The South Street Seaport Museum is home to both a permanent collection and to the Melville Library.
Our permanent collection contains an extensive collection of maritime paintings, scrimshaw, ocean liner memorabilia, ship models, ship building tools, and historical objects from Fulton Fish Market and the Seaport District's past. Significant holdings have come from the Seamen's Bank for Savings Collection, the Ocean Liner Museum, The Der Scutt Ocean Liner Collection, The Stanley Lehrer Ocean Liner Collection, with major contributions from Jack R. Aron, Peter Aron and the J. Aron Charitable Foundation.
The Melville Library contains primary and secondary sources related to the history of the Seaport District and general maritime history. In addition to unique materials, including photography, scrapbooks, manuscripts and ship plans, the library has an extensive collection of books and other print resources related to maritime subjects. Our Passenger Liner Collection, Charles W. Lawessen collection, and Isbrandtsen Collection hold a significant quantity of manuscripts, and the library and archive have a significant collection of ship plans as part of the W & A Fletcher Co. Collection and the Staten Island Shipbuilding Company collection.
Our Museum and Library is home more than 60,000 objects, and we are hoping to have them fully catalogued and accessible in the future. At this time, the South Street Seaport Museum is not acquiring additional items for its collections.
For additional information please see our research policy.
Visit the South Street Seaport Museum's online archival collection.