Fonds - Pickford and Black fonds

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Pickford and Black fonds

General material designation

  • Textual record

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  • Variations in title: Also known as the Pickford and Black Shipping Registers
  • Source of title proper: Title is based on the creator of the fonds

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Statement of scale (cartographic)

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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area


  • Microfilmed 1978 (originally created 1880-1905) (Creation)
    Pickford & Black (firm)

Physical description area

Physical description

1 microfilm reel

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Archival description area

Name of creator


Administrative history

The firm of Pickford & Black, a Nova Scotia shipping firm, was established by partners Robert Pickford (1841-1914) and William Anderson Black (1847-1934) in 1876. Pickford & Black were ship chandlers and grocers of Halifax, Nova Scotia. In 1877, the firm purchased Seeton's Wharf at 51 Water's Street. By 1887, they had expanded into the steamship line, purchasing the Cunard ships Alpha and Beta, and establishing a shipping service between Halifax, Cuba, and Bermuda (1889). Pickford and Kirke also operated steamers in the Atlantic provinces.

Pickford & Black acted as agents for several leading marine insurance underwriters, including Lloyd's of London, and for several European steamship lines. Robert Pickford retired in 1911 and the company became Pickford & Black Ltd.

Following the death of W.A. Black (1936), the company was involved in several mergers. In 1946, Pickford & Black Ltd. managed the Maritime Stevedoring Company, and the Pickford & Black Agency, a customs brokerage. In 1975 Pickford and Black Ltd. became a wholly owned subsidiary of McLean Kennedy Limited, and in 2002, a branch of F. K. Warren.

Custodial history

Scope and content

Fonds consists of microfilmed papers of three registers of incoming vessels at Halifax, 1880-1905. The records were kept by Pickford and Black, but include all incoming shipping, regardless of agent. The registers provide the date of arrival, the rig, vessel name, tonnage, port of registry, master, origins, number of days at sea, consignee, cargo, wharf, date of sailing and destination.

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

Acquired from Nova Scotia Archives and Records Management, Halifax, in 1978.


Language of material

  • English

Script of material

Location of originals

Original Pickford and Black papers held at Nova Scotia Archives and Records Management.

Availability of other formats

Restrictions on access

There are no restrictions on access to the material.

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Copyright is held by Nova Scotia Archives and Records Management.

Finding aids

Finding aid is not available.

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General note

The details in the administrative history are based on the fonds-level description of the NSARM web site.

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Dates of creation, revision and deletion

Created - May 23, 2013

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