National Park Service - Maritime Heritage Program
CONNECT TO RESOURCES FOR LEARNING ABOUT
Historic Ships
AND THE CURRENT MARITIME WORLD

Select organizations with online maritime collections
Listed on these pages are a few select museums, libraries, and archives that have brought portions of their notable maritime collections to the Internet. These organizations have created web sites that are more than simple data sheets for their facilities --they are also very useful educational tools. Through these web sites, visitors can receive not only a quality introduction to various aspects of maritime history but can also gain an understanding of the type and nature of the resources that document the maritime world.

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The National Maritime Museum has provided a highly educational and comprehensive web site that includes access to many of the museum's objects, research catalogs, guides, and materials. It also features an online journal devoted multi-disciplinary research on maritime subjects as well as PORT, an Internet subject gateway for maritime topics.

Through the Search Station you can view objects from the museum's collections arranged by various maritime themes: Exploration, Maritime Art, Nelson, Passengers, Sea, Stars & Time, Trade & Empire. By reading through these pages you are offered an informative introduction to Britain's maritime traditions.

The Centre for Maritime Research links to catalogs for the library, and the prints and drawings, historic photographs, and manuscript collections. Under the Caird Library pages you have access to full text Research Guides that cover the following subjects: General Introductions, The Royal Navy, The Merchant Navy, RMS Titanic, World Wars One and Two, Shipping Companies, Passengers, Lloyd's, Miscellaneous, and Whaling. You also have access to an exhaustive list of FAQs. Research guides and catalog descriptions are very informative, providing details about the museum's holdings as well as the quality and information value of the resource.

Under the educational section of the web site you have access to materials for teachers, students, and adult programs, research seminars and conferences. As well children's Fact Files, addressing subjects relating to the museum's collections, are available online.
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Mystic Seaport maritime museum and research center has provided access to much of its collection through the Internet. On this site you can learn about America's maritime history by visiting the mini tour and exhibits sections. As well, under the education section you are introduced to the museum's extensive educational programs.

Under the collections and research section there are informative summaries of the Watercraft Collection which includes access to the Museum Small Craft Association database, the Henry B. DuPont Preservation Shipyard, Ships Plans, the Curatoral Collection, and the Photograph, Film, and Video Collection. As well, you can access the G.W. Blunt White Library. The library pages provide excellent and informative descriptions of the holdings. You can search the library's online catalog, review summaries and abstracts from the G.W. Blunt White Library oral history collection, and access the RUDDER MAGAZINE Index to Vessel Designs (1891-1950). You can also access the library's manuscripts collection registers.

A number of Information Bulletins produced by the G.W. Blunt White Library are also available. Among the tiles included are: Synopsis of the Voyages of the Charles W. Morgan, Conducting Vessel Research, List of American Whaling Ports, 1784-1928, with Number of Vessels and Voyages from Each and Their Rank by Vessels and Voyages, Anchor Bibliography, and An Annotated Select Bibliography of Plans and Half Models.

Through the library pages you can also access The Pilot Guide: A Digital Library for Maritime Studies. The Pilot Guide leads you to web sites providing guidance on analyzing online information and primary sources, as well as access to Internet tutorials and search tools, online libraries and digital collections. These pages also include links to resources for maritime history, historical research, literature of the sea, online books, marine policy, and more.
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Located in Washington, DC, the Naval Historical Center is the U.S. Navy's official historical program. This is a highly comprehensive site for U.S. naval history from 1775 to the present. The site provides numerous online publications, essays, bibliographies, images and other assorted resources for researching and learning about U.S. naval history. Early History and Contemporary History pages offer a few online publications and bibliographies. Naval Aviation History pages have an extensive list of naval aviation informational essays. The Underwater Archaeology section provides essays on historic shipwrecks and aircraft wreck sites, as well as select publications and professional papers. Operational Archives pages include a detailed description of their collection organized by name or date as well as informative research guides. Ships History provides guidance for researching naval ships and also includes a link to their publication Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. The Navy Museum and the Navy Gallery provide informative online exhibits and exhibit summaries. The Navy Department Library is an excellent portal to naval, military, and governmental information. Web visitors are provided access to the online catalog as well as the "Virtual Library" where they can link to current navy information, general online reference materials, select libraries, an overview of the library's special collection, as well as several bibliographies and reference publications.

