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Brill Launches Part 1 of Prize Papers Online

Brill, the international scholarly publisher has launched the first part of Prize Papers Online: American Revolutionary War and Fourth Anglo-Dutch War.

Leiden (NL) / Boston (MA)  ()

Brill, the international scholarly publisher has launched the first part of Prize Papers Online. One of five releases, the first release, Prize Papers Online 1, contains approximately 7,000 interrogations of ships taken during the American Revolutionary War and Fourth Anglo-Dutch War (ca. 1775- 1784). It shows images of each interrogation (of two, three, sometimes even six or more pages) while answers to the fourteen most researched questions have been transcribed and are stored in a searchable database.

The Prize Papers archive, part of the archives of the High Court of Admiralty, is kept in The National Archives (TNA) in Kew. Commonly regarded as one of the most valuable archives in the field of maritime history, the archive hosts documents from between the seventeenth and early nineteenth centuries, pertaining to enemy ships that the British seized during naval wars.

To determine whether the confiscation of a ship was legally justified, the English Prize Courts would interrogate the skipper and a number of other crew members of the ships taken. Each had to answer a list of questions, which under Charles II had become a set questionnaire of 18 items, and subsequently evolved until it contained 34 questions under George III. The English authorities enquired about the origin, route and planned destination, tonnage, freight and crew members, about citizenship, national allegiance, and personal migration history of the interrogated crew members. By digitizing the Prize Court interrogations, Brill makes this valuable resource available to scholars, universities, museums and libraries around the world.

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About Brill ( 
Founded in 1683 in Leiden, the Netherlands, Brill is a leading international academic publisher in 20 main subject areas, including Middle East and Islamic Studies, Asian Studies, Classical Studies, History, Biblical and Religious Studies, Language & Linguistics, Biology, and International Law, among others. With offices in Leiden and Boston, Brill today publishes 200 journals and around 700 new books and reference works each year, available in both print and electronic form. Brill also markets a large number of primary source research collections and databases. The company's key customers are academic and research institutions, libraries, and scholars. Brill is a publicly traded company and is listed on Euronext Amsterdam NV. For further information please visit

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