It is with great sadness that we announce the end of the Nautical Magazine. The publication was incorporated into the monthly journal Sea Breezes at the end of last year. The Caird Library was formally informed by a letter from the Editor advising that the magazine had been sold to Sea Breezes Publication Ltd; and although the name will live on, the magazine may look different.
The Nautical Magazine had been published by Brown Son & Ferguson, Ltd. of Glasgow. Except for one edition in September 1980 – when a devastating fire damaged the company’s building – it has been published every month since March 1832. The image on the right shows the front cover of the first issue.
Describing itself as a “magazine for those interested in ships and the sea”, it covered, over the years, every level of news and developments in both naval and mercantile topics. The monthly journal contained news and commentaries from around the world, curious articles on the trends of current shipping affairs, information about new types of ships, discussions on the professional position of officers and an excellent book review section.
This was truly a journal for professional seafarers; its legacy will be afloat with us forever.
If you are interested in back issues, Aeon, the Caird Library’s new online ordering system, is live and items from the archive and library collections are ready to be requested to view in our reading room. As with any journal, when you place your order, please let us know what year, volume or issue you would like to view. To join the Library and to request items from the onsite stores, please register at Aeon.
Gregory (Assistant Librarian)
A few weeks ago I visited The National Archives for their Cataloguing Awareness Day. I was really impressed with the variety of projects underway, from the records of Victorian women prisoners, to ‘Bread or Blood’, describing political agitation for electoral reform in the early 1830s. I thought I’d mention the most relevant connected with maritime research.
Bruno Pappalardo, from the Advice and Records Knowledge team, gave an interesting overview of a project to catalogue and digitise a series of Royal Navy Medical Officers journals, from 1793-1880, though the series itself runs up to approximately 1960. The project is being funded by the Wellcome Trust and aims to catalogue over a thousand medical officer’s journals. The series includes convict and emigrant ships as well as the ships of the Royal Navy.
Bruno showed how these journals provide a wealth of information for medical historians, as they include detailed information on diseases and injuries, treatments and living conditions at sea. Surgeons were often fascinated with the natural world and frequently recorded their impressions with far more detail than the terse entries in the Captain’s log, leaving a series of records replete with watercolour illustrations, hand-drawn maps, and pictures of local flora, fauna, people and animals.
We have one or two examples in our manuscript collections, including the medical journal of La Seine kept by Surgeon John Martin off the coast of Africa and West Indies between 1799-1800 (ref: MLN/12) and the papers of Surgeon Vice Admiral Sir James Porter, (1851-1935) who amongst other things was principal medical officer to the Naval brigades during the Boer War (collection ref: PTR).
We also have a few examples of the standard surgeon’s reference books, such as Buchan’s Domestic medicine of 1779 and William Turnbull’s The Naval Surgeon of 1806. The ship’s copy of Buchan’s book was taken by the mutineers from HMS Bounty in 1787, showing just how important the information these books contained was.
So whilst these journals could be invaluable for comparing how the treatment of wounds and diseases, fevers and injuries changed over time, they are also of great potential value to family historians and other researchers. Of real value to family history research, it was pointed out, the medical journals go back further than the records of individual naval ratings (which don’t start until 1853). In other words it’s a way of finding information about ratings, of which there are virtually no record beyond a mention in a ship’s crew list. And the best news is that the new catalogue entries will be fully searchable by name; a wonderful tool for tracing naval ancestors.
Now that I’ve sung the project’s praises, you can have a look for yourself at:
Or you can search the TNA catalogue for details of these records at:
Martin (Manuscripts Cataloguer)
The archive and library at the National Maritime Museum
can be an invaluable resource when researching any maritime related family
history. If your genealogical tree holds any members from a maritime
background, be it the merchant navy, the Royal Navy, or if they worked for a
particular shipping company, we may hold that crucial piece of information you
require to complete your family tree. Also, if any of your ancestors emigrated by ship, while we don’t hold any passenger lists, we may be able to help fill out
some details of the ship they travelled aboard.
The library has recently begun subscribing to the BBC
who do you think you are? magazine and the latest issue (Issue 8, Apr.
2008) can be consulted right now in the library reading room. Currently our
holdings begin with issue 5, but will we soon have all the back issues and will
continue to collect the every new issue published.
What’s more, the National
will have a stand at the Who
Do You Think You Are? LIVE event in the Grand Hall, Olympia,
London from 2-4
May 2008. Why not drop by our stand to find out how we can assist you with your
genealogical research or, as always, contact us directly at the archive & library.
Gary (Assistant Librarian)
The other day while cataloguing (Andrew Lambert’s new edited collection of Naval history), I came across a reference to the Naval War College Review being freely available on the internet.
So I looked, and it is!
This is the Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island. They have a Center for Naval Warfare Studies, and it’s the center who publish the review. It’s a U.S-focused quarterly, focused on topics relating to international security, defense and other naval affairs.
The Caird Library has an unbroken run of the review from 1990 but, as we now know, the latest issues are available online in PDF format. Perhaps even better, they also provide an index to all issues (PDF 1MB), from 1948-2007. It lists articles by author and subject, and book reviews from 1998-2007.
Perhaps not earth-shattering, but still quite interesting.
Renée (Digital Resources Librarian)
If you’ve visited the reading room here at the Caird Library (or if you’ve read our excellent Lloyd’s research guides) you’ll know that we have a complete run of this world-famous shipping newspaper from 1779 on.
But, did you know that from 1933 we also have it on microfilm, AND that we still subscribe to the print edition of the paper, published daily? The microfilm comes every six months and can be used in the repropgraphics room next to the E-library. The print edition comes daily and is kept in the reading room, and discarded after six months. And there’s also the website, accessible from the E-library.
The thing is, we’re not sure that the current print edition is used enough for us to keep subscribing. Most of our readers are more interested in the historical Lloyd’s list, for information on merchant navy ship histories and the departures of passenger vessels for family history.
Anyone care to comment? Is it enough to have the microfilm version every six months? Are we being simply sentimental by continuing our daily subscription to the current Lloyd’s list? Let us know what you think.
Renee (Digital Resources Librarian)
British Library Direct is a new (well, newish!) service offered by the British Library. It’s a secure electronic delivery service for journal articles, and contains the past five years worth of articles from 20,000 of the British Library’s most popular research titles.
You can order a copy of any article you find on the database, pay by credit or debit card, and choose an electronic delivery time from two hours to five days. It’s all pretty convienient – the only catch is that you need to have a full (but free to download) version of Adobe Reader, with digital rights management activated.
Here’s just some of the titles held at the Caird Library that are available via BL Direct:
International Journal of Maritime History
Shipping and Trade Law
Shipping World and Shipbuilder
Renee (Digital Resources Librarian)