Library Collections, Books, and Archives

Materials you can use in the Library include Books, Special Publications, and Archives and Manuscripts

Our Library, founded in 1980, offers over 6500 items for research and learning about the maritime history and technology in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The Library serves maritime history scholars of all ages. We offer library and special collections access by appointment: material is located for you prior to your visit.

Our collection is partially represented online at LibraryThing.com. On this web site which features our catalog you can search through our autobiographies, biographies, travel accounts, adventures, explorations and battles with the author name or title or subject term. If you are a Museum Member you are also entitled to come into the Library to borrow a book from the Lending Library. Some restrictions may apply.

Books: Accounts, Histories, Specifications, Technical manuals and Handbooks
Mariners, port pilots, sailors, ship modelers, authors and avid collectors of history and technology were the book collectors who contributed to this library. Their interests ranged from biographical accounts of the lives of maritime explorers to historical accounts of navies and shipbuilding firms. See Richard Henry Dana’s Two Years Before the Mast, David McCulloch’s The Path Between the Seas, and others: The California Islands by Charles Hillinger, or The Rancho San Pedro by Robert Cameron Gillingham.

Special Publications: Nautical Charts, Annual Reports, Pamphlets, Periodicals, Historical News Clippings.
Nautical charts of the Los Angeles Harbor and San Pedro Bay; special topics, written by experts in maritime history form our collection of pamphlets, which are both nationally and locally published include articles on fishing, ships and shipping, steam and other types of propulsion, the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard and others are available for your review. Journals in our catalog on sailing and yachting, include newsletters from shipbuilders on Terminal Island.

Archives and Manuscripts Collections:
Blueprint copies of naval architectural drawings, and manuscript material from maritime historians and authors, harbor area divers, military personnel, shipbuilders, photographers, and yachtsmen are available for your review.

You must make an appointment in advance to view Special Collections, periodicals, annual reports and historical news clippings and the Archives and Manuscripts Collections.

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