This volume aims to continue the expansion of maritime history beyond the narrow definition - ‘the study of ships’ - to include all people involved in seagoing activities. The volume consists of eleven articles exploring the people of Northern seas, spanning the seventeenth to nineteenth centuries and primarily focused on Europe. They were originally presented at a 1992 Finland conference of the Association for the History of the Northern Seas. The articles are broad in scope, and are collected here with the intention of stimulating further academic research into the lives and histories of the people of the Northern seas, which the editors, at the time of publication, consider under-examined. The articles are divided into three sections, the first examining livelihoods dependant on the ocean; seamen, fishermen. The second group examines maritime mercantile communities; merchants; shipowners; shipbrokers. The final group examines maritime culture, encompassing the navy and the coastguard.