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New from Brill: The Prize Papers Online

Brill is proud to launch the Prize Papers Online – a brand new primary source collection which captures the history of European warfare at sea.

The Prize Papers collection, part of The National Archives in the UK, is commonly regarded as one of the most valuable archives in the field of maritime history. These documents record the details of all ships taken as lawful "prizes", as well as the interrogations of the captain and crew of each vessel. The archive has preserved vast information on tens of thousands of ships, including those of Dutch, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Danish, Swedish, German, Italian and American origins. As the Prize Papers are international in nature, they enable comparisons between different maritime nations.

In addition to cargo lists, journals, booklets, customs papers, bills of lading, private letters and so on – all in the language of the ship’s origin – every ship’s file contains interrogations of the captain and crew recorded in English. The English authorities enquired about the origin, the route and planned destination, tonnage, freight and crew members, about citizenship, national allegiance, and the personal migration history of the interrogated crew members. The answers were interpreted into English and written down by professional secretaries. This results in a wealth of information which is standardised in its presentation – always in English – and thus accessible to many.

The Prize Papers Online is available for acquisition as a complete collection or in five parts:

  • Prize Papers Online 1: American Revolutionary War and Fourth Anglo-Dutch War;

  • Prize Papers Online 2: Seven Years War and Austrian Succession War;

  • Prize Papers Online 3: First, Second and Third Anglo-Dutch Wars and Spanish Succession War;

  • Prize Papers Online 4: Napoleonic War I (1793–1803); and

  • Prize Papers Online 5: Napoleonic War II (1803–1813).

Part 1 of the Prize Papers Online is now available to trial. For more information, please contact Bezi.


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