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Sources of Historical Information on the RN

The list below is a general list of useful names and addresses for a variety of organisations belonging to, or connected with the Royal Navy.

The National Archives is the national repository for the archives of all the government departments, including the Admiralty and the Ministry of Defence; and it is there that you are most likely to find the Logbooks, and other records, of HM Ships, and the Station Records of the Royal Navy. The National Archives Office does not offer a research service, though it may be able to suggest professional researchers who could help you if you cannot undertake your own research. These professional researchers would, of course, charge a fee.

The PRO is open to the members of the public at the following times:
Monday 09.00 - 17.00 (ordering times 09.30 - 16.00)
Tuesday 10.00 - 19.00 (ordering times 10.00 - 16.30)
Wednesday 09.00 - 17.00 (ordering times 09.30 - 16.00)
Thursday 09.00 - 19.00 (ordering times 09.30 - 16.30)
Friday 09.00 - 17.00 (ordering times 09.30 - 16.00)
Saturday 09.30 - 17.00 (ordering times 09.30 - 12.00 and 13.30 - 14.30)

Admission is by Reader's Ticket. Readers have to register in person bringing adequate proof of identity, such as a passport or UK driving licence or UK bank/credit card. If in doubt the applicant should call in advance of their visit on 020 8392 5200. Intending visitors are advised to check (a) the opening times as sections are closed occasionally; and (b) that the documents they wish to study are available, for they are sometimes withdrawn for official use.

PRO contact and address:
Ruskin Avenue,
Kew,
Richmond,
Surrey TW9 4DU.
Telephone: 0208-876 3444.
Fax: 0208-878 8905.
Website: The National Archive

Naval History

Naval Historical Branch
Admiralty Library,
Naval Historical Branch (Naval Staff),
No 24 Store (pp 20),
Main Road,
HM Naval Base Portsmouth,
PO1 3LU.
Tel: 023 92 724327 or 725300
Fax:
023 92 724003

Royal Naval Museum
HM Naval Base
Portsmouth
Hampshire.
PO1 3NU
Telephone: 02392 727562 Fax: 02392 727575
Website: Royal Naval Museum
E-mail: library@royalnavalmuseum.org

Publications

Navy News have regular information about the Royal Navy as well as contacts for old comrades and Naval associations whilst The Globe and Laurel provide similar services regarding the Royal Marines. The Blue Band Magazine is the Official Journal of the RM Band Service

Navy News

Leviathan Block,
HMS Nelson,
Portsmouth,
Hants,
PO1 3HH.
Tel: 02392 724163
Website: Navy News

The Globe and Laurel

HMS Excellent
Whale Island
Portsmouth
Hants
PO2 8ER
Tel: 02392 547210
e-mail: royalsmag@btconnect.com

Homeport

NFF
Castaway House
311 Twyford Avenue
Portsmouth
Hampshire
PO2 8RN
Tel:023 9265 4374
Website: Naval Families Federation
e-mail : admin@nff.org.uk

Blue Band Magazine

The Editor,
Blue Band Magazine,
HQBS,
Eastney Block,
HMS NELSON,
Portsmouth,
Hants.
PO1 3HHTel: 023 9272 6170.
editor@royalmarinesbands.co.uk

Naval Biographical Database

People, Places, Ships and Events associated with the Royal Navy since 1660. This is a privately developed website which uses official RN records to trace the Naval careers of individuals over the last 350 years. The database is not complete, but is constantly growing.

Navy List

Select Bibliography

Ships

Colledge, JJ (revised Warlow), Ships of the Royal Navy, Greenhill, London, 2003. ISBN1-85367-566-0. Covers all periods.

Lyon, D, The Sailing Navy List, Conway, London, 1993. ISBN 0-85177-864-X. Covers 1688 - 1860

Lyon, D & Winfield, R, The Sail & Steam Navy List, Chatham, London, 2004. ISBN 1 86176 032 9. Covers 1815 - 1889

Stopford, TP - Admiralty Ships badges - Original Patterns 1919-1994, 2 volumes, Stone Frigate, Rochester, 1996. ISBN 0 9529346 0 4

People

Bevan, Tracing your Ancestors in the National Archives, London, National Archives, 7th revised edition, 2006, ISBN 1903365899

Pappalardo, B, Tracing your Naval Ancestors, PRO, Kew, 2002. ISBN 1 903365 37 6

Rodger, NAM, Naval Records for Genealogists, PRO, Kew, 1988 - Public Record Office Handbook No 22. ISBN 1 873 162 58 8

General

Cock, R & Rodger, NAM (ed.s), A Guide to the Naval Records in the National Archives of the UK, IHS/TNO, London, 2006, ISBN 978 1 905165 16 2.  Covers all periods.

The Naval and Maritime Libraries and Archives Group - Guide to the Collections. Local pamphlet, published by Hampshire County Council, 2000, available from the Royal Naval Museum Library at Portsmouth

Museums

Royal Naval Museum
HM Naval Base,
Portsmouth,
Hampshire. PO1 3NU
Telephone: 02392 727562
FAX: 02392 727575
Website: Royal Naval Museum
E-mail: library@royalnavalmuseum.org

Fleet Air Arm Museum
Royal Naval Air Station,
Yeovilton,
Yeovil, Somerset BA22 8HT.
Telephone: 01935 840565 FAX: 01935 840181.
Website: www.faam.org.uk
E-mail: enquires@fleetairarm.com

Royal Navy Submarine Museum
Haslar Jetty Road,
Gosport,
Hampshire
PO12 2AS.
Telephone: 02392 510354
Website: Royal Naval Submarine Museum
E-mail: rnsubs@rnsubmus.co.uk

Royal Marines Museum
Southsea,
Hampshire.
PO4 9PX
Telephone: 02392 819 385
FAX: 02392 838 420.
Website: Royal Marines Museum
E-mail: info@royalmarinesmuseum.co.uk

National Maritime Museum
Romney Road,
Greenwich,
London.
SE10 9NF
Telephone: 0208 858 4422
FAX: 0208-312 6632
Website: National Maritime Museum

Imperial War Museum,
Lambeth Road,
London.
SE1 6HZ
Telephone 0207 4165000
FAX : 0207 4165379
Website : Imperial War Museum

Portsmouth Historic Dockyard
Flagship Portsmouth Trust
Building 1/7, Porter's Lodge,
College Road, HM Naval Base,
Portsmouth PO1 3LJ.
Telephone: 023 9286 1512
FAX: 023 9229 5252
Website: Flagship Training
E-mail: mail@historicdockyard.co.uk

Chatham Historic Dockyard

Chatham,
Kent.
ME4 4TE
Telephone: 01634 812551
FAX: 01634 8269918
Website: Historic Dockyard Chatham
E-mail: info@chdt.org.uk

Charities

RN Charities give over £3million every year to help thousands of serving and former Naval Service people and their families. RN Charities also provide community support and care of the young, elderly and disabled. The cost to RN Charities of giving this assistance is constantly increasing. At the same time it is becoming more and more difficult to raise funds to meet the need. Find out more about some of the main RN charities at the following link:

Charities