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FYS Pirates & The Making of the Caribbean World: Home

Resources for FYS Pirates course

Pirate Research

How to use this Research Guide [READ THIS FIRST]:

To better serve you and your research needs during this time, primary resources, books, and articles are made centrally available here. Materials are organized into four boxes:

  • Special Collections Objects (primary resources)
  • Internet Resources (primary resources: online exhibits, newspapers, legal documents, collections)
  • ebooks (HathiTrust, Google Books, and/or Open Access (Free!) Books
  • Library Databases

Your Librarians:

Jacob Gordon:

Sara Kern:

Christine Elliott:

Special Collections Objects

Items Viewed during the Library Special Collections Visit on February 15, 2021. Where available online, a link has been provided below the item.

  • Nereides, or, Sea-eclogues William Diaper -- London : E. Sanger, 1712.
  • The Complete English tradesman in familiar letters Daniel Defoe -- London : C. Rivington, 1727.
  • HathiTrust


  • The convention vindicated from the misrepresentations of the enemies of our peace. Baron Horatio Walpole, 1739.
  • The Internet Archive



  • Thoughts Upon Slavery. John Wesley, 1774.
  • Documenting the American South
  • Philosophical and Political History of the Settlements and Trade of the Europeans in the East and West Indies. Abbe Raynal, 1793
  • HathiTrust
  • Navigation Spiritualized, or, A New Compass for Seamen...  John Flavel, 1788.
  • The Internet Archive


  • Regulations and Instructions Relating to His Majesty's Service at Sea. London: J. Murray.1790
  • HathiTrust


  • An Address to the People of Great Britain On the Propriety of Abstaining from west Indian Rum. William Fox, 1792.
  • The Internet Archive
  • A Word In Season, To the Traders and Manufacturers of Great Britain. William Combe, 1792.
  • HathiTrust
  • Travels Around the World: Performed At Sea and Land In The Years... Maurice De Pages, 1801.
  • HathiTrust (3 Volume version)


  • The History, Civil and Commercial, of the British Colonies in the West Indies. Bryan Edwards, 1810.
  • HathiTrust


  • Personal Narrative of Travels to the Equinoctical Regions of the New Continent, during the years 1799-1804.  Alexander de Humboldt and Aime Bonpland, 1815.
  • HathiTrust (3 Volume version)


  • The Sailor's Magazine and Naval Journal. Sept. 1828 - Aug. 1829.
  • HathiTrust


  • Britannia, or, The Moral Claims of Seamen Stated and Enforced: An Essay. John Harris, 1837.


  • Alnomuc, or, The Golden Rule. A Tale of the Sea. John H Amory, 1838.
  • HathiTrust



  • Shipwrecks and Disasters at Sea, or Historical Narratives. Charles Ellms, 1847.
  • The Internet Archive


  • The Bethel Flag: A Series of Short Discourses to Seamen. Gardiner Spring, 1848.
  • HathiTrust


  • African Slave Trade in Jamaica: And Comparative Treatment of Slaves. Moses Sheppard, 1854.
  • Library of Congress


  • The History of the Buccaneers of America: Containing detailed accounts... Exquemelin, A. O., Basil Ringrose, Oliver L. Perkins, Raveneau de Lussan, and Montauban, 1856.
  • The Internet Archive

Internet Resources

Online Exhibits

Living in the Atlantic World

Smithsonian online exhibit with artifacts, maps, ship diagrams, and a focus on maritime life in the 1700's including piracy and trade issues.

Newspapers or Other Publications

British Newspaper Archive

From the British Library, this database contains most of the runs of newspapers published in the UK since 1800.

Bodleian Library Broadside Ballads

The Bodleian Library has unparalleled holdings of over 30,000 ballads in several major collections. The original printed materials range from the 16th- to the 20th-Century. The Broadside Ballads project makes the digitized copies of the sheets and ballads available to the research community.

English Broadside Ballad Archive

Hosted by UC-Santa Barbara, the EBBA has a searchable database of broadside ballads of seventeenth century England.

Legal Cases

London's Central Criminal Court - Old Bailey Proceedings

The Old Bailey Proceedings Online makes available a fully searchable, digitised collection of all surviving editions of the Old Bailey Proceedings from 1674 to 1913, and of the Ordinary of Newgate's Accounts between 1676 and 1772.

Piracy Trials - Law Library of Congress

"The Law Library of Congress has digitized its collection of pre-1923 piracy trial. This historical collection of piracy trials is critical for understanding how the various nations of the world handled piracy issues before the year 1900."

Online Collections

British History Online

British History Online is the digital library containing some of the core printed primary and secondary sources for the medieval and modern history of the British Isles.

Kraus Collection of Sir Francis Drake

This collection is provided by the Library of Congress. "Sir Francis Drake, English explorer and naval strategist, circumnavigated the earth from 1577-1580. During these travels, Drake visited the Caribbean and the Pacific claiming a portion of California for Queen Elizabeth and waging battles on the Spanish. This collection comprises important primary and secondary materials accumulated about Drake’s voyages.

Mariners' Museum Library & Archives

"... holds the largest maritime history collection in the Western Hemisphere." The collection includes over 1,750,000 items ranging from books and magazines, to rare materials, vessel plans, and photographs. The website provides access to the Library's online catalog and finding aids. An image database is also available for searching.

Massachusetts Historical Society

Founded in 1791, the Massachusetts Historical Society, an independent research library, is an invaluable resource for American history, life, and culture. Its extraordinary collections tell the story of America through millions of rare and unique documents, artifacts, and irreplaceable national treasures.


Library Databases