Guide to the Ships’ Papers Collection, 1764-2021

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held in the Research Library at the Nantucket Historical Association. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in our reading room, and not digitally available through the internet.

Collection Details

Collection Number:
Ships’ Papers Collection
Nantucket Historical Association
Nantucket Historical Association
Material is in English. Some material is in Spanish.

Information for Users

Restrictions to Access: No restrictions. Open for research.

Restrictions to Use: No usage restrictions.

Copyright Notice: Copyright is retained by the authors of items in this collection, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.

Preferred Citation: [identification of item], in the Ships’ Papers Collection, Nantucket Historical Association.

Acquisitions Information:

Folder 2 gift of James Olderich of Nantucket, Mass., 1981 (Acc. 1981.14B); Folder 22 bill of sale gift of Mr. David Austin; Folder 32 1910-1911 receipts gift of Fred Gardner in 1995 (Acc. 1995.32.4); Folders 37-38 gift of Pacific National Bank in 1972 (Acc. 1972.56); Folder 39 list of Coffin School boys gift of Alcon Chadwick of Nantucket, Mass., in 1982 (Acc. 1982.84); Folder 45.5 gift of Susan Wyer Haggerty in 1898 (Acc. 1171b); Folder 48 gift of Mrs. Frank E. Lewis; Folder 51 gift of the Nantucket Historical Trust (Acc. 1969.34); Folder 52 “A cruise to California in the ship Edward” gift of Susan Wyer Haggerty in 1898 (Acc. 1171); Folder 53 bill of sale from James Athearn, August 16, 1842, gift of Pacific National Bank; Folder 57.5 gift of Mrs. Helen E. Appleton in 1945 (Acc. 3173); Folder 66 bill of sale from James Athearn, August 16, 1842, gift of Pacific National Bank; Folder 70 gift of Susan Wyer Haggerty in 1898 (Acc. 1133a); Folder 71 John Haven letter gift of Bettye Gleason (Acc. 1986.140), George Comstock drawing gift of Mrs. Maria S. Owen (Acc. 2005.72.1), petition to James Monroe gift of Mark H. Dall; Folder 78 bill of sale gift of Mrs. Frances (Lewis) Elder of Nantucket, Mass., (Acc. 1980.13); Folder 84.5 gift of Mary Hoadley of Gardiner, Maine, in 1996 (Acc. 1996.20.2); Folder 99 gift of Miss Josephine Congdon; Folder 106 gift of Mrs. Arthur E. Pratt in 1970 (Acc. 1970.6); Folder 107 gift of Richard Austin; Folder 116 gift of Everett U. Crosby in 1953 (Acc. 1953.61); Folder 120 gift of Mrs. Frances (Lewis) Elder of Nantucket, Mass., in 1980 (Acc. 1980.13); Folder 127 gift of James Olderich of Nantucket, Mass., in 1981 (Acc. 1981.14A); Folder 138 insurance policy gift of William Brock; Folder 141.5 Items 1-7 Gift of L. Hosmer of California in 1951 (Acc. 1951.56) and Miss Grace Brown Gardner and Item 8 Gift of Stuart Frank (Acc. 1995.13); Folder 142 receipt for duty gift of Mrs. William Folger in 1896 (Acc. 514); Folder 143 Certificate of Registry gift of T. H. Jones of Shaker Heights, Ohio, in 1981 (Acc. 1981.1); Folder 144 Certificate of Registry gift of Susan Wyer Haggerty in 1901 (Acc. 1494); Folder 147.5 gift of Stuart Frank (Acc. 1995.13); Folder 158 bill of sale to Joseph Mitchell gift of Mrs. Frances (Lewis) Elder of Nantucket, Mass., in 1980 (Acc. 1980.13); Folder 168 gift of Mrs. Frank E. Lewis; Folder 182 gift of Susan Wyer Haggerty in 1898 (Acc. 1133); Folder 192 gift of Nantucket Historical Trust; Folder 206 Charles Watts letter gift of Duke’s County Historical Society (Acc. 1986.12), page from the log of the bark Lizzie gift of Dudley Darling of Siasconset, Mass., in 1989 (Acc. 1989.103); OPF-15/1 Barclay crew list purchase of the Nantucket Historical Association, with a gift from Patricia and Thomas Anathan in 2020 (Acc. RL2020.23); OPF-15/3 Logan sea letter gift of Mr. Alfred Bunker, Martha II shipping paper gift of Robert Waggaman in 1977 (Acc. 1977.104); OPF-15/4 Prudence permit to pass gift of Mrs. Wayne Chatfield-Taylor; Folder 221 a purchase of the Nantucket Historical Association (Acc. RL2022.26); Folder 222 a gift of an unknown donor (Acc. RL2021.8018).

Sensitive Materials Statement:

Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations. Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual’s private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the Nantucket Historical Association assumes no responsibility.

Related Collections

  • MS10 Account Books Collection, Nantucket Historical Association
  • MS220 Ships’ Logs Collection, Nantucket Historical Association

Subject Headings

  • Topical Term
    • Business—Massachusetts—Nantucket.
    • Vessels (Ships).
    • Whaling.

Biographical Information

This is an artificial collection of ships’ papers assembled by the Nantucket Historical Association. The collection encompasses various materials pertaining to ships that sailed to, from, or around Nantucket, Mass., before the twenty-first century. Its aim is to organize documentary materials growing out of interest in the island’s ship history with a particular focus on whaling ships.

Materials in the collection originate both from their recipients and from the Nantucket Historical Association’s archives.

Scope and Content

The Ships’ Papers collection includes bills of sale, insurance policies, surveys of loss, crew lists, cargo inventories, wages, supplies, and lay transfers. There are also shipping papers, certificates of registration, receipts, newspaper accounts, notes, and journals. The collection documents ships, schooners, sloops, barks, brigantines, and steamers which sailed to, from, and around Nantucket, Mass., between 1680 and 1970.

Materials are arranged alphabetically.


Items Separated

  • OP-15/1
  • OP-15/2
  • OP-15/3
  • OP-15/4

Processing Information

Processed by NHA staff. Finding aid by Abbie Minard and Amelia Holmes, July 2018 with additional description by Sarah Lerner in September 2018. Materials in this collection were digitized with support from Connie and Tom Cigrran.

The Nantucket Historical Association preserves and interprets the history of Nantucket through its programs, collections, and properties, in order to promote the island’s significance and foster an appreciation of it among all audiences.

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