Manuscript Collection Online Catalog
Maine Maritime Museum maintains a vast collection of maritime documents. Within those documents is a treasure-trove of information about the vessels, mariners, ship owners, and shipyards which, during the late 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries, built one of the world’s most thriving maritime economies. That information is contained in millions of documents in 562 separate manuscript collections and 4,000 small manuscripts, occupying 2,333 linear feet of library shelving (as of 2013). The papers are the records of Maine sea captains, sailors, ship owners, ship builders, and custom houses, as well as documenting the activities of many marine-related businesses, and Maine companies whose products were shipped by water: ice, lumber, lime, granite.
The museum has long sought to provide a catalog of those documents for researchers and scholars. Now, thanks to a grant from The Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR), that goal has been achieved. To access the catalog simply click on the link below.
To date, the database only contains cataloging information for the 45 collections of the original CLIR project. Cataloging information for other manuscript collections will be added as soon as possible.
In addition to the online catalog of documents, the 18-month project uncovered information about thousands of men and women who made up the crews of Maine vessels from the late 18th century through the early 20th century. A database of that information, known as the Merchant Mariners Muster, is also available on this website.