Smith Paving Inc
Boca Raton FL
About the Library
The Mariners' Museum Library at Christopher Newport University holds the largest maritime history collection in the Western Hemisphere. With its rich collections and international scope, the Library is a premier resource for maritime research.
The Library collections consists of over 1,750,000 items including books, magazines, rare books, manuscripts, maps and charts, vessel plans, newspaper articles, photographs, Chris-Craft archives, and The Mariners' Museum's archives. The Herbert H. Bateman Maritime Research Center, located within the Library, provides access to the Library's online catalog, reference materials in the Reading Room and contains the main book, periodical, and photograph collections.
The purpose of the Library, as envisioned by founder Archer M. Huntington, is to provide a research center for students, writers, scientists, and others pursuing various lines of maritime investigation. In addition, it is to create a repository for reference materials to be used by the staff in connection with the identification, appraisal, maintenance and display of the Museum’s collections, exhibits and programs.
The Library at The Mariners' Museum opened to the public on October 29, 1933 with 5,000 volumes. Today it is the largest maritime history collection in the Western Hemisphere with an international focus. The following are significant events related to the history of the Library.
- 1933: On September 11th, Miss C. W. Evans became The Mariners' Museum's first Librarian.
- 1979: The Museum's Board of Trustees founded the Archives to manage the Museum's official records and collection of maritime manuscripts.
- 1986: A major highlight was the addition of the Chris-Craft company archives to the collection. Considered to be one of the most complete histories of a boatbuilding company, the Chris-Craft collection includes boat equipment records ("hull cards"), photographs, boat plans, sales materials, boat engineering data, and engine master records for the period of 1922 to 1980.
- 1996: The late Congressman Herbert H. Bateman secured funding that allowed the Library to automate its catalog, which subsequently became available on the World Wide Web.
- 2001: The Library opened the Herbert H. Bateman Maritime Research Center, which was made possible through an Institute of Museum and Library Services grant sponsored by the late Congressman Herbert H. Bateman. The grant provided funds to convert Library bookshelves to compact shelving, thus doubling the book storage capacity. The Bateman Maritime Research Center is comprised of the Library Reading Room, an extensive book and periodical collections storage area, a scanning and digitization project workspace and online catalog.
- 2002: Established the Friends of the Library organization.
- 2009: The Mariners' Museum Library celebrates its move to a new, bigger and better home in the Christopher Newport University’s Trible Library.