Book Information

Syme, Marten A. Shipping Arrivals and Departures: Victorian ports. Vol. II 1846-1855. Melbourne, Victoria: Roebuck Society, .

The Roebuck Society books record arrivals and departures of ships through numerous Australian, New Zealand, and Tasmanian ports in the 18th and 19th centuries. Through these works, they index essentially all early shipping movements in the region. They contain extensive information about ship arrivals and departures by port, in a very complicated format that varies a bit from volume to volume. See this blog post for more description, and examples, of what one finds in the Roebuck volumes.

For ShipIndex, we have included information that distinguishes specific ships and indicates that they appear in the book’s index. We do not, however, note where in the text the ship appears, because the index entries themselves are quite complicated. If a ship of interest is mentioned in a Roebuck book, your best bet is to track down the whole book, not just the page on which the ship is mentioned. Find the ship on the index page shown, and then see where and how often the ship is mentioned throughout the book. The entry in the text will give a summary of the ship’s movements and provides information about the sources (usually newspapers) from which the data is drawn. Many ships are mentioned dozens and dozens of times. Many entries contain data from multiple sources, so – especially for tonnage – many data points may appear for each ship in the index. The printed index notes sources for some of this data, but we have not preserved those notations here.

The Roebuck Society has published about a dozen volumes like this, and we are working through them to add them to the database.