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Baltimore Chamber of Commerce ship records

Identifier: MS 0058


The Baltimore Chamber of Commerce was established in 1856 for the commercial regulation of the Port of Baltimore. Material in this collection includes: Merchants' vessels of the United States, 1916-1938; Lloyd's Register, 1949, 1950; scrapbooks of Baltimore shipping news, 1924-1931; 32 volumes of Arrivals and Clearances; indexes for names of ships, 1928-1943; misc. records and financial accounts of the maritime department of the Baltimore Chamber of Commerce, 1926-1930; "Baltimore Journal of Commerce", 1921-1923; New York Maritime Register, 1937-1940.


  • 1886-1943


Conditions Governing Access

Open to the public without restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

The reproduction of materials in this collection may be subject to copyright restrictions. It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine and satisfy copyright clearances or other case restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in the collections. For more information visit the MCHC’s Rights and Permissions page.


33.3 Linear Feet (80 volumes plus unbound material)

Language of Materials


Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Howard G. Disney, President and Director of the Chamber of Commerce of Baltimore, February 1955.

Scope and Contents

A. The vessel Arrival records are in tabulated form and in both bound volumes and looseleaf. The information given is the date, rig, vessel, nationality (if not American), the master, a general notation of the cargo and the agent. After 1907, the pier at which the vessel docked is noted. The data runs chronologically from August 27, 1896, to December 30, 1935. There are some breaks in the continuity as shown in the accompanying inventory.

AI. The Index of arrival dates consists of a yearly record of the dates of arrival of a particular vessel arranged in rough alphabetical form. The period 1906 through 1909 is alphabeticized together, and 1910 to 1919 is alphabeticized together, and 1920 and 1921. All other alphabetical listings are strictly by year and are shown in the accompanying inventory. This index gives the date of arrival with which the vessel can be located in the Arrivals Record for fuller information.

B. The Inward-Outward record is in both bound volumes and looseleaf and covers the period July 10, 1900 to December 31, 1943 with some breaks. It is in tabulated form and gives the date, the rig, vessel, nationality, destination for which bound or port from which arriving. It also lists the time of passing official check-points, i.e., Cape Henry, Cove Point, and North Point. The earlier records use Sparrows Point instead of North Point. The records in late '39 and early '40 are only for belligerent nations and they particularly note whether the ship traversed the C and D Canal. The entire record except in 1918 and 1919 gives the weather reports for Baltimore and the other check-points when available.

C. The Clearance records are in bound volumes until 1921 and then in typed loose sheets. The information given is the date, the rig, vessel, nationality, master, port to which bound and agent. The records run from June 3, 1903 until December 28, 1944 with very minor breaks. There are also two folders of loose carbon copies of typed clearances dating from March 2, 1917 to December 7, 1918.

E. The foreign export records consist of one volume from October 19, 1910 to November 24, 1913. The information given is the date, name, nationality and rig of the vessel, and a detailed listing of the cargo and the name of the agent. Prior to April 11, 1913, the value of the cargo was ALSO recorded.

I. The foreign imports record is in one volume from July 13, 1908 to January 26, 1914. The information given is the date, the rig, nationality and name of the vessel, the port from which arriving and a detailed listing of the cargo.

L. The casualty records are in two volumes dating from August 15, 1899 to November 14, 1934. It is in narrative form listing under the date any report of damage to a vessel either minor or major. All the vessels included are bound to or from Baltimore, but the casualty may be in any port or on the high seas.

N. There are five scrap books containing clippings of the shipping news from the Baltimore Sun dating from January 1, 1924 to January 1, 1932. There is another volume with a few loose clippings dated in early 1932.

Guide to the Baltimore Chamber of Commerce ship records
Under Revision
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
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Language of description note

Revision Statements

  • 2019-07-24: Manually entered into ArchivesSpace by Mallory Herberger.

Repository Details

Part of the H. Furlong Baldwin Library Repository

H. Furlong Baldwin Library
Maryland Center for History and Culture
610 Park Avenue
Baltimore MD 21201 United States