Archives and Document Collections

The National Archives of the United Kingdom
There is a wealth of information to be obtained at this site. The online seach only reveals descriptions of the documents, but the copies of the originals can be ordered. Formerly known as the PRO (the Public Record Office), and now abbreviated as TNA.

Letters of Delegates to Congress, 1774-1789
This website contains all twenty-six volumes of the Letters of Delegates to Congress in a searchable format.

Journals of the Continental Congress
As in the Letters of Delegates to Congress, the Journals are presented here in a searchable format. Very useful.

Pennsylvania Archives
This site contains nearly all of the 132 volumes of the Pennsylvania Archives with records of early colonial and revolutionary periods, as well as other Revolutionary War items. A subscription is necessary to examine certain documents, but many, including the Pennsylvania Archives, are free.

Maryland Archives
Similar to the Pennsylvania Archives site but operated by the state of Maryland. Many volumes are on line.

Colonial Records of North Carolina and State Records of North Carolina
These volumes are online and contain many documents relating to North Carolina in the period of the Revolution. Searchable.
Records of North Carolina

George Washington Papers at the Library of Congress
Some 65,000 of His Excellency's papers, online and searchable.

Force's American Archives
Originally Peter Force intended to publish six series of volumes with documents on American history. Only the Fourth Series and part of the Fifth Series were published. These cover 1774-1776 and contain an enormous amount of information. These are online and searchable, thanks to Northern Illinois University.
Force's American Archives

The Remembrancer, or Impartial Repository of Public Events
Usually known as Almon's Remembrancer this set of books reproduces many documents of the years 1775-1784. Edited by J. Almon, it was published in London, seventeen volumes, during the course of the war. Many, but not all of the volumes are online.
1775 (volume 1)
1776 Part I (volume 2)
1776 Part II (volume 3)
1776 Part III (volume 4) [not available]
1777 (volume 5)
1778 (volume 6)
1778-1779 (volume 7)
1779 (volume 8)
1780 Part I (volume 9)
1780 Part II (volume 10)
1781 Part I (volume 11)
1781 Part II (volume 12)
1782 Part I (volume 13)
1782 Part II (volume 14)
1783 (volume 15) [not available]
1784 Part I (volume 16) [not available]
1784 Part II (volume 17) [Not available]

The Revolutionary Records of the State of Georgia
Contains the records of the Executive Council from 1778-1785. Volume II is online at Volume II

Documents Relating to the Revolutionary History of the State of New Jersey
There are five volumes in the series, which consist mostly of newspaper extracts.
Volume I (1776-1777); Volume II (1778); Volume III (1779); Volume IV (1779-1780); Volume V (1780-1782)

Out-Letters of the Continental Marine Committee and the Board of Admiralty Edited by Charles O. Paullin, this two volume edition is also online. Volume I and Volume II.

The Papers of Benjamin Franklin
This is a fantastic website which contains an enormous amount of Franklin's letters and papers online. It is searchable and highly viewable. Not everything is here, but there is a lot here.
The Papers of Benjamin Franklin


William Falconer's Dictionary of the Marine
This website presents William Falconer's Dictionary of the Marine, 1780 edition. An extremely useful service. Scroll down the left hand menu for a French/English sailing dictionary.

Map Collections

David Rumsey Map Collection
A collection of historical maps, many from the era of the American Revolution.

American Philosophical Library Map Collection
More maps, many from the era of the American Revolution.

Hargrett Library Map Collection
More maps, many from the era of the American Revolution, courtesy of the University of Georgia
Hargrett Map Collection

Library and Archives of Canada
Contains a collection of early and current Canadian maps.
Archives of Canada

Canada Topo Maps - The Canadian Topographic Map Source
Full modern topographic maps of Canada, including all those coastal areas important in the Revolution. These can be freely downloaded.
Canada Topo Maps

New York State Map Pathfinder
This site contains numerous early maps of the area around New York city and state.
New York State Pathfinder

United States Geodetic Survey
This site allows free downloads of fairly current topographic maps in .pdf format. Very useful for modern coastlines.
USGS Download Search

The American Revolution and It's Era: Maps and Charts of North America and the West Indies 1750-1789
This website is operated by the Library of Congress and contains hundreds of period, or near period, maps. These are searchable and can be downloaded.
The American Revolution - Maps and Charts

My Topo: Historical Topographic Maps
Extremely useful website. This site has many American topographic maps from the period 1850-1920, later than the Revolution, but before many changes to names on the landscape. Unfortunately, not every area is covered, but many are. Free downloads, but not searchable.
Historical Topographic Maps

