The collection consists of ship logs bound into two separate volumes, spanning the years 1882-1885. The logs document multiple voyages of three British battleships sailing the coast of North and South America.
The logs were kept by C.F. Henderson, F.A. Hodge, and possibly other crew-mates, as in some instances the recorder of the log is not named. They contain a meticulously detailed account, written and layouted in script, of the routinized and often eventful day to day lives of mariners who sailed South America, the west coast of America, and the Pacific west to the Hawaiian Islands.
Interleaved between the daily record of the voyages are manuscript charts and detailed diagrams of the ships themselves. There are charts delineating parts of South America, the Hawaiian Islands and the western coastline of America, including Vancouver Island and vicinity in detail. All the charts bear the manuscript tracks of the ships. Many of the diagrams and drawings of the ships and their parts are in color and show profile and sectional views of machinery and artillery as well as plans of the ships as a whole.
The manuscripts are bound with twine, and canvas wrapper over marble boards.
The voyages documented in the logs, including destination and date range are as follows:
Log I: HMS Swiftsure. Commanded by Captain R.C. Atchinson. July 1882 –January 1884. Kept by C.F. Henderson. Rio de Janerio to Montevideo to Sandy Point to Coquimbo to Callao to Pisco. Pisco to Callao. Callao to Chimbote to Pacasmayo to Paita to Galapagos Islands to Honolulu to Esquimalt to San Francisco to San Diego to Acapulco to Panama (Tobago Island) to Callao to Pisco to Arica.
Log II: HMS Sappho. Commanded by Commander Bouverie F. Clark. January 1884--Feb 1884. Kept by C.F. Henderson. Pisco to Arica to Iquique to Coquimbo to Valparaíso.
Log III: HMS Swiftsure. Feb. 1884-July 1884. Kept by C.F. Henderson. Valparaíso to Caldera to Iquique to Callao to Honolulu to Esquimalt.
Log IV. HMS Swiftsure. Kept by F.A. Hodge March 1883-June 1884. Galapagos to Honolulu to Esquimalt to San Francisco to San Diego to Acapulco to Panama. Port La Union to Panama Bay to Callao to Pisco to Arica to Iquique to Coquimbo to Valparaíso to Coquimbo to Caldera to Iquique to Callao to Honolulu.
Log V. HMS Mutine. Commanded by Captain Edwards. Kept by unknown. June 1884-July 1884. Honolulu to Esquimalt.
Log VI: HMS Swiftsure. Commanded by Captain R.C. Atchinson. Kept by unknown. July 1884-Aug 1884. Esquimalt.
Log VII: HMS Swiftsure. Commanded by Captain Guy Mainmariny. Kept by unknown. Aug 1884-October 1884. Esquimalt to English Bay. Burrard Inlet to Esquimalt.
Log VIII: HMS Swiftsure. Commanded by Rear Admiral Baird, Captain F.S. Brand. October 1884-June 1885. Esquimalt to San Francisco to Mazatlan to San Blas to Acapulco to Panama to Payta to Callao to Mollendo to Arica to Coquimbo to Valparaíso to Coquimbo.