Maritime History and Maritime Research  

Information sources and research applications

The future of this web site January 2008

Maritime research interests what’s on this site and what I’m working on                                               

                        The pages on this site are grouped below under the following headings

General and databases                                  

Registers and other general sources

Computers and research resources for maritime history                

Signal codes and their potential as database identifiers                               

Sailing ship rigs                                             

Australia and New Zealand                                        

United Kingdom and British shipping                                  

North America                                   

European and other shipping                                    

                                use Page Down or down arrow for links                        


          General and databases

G1       Ship identifiers in databases and indexes 

            includes a lot about national Official Numbers, Global Ship Numbers, and LR/IMO numbers

G2       Linking Official Numbers across jurisdictions 

G3       Confusable names of maritime locations

G4       The trans-Pacific trades in the days of sail  (also listed elsewhere in menu)

G5       The Miramar Index   A comprehensive online international index of powered vessels

G6       Online databases

                Focusing on those with particular relevance to searching using internationally recognised numerical identifiers and with possible

                potential for eventual cross-linking in some way.

G7       Issues and options in database linking (draft)

            Discusses possibilities for databases to be used in conjunction and potentially linked in various ways for general collective advantage.


          Registers and other general sources  

R1       The Mercantile Navy List  (also listed under United Kingdom and British shipping)

R2       Comparison of the numbers of ships recorded by Lloyd’s Register and Bureau Veritas to WWI

R3       Measuring the transition from Sail to Steam with Lloyd’s and Bureau Veritas statistics

R4       Australian and New Zealand shipping registers  (also listed under Australia and New Zealand)

R5       Log Chips magazine: an underutilised research resource  (also listed under North America)

R6       Historical world shipping trends and shipping registers

R7       The Répertoire Générale world shipping statistics   spreadsheet direct

            detailed notes on spreadsheet


          Computers and research resources for maritime history

             CS 1, CS 2, CS 3 and CS 4 can usefully be read in sequence but need not be

CS 1    Books, lists and computers

CS 2    Co-operative development of  research resources

            including Collective genie-us. What we can learn from the genealogists

CS 3    Developing the contact point and overlap with genealogists

CS 4.1 Low-tech approaches to information sharing – general

CS 4.2 Low-tech approaches to information sharing – distribution on CD-ROM

CS 5    Spreadsheets for people who don’t already know that they already know how to read them

CS 6    Combining and comparing spreadsheets


CS 8    Multi-field primary identifiers in Access (forthcoming)

                (the way to add unique primary identifiers to datasets that don’t have them)

CS 9    Simple conventions and protocols for data sharing (forthcoming)

CS 10  One line per ship indexes and multiple records per ship (forthcoming)

CS 11  Diacritical marks and accentuated letters (planned)

CS 12  Possible collaborative resource development sub-projects

CS 13  Compiling web site pages in Word – rudimentary, affordable, effective (planned)


          Signal codes and their potential as database identifiers      

C1       The allocation and use of ship identification signal codes for merchant ships to WWII

C2       Signal codes as ship identifiers in databases

C3       Marryat signal codes and their possible application as ship identifiers in databases

C4       International signal code letters allocated 1886-1947

C5       Rogers’ American Signal Codes 1846-54

C6       American Commercial Code of Signals codes 1859-1864

C7       American signal codes 1867-1932


          Sailing ship rigs  

S1        The numbers of American square-rigged ships and the rig-size relationship

                (also listed under North America)

S2        Schooners and the rig-size relationship (forthcoming)

S3        The rig-size relationship and illustrating sailing ship rigs

S4        The relationship of sail area to tonnage

S5        The schooner-barge, an important distinct species of rig (forthcoming)

S6        Middendorf and Underhill on sailing ship rigs (forthcoming)


          Australia and New Zealand    

A1       Sail and Steam in New Zealand: an outline

A2       The New Zealand sailing scow   with international linkages; research; bibliography

A3       Australian and New Zealand shipping registers (also listed under Registers)

A4       Watt’s Index of NZ-registered ships   

A4a      Revised Index of NZ-registered ships (incorporating revision and update of Watt’s Index)                     

A5       NZ ships of unknown origin  

            possibly the answer to one of your puzzles or your chance to solve one

A6       New Zealand shipping statistics    

A7       Australian shipping statistics

A8       NZ heritage ships preserved outside NZ    (Sydney, Melbourne, San Diego etc) 

A9       Heritage ships within New Zealand

A10     The sea career of Percy Allen Eaddy (New Zealand maritime writer)

A11     The Windsor Castle at Brisbane in 1877

The Windsor Castle, Queensland shipping in the 1870’s, Capt. James Ratcliffe Smith, and the Jaap, Matthews and Fowles families of Queensland


A12     The trans-Pacific trades in the days of sail (also listed under General and North America)

A13     A NZ maritime and genealogical information network

                Calling NZers interested in the area of overlap between genealogy and maritime history



North America                 


N1       North American ships with New Zealand connections   List

N2       A substantial listing of American ships prior to 1868

N3       American historical shipping information sources

N4       Canadian historical shipping information sources

N5       Log Chips magazine: an underutilised research resource (also listed under Registers)

N6       The trans-Pacific trades in the days of sail (also listed under General and Australia and New Zealand)

N7       The numbers of American square-rigged ships and the rig-size relationship

            (also listed under Sailing ship rigs)

N8       United States port registration transcriptions

            the “Works Progress Administration” projects 1936-1942

N9       Stock take of American research, May 2006

            including the starting point for an index of US official numbers, linkable to British counterparts

N 10    The parallel editions of the List of Merchant Vessels of the United States

                The Congress (House) Documents edition of the LMVUS may well be the more readily available

                and includes additional information omitted from the standard edition for many years

N 11    Statistical and Archives Queries (US)

                My current “intractables” list.  Researchers  with an academic background may be particularly likely to be able to help

                with these as familiarity with historical governmental statistical publications and administrative archives will help.




          United Kingdom and British shipping           

U1       General

U2       Comparison of the coverage of UK ships by Lloyd’s Register and the Mercantile Navy List

U3       The Mercantile Navy List  (also listed under Registers)

U4       British crew lists and ship movement records (forthcoming)

U5       British captains’ and mates’ certificates (forthcoming)

U6       Lloyd’s captains’ registers (forthcoming)



          European and other shipping                        

E1        Combining European shipping records with British and American (forthcoming)

E2        European shipping history references

E3        Kresse’s record of Hamburg ships to 1914

                This resource contains information about many American and British ships that came under Hamburg ownership at some




Jeremy Lowe,  Wellington, New Zealand