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Location of Archival Materials

Sources Of Ship Plans

Government Sources

1) Special Media Archives Services Division, Cartographic and Architectural Branch, RDSC, National Archives and Records Administration, 8601 Adelphi Road, College Park, MD 20740-6001; telephone (301) 837-3200.  Their collection includes the general plans and drawing of most ships stricken from the Naval Vessel Register. Requests should be limited to no more than three ships at any one time.


2) Smithsonian Institution

The Smithsonian's collection of watercraft plans, maintained by the History of Technology Division of the National Museum of American History, is a valuable resource. To make their collection more accessible to the public, black-line reproductions of many of the plans are offered for sale. The Smithsonian has produced three publications containing descriptions of these plans and instructions for ordering large-scale copies. These catalogs are described and ordering information is included on the Smithsonian's website


Commercial Sources

Note: Distribution of this list by the Department of the Navy is provided for informational use only and does not constitute endorsement by the Department of the Navy of products, websites, or services of the firms and organizations listed therein.

A. J. Fisher Inc. (Model plans, supplies) 1002 Etowah Avenue, Royal Oak MI 48067

Bluejacket Shipcrafters (Kits, supplies, catalogs, emphasis on early sailing ships) PO Box 425C, Stockton Springs ME 04981

Dromedary Ship Modeler's Center (Emphasis on 20th century ships) 6324 Belton Drive, El Paso TX 79912

The Floating Drydock (Emphasis on 20th century) Kresgeville PA 18333

Model Expo, Inc. (Model kits, tools, parts, publications, emphasis on sailing ships) 3850 North 29th Terrace, Hollywood FL 33020, (954) 925-5551

Model Shipways (Emphasis on sailing ships) PO Box 1000 Industrial Park Drive, Mount Pocano PA 18344

Pacific Front Hobbies (Issues catalogs) 11804 NE 138th Street, Kirkland WA 98034

Rocky Mountain Shipyard (Model plans and books) 590 Ronlin Street Grand Junction CO 81504

Squadron Shop (Mail order outlet for domestic and foreign model kits and publications. Issues catalogs) 1115 Crowley Drive, Carrollton TX 75006


Periodicals contain advertisements for sources of model tools, parts, plans, publications and supplies, as well as articles on scratch-building and kit adaptation. Some libraries may hold back issues. Any library should be able to help locate these through union lists of serials.

Model Ship Builder (bimonthly)
PO Box 128
Cedarburg WI 53012

Model Shipwright: A Quarterly Journal of Ships and Ship Models.
Conway Maritime Press Ltd.
101 Fleet Street
London EC4Y 1DE

Seaways' Ships In Scale (bimonthly)
2271 Constitution Drive
San Jose CA 95124


Numerous books have been published on model building, ships, aircraft, and military vehicles. Libraries can help locate and borrow these publications through subject catalogs and the interlibrary-loan system. Many titles on modeling and military hardware that are not listed in the standard bibliographic sources can be identified and located through dealers and specialized periodicals. The Naval Institute Press (291 Wood Road, Annapolis, MD 21401) is the book-publishing arm of the U.S. Naval Institute, a private, nonprofit, membership society for sea service professionals and others who share an interest in sea power and other issues critical to national defense. The Press publishes approximately ninety print and one hundred electronic books each year, ranging from histories, biographies, studies in strategy and intelligence, ship and aircraft guides, textbooks, and novels. Request a catalog by contacting or 800-233-8764. Naval Institute Press books are available wherever books are sold, including online at A list of Norman Friedman's illustrated design histories, which include numerous ship plans, is included on the Library's section of this website.

If your organization wants to be considered for inclusion in the above listing, please supply a written description of your services and products to the Webmaster.



Published: Mon Feb 08 14:54:52 EST 2016