Relating to

                       Marine Casualties in Canada

                              Richard Brown
                             Glenn T. Wright

                      Government Archives Division
                       National Archives of Canada


Over the course of the last decade, research interest in the history of
ships and the maritime shipping industry in Canada has increased
dramatically. A major component of this renewed interest has been Canada's
underwater heritage - the shipwreck.  Discovery of the War of 1812 wrecks
HAMILTON and SCOURGE in Lake Ontario, and the widely publicized finding of
the TITANIC served to heighten general public awareness of underwater
archaeology and history. Activities of groups such as Save Ontario
Shipwrecks (SOS), especially with its emphasis on historical research
using archival records, have also contributed to increased demands for
information stored in various records repositories across the country. The
following notes have been compiled to assist the researcher who wishes
to consult archival sources of the federal government in the search for
information relating to shipping losses in Canada.

Before describing the major sources of documentation available on
shipwrecks in the custody of the Government Archives Division (GAD) of
the National Archives of Canada, a few preliminary observations are in
order. First, the single most important thing to bear in mind is that an
archives is not a library.  For example, there exists no master list or
index to all the records pertaining to shipping losses in Canadian waters
at the National Archives. Our federal archival holdings, consisting of
subject files and other unpublished documents, are principally arranged
according to the name of the department of government that created and/or
transferred the records to GAD.  Thus, federal records relating to marine
casualties are generally located in the documents of the Marine Branch
(Record Group 42), Transport Canada (Record Group 12) and National Defence
(Record Group 24).

There are various guides and finding aids (lists of files, card indexes,
and so on) available in the Government Archives Division to assist the
researcher.  Archivists are also prepared to offer advice and assistance,
although researchers are expected to search the finding aids for their
own references.

The examination of the various lists and indexes, and the ordering and
retrieval of material takes time; consequently, researchers who visit the
Archives should not expect quick and easy answers to involved or
complicated questions.  It should also be noted that some records in the
custody of GAD are not immediately available for research purposes; for
instance, the wreck investigation files dating from the 1950's forward must
be reviewed by our Access staff in accordance with the ACCESS TO
INFORMATION and PRIVACY ACTS prior to disclosure.  This can be a time-
consuming process.

The Archives will attempt to answer written requests for information,
but since we receive hundreds of letters each year relating to ships and
shipwrecks, the amount of time which can be devoted to any single inquiry
is limited. Inquiries should be addressed to: Reference and Researchers
Inquiries Division, Public Programs Branch, National Archives of Canada,
395 Wellington Street, OTTAWA, Ontario, K1A 0N3.   For researchers who
wish to visit the Archives, our office hours are 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.,
Monday to Friday; however, our research facilties are open twenty-four
hours a day throughout the year, including all public holidays.
Lockers are available for the storage of archival documents, but
permission to use these facilities outside of regular office hours must be
obtained in person. 

As a general rule, researchers should seek to gain as much information as
they possibly can in reference to their shipwreck(s) of interest prior
to consulting the Archives. In addition to the vessel's name, useful
details include the site of the casualty, the date of the accident, the
ship's port of registry, the ship's official number, and the year the
vessel was constructed. In many cases, it is difficult to obtain all the
relevant facts; however, it is absolutely vital that the name of the
vessel be known. All of the records relating to shipwrecks in the custody
of GAD are organized according to ship's name. Consequently, it is
extremely rare that a shipwreck can be identified simply with the
knowledge of its geographic location or its ship's number.  Each
additional piece of information tends to facilitate the identification
of the shipwreck and the records which may be available, but the name of
the vessel is a prerequisite link to the documentation.

The geographic location together with the date of the casualty follow
next in priority of importance, and in fact it is very difficult to
identify shipwrecks and their potential archival records without at
least one of these details. The port of registry, ship's number, and
construction date comprise information of comparatively lesser utility,
but do help to confirm the identity of individual vessels. This can be
especially important in cases where the identity of a vessel is placed in
doubt by the duplication of ship's name.  To employ a common example, the
Government Archives Division has custody of records for more than two
hundred ships called MARY; without recourse to other modes of
identification, it would in most instances be impossible to
differentiate between them.

An excellent source of information on ships and shipwrecks is of course
the local public library and the companion resources of the
inter-library loan network. There are available any number of maritime
histories and bibliographies which offer reference points to begin
shipwreck research.

