Buxton, Ian. Global Ship Number System Database. Newcastle: Ian Buxton,

This database is an attempt at assigning unique vessel identifiers to a portion of the world of extant (or previously extant) ships. It uses ships from the British Shipbuilding Database, and assigns identification numbers to those ships; it extends the numbering of ships beyond those assigned and adopted by Lloyd's Register and the International Maritime Organization. This database is an excellent step forward in the need for a universal vessel identifier.

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ShipIndex.org tells you which books, magazines, and online resources mention the vessels you're researching. With 153,649 entries in the free database and 3,159,372 entries available with premium access, you're bound to find useful information here.
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A note about searching:
Searches will match both ship names and the citation text by default. There are many options for crafting your query outlined on the searching help page.
A note about icons:
Frame means the resource includes an illustration of the ship
Featherpen means the resource includes a main entry about the ship
Scroll means the resource includes a passenger or crew list for the ship

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Book means the resource is a book
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Web means the resource is a native online resource (digitized books or journals are still noted as 'book' or 'journal', even when they're accessed or accessible online)
To see all the books, magazines, and online resources included in this index, check the Resources page.