Historic Navigational Maps and Charts
These are brought to you by NOAA - Office of Coast Survey. There are navigational charts from 1747 to the 1990s. Can be searched.
Historic Navigation Charts

The Atlantic Neptune
The British National Martime Museum has put the full edition of "a magnificent four-volume atlas of sea charts and views of the east coast of North America, published during the American Revolutionary War by Joseph Frederick Wallet Des Barres," the British surveyer of the North American coast. These are not free, but they are magnificent.
The Atlantic Neptune

Poehali (European/South American Topo Maps)
This site is intersting for the modern Russian topo maps of places you won't find anywhere else. It doesn't, unfortunately, always work.
Poehali Maps

Heritage Charts
This site sells giclee prints of old charts. You can zoom in to an area and look at it in detail. A good bit of the American coastline and the West Indies are covered.
Heritage Charts


Book Boxes & Boats
This site has links to the publications of Lloyd's List and New Lloyd's List for most of the pertinent war years. To fully use the lists and not waste too much time, this link leads to an index of the Lloyd's List maritime news. You need a name of the ship and best to have the master's name too.
Lloyd’s List

Colonial Williamsburg Foundation
Among other items this site contains page images of the Virginia Gazette

The London Gazette
The London Gazette was the "official" and legal paper of the British government. On this web archive you can search issues back to the beginning. Pages are encoded in .pdf format and can be downloaded. A valuable resource.

The Godfrey Library
The Godfrey Library contains a huge number of resources, most pertaining to geneaology. Although many of their databases a free, for a relatively small fee access can be obtained to a number of other resources, including Readex's colonial and early American newspapers. A very valuable resource.


Massachusetts Soldiers and Sailors of the Revolutionary War
All 17 volumes of this massive collection are available online at the State Library of Massachusetts.
Quicker than the above is a searchable version. The interface takes a little getting used to. It also contains other items of interest.
Records of the Revolutionary War

Lloyd's Register of Ships
A few vessels of the American Revolution era are included in these extracts, but more are being added.

Only one volume of Lloyd's Register is currently online. The one for 1780 is here.

Massachusetts Privateers of the Revolution
The book is a collection of bond extracts and petition extracts. Extremely useful. Online at Massachusetts Privateers


Gettysburg Flag Works
Not so much about flags as general background information about the era of the American Revolution. Suggested by a young learner and a skillful tutor.
Gettysburg Flag Works/American Revolution

All about the American Revolution with a huge number of links to other resources. This was the first web page to link to this site.

West Jersey History Project
This interesting site contains Hessian maps of the Philadelphia Campaign, and a list of New Jersey battles, including naval actions.
West Jersey History Project

Southern Campaigns of the American Revolution
A website about the American Revolution in the south. Of particular interest is the section on pensions, operated by Will Graves. The pension applications are searchable.

Global Gazetteer of the American Revolution
John A. Robertson's attempt to precisely list and map American Revolution sites. Not a great many naval sites here, but it grows all the time.

Online Library of the Southern Campaign of the American Revolution
Another part of John A. Robertson's site. This contains an large number of out of date books and articles. Not much naval and focused on the war in the south.

The Mermaid of Assateague
Story of the capture of HMS Mermaid by Roger Nowak, with some interesting links.

British Prison Ships in New York Harbor
Information and links about the British prison ships (Jersey etc.) in New York Harbor.

French Navy Web Page
Information and links about the French Navy in the American Revolution. Very useful.

Index to Ships in Books
A search page for ships in books. Contains 103,000 ships.

Lake Champlain Maritime Museum
Contains information about the Lake Champlain activities of 1775-1777, and the replica gunboat Philadelphia II.

3 Decks: Naval Warfare History Wiki in the Golden Age of Sailing (1650-1850)
A Wiki site that attempts to cover all the European and American navies in the time frame 1650-1850. This site will be very useful when developed.

Naval History During the Age of Line Tactics (1650-1815)
Views on naval history in the age of line tactics from a perspective other than that of the Royal Navy. This is a bulletin board/forum on naval history from 1650-1815. Anyone can post an opinion or question. The answers can be quite detailed.

The Age of Nelson
Another site dedicated to the great age of sailing warfare. This one contains the old list of British warships and a list of all commissioned British naval officers.

Sailing Navies 1650-1850
One more site devoted to sailing navy history.

Histoire de Frégates
A French site about frigates. It especially has excerpts from the logbook of HMCM Frigate L’Hermione.

Marine du Premier Empire
A French site about the Napoleonic French navy. There is some AWI information scattered about.

Revised 6 August 2014 ©