Newspapers contemporary to the incident normally offer some insight: for
example, the National Library of Canada, 395 Wellington Street, OTTAWA K1A
0N3, has a vast collection of Canadian newspapers available on microfilm
through inter-library loan. For more details, consult the Union List of
Canadian Newspapers Held by Canadian Libraries. 

Researchers can also obtain official lists of shipping casualties from
the federal government. These include (1) Statement of Shipping Casualties
Resulting in Total Loss in the St. Lawrence River and Gulf and on the
Atlantic Coast, 1896-1979 (2) Statement of Shipping Casualties Resulting
in Total Loss on the Inland Waters Excluding the St. Lawrence River Below
Montreal, 1870-1979 (3) List of Shipping Casualties Resulting in Total
Loss In British Columbia Coastal Waters Since 1897 (to 1979). Please note
that these lists are not complete, insofar as they solely inventory the
wrecks which were the subject of official reports (see below, no. 2).
Nevertheless, the lists are very useful and may be obtained free of charge
from the Canadian Coast Guard at the following address:

                    Aids and Waterways
                    Navigable Waters Protection Act Division
                    Canadian Coast Guard
                    Transport Canada
                    Canada Building
                    6th Floor
                    344 Slater Street
                    OTTAWA, Ontario
                    K1A 0N7

Also available at this address is the Canadian Coast Guard pamphlet Diving
on Shipwreck, recently published (1987) to inform the public, and the
diving community in particular, about the federal laws governing wreck
and the procedures to follow upon discovering wreck.

Finally, no introduction to GAD shipwreck sources is complete without
mention f "the fire". On 11 February 1897, a fire in the West Block of
the Parliament Buildings destroyed all the registry files and reports of
the Department of Marine and Fisheries to approximately the year 1892,
with the result that there is virtually no archival record of official
Canadian maritime activity from the inception of the Marine Branch in 1868
for a period of about twenty-five years, save the ships' registration
records (see below, no. 4) and the articles of agreement and ships' logs
maintained by the Maritime History Group (Memorial University of
Newfoundland, see below, "Other Institutional Sources of Information and
Addresses for Further Historical Research").  Fortunately, there
are several contemporary published sources which can be consulted for
wreck information.  Of primary importance are the Annual Reports of the
Department of Marine and Fisheries, published each year from 1868 and
especially useful until approximately 1920.  During these years, the annual
reports of government departments were collectively printed as the
Sessional Papers of the Dominion, which are available both at the National
Archives Library, the National Library of Canada, and various university
and municipal libraries. Like other official reports of the period, the
Annual Report of the Marine Branch normally contains all sorts of
miscellanea in the form of supplements, usually shipwreck returns (a list
of wrecks with ships' information and geographic locations), occasionally
small summaries of the circumstances surrounding individual wrecks, and
the annual List of Vessels (while not directly concerned with shipwrecks
per se, researchers will nevertheless find the annual List of Vessels to
be a particularly useful tool in the identification of ships and the 
fixing of approximate dates for casualties).  

The archival records described below are only the major sources of 
information available on shipwrecks in the Government Archives Division. 
The guide is not meant to be exhaustive or definitive; rather, it is 
intended to direct researchers to the obvious sources. With one exception, 
please note that the documentation in Government Archives post-dates 
Confederation in 1867.

                                  * * *

1.    OFFICIAL WRECK REGISTERS, 1870-1975       

Official wreck registers were created and maintained by the Marine Branch 
of the Department of Marine and Fisheries from 1870 to 1936, and from 
1936 to 1975 by Transport Canada. Together with their references, the 
registers cover the principal geographic areas as follows:

   i   Register of Wrecks and Casualties, Sea-Going Vessels, Atlantic
       and Pacific Coasts, 1897-1907: RG 12, Volume 679; Microfilm
       Reel C6970.

   ii  Register of Wrecks and Casualties, Atlantic and Pacific Coasts,
       1907-1923: RG 12, Volume 680; Microfilm Reel C6970.

   iii Register of Wrecks and Casualties, St. Lawrence River and
       Atlantic Coast, 1924-1929; Pacific Coast, 1924-1928: RG 12,
       Volume 681; Microfilm Reel C6970.

   iv  Register of Wrecks and Casualties, St. Lawrence River and
       Atlantic Coast, 1929-1944: RG 12, Volume 682; Microfilm Reel

   v   Register of Wrecks and Casualties, Inland Waters Vessels, 1870-
       1918: RG 12, Volume 1007; Microfilm Reel C6970.

