Historic and Photographic Sources about US Naval Ships, Old and New

Here is a list of Internet sites devoted to documenting the history of the US Navy. Several are privately maintained by volunteer historians while others are US Naval resources. You can find photographs and earlier images, ship logs, newspaper accounts, official stats and plans, all sorts of records and personnel files and more.

  • Naval History and Heritage Command. Here you will find Ship Histories, archival records, historical photos, art collections and off-beat subjects like uniforms, banners, awards, etc.  Their records are public but many must be used within the facility at the Washington Naval Yard.  This unit is also responsible for nine U.S. Naval museums throughout the U.S. They also publish the Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. Their website is: https://www.history.navy.mil/

  • National Archives. Under Military records, you’ll find U.S. Navy Ships – Index where photos (or illustrations for pre-photography ships) are listed alphabetically by ship type. This site is also a source for all types of Naval research. https://www.archives.gov/research/military/navy-ships

  • History Central. This site brings you a short history of every US Naval ship (no Confederate ships though). This is an independent site with the prime author being Marc Schulman. https://www.historycentral.com/navy/index.html

  • List of United States Navy ships is a comprehensive listing of all ships that have been in service to the United States Navy during the history of that service. It is on the Wikipedia website. You can search by ship name, type of ship, etc. It’s source is primarily the Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_United_States_Navy_ships
  • NavSource Naval History, aPhotographic History of the U.S. Navy. This site was created so  visitors could find information and images of ships of the USN. It is a group of volunteers who are not paid for their time and efforts. http://www.navsource.org/

  • Haze Grey & Underway Photo Galleries.  Here are dozens of photo features, photo galleries, and photos linked to various ship lists, with well over 3,000 photos.  They cover all eras, all types of ships, and many of the world’s nations. And the Navy’s Dictionary of Naval Fighting Ships can be found here in its entirety. http://www.hazegray.org/features/

List of Maritime Museums in North America.

An alphabetical listing of Council of American Maritime Museums’ 80+ members across North America and beyond. For a location map and listing by state, click here. Here are numerous and varied museums devoted to seafaring (and riverfairing) – some exploring naval history and exhibiting preserved ships, some devoted to local commercial maritime activities, some with interactive programs for boat building, sailing and racing instruction, and child-involving activities. Just click on a name to go to the institution’s website.

