Guide to the Research Collections

- Merchant Marine

Merchant Marine

This is a generally strong section. The collection of books and pamphlets is extensive and particularly interesting for its early material. Important features include long files of serial publications, both journals and shipping registers, and a strong representation of government reports on shipping from all parts of the world. The current years of such important registers as Lloyd's Register of Shipping (1842/43-), Bureau veritas (1905-), and Record of the American Bureau of Shipping (1870-) are kept in the Main Reading Room; back issues form part of the general collections. Most of the material is entered in the Public Catalog under the subject heading "Shipping" and its subdivisions.

The Science and Technology Research Center holds technical material on shipbuilding and can provide information on the sources of illustrations of ships and portraits of ships' captains through its Ships Index card file. Related materials appear in various other subject classes in the library, the most important, perhaps, being the rich collection of coast pilots and sailing directions described in chapter 44 of this Guide. Laws and official reports and regulations are supplemented by the strong collections classed with law materials and public documents. Materials classed with nautical art and science are also valuable.

The Manuscripts and Archives Division's Robert Fulton collection contains much material relating to the development of shipping in the United States, as do the papers of American merchants engaged in foreign trade with China and other countries.