There are also sections for Frequently Asked Questions, Traditions, Customs and Terminology of our Naval Heritage, and Wars and Conflicts of the United States Navy. The FAQs consist of over 150 narratives addressing the most popular inquiries received by the Center. They are well researched and informative, and help to clarify misconceptions of particular events and provide information on various naval topics. The "Traditions" pages are a repository "for the obvious -- and obscure -- traditions and customs of the U.S. Navy and of our Naval Heritage." The "Wars and Conflicts" pages provide a chronology of U.S. Navy events as well as essays in Navy history, bibliographies and other related documents.
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The web site of the U.S. Coast Guard provides an extensive amount of historic and current information about Coast Guard operations and craft. Through the Historian's Office you have access to numerous FAQ's about the Coast Guard and full text articles on Coast Guard history. There is also an assortment of articles and data on Coast Guard aviation, the life-saving service, lighthouses, lightships, as well as essays on the Coast Guard at War (particularly WWII). Included are resources for researching shipwrecks and data tables of U.S. merchant vessel casualties of World War II. As well, there are assorted bibliographies and historic documents and publications.

You can also access data sheets, images and summaries of cutters, aircraft, and boats currently in service as well as an assortment of images of Coast Guard drawings, photos, logos, medals, etc.
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The Marine Museum of the Great Lakes has provided web visitors with a highly detailed and informative description of the research resources available through their facility. From the home page click on the research section to access the comprehensive Museum Research Services Index. Through this page you can link to a narrative description of the archival collection or link to the Collections Catalogs. Through these pages you can search the library and collections catalog and ship list databases for the Mills List, Wallace List, Canadian Registry List, Canadian Steamship Lines Fleet List. You also have access to very detailed finding aids for the Port Arthur Shipyards, Collingwood Shipyards, German & Milne, Upper Lakes Shipping, William Johnston Collection, the H.A. Sledge Collection, and the Vickers Shipyard Collection - Montreal. As well, there are articles on Great Lakes topics. Most useful among these is Paper Passages: An Introduction to the Sources for the Study of Great Lakes History at the National Archives of Canada by M. Stephen Salmon. The museum site also provides an excellent set of maritime links.
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The Public Record Office (PRO) is the "repository of the national archives for England, Wales and the United Kingdom." On the PRO site you can find an excellent collection of finding aids to help with researching Royal Navy, Royal Marines, and other maritime topics. The leaflets addressing maritime topics often provide insight into various aspects of merchant shipping and Royal Navy history. They include such information as to why and how certain records were kept in addition to detailed guidance for working with particular materials. The maritime subjects covered include:
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The Mariners' Museum Research Library and Archives is a highly comprehensive collection that includes books, periodicals, magazine articles, logbooks, ship registers, manuscripts, and photographs. Through the web site you can access the online catalog and review brief descriptions of their extensive research collections. As well, there are summaries of the permanent galleries and past and upcoming exhibits, online exhibits, and highlights of the museum's work with USS Monitor. A recent addition to the Mariners' site is their online catalog to the Elwin M. Eldridge Collection. The web-based catalog provides access to information about the American steamship companies documented in this highly comprehensive collection.
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Kendall Whaling Museum features interesting online exhibits in addition to information about the collection and research and educational programs. The library houses books and periodicals "documenting the association of humans and cetacea from the earliest times to the present." Bibliographies are available online and some entries have links to brief online summaries. As well, their database of logbooks and journals can be searched online.
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The Maritime History Archive of the Memorial University of Newfoundland "collects and preserves original documents and copies of documents relating to the history of sea-based activities in the North Atlantic region." The web site provides useful summaries of the collections. The category of Shipping Records includes detailed descriptions of holdings for crew lists and logbooks, vessel registers, certificates of vessel registry, shipping lists, ship captains, voyages, and shipwrecks. Under the Business Records section you can access detailed summaries for the business records at the archives. As well, there is a searchable online catalog that provides descriptions of the holdings and online finding aids.
