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History and Delawareana in Special Collections

About the collection

The maritime journals and ships' logs found in the Diaries, Journal, Ships' Logs Collection include log books and journals written by passengers and crew members from thirteen American and three British ships. All of the journals were written in the nineteenth century and, as such, provide a general survey of maritime activity over that century. The contents of the collection are widely varied, ranging from official deck logs of the U.S. Navy to a personal account of an ocean voyage around Cape Horn on the continent of South America.

From the collection

MSS 097, Item 038  Frederick A. Hodge, Log of the HMS Minotaur, 1881 February 14–1885 November 20. (image from Volume 2)

Related subject guides

Select bibliographies

Listed here are bibliographies of resources in Special Collections pertaining to maritime journals and ships' logs. Please note that the items listed in the bibliographies represent only a small portion of materials on maritime journals and ships' logs held in Special Collections.

Highlights from the manuscript collection

MSS 097, Item 13  John Clarke, b. 1817.

On board the ship Governor Morton, 1852 March 10 - 1852 December 20.

1 volume, (circa 200 pages); 15 cm.

Journal kept by the passenger John Clarke aboard the ship Governor Morton documenting the trip from New York to San Francisco between March 12, 1852 and December 20, 1852.

MSS 097, Item 23 James S. Doran.

Private journal of James S. Doran, 1866 May 17 - 1872 April 25.

1 volume, (circa 120 pages); 20 cm.

The journal is a personal narrative of James S. Doran who served in the capacity of engineer on several steamships, including the Merrimack, the Thomas Kelso, the San Pelago, and the City of Mexico from May 17, 1866 through April 25, 1872.

MSS 097, Item 10 Chappell, Daniel A.

Remarks on board the ship Rambler, 1852 October 5-1855 April 23.

1 volume, (212 pages)

This bound volume is a typed transcript of a log for the bark Rambler kept by Daniel A. Chappell, the ship's cooper. It documents a Pacific-bound whaling voyage out of New Bedford, Massachusetts, for the period 1852-1855.

MSS 097, Item 41 Duncan N. Ingraham.

Journal of a cruise in the U.S. Steam Sloop Richmond, 1860 September 27 - 1861 June 28.

1 volume, (circa 200 pages); 27 cm.

Official United States Navy deck log of the United States Steam Sloop Richmond describing the journey of the Mediterranean Squadron from Norfolk, Virginia, to patrol on the Mediterranean from September 27, 1860 to June 28, 1861.

MSS 097, Item 76 William John Cavendish Clifford.

Log of H.M. Undaunted, 1830 November 3 - 1834 February 10.

1 volume, (circa 210 pages); 34 cm.

Official log book kept by William John Cavendish Clifford of the British Royal Navy aboard the HMS Undaunted describing the ship's travels through ports in St. Helena and Sierra Leone from November 3, 1830 to February 10, 1834.