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Research – Navies and naval matters

Guide to Sources for Research into the Royal Canadian Navy

Online Collections and Resources

The links below are to official governmental sites as well as a growing number of unofficial (“personal”) websites not unlike this one – the list is not exhaustive but rather an indication of the variety and amount of information that is becoming accessible on-line.


Library and Archives Canada / Bibliothèque et Archives Canada

Guide to sources relating to Canadian naval vessels
Service files (Ledger Sheets) of the RCN, 1910-1941
War diaries, ship logs and operations record books:

The Canadian War Museum / Musée canadienne de la guerre

Canadian War Museum

The Books of Remembrance

The Books of Remembrance list every Canadian who died in the service of Canada while in uniform. Veterans Affairs Canada have prepared a searchable database of the books.

Merchant Navy War Dead Registry

Similar to their database of the Books of Remembrance, Veterans Affairs Canada also has a database of the Merchant Navy War Dead Registry, searchable by name or ship.

Merchant Navy War Dead Registry

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission maintains the cemeteries and memorials honouring Commonwealth war dead. They also have extensive records and archives, including searchable databases of the casualties that they are responsible for. This is an excellent resource for genealogists.

Honouring Commonwealth war dead

Canadian Navy History & Heritage (

This page offers many resources and publications on Canadian naval history, and links to other Government of Canada military history websites.

RCN history and heritage

Royal Canadian Navy / History & Heritage

Much of the material formerly resident only on this site has been migrated to the pages listed above, but progress is inconsistent and some particular items remaian.

More RCN history and heritage

The CFB Esquimalt Naval and Military Museum

Beyond its specialist mandate to record the activities of the Canadian and British navies on the West Coast, this site hosts a number of general interest articles and holds digitized copies of significant publications, such as a nearly-complete run of the RCN Navy Lists.

RCN and RN on the West coast

Other non-institutional Websites

These personal websites have a compilation of information from a variety of official and unofficial resources:

For Posterity Sake
Ready Aye Ready
Canadian Nautical Research Society - Société candadienne pour la recherche nautique
Radio communications and signals intelligence in the RCN (Jerry Proc)



This is a work in progess, to rationalise, facilitate and expand our existing resouces. We would appreciate any suggestions for improvements.


Naval Marine ArchiveThe Canadian Collection
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Naval Marine Archive
The Canadian Collection

Revised: March 2023