   vi  Register of Wrecks and Casualties, Inland Waters Vessels, 1918-
       1949: RG 12, Volume 1008; Microfilm Reel C6971.

   vii Register of Wrecks and Casualties, Pacific Coast, 1929-1933: RG
       12, Volume 1009; Microfilm Reel C6971.

   viii  Register of Wrecks and Casualties, Pacific Coast, 1933-1947: RG
         12, Volume 1010; Microfilm Reel C6971.

   ix  Register of Wrecks and Casualties, St. Lawrence River and Gulf,
       1945-1975: RG 12, Volume 3305.

   x   Register of Wrecks and Casualties, British Columbia, 1948-1975:
       RG 12, Volume 3306.

   xi  Register of Wrecks and Casualties, Inland Waters, 1950-1975: RG
       12, Volume 3307.

The wreck registers record basic facts for each reported marine casualty,
including the name of the vessel, the date of the casualty, the port of 
registry, sailed from/bound to, location, lives lost/saved, and remarks. 
For many years, these registers formed the basis for the List of Shipping 
Casualties published as a supplement to the Annual Report of the 
Department of Marine and Fisheries.

2.    WRECK REPORTS, 1907-1974

Wreck reports consist of completed two-page forms which provide in as much
detail as possible information pertaining to missing ships, collisions, 
strandings and founderings of both Canadian and foreign registered 
vessels in Canadian inland and coastal waters. The reports are arranged 
in chronological order by year, within each year by geographic location 
(i.e., Pacific Coast, Inland Waters, and Atlantic Coast), and within each 
geographic area, in alphabetical order by name of vessel.

Wreck reports normally provide a corpus of information for each marine
casualty reported on, and may include the following details: 
registration data for the vessel, name of master, number of crew, 
ownership, cargo, voyage details, and a brief account of the casualty (see 
attached example).

Researchers should expect to find a wreck report for each casualty suffered
within Canadian waters. For many years it has been incumbent upon masters
of Canadian and foreign-registered ships to file official reports within 
twenty-four hours of an incident at the office of the nearest Shipping 
Master or Receiver of Wreck. Experience has shown, however, that for 
various reasons some wrecks were not the subject of official reports, 
especially during the years prior to 1936. Consequently, it should not be 
assumed that the absence of a wreck report categorically denies the 
possibility of a casualty occurrence or the existence of other 
documentation pertaining to that occurrence.

Wreck reports in the custody of the Government Archives Division are found
in two record groups - wreck reports from 1907-1936 are available in RG 42,
and those dating from 1937 to 1974 in RG 12.

      References: RG 42, Volumes 656-686, 1706 (1907-1936); RG 12,
      Volumes 882-889, 2166-2170, 2172-2177, 3851-3854 (1937-1974).


A particularly useful document, this register provides an 
alpha-chronological listing of the shipping casualties in Canadian waters 
which resulted either in a preliminary or a formal investigation by the 
Marine Branch of the Department of Marine and Fisheries and later 
Transport Canada, or the convening of a coroner's inquest. The information 
contained in this register includes the following: name of vessel; date 
of casualty; nature of casualty; port of registry and official number; 
nature of inquiry and by whom; remarks (often a summary of the findings); 
and the departmental file number for the records of the inquiry itself, 
including numbers from the old Marine Branch central registry for the 
period 1911-1936 and the current Transport Canada subject file 
classification for wrecks beginning in the year 1937 (for an explanation 
of these registry systems, see below, No.4).

      Reference: RG 12, Volume 3304.

This register may be supplemented for the years 1930-1974 by a card index
available in the Gopvernment Archives Division. The cards provide a summary
of the circumstances surrounding the wreck and the relevant departmental 
file number as noted above.

      Reference: RG 12, Accession 85-86/685. 

Researchers should not assume that all wrecks invariably result in the
convening of a board of preliminary or formal inquiry. Since passage of the
SHIPWRECKS INVESTIGATION ACT of 1869 (32-33 Vict., Cap. 38), the
convening of all such boards and marine courts of inquiry has been at the
discretion of the Minister upon the advice of his designated representative.
Consequently, there are many instances of shipwreck where no action was
taken beyond the filing of an official wreck report.


