Admiralty: Supplementary Logs and Journals of Ships on Exploration

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Details of ADM 55
Reference: ADM 55
Title: Admiralty: Supplementary Logs and Journals of Ships on Exploration

These volumes are those logs (navigational records) and journals (narrative accounts) of naval officers of ships engaged in exploration and surveying, which were regularly used by the Hydrographic Office. They include a few logs supplied by merchant ships. Most were kept by naval captains, masters, lieutenants and masters mates. there are a few others, kept by a boatswain or an assistant surgeon. Those dating before 1855 were retained by the Admiralty as still being referred to in the 1850s, when other ships logs were sent to the Public Record Office.

Many famous officers contributed logs, James Cook, William Bligh and Matthew Flinders among them. The areas covered tend to be the Pacific, the Arctic, the Antarctic, Australia, the Americas and the west coast of Africa, although China, St Helena and other places are also included.


Digital copies of the Logs and Journals of Ships on Exploration are available to download.

Digitised logbooks are also available on the British Atmospheric Data Centre's website.

Date: 1757-1861; 1904
Held by: The National Archives, Kew
Legal status: Public Record(s)
Language: English
Physical description: 164 volume(s)
Access conditions: Available in digital format unless otherwise stated
Custodial history: Transferred to the Public Record Office after 1904. Most came from the Admiralty Record Office, with a very few from the Admiralty Library. Some (ADM 55/151-164) appear to have been added to this series later, probably removed from the standard series of ships logs. All except two date from before 1861: the exception is the Morning of 1904 (ADM 55/163-164).

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