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
The Canadian War Museum / Musée canadienne de la guerre
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.
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.
Canadian Navy History & Heritage (canada.ca)
This page offers many resources and publications on Canadian naval history, and links to other Government of Canada military history websites.
Royal Canadian Navy / History & Heritage
Much of the material formerly resident only on this site has been migrated to the Canada.ca pages listed above, but progress is inconsistent and some particular items remaian.
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.
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)