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Welcome to the Prize Papers Portal, home to a vast collection of documents and artefacts taken from ships captured by British privateers and the Royal Navy between 1652 and 1815 as well as the court papers generated by legal proceedings to determine the legality of the ‘prize’. 

Ship by ship, document by document, the Prize Papers Project is digitizing these unique historical records and making them available to researchers and the broader public in this open access portal. The physical records are held by The National Archives, London, in the High Court of Admiralty collection, series HCA 30, HCA 32 and HCA 45.

To introduce visitors to the Portal to the richness and diversity of this amazing collection, the Prize Papers Project regularly publishes case studies focusing on particular ships or documents. The team is currently working on documents found on board ships seized by the British during the War of the Austrian Succession (1740–1748).

The Prize Papers Project is part of the Göttingen Academy of Sciences and Humanities in Lower Saxony, Germany. It is based at the Carl von Ossietzky University of Oldenburg, Germany, and The National Archives, UK. The project is part of the Academies Programme of the Union of the German Academies of Sciences and Humanities. Thus, it is funded by the German state and the federal state of Lower Saxony, with a prospective funding period from 2018 to 2037.