Australian Joint Copying Project (AJCP)

The Australian Joint Copying Project (AJCP) is a collection of historical material relating to Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific dating from 1560 to 1984.

Shipping indexes

The main finding aids to Admiralty records are shipping indexes and databases. As a general rule, these are easier to access than Colonial Office records because all they require is that you know the name of the ship.

Ships are well indexed in sources such as Log of Logs and Mitchell Library’s Ship Card Index.

Databases have the advantage of indexing names, whether convicts or emigrants, enabling researchers to search for ancestors in the records.

However, at this stage it’s only the surgeon’s journals that are indexed by name.

Ships Card Index

  • Located in the Mitchell Library Reading Room

Search this alphabetical index to ships, listed by voyage date, to find Shipping records in the Australian Joint Copying Project. You will find surgeons journals (ADM 101), Masters logs (ADM 51,52,54) and a selection of other Admiralty classes including Ships Musters (ADM 36 and 37) that are not indexed elsewhere. Note this index includes Convict Transportation Registers from the Home Office (HO 11) and Miscellaneous Series. Also ships logs, journals and diaries from the Mitchell Library Manuscript collection.

Log of Logs

Search this three-volume set of reference books for an alphabetical list of ships arriving in Australia and New Zealand with their voyage dates.  You will find surviving logbooks and voyage narratives including masters logs (ADM 51,52, 54), surgeons journals (ADM 101) and emigrant diaries from the Australian Joint Copying Project and other institutional collections from around the world. Note each volume is a distinct A-Z listing so you need to check all 3 volumes.

You can access Log of Logs at the Family History Desk in the State Reference Library or at Special Collections in the Mitchell Library.

The Convict Ships

The Convict Ships by Charles Bateson is the standard reference work for those researching convict voyages. Contains a comprehensive list of convict transports to the Australian colonies between 1787 and 1868. Bateson draws on a great many sources including Masters Logs, Surgeons Journals and Medical Registers (ADM 51,52,53,54, 101 and 104) and Convict Transportation Registers (HO 11).


Emigrant ship Woodbridge, 1838 - Sick List (ADM 101/79)

Surgeons Journals of convict and emigrant voyages to Australia provide a wealth of information:

  • Sick List (list of patients for every day of the voyage)
  • Medical Journal (case notes on every patient)
  • Nosological Synopsis (statistical summary of diseases)
  • General Journal (report of voyage)



Convict Transport Lady Penrhyn, 1788 (ADM 51/4376)

Masters or Captains Logs are a detailed navigational record and include observations of life on board, particularly the employment of crew and behaviour of convicts.