Library and Archives

library Main Room

Library and Archives

 In addition to 8,000 historic postcards, the library and archives contain over 18,000 photographs, 12,500 slides, 600 nautical charts, 100 journal and magazine sets, and also ship’s logs, documents, ephemera, film, video, and DVDs. We also have 180 “cruise books” produced for naval ships homeported in San Diego since the 1940s.  The links at the right will lead you to areas of specialization in our collection.


The Archives contain a rich collection of documents detailing aspects of maritime heritage in San Diego, California, and more broadly throughout the Pacific.  Click Here to browse the most recent accessions.


Click Here to download a list of the library’s book collection.  A more up to date catalog may be consulted through the library’s Past Perfect catalog.  This is available only via the library’s computers.


The library conserves a significant number of journals and periodicals related to Pacific maritime history as well as aspects of the museum’s own collections.  CLICK HERE to download a complete catalog.  CLICK HERE for a specific catalog of the US Naval Institute Proceedings.

The museum’s peer-reviewed international quarterly Mains’l Haul: A Journal of Pacific Maritime History has been produced in the MacMullen Library for over forty years.  The Journal focuses on specific aspects of maritime history in the Pacific Ocean.

You may also view the Mains’l Haul master index under publications. Click Here.


The Maritime Museum of San Diego preserves a rich collection of photographs related to the maritime history of the Pacific, coastal California, and San Diego.  Our database, searchable from the museum’s library, contains over 18,000 photographic images.  Click on the following links to see samples of our inventory of photographs.

The Hadsell Collection


The archives contain a broad selection of resources in video and DVD format.  These are also available for loan by members.

Maps & Charts

The Museum archives contain over 800 maps and charts detailing the history of cartography and also contemporary representations of the Pacific.  An electronic index of these holdings is available in the library reading room.

Ships Plans

Among the 900 sets of vessel plans are numerous original historic plans. Plans which are not deemed to be of historic significance are available to members for a one-month loan. Plans can be copied for a fee of $25.00 for the first sheet and $10.00 for each successive sheet in a set.  A one-month turn around for requests for reproductions is currently in place.

Oral History

The archives contain an impressive holding of CD’s, audio-cassettes, and written transcripts of oral histories related to the maritime history and culture of San Diego. Researchers will find priceless reminiscences of World War II, local ship building, and the fishing industry. A printed and electronic index is available to guide researchers in the library.