I am beginning a dissertation project with the working title "Merchant Ship Technology and the Development of the British Atlantic, 1600-1800." Among other types of sources, I'm looking for anecdotal archival or published primary source material in which those engaged in the shipping business in this world--ship owners, masters, ship builders, state officials, merchants, and mariners--mention or discuss vessel technology in their correspondence, journals, logs, and other written documents. I'm interested in their opinions, judgments, specifications, and instructions regarding design, rig, construction, lading, and equipment. The goal is to evaluate continuity and change in the technology over the period. If anyone can suggest a specific collection or work likely to contain such information, that would be most helpful. I'd like to have a list of the most promising sources by the end of the month. Thanks for any help.
Department of History
Memorial University of Newfoundland