National Archives at Boston

Customs, Coast Guard, and other Maritime Records

The National Archives at Boston holds nearly 5,000 cubic feet of maritime records split between two main Record Groups: RG 26, Records of the U.S. Coast Guard, and RG 36, Records of the U.S. Customs Service. Additional records can be found in RG 41, Records of the Bureau of Marine Inspection and Navigation, and RG 32, Records of the U.S. Shipping Board. These records, dating from 1789 through the 1990’s, document imports and exports, lighthouses, vessel registrations and sales, reports of lifesaving stations and wrecks, crew arrivals and departures, and a number of other topics relating to maritime trade in New England. Links to National Archives Catalog entries for a selection of our digitized records can be found below. For assistance with specific research questions, please contact us at