Books in the Lending Library can be borrowed with your Museum Membership card for up to three weeks.

View our new page, Women in Maritime History, and see the details for many books about women in roles traditionally held by men.

The Museum Research Library has been collecting books, pamphlets and periodicals since the Museum opened in 1980. Now the Library catalog displays over 6000 items. A broad range of materials on maritime history is represented in our catalog. Many of these books are listed in our online catalog at where you can search or browse before visiting the Library. We look forward to assisting you with research requests.

Many of the books in our collections were written about events that occurred between World War I and World War II through the late 20th century. Some are earlier: our rare books describe ships and adventures from the 1870s to the 1920s and 1930s. Reference works, histories, articles and pamphlets investigate topics in maritime history ranging from biography to detailed technical manuals. Many of the books and pamphlets in our collection are unique due to their subject matter or date of publication.

Our reference collection of ships registers covers merchant ships owned by United States shipping concerns from 1884 to 1989. We also hold the American Bureau of Shipping Record and Lloyd’s Register of Ships and Shipping. Our reference collection also covers navies and naval engineering, passenger liners, packet boats and shipyards. See our Local Collections for books on maritime California and the Pacific Coast.

Subjects and topics (click on an item to view details) in the Library’s collection of books, pamphlets and periodicals include:

new books and pamphlets this month
Deep Diving
Fisheries and Fishing
History of Ships
Naval Architecture and Engineering
Naval Histories
Maritime History in Art
Marine Engineering
Merchant Marine
Ship Model Building
Ship Registry
Underwater Archaeology
Women Seafarers.

Please call the Library for more information: 310-548-7618, Ext. 215.