Adirondack Museum – NY

American Merchant Marine Museum – NY

Annapolis Maritime Museum – MD

Antique Boat Museum – NY

Bayfront Maritime Center – PA *

Calvert Marine Museum – MD

Center for Wooden Boats – WA *

Channel Islands Maritime Museum – CA

Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum – MD

Columbia River Maritime Museum – OR

Connecticut River Museum – CT

Door County Maritime Museum – WI *

East End Seaport Museum – NY *

Erie Canal Museum – NY

Erie Maritime Museum/U.S. Brig Niagara – PA

Florida Maritime Museum – FL *

Hampton Roads Naval Museum – VA

Herreshoff Marine Museum – RI

Historic Ships in Baltimore – MD

Historic Naval Ships Association – MD *

Houston Maritime Museum – TX *

Hudson River Maritime Museum – NY

Hull Lifesaving Museum – MA *

Independence Seaport Museum – PA

Institute for Nautical Archaeology – TX

Kalmar Nyckel – DE

Lake Champlain Maritime Museum – VT

Lake Pontchartrain Basin Maritime Museum – LA *

Lightship Overfalls (LV 118) – DE *

Long Island Maritime Museum – NY

Los Angeles Maritime Museum – CA

Lowell’s Boat Shop – MA

Maine Maritime Museum – ME

Marine Museum of the Great Lakes – Ontario

The Mariners’ Museum – VA

Maritime Industry Museum at Fort Schuyler – NY

Maritime Museum Association of San Diego – CA

Maritime Museum of the Atlantic – Halifax, Nova Scotia

Maryland Historical Society – MD

Michigan Maritime Museum – MI

MIT Museum, Hart Nautical Collection – MA

Minnesota Lakes Maritime Museum – MN *

Museum Small Craft Association – MD *

Mystic Seaport – CT

Nantucket Historical Association / Nantucket Whaling Museum – MA

Nantucket Shipwreck & Life-Saving Museum – MA *

National Coast Guard Museum Association – CT *

National Maritime Historical Society – NY *

National Museum of Bermuda – Bermuda *

National Museum of the Great Lakes / The Great Lakes Historical Society – OH

National Museum of the U.S. Navy – DC

Nautical Research Guild, Inc – IL *

Nauticus – VA

Naval Historical Foundation – DC *

New Bedford Whaling Museum – MA

New Hampshire Boat Museum – NH *

North Carolina Maritime Museum – NC

Northwest Seaport – WA *

Ocean Institute – CA

Peabody Essex Museum – MA

Penobscot Marine Museum – ME

Portsmouth Naval Shipyard Museum and the Lightship Museum – VA

Puget Sound Maritime Historical Society – WA *

Reedville Fishermen’s Museum – VA

Salem Maritime National Historic Site  – MA

San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park – CA

Santa Barbara Maritime Museum – CA

Ships of the Sea Maritime Museum – GA *

Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of American History – DC

South Carolina Maritime Museum – SC *

South Street Seaport Museum – NY

Steamship Historical Society of America – RI *

Tahoe Maritime Museum – CA *

Texas Seaport Museum/1877 Barque ELISSA – TX *

Tuckerton Seaport – NJ *

U.S. Coast Guard Academy Museum – CT

U.S. Lighthouse Society – WA *

U.S. Lightship Museum – MA *

U.S. Lifesaving Service Heritage Association – MA *

U.S. Merchant Marine Veterans of World War II – S.S. Lane Victory – CA

U.S. Naval Academy Museum – MD

U.S. Navy Ship Model Program  – MD *

USS Constitution Museum – MA

Vancouver Maritime Museum – Vancouver

The Whaling Museum at Cold Spring Harbor – NY

Wisconsin Maritime Museum – WI

List of Internet sites devoted to model ship building

  • The list contains forums maintained by Nautical Research Guild and others; building logs; sites containing tips, techniques and tricks; sources of supplies and tools, and sites with links to everything on the Internet that might be of interest to model ship builders.

Model Ship Builder This website has a popular forum with over 1900 members. Extensive group of building logs. They also sponsor group builds and provide an opportunity for members to place articles. www.modelshipbuilder.com/

 Navy Board Models NBM is a collaborative effort of the Model Ship Builder website, and others. There is no forum, but you can access the build logs from Model Ship Builder and the rejuvinated Ships of Scale forum, and archived issues of “Warships and   Workbooks” and “Model Ship Builder Journal” www.navyboardmodels.com

Ships of Scale Though the magazine of the same name is no longer published, the website still thrives with a forum and build logs. It is “associated” with the Navy Board Models site through links as well. https://shipsofscale.com/sosforums/

Nautical Research Guild Official website for this premier ship building organization. There are articles, links, and NRG news. http://www.thenrg.org/

NRG’s Model Ship World This large, comprehensive site is now operated by the Nautical Research Guild. It’s a major forum w build logs and plenty of response to modeler’s questions. Also access shop notes, tips, techniques and research.        https://modelshipworld.com  

FAQ for Ship Model Builders (by John Kropf) This is a model ship building site which answers all sorts of questions about ship modeling. Many of the links do not work. http://sites.google.com/site/shipwrightsfaq/

John’s Nautical & Boatbuilding Page This site includes mostly life-size boat building material, but its self-proclaimed “Mother of All Maritime Links” can be helpful. http://www.boat-links.com/

Model Ship Building Secrets  This is an English blog with a directory , “50 of the Best Model Ship Building Sites” http://www.modelshipbuildingsecrets.com/resources.html

Modeler’s Central – An Australian commercial site that features a blog with many modeling tips as well. https://www.modelerscentral.com/

DeAgostini Model Space A British commercial site selling kits and tools with a forum filled with build logs of large models

Arsenal Modelist – Olivier Bello’s ship modeling site featuring 43 short tutorials, closeups of his fine work and a building log. http://www.arsenal-modelist.com/index.php?page=accueil