Guide to the Research Collections

- Canals and Inland Navigation

Canals and Inland Navigation

The collection is strong and includes a large representation of books and pamphlets of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. An important feature consists of the publications of waterway associations and companies, as well as journals. National and state government reports are held in strength.

The library attempts to cover adequately canals of all countries with emphasis on American canals, particularly the Panama Canal. The more technical aspects of the subject are covered by materials in the Parsons collection in the Science and Technology Research Center, among them eighteenth-and early nineteenth-century works on specific canals in the United States and England,5 and in the Schuyler papers in the Manuscripts and Archives Division which relate to the construction and operation of canals in New York State from 1792 to 1803. The John Bigelow papers in the division deal with the selection of the route for and construction of the Panama Canal. Pictorial material on canals is also available in the I.N. Phelps Stokes collection of American historical prints in the Prints Division.

Various other subject classes supplement the materials specifically devoted to canals, such as the works classed with coast pilots and sailing directions, which include inland waterways; specific public documents; and items dealing with the legal aspects of canal building and operation, classed with materials on law.