Hello--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.
In order to make this component of the project feasible, I have to identify these sources as at least very likely to contain what I need before I make arrangements to visit repositories.
I am hoping for advice from those who have actually worked with these sources and know what's in them. Any such help would be greatly appreciated and acknolwedged.
Department of History
Memorial University of Newfoundland