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 Devon Archives and Local Studies DetailDetails for all ports

Port Years Reference Links
Barnstaple 1863 - 1913 1976 DetailDetails
Bideford 1863 - 1913 1976 DetailDetails
Dartmouth 1863 - 1913 1976 DetailDetails
Exeter 1863 - 1913 1976 DetailDetails
Ilfracombe 1863 - 1913 1976 DetailDetails
Plymouth 1863 - 1913 1976 DetailDetails
Teignmouth 1863 - 1913 1976 DetailDetails
Various 1863 - 1913 1976 Sorry, no details


TNA Discovery, archive catalogue and CLIP data.


TNA Discovery


Small sample for most Devon vessels and photocopies of documents for vessels with a Devon connection held at MHA. Index at RO includes masters and owners. CLIP seafarer's name index has been completed for all documents.

Shipping registers held at Devon Archives and Local Studies DetailDetails for all ports

Port Years Reference Links
Brixham 1864 - 1994 DSR/BRI DetailDetails
Dartmouth 1824 - 1999 DSR/DAR DetailDetails
Exeter 1786 - 1934 DSR/EXE DetailDetails
Salcombe 1863 - 1958 DSR/SAL DetailDetails
Teignmouth 1853 - 1987 DSR/TEI DetailDetails


Archive online catalogue.


Archive catalogue


The archives online catalogue lists volumes. A transcription project under way and some vessel and people's names are included in catalogue entries.

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.