Old, yellowed papers marked with cursive handwriting, with a magnifying glass resting on the top.

Ship, light vessel and lighthouse logs

In general these provide the same data as would be found in daily registers and observations are taken at regular intervals, sometimes as often as every three
hours. Additional information will include latitude and longitude references and a remarks column which often provides fascinating insights into the flora, fauna and weather phenomena observed.

Example of a ship log book.

Most useful for

Lighthouse logs are useful for researching weather and climate at specific locations around the world. They are often among the longest running data series available for locations outside of the UK. Oceanweather ship logs are also useful for researching particular locations because they were stationed at important fixed positions in the North Atlantic.

Things to bear in mind

With the exception of some light vessel data in Edinburgh the whole collection of logs is kept in Exeter. The logs are not catalogued but we do have index books which can help to locate them. It is best if you request either lighthouse logs or ship logs for a particular ship or ships over a reasonably short period of time e.g. ten to fifteen years. The more information you can give us about precisely what you are looking for the better and you should allow at least five days notice on this material.