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Sunday, November 29, 2009

British Admiralty Charts of Canadian Waters

"Library and Archives Canada has completed a major project to catalogue and scan its collection of original navigation charts published in London by the Hydrographic Office of the British Admiralty. The 3,400 documents, which cover a 150-year period ending in the mid-20th century, represent the largest historical description of Canada's three major oceans and the inland waters of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River. Many of the charts were prepared from surveys undertaken by the elite of the British navy: Admiral Henry Bayfield, Captain James Cook, Lieutenant George Vancouver, Sir John Franklin and Admiral William Parry. The charts provided mariners with a detailed description of coastal waters, plotted the contours of the ocean floor and located important navigational aids, such as lighthouses, hilltops and rocky outcrops. They played a key role in the development of maritime resources and helped to open Canadian markets to mercantile shipping"

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