Guide to Sources Relating to Canadian Naval Vessels

About the guide

Library and Archives Canada holds multiple records about Canadian naval vessels that served with the Royal Canadian Navy. Sources usually consist of the ship’s log and subject files that clearly relate to the vessel in question. They were created at Naval Service Headquarters or in one of the operational commands, for example, Atlantic Command, Newfoundland Command, and so on. The guide also lists shore establishments, the so-called “stone frigates,” such as the HMCS Niobe that served as the Royal Canadian Navy Headquarters in Great Britain during the Second World War.

The guide was originally compiled around 1990 by the late Barbara Wilson (1931–2014), an archivist with the former National Archives of Canada, now Library and Archives Canada.

Organization of the guide

This guide is organized in alphabetical order, by vessel name, and covers the period from 1909 to the mid-1980s, which reflects the files in our holdings at the time it was compiled.

The following types of vessels were included in the guide because their logs were transferred to Library and Archives Canada:

  • Barges
  • Fishermen’s Reserve
  • Gate vessels
  • Harbour craft
  • Lighters
  • Scows
  • Trawlers
  • Tugs
  • Yard craft

The guide does not include references to:

  • Anti-submarine warfare
  • Broad questions of naval policy
  • Combat operations
  • Convoys
  • Files on maintenance or upgrading
  • Recently/soon-to-be commissioned vessels

For such topics, consult the Navy portion of the Department of National Defence fonds (Record Group 24; RG24) inventory and the relevant finding aids, or contact Reference Services.

For a brief historical account of Royal Canadian Navy vessels, consult The Ships of Canada’s Naval Forces, 1910–1985 by Ken Macpherson and John Burgess (AMICUS 5437251).

Abbreviations used in the guide

CNLO: Canadian Naval Liaison Officer 
COAC: Commanding Officer Atlantic Command
FONF: Flag Officer Newfoundland Command
NOIC: Naval Officer in Charge
ROP: Reports of Proceedings
SO (I): Staff Officer (Intelligence)
SO (O): Staff Officer (Operations)
WUP: Working Up Reports

Content list

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