The large-scale study of ship's logbooks for climatic data has revealed the wide and varied potential of this under-exploited resource for the study of the past. As well as being of utility to climatologists, the daily recording of shipboard information can help illuminate a number of themes of interest to maritime and naval historians. More than this, however, such studies can help inform both more general and other specialized historical studies. Logbooks contain both anecdotal and statistical data relevant to the studies of medical historians, the history of science and navigation, social history, economic history, warfare, imperial history and of course environmental history. Moreover, many of these themes can be studied in a multi-national context and furthermore, if studied in a multi-disciplinary context, can offer many useful insights.
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|Published - 2005