ARCdoc UK Whaling Logbooks between 1750 and 1850

30 July 2014


This dataset series contains spreadsheet data collated from actual Hudson’s Bay Company whaling logbooks between 1750 and 1850.

Each dataset represents the voyages of a particular vessel, and each spreadsheet represents one year and contains two voyages. One outgoing voyage from the UK to Hudson Bay, normally leaving at the end of June, beginning of July, and one return journey leaving Hudson Bay in September and returning to the UK in October.

The Supporting Documentation describes the collated data and provides a background to the research.

The whaling logbooks used in the ARCdoc project, representing a significant addition to those of the Hudson Bay Company (HBC), are confined to the period 1750 to 1850 although most of them post-date 1800. Attention is also confined to UK logbooks. In contrast to the HBC logbooks, those of the whaling vessels do not cover every year of the study period and only some 40 have survived of the original many thousands of voyages.

The outcomes are a series of monthly summary statistics for each month of the voyages. These are confined to the summer season as the vessels could not sail in winter, but provide nonetheless a valuable series of first-hand observations. These are expressed as a series of indices quantifying the frequency of winds from each of the four quadrants (N, S, E & W), gales, fog, snow and rain. The mean wind force can also be calculated for each month. The whaling logbooks provide a unique additional set of daily and monthly-aggregated data on sea ice cover and character.

The University of Hull
QR Code