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Daniel S. Gregory Ships Plans Library

Ships Plans Collection

The Daniel S. Gregory Ships Plans Library collects, preserves, and makes accessible the documentary history of American naval architecture from the 19th and 20th centuries.

This highly-specialized archive includes approximately 100,000 naval architectural drawings for a wide variety of watercraft, as well as for related maritime industries and activities. Yacht plans and small boat plans sit side by side with drawings of fishing draggers and lighthouses.

The majority of the plans date from approximately 1890 to 1970, but the entire collection spans the years 1827 to 2004. Most of the plans were produced by American firms, with the notable exceptions of Canadian naval architect William Garden and British yacht designers Arthur Robb and Albert Strange.

The Ships Plans Library actively collects plans from all areas of the United States, including the three coasts, inland waterways, and lakes. Many prominent naval architects, yacht designers, ship builders, boatyards, and sail makers have donated their plans to Mystic Seaport for preservation. The collection is strongest in representing yachting and commercial maritime activities in the Northeast, but a growing number of plans are from the West Coast and Pacific Northwest. Only a small portion of the collection contains plans for military and government craft. To learn more about specific collections, view the List of Collections.

Researchers are able to access these original naval architectural drawings and purchase copies for a variety of purposes, including boat building, vessel repair, ship model making, genealogy, historical writing, and general interest.
The collection contains primarily original drawings that were created for construction purposes. Some blueprints and other copy plans are also included, especially for vessels or designers whose original plans are no longer available anywhere. Typically, a set of plans for a vessel will include the lines, table of offsets, outboard profile, rigging plan, arrangement plan, construction plan, engine plans, and various types of other details.

The Ships Plans Library also houses a group of plans and technical drawings that were created by Mystic Seaport staff to document many of the watercraft that are previously or presently owned by Mystic Seaport. These drawings are continually used and updated by our Henry B. duPont Preservation Shipyard staff, who are in charge of the preservation and restoration of the actual vessels in the Museum collection.

For more information about the Ships Plans Library, please send e-mail to Collections or call 860-572-5367.
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