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Lake Superior Maritime Collection: Ship Files

A guide to resources for the study of shipping history on the upper Great Lakes.

Ship Files

The Lake Superior Maritime Collection contains ship files on over 7,000 individual vessels. Vessels are filed under the ship's build name, but later names are also available. Use our searchable index to determine if we have a file on a particular ship.

A list of Ship Files is also available for download:

Other Resources

What is a "build name"?

Ships have many lives. Often they are given a name or a vessel number at the time they are built, but that name does not necessarily follow them for their entire life. The online list may be used to determine if the LSM Collection at UWS has a file on the vessel in question. To use the collection effectively, researchers must be able to cross reference these changing ship names over time. For instance, in order to research the shipwreck of the Mataafa, you need to know she was originally named the Pennsylvania and built in 1899. The date of build is necessary, as more than one vessel may bear the same name.