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The Vaughan Evans Library of the Australian National Maritime Museum has produced a series of online subject guides covering many aspects of Australian maritime history. Annotated bibliographic references have been compiled for the following subjects: The Museum Collection for Researchers, Seafaring Ancestors, Sailing Ships, Shipwrecks, Convict Ships, Australian and New Zealand Built Ships, Ship Models, Steamships and Passenger Liners, Coastal Shipping, Royal Australian Navy Ships, Royal Navy Ships, Discovery Ships, Australian and New Zealand Yachts, and Lighthouses and Lightships.
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Peabody Essex Museum houses an extensive maritime collection as well as collections of American Decorative Arts, art from China, Japan, Korea, India, the Pacific Islands, and Asian decorative arts produced for the Western market. Through the Maritime Art and History Collection, web visitors can access images from the Marine Paintings and Drawings collection. This on-line catalogue includes an artist index and subject index. As well, the site provides general highlights of the museum's exhibits and programs and a summary of the Phillips Library maritime history collections.
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The Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History, Division of the History of Technology includes collections for Armed Forces History and Transportation. On their site you can access a description of their holdings and a very useful summary of the ship and watercraft plans maintained by the Division. The pages also reference three ship plan catalogs that are available from the Smithsonian. The Ship Plan List is a 250-page catalog of plans of historic American watercraft. The Historic American Merchant Marine Survey (HAMMS) of 1936 - 1937 is among the numerous plans listed. The Smithsonian Collection of Warship Plans lists the plans for American sailing and early steam warships from the mid-18th century to 1900. The Maritime Administration Collection of Ship Plans (1939 -- 1970) includes ship design plans recently acquired from the U.S. Maritime Administration. Vessel designs represented include World War II Liberty and Victory ships, as well as designs from the 1950s and 1960s.
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The J. Porter Shaw Library at San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park focuses on sail and steam ship activities on the Pacific Coast from 1520 to the present. The web site provides detailed descriptions of the library's holdings that include vessel registers, yachting registers, newspapers, photographs, manuscripts, and vessel plans. Notable collections include Alaska Packers Association Records, logbooks and papers (ca.1876-1945); American President Lines Records, logbooks from the American President, Dollar Steamship, and American Mail Lines (1925-1944); and the Trans-Pacific Westbound Rate Agreement Records, minutes and cargo statistics (ca.1927-1979).
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The Glasgow University Archives & Business Records Centre has the records of Glasgow University and as well as an extensive collection of business records. The Business Records Centre has holdings of almost "every commercial and industrial activity that has been pursued in the west of Scotland in the last two hundred years." Maritime resources include records for shipping, shipbuilding, and individual ships and include collections for John Brown of Clydebank, William Denny of Dumbarton, Lithgows of Port Glasgow, and Scotts of Greenock.
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The University of Warwick Library Modern Records Centre consists of resources for British political, social, and economic history, with an emphasis on labor history and industrial relations. Among the holdings are records of various maritime labor, shipping, and shipbuilding organizations. The web site provides a summary guide that gives a brief description of the materials available at the Centre.
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University of Liverpool Library's Special Collections and Archives cover a range of subjects including the Business Archives' shipping and trade collections. Among the business records holdings described on the web site those of the Cunard Steamship Company (1840-1976) and those of local shipping and trading families.



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Historic Ships Listed By Name Historic Ships Listed By Type Historic Ships Listed By Region and State
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Last Modified: Fri, Sept 15 2000 10:13:42 am EDT
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