Skip Navigation Links and Jump to Page Content  The Library of Congress >> Researchers
Business Reference Services (Science, Technology, and Business Division)
  Home >> Guides >> Ships & Ship Registers: Sources of Information

Launching of 10,000 ton ships


The Industry and the History

This is not a comprehensive list of titles that cover the history, development, and industry of shipping. It is only intended to give some titles that may help researchers understand the history, development, and current situation. While shipping and trade is international there is an emphasis on the United States and Great Britain geographically.

Ships and Ship Registers: Sources of Information

 Table of Contents

The Industry and the History
Registers and Lists
    United States
    Passenger Travel
Trade Literature
Databases and Internet Resources
LC Catalog Searches


Image (left): Launching of 10,000 ton ships. The first of 90 sister ships to be built for the Maritime Commission slides off the dock into the Atlantic.
Between 1941 and 1944?
LC-USE6-D-010609 (b&w film nitrate neg.) LC-DIG-fsa-8b08634 (digital file from original neg.)
Repository: Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Division

Blake, George. Lloyd's Register of Shipping, 1760-1960. Illustrated by David Knight. [London, Lloyd's register of shipping, 1960]
LC Call Number: HE565.A3 L85
LC Catalog Record: 60050889

This title covers the history of Lloyd's, a publisher of many titles included in this guide. It is a useful history of the company as well as a picture of the rise of shipping as seen through the growth of a single publishing company.

Blume, Kenneth J. Historical Dictionary of the U.S. Maritime Industry. Lanham, Md. : Scarecrow Press, 2012.
LC Call Number: HE745.B58 2012
LC Catalog Record: 2011028752

This title is a presentation of information on people, events, politics, social issues, institutions, and policies revolving around the maritime industry in the United States presented in an A-Z dictionary format. It includes a helpful chronology, dictionary, and bibliography. There are several appendixes including: significant Congressional legislation, maritime labor unions, top ports (2009), and U.S./world fleets since 1914.

Bowen, Frank Charles. A Century of Atlantic Travel, 1830-1930... Boston, Little, Brown, and company, 1930.
LC Call Number: VK19 .B6
LC Catalog Record: 30030928

Each chapter covers a decade beginning in 1830 and ending in 1929.

Buckley, James J. The Business of Shipping; Based on Previous Editions by Lane C. Kendall. 8th ed. Centreville, Md. : Cornell Maritime Press, 2008.
LC Call Number: HE571 .K4 2008
LC Catalog Record: 2013655079

Chapters include: The significance of maritime transportation; Regulatory involvement in maritime transportation; Maritime security; Tramp shipping; Chartering; Liner shipping and the conference system; Passenger vessel operations; Industrial and special carriers; Tanker management, operations, and chartering; Vessel management companies; Vessel bunkering; Ship husbandry - procurement of vessel stores, supplies, and services; The logic of ship scheduling; Terminal management and operations; The Stevedore contract; Containerization and its effect on transportation; The intermodal transportation concept; How freight rates are made; The ocean bill of lading; The traffic study; and Planning for a new ship.

Chapelle, Howard Irving. The history of American sailing ships, by Howard I. Chapelle; with drawings by the author, and George C. Wales and Henry Rusk. New York, W. W. Norton & company, 1935.
LC Call Number: VM23 .C53 1935a
LC Catalog Record: 35027469

This is a history of American sailing ships public and private and is geared to the engineering of the ships. There are many plates of individual ships as well as drawings of ship types that would be useful for those trying to understand ship construction and design. Chapters include: Colonial Period; Naval Craft; Privateers and Slavers; Revenue Cutter; the American Schooner; Merchant Craft; and Sailing Yachts. There is a specifications and notes appendix.

David, Ralph. The Rise of the English Shipping Industry in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries. London, Macmillan, New York, St. Martin's Press, 1962.
LC Call Number: HE823 .D3
LC Catalog Record: unk83010377

The first two chapters are overviews of shipping covering the years 1560-1689 and 1689-1775. Chapters three and four are overviews of ships and shipbuilding in the 17th and then 18th century. Other chapters include shipowners, seaman, pay/condition, management, shipping and trade, East India trade, the American and West Indian trade, government involvement, war and the industry, etc. The appendix includes sources for the history of the shipping industry.

