German Historical Institute London

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All At Sea

The Prize Papers as a Source for a Global Microhistory


6–8 October 2014

Venue: The National Archives, Kew


This conference is organized by the National Archives, Kew, in cooperation with the German Historical Institute London, the Carl von Ossietzky University of Oldenburg and the Huygens Institute, The Hague.

During the 17th, 18th and early 19th centuries, the navies of maritime powers and privately owned fighting ships competed in the race for the spoils of war. Ships that became prizes often carried, besides passengers and cargo, mail that was to be delivered at the ship's destination. All ships' papers, including this private mail, were seized and made part of the dossier kept by the British High Court of Admiralty. They finally ended up as the 'Prize Papers', part of the High Court of Admiralty archives as record series HCA 30 and 32 in The National Archives.

This international conference aims to bring together scholars who have worked on the Prize Papers (or related materials) to discuss their research and to think about ways of using the source material for future research. This is one of several steps towards establishing a European research network on the Prize Papers.

To book your place visit


Conference programme (PDF file)

Conference report (PDF file), published in: GHIL Bulletin 37 (2015), Vol 1