Avast! Top 10 Real-life Pirates


Welcome aboard, matey! In celebration of International Talk Like a Pirate Day, we present this list of real, live (dead), actual scurvy dogs who truly sailed (some portion of) the seven seas. While there are many fictionalized accounts of their dirty deeds, there is no doubt that these were real, historic people. This list ranks them in order based on how many libraries own materials about them. Clicking on a pirate's name will take you to library materials you can use to learn more about these bilge rats.

This is the second list in our feature: Treasure Aisles: 5 Lists for International Talk Like a Pirate Day!

  1. Sir Francis Drake 1540-1596
  2. Sir Henry Morgan 1635 - 1688
  3. Edward Teach -1718 (Blackbeard)
  4. William Kidd -1701
  5. Grace O'Malley 1530-1603
  6. Anne Bonny 1700-
  7. Hayreddin Barbarossa -1546
  8. Bartholomew Roberts 1682-1722 (Black Bart)
  9. Charles Gibbs 1794-1831
  10. Roberto Cofresi 1791-1825 (El Pirata Cofresí)

This list represents the top pirates identified using holdings for titles related to the VIAF identifier of people who were historically known for piracy and privateering.

WorldCat is a set of databases that together comprise the most comprehensive global network of data about library collections and services. WorldCat data is contributed, maintained and shared by libraries around the world. It is managed and enhanced by OCLC. WorldCat data supports a range of OCLC and partner services, driving efficiency in library management, improving discovery of library collections and increasing visibility of libraries on the web.

The VIAF® (Virtual International Authority File) combines multiple name authority files into a single OCLC-hosted name authority service. The goal of the service is to lower the cost and increase the utility of library authority files by matching and linking widely-used authority files and making that information available on the Web.

At OCLC Research, we're exploring records and mining WorldCat data to highlight interesting and different views of the world's library collections each month. Be sure to check out our "What in the WorldCat?" page often to see what we come up with next.