De La Pedraja Tomán, René. A Historical Dictionary of the U.S. Merchant Marine and Shipping Industry : Since the Introduction of Steam. Westport, Conn. : Greenwood Press, 1994.
LC Call Number: HE745.D39 1994
LC Catalog Record: 93039354

This title presents the people, organizations, companies, terms, etc. in an A-Z dictionary format. There is a general index as well as several appendixes including: a chronology of events, diagrams of government agencies (circa publication), and principal maritime labor unions and business groups.

Fayle, C. Ernest. A Short History of the World's Shipping Industry, with a foreword by Sir Alan G. Anderson. London : G. Allen & Unwin, 1933.
LC Call Number: HE571 .F3
LC Catalog Record: 33018265

The author intended this title to be a broad one volume picture of the shipping industry and it contribution to human progress. It is a broad outline of the story of shipping as a business looking at how it operated at different periods of time beginning in antiquity and moving through history covering the traders of the Mediterranean, northern Europe, the Indies, England, the Dutch, colonization, the rise of steam ships including liners.  The last two chapters were more about modern shipping and the current situation as of 1933.

The Handbook of Maritime Economics and Business. / edited by Costas Th. Grammenos. 2nd ed. London : Lloyd's List, 2010.
LC Call Number: HE582 .H36 2010
LC Catalog Record: 2011414599

The title is broken into several sections: Shipping economics and maritime nexus -- International seaborne trade -- Economics of shipping markets and shipping cycles -- Economics of shipping sectors -- Issues in liner shipping -- Pollution and vessel safety -- National and international shipping policies -- Aspects of shipping management and operations -- Shipping investment, finance, and strategy -- Port economics and management -- Aspects of international logistics. Each section has multiple chapters in each including "Maritime business during the 20th century continuity and change" and "Patterns of ocean trade."

Hope, Ronald. A New History of British Shipping. London : J. Murray, 1990.
LC Call Number: HE823 .H585
LC Catalog Record: 92166384

This is a comprehensive history of shipping in what is now Great Britain going back to antiquity. Part one covers 3000 BC–1400 AD; part two 1400–1890; and part three 1890 –1988. There are individual chapters in each part covering topics like the Vikings, exploration and colonization, the rise of the slave trade, the birth of steam, World Wars I and II, etc. There is also an extensive bibliography.

Hunter, Henry C. How England Got its Merchant Marine, 1066-1776. New York, National Council of American Shipbuilders, 1935.
LC Call Number: HE823 .H75
LC Catalog Record: 35007560
Digitized version available from Hathi Trust.

Much of this title involves the legislative/legal developments that underpin shipping in Great Britain.  They do seem to be doing it with an eye to understanding the traditions that were inherited in the United States. It covers 1066-1776 and most chapters are presented by who was king or queen at the time with the last chapter being the growth of English shipping policy. There are several appendixes including: the development of navigation laws, foreign commerce, the growth of English shipping, Sir Walter Raleigh, the "subversive" American colonies, and the British view of why they lost the colonies.

International Conference on Business History (11th : Fuji) Business History of Shipping : Strategy and Structure : the International Conference on Business History 11 : proceedings of the Fuji conference / edited by Tsunehiko Yui, Keiichiro Nakagawa. [Tokyo] : University of Tokyo Press, c1985.
LC Call Number: HE571 .I67 1985
LC Catalog Record: 85210905

The various chapters/sections cover different countries and time periods. There is a focus on presenting the strategy and organization for each. Includes: Japan in the 19th and 20th century; Britain and its place in world trade covering 1820-1939; the United States Merchant Marine 1800-1939; Japanese maritime policy 1868-1937; the Danish shipping industry from 1866-1939; German shipping in the 19th century private enterprise (ownership and finance) from 1825-1940; shipbuilding finance of the Shasen shipping firms in the 1920's and 1930's; and commercial diplomacy in the far east from 1896 to 1956.

Lavery, Brian. Ship: The Epic Story of Maritime Adventure. 1st American ed. London ; New York : Dorling Kindersley, 2004.
LC Call Number: VK15 .L356 2004
LC Catalog Record: 2004303335

This is in the nature of a coffee table book produced by the Smithsonian. It is a good historical overview and includes many images to assist readers. Each chapter is broken down into eras: antiquity, medieval times, exploration, era of sail, the era of steam, world wars, and the later 20th century.

