Guide to Federal Records

Records of the Maritime Administration

(Record Group 357)

Overview of Records Locations

Table of Contents

  • 357.1 Administrative History
  • 357.2 Headquarters Records of the Maritime Administration 1947-69
  • 357.3 Records of the Western Regional Office (San Francisco, CA) 1954-69
  • 357.4 Textual Records (General) 1961-92
  • 357.5 Motion Pictures (General) 1976
  • 357.6 Still Pictures (General) 1939-55 (bulk 1941-46)

357.1 Administrative History

Established: In the Department of Commerce by Reorganization Plan No. 21, effective May 24, 1950.

Predecessor Agencies:

  • U.S. Shipping Board (1917-34)
  • U.S. Shipping Board Bureau, Department of Commerce (1934-36)
  • U.S. Maritime Commission (1936-50)
  • Federal Maritime Board (1950-61)

Transfers: To the Department of Transportation, by the Maritime Act of 1981 (95 Stat. 151), August 6, 1981.

Functions: Subsidizes ship construction and operation. Regulates transfer of U.S. vessels to foreign registry. Maintains the national defense reserve merchant fleet. Determines requirements for ocean services, routes, and lines. Administers emergency merchant marine operations. Administers maritime research programs. Operates the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, Kings Point, NY. Subsidizes state maritime academies in CA, ME, MA, NY, and TX.

Finding Aids: Forrest R. Holdcamper, comp., "Preliminary Inventory of the Records of the Maritime Administration," NC 52 (May 1965); supplement in National Archives microfiche edition of preliminary inventories.

Related Records:

Records of the U.S. Shipping Board, RG 32.
Records of the U.S. Maritime Commission, RG 178.
Records of the War Shipping Administration, RG 248.
Record copies of publications of the Maritime Administration in RG 287, Publications of the U.S. Government.
Records of the Federal Maritime Commission, RG 358.

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357.2 Headquarters Records of the Maritime Administration

History: U.S. Shipping Board organized January 30, 1917, pursuant to the Shipping Act (39 Stat. 729), September 7, 1916. Abolished, effective March 2, 1934, by EO 6166, June 10, 1933, and functions transferred to U.S. Shipping Board Bureau, Department of Commerce. U.S. Maritime Commission established as an independent agency by the Merchant Marine Act (49 Stat. 1985), June 29, 1936, to replace the U.S. Shipping Board Bureau. Abolished, 1950, with its functions divided between the Federal Maritime Board and the Maritime Administration. Upon abolishment of the Federal Maritime Board, August 12, 1961, by Reorganization Plan No. 7 of 1961, its maritime subsidy functions were transferred to the Maritime Administration. SEE 357.1.

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357.2.1 General Records

Textual Records: Directives and administrative orders ("Actions") of the Administrator and Deputy Administrator, 1950-60. "Actions" of the National Shipping Authority concerning vessel operations, 1951-61. Transfer-of-registry orders, 1950-61. Surrender-of- document orders, with supporting memorandums, 1950-62. Selected investigative case files relating to violations of the Shipping Act of 1916, 1947-61. Manuals of orders and management orders, 1950-61.

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357.2.2 Records of the Ship Design Division

Textual Records: Records of the Special Review Committee on C-4 Ship Exchanges, consisting of case files on the C-4 Troopship Exchange Program and related correspondence, 1966-69.

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357.3 Records of the Western Regional Office (San Francisco, CA)

Textual Records (in San Francisco): Inventory reports, monthly bunker reports, and monthly statements of marine activities, 1955-65. Formal directives, 1954-69.

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357.4 Textual Records (General)

Minutes of the Maritime Subsidy Board, 1961-92.

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357.5 Motion Pictures (General)

Public service announcements promoting the Maritime Administration and the maritime industry (11 reels). In the Wake of Heritage, documenting the U.S. maritime industry from colonial times through the mid-1970's (8 reels).

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357.6 Still Pictures (General)
1939-55 (bulk 1941-46)

U.S. Maritime Commission's promotion of the Victory Fleet shipbuilding program and the U.S. Merchant Marine officer training program during World War II, and the postwar reconversion and surplus property disposal programs (357-G; 4,413 images).

Bibliographic note: Web version based on Guide to Federal Records in the National Archives of the United States. Compiled by Robert B. Matchette et al. Washington, DC: National Archives and Records Administration, 1995.
3 volumes, 2428 pages.

Ordering information

This Web version is updated from time to time to include records processed since 1995.

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