Marine casualty investigation records consist of registry files created by 
the Marine Branch of the Department of Marine and Fisheries from 1887 to 
1936, and since 1937 by Transport Canada. The files were created during 
the course of preliminary as well as formal investigations into marine 
casualties.  These records generally include a transcript of the 
proceedings (often with recorded testimonies), departmental and other 
officially related correspondence, and supporting documentation (charts, 
newspaper clippings, photographs, etc.); the number of files is extensive 
and they are found in both RG 12 and RG 42. 

From the inception of federally organized marine services to the present 
day, there have been three basic registry systems used by the Marine 
Branch and Transport Canada to organize or classify marine records, 
including files related to shipwreck investigations. It is often very 
useful for researchers to familiarize themselves with these records 
systems, particularly when embarking upon large-scale research projects.  
An explanation is as follows:

Official correspondence received by the Marine Branch between the years 
1868 and approximately 1923 was organized by subject and placed on 
registry files (RG 42, Series B.1, Volumes 45-344, 1707-1720, 1779-1780).  
Each registry file (or subject) was allotted a number in sequential order, 
as was the customary practice in late Victorian records-keeping. In 1923, 
the registry system was replaced by a departmental subject file 
classification plan; however, some correspondence continued to be 
organized under the old registry system right up to the year 1936.  
Conversely, some correspondence dated prior to 1923 was removed from the 
old registry system and reclassified under the new subject file scheme.

Our holdings in Series B.1 range presently from file 8009 to file 64037.  
The records cover all aspects of contemporary marine administration.  As 
noted above, the files dating from 1868 to approximately 1892 were 
destroyed by a fire in 1897.  Researchers will also notice that a 
considerable number of registry files within the range 8009 to 64037 
appear to be missing.  Some records have unfortunately been lost; however, 
others were reclassified under new file numbers with the advent of the 
Marine Branch subject file classification system in 1923.  Devised by the 
Department to improve an archaic and cumbersome records-keeping system, 
the new classification plan called for each file to be assigned a primary 
and secondary number according to subject, with tertiaries and 
quaternaries assigned according to subject specificity.  As in the case of 
Series B.1, however, some correspondence continued to be organized under 
the old registry system which assigned each file a number in consecutive 
order of numerical sequence.  Conversely, some correspondence dated prior 
to 1923 was removed from the old registry system and renumbered under the 
new subject file classification plan.                      

Others were subsequently renumbered under the new subject file 
classification scheme which was inaugurated with the creation of the 
Department of Transport in 1936, and which is essentially the same system 
presently used in the Department.  This system divides the Transport 
Canada registry records into three main generic fields (these represent 
the largest operational-administrative branches within the Department): 
Air, Marine, and Surface.  Each of these generic fields has been allocated 
a range of file numbers; for example, marine (now called Marine Group) 
records are located within the numeric file number range 7500-9816.  
Within this range, the records are further sub-divided according to 
operational service or subject. Thus, files 7500-7599 concern "Agencies 
and Depots"; files 8000-8099 "Aids to Navigation"; files 9200-9249 "Ships 
Measuring and Surveying", and so on. The key subject file numbers in
this system for the purposes of shipwreck research are 9704 and 9702.
Subject file 9704 refers to Wrecks, Casualties and Salvage - 
Investigations; subject file 9702 refers to Wrecks, Casualties and Salvage 
- Cargoes, Wrecks and Anchors.  Researchers should also recognize a third 
subject file number belonging to the old Transport Canada classified 
central registry (files with a ecurity classification of secret and 
above).  Although no longer in use, subject file number 500 was used to 
organize shipwreck investigation files within the classified registry 
system (see especially RG 12, Accession 86-87/146).   Also available under 
subject file 8117 are a number of official reports related to
losses of individual Canadian vessels as a consequence of enemy action 
during World War II. 

The vast number of marine casualty investigation files preserved in RG 42 
and RG 12 precludes any sort of inventory of references here, particularly 
as these files are not conveniently gathered in large volume ranges but 
rather are spread throughout both record groups.  Card indices and file 
lists are available as finding aids for research consultation, and both 
past and current Transport Canada subject file classification plans are 
also available; however, in the event of difficulty, researchers are 
advised to consult the archivist responsible for these records.

5.    SHIPPING REGISTERS, 1787-1966

The Government Archives Division has in its custody a large collection of
shipping registers for Canadian ports of registry. These records include 
first registers, registers of subsequent transactions, and mortgage 
registers.  First registers normally contain basic ships' information 
(type, dimensions, tonnage, official number, port number, builder, date 
of construction, particulars of motive power, etc.) as well as the details 
of ownership and the vessel's ultimate disposition.  Registers of 
subsequent transactions and mortage registers sometimes provide ships' 
information (usually for identification purposes), but normally contain 
details of ownership and disposition only.  

