SSHSA’s varied collections are available for use by members and the general public. A portion of our collections are digitized and can be explored online in our catalog. Many more collections are still being processed and described, and so are only accessible in person. Research visits are by appointment only between 10am and 4pm Monday through Friday. Please call or contact us by e-mail to schedule a time.  Please note that health restrictions due to the pandemic will impact scheduling. 

Archival images and ephemera are available for purchase as reproductions, either as physical prints or digital copies. Please note that additional fees or restrictions may apply for use of archival images in publications, and TV or film productions. On-site research services are available at an hourly and half-hour rate. Click here to learn more about these services and fees. 

If you have any questions or would like to learn more please contact SSHSA's archivist Astrid Drew at or send in this form

Mailing Address:

Ship History Center
2500 Post Road
Warwick, RI 02886


By appointment, Monday - Friday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Archives and Collections

SSHSA's archives covers a vast array of maritime topics and history relating to the United States and world shipping. They include:

  • ship plans, line drawings and blueprints
  • ephemera such as brochures (click here for an index)
  • newspaper clippings, tickets, advertisements and posters
  • film, video and audio recordings
  • Company records, ship logs, and ledgers
  • boat, yacht and ship logs (click here for an index - we will continue to add to this list as more are identified)
  • objects, artifacts and fine art, including paintings in the Posner Virtual Museum
  • images such as photographs, negatives, positives, glass slides and color projection slides.

Maritime Reference Library

The library includes volumes about shipping lines, specific vessels of military and merchant classes, war, immigration and genealogy, as well as periodicals, reference materials on marine engineering, the merchant marine, and shipping registers.

Search and browse our library in our online catalog.


While we are happy to accept many different types of donations, we ask that you please contact us in advance by calling 401-463-3570 or emailing Because of limits on archive space and staff time, any unsolicited items that are dropped off at the Ship History Center without prior knowledge will be considered an unrestricted gift and may not be incorporated into our permanent archival collections. Please feel free to contact our archivist with questions.