Archive for October, 2011

Lists of Admiralty Officials, 1660-1870

October 27, 2011

Culled from various primary sources, this volume – Office-Holders in Modern Britain: Volume 4 – Admiralty Officials 1660-1870  – provides comprehensive listings of the many offices and their holders found in the Admiralty. Each position, from Lord High Admiral to Librarian, is given its originating date and enabling documentation, along with the years the position existed as well as the names of those holding the position in question. The volume ends with a periodic list of officials and an alphabetical listing of all the names. A goldmine of information.

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Nautical Bibliographies

October 25, 2011

Here are several that are of interest: the Rasor Bibliography contains over 26,000 items on British naval history ranging from 55BCE to the present day. It will be updated as warranted. It covers books, book chapters, articles, conference papers as well as theses and dissertations; the Society for Nautical Research publishes an annual bibliography that includes “…naval history, mercantile history, nautical archaeology (but not the more technical works),biography,voyages and travel, and art and weapons and artefacts.” The bibliographies from 2005 onward can be perused online; and another worthwhile source is Naval & Maritime History: An Annotated Bibliography, 3d ed., revised and expanded.

Online Primary Sources for American Naval History

October 24, 2011

On this very special day in England, we thought it appropriate to mention some outstanding sources for naval history, primarily American. What we call the United States Navy ( a brief, scholarly history)  was established in 1794 by An Act to provide a Naval Armament that called for the building of six heavily armed frigates; one of this group, the USS Constitution, is still afloat (selected sources here). Collections of primary sources include:  Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships that includes every ship’s history from the Revolutionary War onward; Naval Records of the American Revolution, 1775-1788, a calendar of documents; Out-letters of the Continental Marine Committee and the Board of  admiralty; the seven-volume Naval Documents related to the Quasi-War between the United States and France; the six-volume Naval Documents related to the United States Wars with The Barbary Pirates; the three-volume The Naval War of 1812: A Documentary History; and The American State Papers: Naval Affairs covering the period 1794 to 1836.  Biographies in Naval History leads to primary sources while Westward by Sea: A Maritime Perspective on American Expansion,1820-189o contains diaries, logbook, narratives, and business records. Numerous biographies can be found at HathiTrust; here are a few on the “Father of the American Navy,” and it is not John Paul Jones. We will follow with an entry on primary sources for English naval history.