The museum and archival collections represent the lives of the men and women who built and sailed vessels along the Pacific Coast of North America as well as those who worked in maritime related industries or relied on the maritime community for their transportation needs.
Among the museum collection consists of artifacts dating from San Francisco's gold rush days to more recent items from the twentieth century including fine art, tools and equipment used in maritime endeavors, personal effects of sailors and passengers, and parts of historic vessels.
The archival collection holds hundreds of thousands of photographs, film footage and hundreds of hours of video. You will find pictures of sailors taking a sighting or going aloft. Ordinary sailors and captains snapped pictures of everything from cod boats fishing to whaling in the Pacific. You can see shipboard families with babies, cats and dogs.
Professional photographers and filmmakers captured the daily hustle and bustle of major ports loading cargo as well as the arrivals and departures of ships. They photographed and filmed everything from transpacific crossings to yacht racing. The historic documents, estimated at over 5,000 linear feet, consist of collections ranging in size from a single item, such as a personal letter or diary, to dozens of boxes of business records or personal papers. The naval architecture and marine engineering drawings consist of plans created by naval architects, engineers, and shipbuilders.
The Park holds an estimated 120,000 sheets of drawings dealing almost entirely with West Coast built vessels, shipyards and facilities.
San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park
Through preservation and interpretation of historic ships, extensive museum collections, traditional maritime skills, and its San Francisco Bay setting, San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park brings America’s maritime legacy to life and promotes the understanding and enjoyment of the nation’s West Coast maritime heritage. (2016-2021 Strategic Plan)
Maritime Research Center
The Maritime Research Center is the gateway to research on San Francisco and Pacific Coast maritime history at San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park for the staff and public alike. Originating in 1939, the collections have become the largest maritime collection on the West Coast and the largest museum and research collection in the National Park Service. Our unique resources serve and inform historians, preservationists, curators, genealogists, artists, authors, students, filmmakers, sailors, boat and model builders around the world.
The NPGallery Digital Asset Management System is an enterprise system for storing,
organizing, and sharing photos and other digital files. NPGallery's central online repository offers
a place for the NPS to store digital assets, including photos, illustrations, audio files, videos,
and documents. The NPGallery platform lets parks and other programs easily store and organize all
of their digital files, and allows users access to easily find and retrieve specific files.
NPGallery is a premier solution for NPS parks and programs who have a need to manage and disseminate
large volumes of digital assets, with many people accessing and using those assets.
NPGallery supports a wide array of digital asset file types (images, MS office formats, adobe pdfs, audio files, videos).
Digital assets have control access to those files to ensure they are used properly.
NPGallery supports parks and programs with
digital asset hosting and delivery services.
Digital assets in the system can be provided for
public use, or locked for discovery only by internal NPS users.
NPGallery has terabytes of digital files of all types that are safely stored and quickly
retrievable for NPS business needs.
NPGallery provides a simple text search and search by state and park options,
or has the ability to “search more fields” for robust metadata searching.
Search results can be refined by filtering options.
NPGallery supports web services, support for embedded metadata, and integrated geospatial capabilities.
NPGallery also has a responsive user interface design, and the interface will gracefully
resize to match the size of the screen on your device, supporting mobile.
Web authors using the NPS.gov content management system(CMS) now use NPGallery as the
source for all photo galleries shown in the CMS.
Benefits of NPGallery to Parks & Programs
The NPGallery platform lets parks and other programs easily store and organize all of their digital files,
and allows users access to easily find and retrieve specific files.
These images and other digital assets have a direct URL link and can be used on program web pages.
Multiple file sizes of each digital asset are stored and available for use and download.
Contact the NPGallery staff to have us assist your park or program with your unique Digital Asset Management needs.
NPGallery has continued working with individual parks and programs to create individual portals.
These semi-custom web pages allow NPS parks and programs to deliver digital assets from a
unique web page that highlights and shares photos, documents, audio files, and videos.
Searching the featured digital archive can be customized to help guide a user through discovering
the valuable digital assets unique to each park or program.