Journals are not naturally the first place that maritime researchers turn to; however, one that deserves investigating is The Nautical Magazine.

The introduction to the first volume (1832), states:

‘[…] The contents of the Nautical Magazine will be arranged under: Hydrography; Voyages; Navigation; Nautical Miscellany.’

Front page of 1832 Nautical Magazine
Front page of 1832 Nautical Magazine

This issue provides the following article titles:

  1. Voyages: I.
  2. The South Rock, in the St. Lawrence. (An Original Sketch) II.
  3. Sketch of the Operations at Cape Frio, to recover the Treasure […] Ship Thetis. III.
  4. Narrative of a voyage to the Pacific and Beering’s Strait […];
  5. Works in Navigation and Nautical Science;
  6. Review of Books;
  7. Nautical Miscellany: Notes to the editor;
  8. The Royal Navy in Commission;
  9. Promotions and Appointments;
  10. Movements of Transports;
  11. Vessel Particulars;
  12. Foreign Mails;
  13. Births, Marriages, Obituaries.

Some volumes (1845–1847) also have a ‘Meteorological Register’ provided by the Royal Astronomer, Greenwich. Most of the early issues are quite strong in topics of Hydrography and Navigation situated in the era.

The volumes are interspersed with sketches of vessels, maritime plants and animals as well as some technical drawings. Although published in 1832, an index is provided, separated into sections that relate to Hydrography and Nautical subjects. The Caird Library has a fairly good ‘run’ of this periodical, starting with the 1832 volume through to 2011, with gaps. Interestingly, the British Library’s catalogue record states that the ‘Later Title’ is Sea Breezes from 2012.

Although articles of a similar nature can be found in other types of resources, the Nautical Magazine is well worth investigating for those ‘obscure’ hidden treasures.

Contact the Caird Library for more information.

Penny Allen, Librarian (Systems and Serials)

Find out more about using our collections for research