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SERIES Identifier: Mss:766 1750-1845 B879

Subseries A: Shipping papers, 1783-1845

Scope and Contents

Shipping papers consist of bills of lading, sailing orders, cargo manifests, ship account books, and crew lists. Bills of lading, 1793-1844, were issued for goods loaded on a vessel and list the shipper or shipping company, the amount of goods being transported, and the destination of the ship. Sailing orders were sent to ship captains before a voyage and detail responsibilities and instructions including destination, the price and sale of goods, and purchase of supplies. Cargo manifests, 1800-1844, list an inventory of goods and provisions carried on a particular vessel and the person to whom the goods were cosigned. Ship account books record amount of cargo, prices of cargo sold, and crew compensation. Crew lists, compiled by the shipmaster or ship captain before a vessel was set to depart, note the vessel's destination, men's names, compensation, rank, and date of entry into service.


  • 1783-1845

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research. Materials stored onsite. Please contact for more information.


6.5 linear feet (9 boxes)

Physical Location


Repository Details

Part of the Baker Library Special Collections, Harvard Business School, Harvard University Repository

Baker Library Special Collections holds unique resources that focus on the evolution of business and industry, as well as the records of the Harvard Business School, documenting the institution's development over the last century. These rich and varied collections support research in a diverse range of fields such as business, economic, social and cultural history as well as the history of science and technology.

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