There are two finding aids for these records available in the Government
Archives Division. First, there is a card index comprising approximately 
70,000 cards arranged alphabetically by name of ship.  These cards 
contain several elements of basic ships' information for the purposes of 
identification as discussed above (official number, port of registry, year 
of construction, etc.), and link the researcher to the original record by 
providing the appropriate reference.  There exists a card for every 
registration record entry in our custody, including all multiple entries.  

A second card index of approximately 16,000 cards has been prepared from
notations in the shipping registers, and is arranged alpha-chronologically
by name of ship lost or wrecked and by year. 

Note - When consulting the ships' registration records, researchers should 
       be aware of the following:

(a)    The shipping registers constitute the only records available in the
       Government Archives Division where one might find information related
       to shipping losses that occurred prior to Confederation (1867). 

(b)    The Government Archives Division does not have custody of all the
       shipping registers relevant to both pre and post-Confederation 
       Canadian ships.  A list of shipping registers organized by name of 
       port is available for consultation. 

            In fact, individual shipping registers are still considered to 
            be operational documents by Transport Canada until such time 
            as all ships have been struck from the register proper.  
            Consequently, there are few registers available in GAD of a 
            vintage more recent than 1930, since many of the vessels from 
            the inter-war era are still afloat.  To compensate for this, 
            researchers are able to consult the Registers of Ships Closed 
            Out for the years 1904-1964 (see below, No.6).  In cases where 
            the registration record of a twentieth century vessel cannot 
            be located in GAD, researchers should contact directly the 
            Registrar of Shipping at the relevant port (in 1982, there 
            were 61 ports of registry in Canada), either through the local 
            offices of Transport Canada or Customs & Excise (Customs & 
            Excise, Revenue Canada, sometimes acts as Registrar of 
            Shipping on behalf of Transport.  The Port of Ottawa, Ontario, 
            represents a good example of this).   

(c)   The Government Archives Division has custody of registration records 
      for Canadian-registered ships only. 

References: RG 42, Volumes 737-939, 966-996, 1036, 1083-1128, 1200-
1705; RG 12, 2971-2978, 3087-3090, 3169-3175.  

Note - RG 42, Volumes 1200-1705 must be consulted on microfilm, as the 
original registers have been withdrawn for conservation purposes.  A 
microfilm conversion list for these volumes is available.  Researchers 
should also read in their entirety the instructions for the use of the 
ships' registration index cards before consulting the microfilm copies 
of the registers. 


In Canada, owners of ships are required to notify the federal government
whenever a vessel is sold abroad, is physically altered such that 
re-registration is required, is lost, or is broken up.  From 1904 to 
1964, officials responsible for ship registration in the Marine Branch and 
later Transport Canada kept track of these ships by maintaining a series of 
registers of vessels officially closed out or struck off the registry.  
The registers record the name and registration details for these "closed 
out" vessels, and often include a brief notation about the ship's 
disposal.  These records complement the official shipping registers 
described above in No. 5, and in many instances document a vessel that is 
not included in our register holdings.  

The registers of closed out vessels were compiled on an annual basis, and
within each year the documentation is arranged in alphabetical order by 
name of vessel.

Reference: RG 12, Volumes 3004-3086


Records created by the Royal Canadian Navy are found in series D of RG 24
and consist of subject files created at Naval Service Headquarters (D 1) 
and in the various Commands as they existed during the Second World War, 
i.e., Atlantic (D 10), Pacific (D 11) and Newfoundland (D 12).  In each 
of these series, researchers will find files on the subject of shipping 
losses in Canadian waters, especially for the period of the Second World 
The Headquarters (D 1) records include subject files on collisions, 
groundings, sinkings and enemy u-boat activities.  Collisions and 
groundings involving naval ships are documented in RG 24, volumes 
6759-6771, file block 8180; similar files for merchant vessels are found 
in volumes 6772-6779, file block 8181.

Naval and merchant vessels damaged in enemy action are described in volumes
6790-6791, file blocks 8340 and 8341 respectively. 