Lindsay, W[illiam] S[chaw]. History of Merchant Shipping and Ancient Commerce. London, S. Low, Marston, Low, and Searle, 1874-76.
LC Call Number: Microfilm 9284 HF
LC Catalog Record: 05041460
Digitized version available from Hathi Trust

This is a long, detailed history of merchant shipping in four volumes.
Volume 1 covers antiquity and looks at the Greece, Roman Empire, Egypt, India, Britain, Scandinavia, and Europe through part of the 15th century.
Volume 2 begins in the 15th century with European efforts at exploration in the Americas and beyond and continues into the early part of the 18th century and American efforts concluding around 1810.
Volume 3 begins in the second and third decade of the 19th century with a focus on America with a chapter covering Russia, Scandinavia, Prussia. There are several chapters devoted to activities and development in the English maritime industry.
Volume 4 starts with a chapter on early types of propulsion, but with the goal to present steam as the newest method. Several chapters cover steam navigation in Great Britain and the United States but also include individual chapters devoted to particular shipping lines like the Pacific Steam Navigation Company. Special attention is paid to the routes related to India and the Suez Canal.

Marvin, Winthrop L. The American Merchant Marine; Its History and Romance from 1620 to 1902, New York, C. Scribner's sons, 1902.
LC Call Number: HE745 .M39
LC Catalog Record: 02024825
Digitized version available from Hathi Trust

This title begins with colonization and is broken down by time periods - just after the American Revolution, the early growth from 1789-1800, and moves on to chapters devoted to the periods 1801-1815, 1816-1830, 1831-1845, 1846-1860, 1861-1875, 1876-1890, and 1891-1901. The chapters devoted to time periods are interspersed with those covering specific topics that warrant special attention like the Great Lake fleet, shipping on the coasts, deep-sea fishing, whaling, and the advent of steam.

Global Markets : The Internationalization of the Sea Transport Industries since 1850 / edited by David J. Starkey and Gelina Harlaftis. St. John's, Newfoundland : International Maritime Economic History Association, 1998.
LC Call Number: HE735 .G57 1998
LC Catalog Record: 2001334805

This title covers sea transport industries contributions to the internalization of the world economy. Chapters are written by individual contributors and cover countries - International freight markets in the 1830s and 1840s : the experience of a major Finnish shipowner; First (and very secret) international steamship cartel, 1850-; Competition or co-operation in the global shipping industry : the origins and impact of the conference system for British shipowners before 1914; National alliances and global webs : the internationalization of Japanese shipping; Dutch sea transport in transition : the German hinterland as catalyst, 1850; Expansion of American interests in transatlantic commerce and trade, 1865-1893; Expansion of Japan's shipping interests before the Sino-Japanese war; Cooperation and reorganization on the north-south routes from Japan in the interwar period; Global communications industry and its impact on international shipping before 1914; Nineteenth-century roots of globalization : some technological considerations; Global fish market : internationalization and globalization, 1880-1997; Convergence or national styles? : the Japanese challenge to the British-Norwegian hegemony in the twentieth-century whaling industry; International trends and Greek shipping : the business strategy of Demetrios Moraitis; Organizational and managerial patterns of Greek-owned shipping enterprises and the internationalization process from the interwar period to 1990; Internationalization and the collapse of British ship-building; Globalization and international competitiveness : the experience of the Japanese shipping industry since the 1960s; and Containerization and the globalization of liner shipping.

Voyages, the Age of Engines : Documents in American Maritime History. Volume II, 1865-present / edited by Joshua M. Smith and the National Maritime Historical Society. Gainesville : University Press of Florida, c2009.
LC Call Number: VK23 .V689 2009
LC Catalog Record: 2008033949
Table of Contents

Chapters cover individual individuals and subjects. This title is a follow-up to the Voyages, the Age of Sail.

Voyages, the Age of Sail : Documents in American Maritime History. Volume 1, 1492-1865 / edited by Joshua M. Smith and the National Maritime Historical Society. Gainesville : University Press of Florida, c2009.
LC Call Number: VK23 .V69 2009
LC Catalog Record: 2008033948
Table of Contents

Chapters cover individual individuals and subjects. This related to the Voyages, the Age of Engines.

Last updated: 10/16/2015

Top of Page Top of Page
  Home >> Guides >> Ships and Ship Registers: Sources of Information
  The Library of Congress >> Researchers
  October 16, 2015
Legal | External Link Disclaimer

Contact Us:  
Ask a Librarian