19051974 D/D PRO/RBS/PTCLIP list of documents held by West Glamorgan Archive Service West Glamorgan Archive Service online catalogue A2A entry West Glamorgan Archive Service A2A and archives online catalogue list volumes. Online index in progress - search hereA2A and archives online catalogue.
Swansea18241994 D/D PRO/RBS/S
West Sussex Record Office, ChichesterArundel18241855CE/1CLIP list of documents held by West Sussex Record Office A2A entry West Sussex Record Office A2A has list of volumesA2A
Chichester18371852CE/2
Littlehampton18691988CE/3
Shoreham18211988CE/4
Whitehaven Archive and Local Studies Centre, WhitehavenWhitehaven17861988YTSR/1 - 2CLIP list of documents held by Whitehaven Archive and Local Studies Centre Whitehaven Archive and Local Studies Centre online catalogue Archives online catalogue
Workington18391987YTSR/3

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