Although the losses were not confined to Canadian territorial waters, files
relating to the sinking of Canadian warships can be located in volumes 6889-
6890, file block 8870 (including files on Allied and enemy warships which 
met a similar fate).  Additional files on naval vessels lost in action 
(including board of inquiry records, casualty lists and so on) can be 
located by consulting the "RCN Vessel Index" available in Government 
Archives Division.  The sinking of merchant vessels, not only on the 
Atlantic convoy routes but also in the St. Lawrence River and Gulf are 
well documented in volumes 6890-6894, file block 8871.  Researchers 
interested in the u-boat war in the St. Lawrence should also consult 
Michael Hadley, U-Boats Against Canada: German Submarines in Canadian 
Waters (Kingston and Montreal: McGill-Queen's University Press, 1985) and 
W.A.B. Douglas, The Creation of a National Air Force: The Official History 
of the Royal Canadian Air Force, Volume II (Toronto, University of Toronto 
Press, 1986), especially Part IV.

Command records (Atlantic, Pacific and Newfoundland) also contain subject
files relating to losses both of naval and merchant vessels in their 
respective jurisdictions.  For example, both Atlantic and Newfoundland 
Command records include files relating to the sinking of the passenger 
ferry CARIBOU in October 1942. 

While the best documentation for shipping losses in RG 24 D dates from the
years of the Second World War, the Navy records also include some files
relating to similar incidents from 1910 to 1939 and in the post-war era 
to the mid-1960's.

Detailed finding aids are available for all Navy records in the custody of 


In addition to the major sources described above, researchers interested in
shipwrecks and other marine casualties should be aware of the following
related sources:

For the years prior to Confederation, there are several sources worth 
noting.  The Manuscript Division of the National Archives has in its 
custody the Eric Heyl Papers (MG 31, Series A3), which includes a list of 
ships lost and/or damaged on the Great Lakes during the years 1847-1858 
inclusive and in 1864.  The list was apparently compiled from contemporary 
Buffalo (NY) newspapers.  Manuscript Division has also custodial 
responsibility for Record Group 4, Records of the Provincial and Civil 
Secretaries' Offices, Quebec, Lower Canada, and Canada East, 1760-1867, 
and Record Group 5, Records of the Provincial and Civil Secretaries' 
Offices, Upper Canada, Canada West, 1791-1867.  Both record groups contain 
references to shipwrecks in the numbered file sequences and letterbooks 
for Canada East and Canada West (1841-1867) from the mid-1850's forward, 
as the Canadian government improved its demarcation of responsibilities 
and took up new ones, including the local administration of the IMPERIAL 
MERCHANT SHIPPING ACT (1854).  An extensive list of vessels wrecked, 
stranded or damaged on the Canadian shores of Lakes Huron and Erie between 
1858 and 1868 is also available in Record Group 11, Records of the 
Department of Public Works, Volume 206, File 5246.  

For the years following Confederation, there are a number of alternative 
sources in the Government Archives Division which contain some records 
related to shipwrecks and maritime matters in general.  These include the 

RG 2, Records of the Privy Council Office, Series A.1, Office of the Clerk 
of the Privy Council and Secretary to the Cabinet, Orders-in-Council, 
1867-1983 (primarily nineteenth-century and related to claims in 
consequence of wrecks) 

RG 7, Records of the Governor General's Office, Series G.21, Central 
Registry Files, 1818-1941 (primarily late nineteenth and early twentieth 
centuries - individual case files related to sinkings and international 

RG 13, Records of the Department of Justice, Series A.1, Indexes and
Registers, 1859-1934, and A.2, Central Registry Files (primarily late 
nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and related to proceedings and 
claims in consequence of wrecks)

RG 25, Records of the Department of External Affairs, Series A.3.a, A.3.b,
Canada House, London, Local Correspondence; B.1.A, Canada House, London,
Correspondence with Canadian and British Government Departments, 1880-
1903; B.1.B, Canada House, London, Correspondence with Canadian and
British Government Departments, 1904-1927; B.1.E, Canada House, Subject
Files, c.1930-1940 (individual case files primarily related to sinkings in
international waters or involving foreign vessels or foreign nationals)

RG 43, Records of the Department of Railways and Canals, Series C.VI.2.k.,
Welland Canal, Vessel Registers, 1854-1867, 1875-1893, 1904-1908, 1913-
1928, Vols. 2403-2421 (lock journals recording various details pertaining 
to vessels passing through the canal, including date, name of vessel, 
destination, and cargo)

