Steamship Historical Society of America (SSHSA)

SSHSA began inventory and assessment of our ship plans in 2012. We have documented 2200 plans thus far, of an estimated 4000 plans, not including brochure deck plans numbering in the tens of thousands.

Name of Collections: Various Shipyard Collections including Maryland Shipbuilding & Drydock, Federal Shipbuilding, Fletcher Engine, Baldwin Locomotive Works, US Coast Guard and US Lighthouse Service – Personal named collections donated by Capt. Jim McNamara, Wm. duBarry Thomas, and others yet to be documented.

DescriptionPlans include engine-powered vessels of all types; of the approx. 4000 plans, 75% are merchant vessel plans, mainly from the 19th and 20th centuries. Passenger ships and cargo ships with a focus on coast wise vessels, East Coast Passenger, Ships, Tugs, Ferry boats, barges, and harbor craft. Also included is a large section of engine and machinery plans from the Fletcher Engine Company and The Baldwin Locomotive Works. USCG and Lighthouse Service plans include early 20th century lighthouse and buoy tenders. There is a bit of material on naval vessels, early pleasure craft, and sailing vessels.

Vessel Types:

  • Military
  • Commercial / Cargo
  • Commercial / Passenger
  • Commercial / Fishing
  • Recreation / Pleasure
  • Sailing
  • Steam
  • Military / Cargo
  • Diesel
  • Small Craft
  • Other Government
  • Other: Much more is still yet to be discovered as our process is only half complete – thus we hope to have our finding aide complete by 2014.

Type of Access:

  • By Appointment
  • Written Request
  • Telephone Request

We are in temporary quarters with plans to open our permanent Research Library in 2014.

Website (searchable finding aides will be posted online later this year – 2013)


Astrid Drew, Alissa Cafferky, Researchers

Capt. Eric Takakjian, Volunteer Curator

Matthew Schulte, Executive Director