This page provides details of the documents held at archives, split into Crew lists and Shipping registers. We have not attempted to list other maritime-related documents which an archive may hold.

For background details of these documents, please see: Crew lists Registration of shipping

How to search for documents by archive

Select the first letter of the archive name from the alphabetic list and then the name of the archive.

Be aware! Some archive names may not be obvious. We use the name that they themselves use, but the following may help:

  • Ayrshire - see Burns Monument Centre
  • Canada - see Library and Archives Canada
  • Flintshire - see North East Wales Archives
  • Grimsby - see North East Lincolnshire Archives

Reading and using the results

The results are displayed in two sections: Crew lists and Shipping registers.

Where possible, we link to the archive catalogue or The National Archive (TNA) catalogue.

Beware. Several archives have catalogues driven by software called DServe, or the ironically named CalmView, which is best described as 'user hostile'. It needs considerable patience to use, is often slow, or just locks up. Worse, the links often change as the archives try to make it work.

If all else fails, where neither CLIP nor the archive catalogue provide data, the archive name at the top of the page gives a link to their web site.

Crew lists

For crew lists, we list the ports for which the archive holds documents, and the years covered.

Where we have further details of the holdings for a port, we provide a link which provides a list of ships for that port.

The lists of ships are in alphabetic order sorted by ships name and show the ship's official number. Use the alphabet list at the top of the results to select by initial letter.

In many cases, the archive will hold documents for several local ports and occasionally stray documents for other ports. To obtain a complete list of all the documents held by the archive use the link at the top-right of the table.

Be aware! Some crew list documents for each port will be held at TNA (a 10% sample) and at the National Maritime Museum (NMM) (years ending in 5 and 1861 and 1862) and possibly the Maritime History Archive (MHA). Even in cases where the local archive obtained a large proportion of their documents, some were missed and made their way to MHA. Many archives only took a sample of the documents for their local ports and the remainder are at MHA. For other ports, including London, Norfolk and the Scottish ports, virtually all the crew lists are at MHA.

Documents at TNA, NMM and MHA are not included in the lists for the archive.

However,the known holdings for individual ships in all archives can be tracked down. Against the name of each ship are two links: The link shows their index page for that official number, which includes details of the MHA holdings and those at archives in Britain, but not TNA or NMM. The button shows our information on archive holdings for that official number, which includes the MHA, TNA and (some of) NMM holdings. There are further notes on that page.

A further link to the right links to the CLIP data page for the ship with that official number, including records in the Mercantile Navy List.

Shipping registers

For shipping registers, we list the ports for which the archive holds documents, and the years they cover.

You can see the list of registers for a port by clicking the link against that port or to see all the registers held at the archive, click

For some registers, we are able to provide further links to an index of the ships recorded in that register. This is accessed by clicking the against that register. This will list the entries in Folio order or they can be sorted by ship's name or by official number. Further notes are available on the index pages.

For the shipping registers held at Manx National Heritage Library, we are able to provide a transcript of each folio, including the names of individual owners, masters and builders. These names of individuals can be found by using the CLIP search page, here: People named in shipping registers

Data sources

The sources of this information are:

We are glad to acknowledge the work of Robert R Le Maistre who compiled a complete index to the shipping registers for Australian ports. This used to be available on the National Archives of Australia (NAA) site. We used it as the basis for the index available on this site, with corrections against CLIP data and added links to the images to the NAA site.

Crew lists held at National Records of Scotland DetailDetails for all ports

Port Years Reference Links
Aberdeen 1886 - 1913 BT3 DetailDetails
Ayr 1886 - 1910 BT3 DetailDetails
Leith 1868 - 1914 BT3 DetailDetails
Port Glasgow 1892 - 1897 BT3 DetailDetails
Various 1867 - 1914 BT3 Sorry, no details

Sources

The National Records of Scotland (NRS) online catalogue has a list of the ships for which records are held.

Links

Archive catalogue

Notes

Class BT3 includes about 700 crew lists and agreements for ships from various ports. The documents are held offsite and must be ordered in advance of a visit.

Shipping registers held at National Records of Scotland DetailDetails for all ports

Port Years Reference Links
Anstruther 1824 - 1852 CE103/11 DetailDetails
Banff 1801 - 1989 CE64/11 DetailDetails
Buckie 1869 - 1989 CE89/11 DetailDetails
Burntisland 1905 - 1982 CE96/11 DetailDetails
Dumfries 1905 - 1999 CE51/11/12 DetailDetails
Fraserburgh 1844 - 1988 CE66/11 DetailDetails
Granton 1866 - 1993 CE106/11 DetailDetails
Greenock 1785 - 1979 CE60/11 DetailDetails
Inverness 1879 - 1989 CE62/11/37-69 DetailDetails
Kirkcaldy 1824 - 1990 CE63/11 DetailDetails
Kirkwall 1904 - 1999 CE55/11/25-27 DetailDetails
Leith 1826 - 1993 CE57/11 DetailDetails
Methil 1904 - 1982 CE88/11 DetailDetails
Peterhead 1844 - 1990 CE65/11 DetailDetails
Port Glasgow 1785 - 1979 CE60/11 DetailDetails
Stornoway 1786 - 1989 CE86/11 DetailDetails

Sources

NRS online catalogue.

Links

Archive catalogue

Notes

Shipping registers are held offsite and must be ordered in advance of a visit.

The links to archives' web sites and particularly their catalogues are often broken by changes or malfunctions at the archives, or they simply disappear.

We do our best to keep up, but please accept our apologies for broken links. The link to the archive's web site on the heading of this page provide more information.