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Halifax Dockyard

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0064 HAL
Held at: National Maritime Museum
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Full title: Halifax Dockyard
Date(s): 1783-1887
Level of description: Collection
Extent: 12ft: 365cm
Name of creator(s): Halifax Dockyard


Administrative/Biographical history:

The yard at Halifax was established in February 1759. A Storekeeper had been stationed there since 1756, a Master Attendant since 1757 and the Admiralty ordered the construction of a careening wharf and other facilities for refitting ships in 1758. By 1774 there were two careening wharves, and these facilities remained largely unaltered until the mid-nineteenth century. Between 1881 and 1897 coaling facilities, a graving-dock and a torpedo boat slip were added. In January 1907 the yard was handed over to the Canadian Government and it remains the principal Atlantic base of the Canadian naval force.


Scope and content/abstract:

Papers of the Halifax Dockyard, consisting of sixty-six Commissioners and officers' letterbooks, containing either in- or out-letters, 1783 to 1887. From the Commissioner's office there are in-letters from the Navy Board, 1815 to 1819 (1 vol); out-letters to the Navy Board, 1816 to 1819 (1 vol); letters to the yard officers, 1805 to 1809 and 1814 to 1819 (5 vols). There are Commissioners' letterbooks of both in- and out-letters: Navy Board letters, 1808 to 1816 (3 vols); Victualling Board letters, 1815 to 1819 (1 vol); Transport Board letters, 1815 to 1817 (1 vol); correspondence with the Commander-in-Chief, 1805 to 1806 and 1808 to 1810 (3 vols); and with yard officers, 1801 to 1803, 1807 to 1812, 1814 to 1819 (9 vols); general correspondence, 1783 to 1789 (2 vols). Two further volumes consist entirely of lists and abstracts of Commissioners' correspondence, 1808 to 1848. The remaining letterbooks relate to the yard officers. Fifteen volumes are of in-letters: Navy Board warrants, 1807 to 1819 (1 vol); Navy Board letters, 1805 to 1832 (7 vols); Commissioner's letters, 1806 to 1807 and 1815 to 1824 (2 vols), and those from the Commander-in-Chief, 1819 to 1839 (2 vols). There is one volume of letters to the Master Attendant, 1808 to 1813, and two of letters from the Admiralty to the Storekeeper, 1833 to 1842. Officers' out-letterbooks include letters to the Navy Board, 1810 to 1826 (3 vols); to the Commissioner, 1810 to 1819 (1 vol), and to the Commander-in-Chief, 1819 to 1842 (1 vol). The Storekeeper's letters to the Admiralty are contained in ten volumes, 1834 to 1860, 1871 to 1880, 1882 to 1884 and 1886 to 1887; to the Commander-in-Chief, 1842 to 1863 and 1871 to 1881 (6 vols); local letters from the Storekeeper, 1842 to 1866 and 1873 to 1880 (5 vols). Three letterbooks contain both in- and out- officers' correspondence: one was kept by the Master Attendant, 1809 to 1829; one contains correspondence with the Commander-in-Chief in 1819; and the third contains local correspondence of a general nature, 1820 to 1841. There is also one volume of tenders accepted at the yard, 1823 to 1856.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

Conditions governing access:

Please contact the Archive for further information.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Please contact the Archive for further information.

Finding aids:

Detailed catalogue online at the: National Maritime Museum website .

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

The records were for the most part obtained in the 1930s from the Admiralty Librarian, who in 1921 made a selection from the volumes that had remained in store since the time of the transfer of the yard to the Canadian Government.

Allied Materials

Related material:

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:
Edited by Sarah Drewery, Jun 2011.

Rules or conventions:
Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions:

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