online exhibits

The Maritime
Virtual Art Museum

SEE THE SPECIAL Exhibits on display now in the SSHSA Maritime Virtual Art Museum.   MORE >



The authoritative magazine of the history of engine-powered vessels and the legacy of man's journey on the world's seas and waterways.

In this issue:

  • Steel Ships at Pascagoula
  • Remembering the Eastland
  • Pilotage Aboard the Pacific Scout


Featured in the SSHSA Bookstore

SS Independence/SS Constitution
Visit the SSHSA Bookstore to see the Extraordinary Historical Books Now Available... MORE >

Funding for the SSHSA educational outreach program is made possible in part by a grant from the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities, an independent affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

SSHSA Research Center

The Steamship Historical Society archives covers a vast array of maritime topics and maritime history relating to the United States, and world shipping.  The archives includes: 

  • ship plans, line drawings and blueprints
  • ephemera such as brochures, newspaper clippings, tickets, advertisements and posters
  • film, video and audio recordings
  • objects, artifacts and fine art, including paintings in the Posner Virtual Museum
  • images such as photographs, negatives, positives, glass slides and color projection slides. A portion of our image collections have been digitized and can be accessed online through our Image Porthole.

SSHSA's archives, and research library of over 10,500 reference volumes and several thousand additional periodicals, is now open by appointment at our new Ship History Center in Warwick, Rhode Island.

***Please note that not all of the collections in the archives are processed (or documented), and so certain requests for information or specific items may take time.  Please state the urgency or any relevant deadlines upon requesting information or research time.***

 Click here to request research or a photo search, or to request more information.


Indexes and Inventories:

Cumulative Index for Steamboat Bill and PowerShips issues, 1940-2012

SSHSA Ship Plans, Drawings, and Blueprints (as of December 2014)

George Sharpe Collection


A Cumulative Index of Steamboat Bill and PowerShips, 1940-2012

This index includes Steamboat Bill and PowerShips issues and articles published from 1940 through 2012. This 213-page PDF document is keyword searchable and available below.

To search this index: On your keyboard, press CTRL and F.  A search window will appear in either the lower left corner (for MAC users), or the top right corner (for Windows users).

Click here to browse the Steamboat Bill & PowerShips Index


Inventory of SSHSA Ship Plans, Drawings, and Blueprints

This inventory was generously compiled by Capt. Eric Takakjian who volunteered his time and energy to make this important portion of our collections accessible.  Abbreviations were used to distinguish between different kinds of documents and aspects of vessels they portrayed.  We highly recommend you look over the abbreviations below before browsing the inventory. 

Browse and search the Ship Plans inventory here. **Please be patient as we update our index and make it available. Thank you!**

Type: Views: View Sub-Categories:  
CPB/L  - Cabin plan brochure, large ABL -After body lines BD - Boat deck  
CPB/S  - Cabin plan brochure, small CD - Construction detail BD - Boat deck  
OFS  - Original full size CP - Capacity plan H - Hold  
OFSC  - Original full size copy DP - Deck plan HU - Hurricane deck  
RSC  - Reduced size copy (of original) ED  - Engineering detail LD - Lower deck  
AP  - Auto positive EP  - Engine plan MD - Main deck  
BP  - Blue print FBL  - Fore body lines NB - Navigation bridge / bridge deck  
MP  - Model plan FP  - Fire plan OD - Observation deck  
PD  - Pencil drawing FR  - Framing plan OR - Orlop deck  
PN  - Photo negative GA  - General arrangement PR - Promenade deck  
PP  - Promotional poster/ illustration HB  - Half Breadth SD - Sun deck  
TR  - Tracing IP  - Inboard profile SH - Shelter deck  
V   - Velum JP  - Joiner plan SL - Saloon deck  
  LD  - Lines drawing SP - Spar deck  
  MLT  - Mold loft table SPO - Sports deck  
  MS  - Midship section TD - Texas deck  
  OP  - Outboard profile. UD - Upper deck  
  PS  - Paint schedule.    
  RP  - Rigging plan.    
  SB  - Sheer & body.    
  SE  - Shell expansion.    
  SP - Sail plan.    
  SR - Stateroom plan.    
  TA - Tank arrangement.    



George Sharp Collection Inventory

This inventory was completed by Chris Lehrbach, who was SSHSA's fall intern from Salve Regina University in Newport, RI.  The George Sharp Collection comprises original paintings, drawings and photographs from the Sharp Firm that designed vessels and interiors for a variety of companies and purposes, including, notably, the Nuclear Ship (NS) Savannah.

You may browse the inventory here. **Please be patient as we update our index and make it available. Thank you!**



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