Collection of Sound Toll Accounts of Scottish ships, 1786-1788

Scope and Content

  • The collection consists of three bound volumes of computer print-outs of the Sound Toll Accounts date for Scotland and a user manual, 1973.

Administrative / Biographical History

The collection consists of three bound volumes of computer print-outs and a user manual. These were produced by the Danish economic historian, Hans Christian. Johansen of the  University of Odense,  Denmark in  1973  for all the Scottish ships passing through the Sound, the strait between  Denmark and  Sweden , between  1786  and  1788  . This was part of a project to extract data from the Sound Toll Registers, and was an early study to demonstrate how computers could be used in historical research. Johansen used coding sheets and punch cards to create a database for all the information on the ships and cargoes passing through the Sound between  1784  and  1795  . The Sound Toll was in operation by the  15th century  and was levied by the king of Denmark on all ships passing through the Sound . The registers, which were kept by the customs at Elsinore, record detailed information on every ship, including date of passage, nationality, name and home port of the captain, tonnage of ship, cargo, tolls and duty paid, ports of departure and destination.

The three volumes of print-outs contain extracted information for all the Scottish ships sailing in and out of the Baltic for  1786-1788  . The information on the print-outs is coded and the user manual (UGC 086/1) is necessary to understand the codes.

A project is now (  2012  ) underway in the  Netherlands to create a database with all the detailed information on the 1.8 million ships' passages recorded in the Sound Toll Registers between  1497  and  1857  . The initiative was taken by the  University of Groningen (represented by Jan Willem Veluwenkamp) and by  Tresoar , the  Frisian Historical and Literary Centre in Leeuwarden  ( Siem van der Woude) in cooperation with the  Danish National Archives ( Erik Gøbel). The information will be online between 2011 and 2013. For more information see the  website

[This administrative history was compiled using info from  here.]


Chronological order

Access Information


Acquisition Information

Deposit : Prof Roy Campbell : July 2002: ACCN 2243

Other Finding Aids


Alternative Form Available

Johansen's database is available on application to the Danish Data Archives, while a revised version can be found on the internet.

Physical Characteristics and/or Technical Requirements

None which affect the use of this material

Conditions Governing Use

Applications for permission to quote should be sent to the Archivist.

Reproduction subject to usual conditions: educational use and condition of documents

Appraisal Information

This material has been appraised in line with standard GB 0248 procedures

Custodial History

This collection was originally deposited at the Scottish Record Office [now National Records of Scotland] under the reference RH2/9/1 & RH2/9/3/3-5. These were deaccessioned from the NAS and deposited at GUAS in 2002 by Professor Roy Campbell.


None expected

Related Material

Sound Toll Registers in the Danish National Archives. More information can be found  here.

Location of Originals

The Sound Toll Registers are kept in the Danish National Archives. The information taken from the Sound Toll Accounts was recorded on a 9-track magnetic tape kept at NEUCC in Copenhagen as tape number IR11117.


No known publications using this material

Additional Information

Description compiled in line with the following international standards: International Council on Archives,ISAD(G) Second Edition, September 1999 and National Council on Archives,Rules for the construction of personal, place and corporate names

Scotland is the location of all place names in the administrative/biographical history element, unless otherwise stated.

Fonds and lower level descriptions compiled by Alma Topen, Senior Assistant Archivist (Cataloguing), November 2004. Finding aid created by Alma Topen, Senior Assistant Archivist (Cataloguing), November 2004. Catalogue revised by Alma Topen, Senior Assistant Archivist (Cataloguing), September 2012> Catalogue edited by Michelle Kaye, Archives Assistant, 27 September 2012.