U.S. Navy Ships
The holdings of the Still Picture Branch includes a variety of depictions of ships used by the United States Navy. This list includes pictures of types of ships used from the Revolutionary War period up until December 7, 1941, before the United States’ entry into World War II. There are no original artworks within this list, only photographs and photographs of artworks or models. The list is divided into two sections; Early Ships and Modern Ships, as well as an Index by Ship Name.
Early Ships includes ships commissioned before the use of steel in 1883, and is subdivided by method of propulsion, and listed thereunder chronologically by date of commissioning. Included within each entry is: the ship’s name; a previous or later name, if applicable; date of commissioning; description of the ship; view perspective; information about the original sketch, model, or painting when known; and the local identifier number.
Modern Ships includes ships commissioned after 1883 and is subdivided by general class and, thereunder chronologically. Included within each entry is: the ship's name and designator (or designator when there is no name); ship type, where applicable; photographic perspective and other information, where applicable; date of the original photograph; and the local identifier number.
This list was originally titled "Pictures of United States Navy ships, 1775-1941,” and published in 1974 by the National Archives Trust Fund Board. This digital version differs from the printed version and was updated as recently as May 2021.
There are no known copyright restrictions on the images included within this list. If you’d like to use an image from the Still Picture Branch holdings, please see our Copyright and Permissions page. For ships not listed here, search the National Archives Catalog or contact the Still Picture Branch at the contact information below. Please provide as specific information as possible such as ship name, hull number, if applicable, and dates.
To Request Information about Records
For further information about the photographs and graphic works held in the Still Picture unit at College Park, contact:
Mail: Still Picture Reference
Special Media Archives Services Division
National Archives at College Park
8601 Adelphi Road
College Park, Maryland 20740-6001
If you’d like to use an image from the Still Picture Branch holdings, please see our Copyright and Permissions page.