Dock Registers, Port of Liverpool and Birkenhead.



From the Guide to Collections of the Maritime Museum, volume 1: The Dock Registers show the date of the vessel entering a dock, its name, master's name, owner or consignees, registered tonnage, draught, where from, when berthed, date of leaving, a very brief description of the cargo (usually only one word, e.g., salt, coal, ice, very often "general" or "light"). In very few cases are passengers or emigrants mentioned. These are the definitive record of a vessel's arrival or departure from a dock; they also cover all movements within the dock system, for example, from a discharging berth to a loading berth or to a graving dock. Though a valuable source, they are difficult to use, first, because they are compiled by dock, or by dock group and second, they are totally unindexed. They are also quite heavy and some need rebinding. Studies of these records can be found in the Merseyside Docklands History Survey for the South docks, i.e. from Canning to Herculaneum. Most of the essential information on arrival, sailing dates and cargo is more easily accessible in Lloyd's List or the Customs Bill of Entry. Access to the collection is by appointment only.