Note: Researchers interested in obtaining further information concerning 
      the operational activities of individual merchant vessels may 
      consult various articles of agreement and ships' logs which provide 
      crew lists and voyage records.  The Government Archives Division has 
      a fairly extensive collection of these for the twentieth century, 
      especially after 1936 

      (References: RG 12, Series B.14.a, Canadian Marine Transportation
      Administration, Central Registry of Seamen, Shipping Master, Port of
      Montreal, Articles of Agreement and Ships' Logs, 1900-1946, Volumes
      3308-3593; RG 12, Accession 85-86/164, Canadian Marine
      Transportation Administration, Canadian Coast Guard, Ship Safety
      Branch, Central Registry of Seamen, Ships' Logs, 1937-1969, Boxes 1-
      175; RG 12 Accession 85-86/175, Canadian Marine Transportation
      Administration, Canadian Coast Guard, Ship Safety Branch, Central
      Registry of Seamen, Ships' Logs, 1950-1953, Boxes 1-40; RG 12,
      Accession 87-88/133, Canadian Marine Transportation Administration,
      Canadian Coast Guard, Ship Safety Branch, Central Registry of Seamen,
      Articles of Agreement and Ships' Logs, Wartime Service Years 1939-
      1947, Boxes 1-113); RG 12, Accession 89-90/011, Marine Group,
      Canadian Coast Guard, Ship Safety Branch, Central Registry of Seamen,
      Articles of Agreement, 1936-1938, 1948-1958, Microfilm Reels T8542-

When seeking information related to vessels owned and operated by the
Canadian Government, researchers should also bear in mind that (1) the
majority of these vessels are registered at the Port of Ottawa, and (2) 
individual or fleets of government ships operationally belong to 
individual government departments.  Consequently, records pertaining to 
vessels both formerly and currently operated by the Canadian Hydrographic 
Service are found in RG 139, Records of the Canadian Hydrographic Service; 
records of Preventative Service vessels are found in RG 18, Records of the 
Royal Canadian Mounted Police; records of passenger ferries, marine 
service and coast guard vessels are found in RG 42, Records of the Marine 
Branch, and RG 12, Records of Transport Canada; records of the Canadian 
Government Merchant Marine, the Canadian National Steamship Company and 
Canadian National (West Indies) Steamships are found in RG 30, Records of 
the Canadian National Railways; etc.


      Judicial, Fiscal, and Social Branch
         Civil Archives Division
      National Archives
      WASHINGTON, D.C. 20408
      (Historical shipwreck sources at the National Archives of the United
      States, including Record Group 26, Records of the United States Coast
      Guard; Record Group 36, Records of the United States Customs Service;
      and Record Group 41, Records of the Bureau of Marine Inspection and

      Records and Publication Branch
      Merchant Vessels Documentation
      United States Coast Guard Headquarters
      21200 2nd Street South West
      Room 1312
      WASHINGTON, D.C. 20593
      (Current U.S. vessel documentation and registration)

      The Public Record Office
      Ruskin Avenue
      Richmond, Surrey TW9 W9U
      United Kingdom

      (Historical records of the Registrar General of Shipping and Seamen,
      including ships' registration records and personnel records related 
      to marine service)

      The Registrar General of Shipping and Seamen
      Llantrisant Road
      Llandaff, Cardiff
      South Wales CF5 2YS
      United Kingdom

      (Current U.K. vessel documentation and personnel records)

      The Scottish Record Office
      HM General Register House
      Princes Street
      Edinburgh, Scotland EH1 3YY
      United Kingdom

      (Historical records of shipbuilding on the upper and lower Clyde,
      Ayrshire, and Forth and Tay estuaries)

      The Maritime History Group
      Department of History
      Memorial University of Newfoundland
      St. John's, Newfoundland
      A1C 5S7

      (Crew agreements for British Empire and Commonwealth, 1863-1938;
      registry data for various Atlantic Canadian ports)

      Marine Museum of the Great Lakes at Kingston
      55 Ontario Street
      KINGSTON, Ontario
      K7L 2Y2

      (Historical records of Great Lakes shipbuilding; registry data for 
      various Great Lakes Canadian ports)

      Institute for Great Lakes Research
      Bowling Green State University
      12764 Levis Parkway
      PERRYSBURG, Ohio 43551

      (Historical records of Great Lakes shipbuilding; registry data for 
      various Great Lakes American ports)                                                              May 7, 1994