CLIP is run by Pete and Jan Owens as a not-for-profit volunteer project. It started from trying to trace the sea-going career of Pete's great-grandfather, who ran away to sea in the 1860s.
Depending on your point of view, the project either grew a life of its own, or got out of hand.
The aim of CLIP is simple - to improve access to the records of seafarers on British registered ships of the late 19th and early 20th century.
We do this by making available information about the records, and providing data drawn from crew lists and agreements. Alongside that we provide data and image sets relating to
British registered ships aimed at assisting researchers to finding their crew documents.
With our small band of volunteers from around the world, and with the help of many archivists, we have:
- Transcribed and checked nearly 1,000,000 (one million) entries from crew lists.
- Provided the facilities for the transcription of a further 750,000 entries by The National Archives (TNA) and the National Maritime Museum (NMM).
- Made over 63,000 images of crew list documents.
- Transcribed 57,000 entries of foreign-going masters and mates from the records in BT 124 at TNA
- Made the first complete record of British registered ships, from 1855 to the 1950s, with 200,000 entries from the Appropriation Books at RSS in Cardiff.
- Compiled a further 470,000 records of ships from the Mercantile Navy List, making the largest database of British registered ships of the era.
- Set up a site giving access to images of 70 editions of the Mercantile Navy List - both our own images and sets from the Maritime History Archive in Newfoundland, (with their kind permission).
- Made the first full transcription from the shipping registers for a group of ports.
- Discovered the basis of a vital link in the records of seafarers from 1845 to 1854 and worked with an Australian researcher, Peter Hamersley, to make data available online, easing access to the records of 500,000 seafarers.
- Set up this site which is widely used as a resource for researchers into maritime records.
We have now completed all the transcription projects that we manage. We have no plans to organise more ourselves, but that is far from the end of CLIP.
We are continuing to add to this site, in particular the images of the Mercantile Navy List and Olsen's Almanack together with data on the locations of documents.
None of what CLIP has achieved would have been possible without the kind assistance of many people. We are glad to list them on our acknowledgements page:
NB! We are delighted to help with advice about finding records (that's what CLIP and this web site is all about) but please do not ask us
to do your research for you - all the data we have is either on this site or for sale via findmypast and we'd like you to have the fun of doing the research.
Sorry, we do not carry out privately commissioned research.