Our archival documents are largely uncatalogued, but can be accessed for research. These materials document the Seattle-Alaska shipping trade during and after the Gold Rush of 1897; steamboat operations on Alaskan rivers; the Alaskan fishing industry whose vessels were largely Puget Sound-built, owned and operated; 20th-century naval history in and beyond Puget Sound. Documents include thousands of press clippings from maritime events and personalities; legal, financial and operating records of various commercial tug, ferry, and freight companies operating on Puget Sound with Alaskan and Far East trades; detailed records (including photographs and physical descriptions) of ships’ movements in and out of regional ports (Seattle, Port Townsend, Everett) during the first half of the 20th-century; the growth of major Puget Sound shipbuilding firms such as Moran Brothers and Todd Shipyards.
The late Lloyd Stadum gave the Society his unique accumulation of advertising and operational materials obtained from over one hundred international ferryboat companies plying local sea lanes from the Baltic and English Channel to South and East Asian waters, the Pacific and North America during the early and middle decades of the twentieth century. Housed in 58 boxes, they include pamphlets, broadsides and schedules together with a multitude of ship’s deck and hull plans.