Life at Sea

Life at Sea

Life at Sea is a collection of digitized primary sources that document Anglo-American sea travel from 1600-1900. The collection includes both official government records and personal documentation of sailors’ individual experiences. Highlights include:

  • Depositions in the Admiralty Courts Martial Records;
  • The complete High Court of Admiralty Examinations of Pirates;
  • A selection of personal illustrated journals, including those of Edward Barlow and ship's surgeon Edward Cree;
  • Objects from the National Maritime Museum and Mystic Seaport;
  • Correspondence from ordinary seamen, including letters from sailors involved in the Nore mutiny (1797);
  • The logbook from the USS Constitution, known as Old Ironsides, for the years 1811-13;
  • A selection of ships' musters, including the ship's muster from HMS Victory for the year of the Battle of Trafalgar (1805);
  • Records of the American Seamen's Friend Society, which was established to improve the social and moral welfare of seamen.

Materials in this collection were sourced from maritime archives and heritage collections held by the Massachusetts Historical Society, Mystic Seaport Museum, the National Archives of the United Kingdom, and the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, London.

Dates covered