The Archives of the H. Lee White Maritime Museum

The Museum's archive features thousands of historic pictures, documents, pamphlets, books, ship plans and maps that document the history of Oswego's maritime history, heritage and culture. 



 The Archives - The items contained in the archives at the H. Lee White Maritime Museum are available for research by appointment, and contain many fascinating one of a kind items.  To place a research inquiry, click here and provide a brief synopsis of your research, and what you seek to obtain from our holdings.  In addition to our on-site archival holdings, the Museum maintains and operates a maritime research center that holds a collection of thousands of secondary source material - books, academic journals, magazines, news reportings - to supplement and further engage the research's experience and knowledge.


Whether researching Oswego's harbor, the New York State Canal System (the Erie Canal) or specific individuals associated with local maritime history, we strive to make available the wealth of knowledge contained within our holdings.  Seen below are just a few of the many unique items we possess in our archive.      





The Photographs - The Museum's archives and collections have thousands of highly relevant historic photos.  Photographs range from family portraits to construction and demolition projects, from shipping to life saving, and from some of the oldest known local photographs to those printed yesterday.  





The Documents - The Journal of James H. Lee, Medal of Honor Recipient, is on display at the Museum and serves as a reminder of the global nature of the American seaman.  James H. Lee served aboard the USS Kearsarge as a Captain Fore Top and Gun Captain during the famous battle off the Coast of Cherbourg, France that sunk the CSS Alabama during the Civil War - June 19, 1864.  This account has served as the documentation for several notable academic publications on that subject.  


Additionally, the Museum maintains a collection of Port of Oswego records, the records and research of Richard Palmer - local maritime historian, and countless other documents of significance from the pre-revolutionary era through the 20th Century that bring the maritime history of Oswego and Lake Ontario to life. 



The Maps, Charts & Surveys - The Museum's archive features a vast collection of unique maps, charts, and historic maritime surveys of the Great Lakes, Oswego, Oswego's Harbor, and the New York State Canal System spanning much of the late 19th and 20th Century.  While some of these items are on display, our collection holdings provide ample opportunities for researchers to examine the previous, and even proposed iterations of the above items.  



Ship Plans and Construction - The Museum's archive features the complete plans for the construction of the LT-5, as well as plans and details of other vessels.  Too, we maintain a collection of Port of Oswego Authority historic properties architectural drawings, plans of the old Goble Dry Dock, and several other architectural renderings of locally significant structures. 



Lake Ontario Waterfront Festival

The Maritime Museum and our partners are excited to announce the Lake Ontario Waterfront Festival - a family friendly event with something for everyone!

Saturday & Sunday, May 21-22 10:00am-5:00pm (4-7 Saturday Music)...


Lighthouse Tours Set to Begin in June, 2022

Tours of the iconic Oswego West Pierhead Lighthouse are now scheduled for the 2022 season! Book your tickets today!

Lighthouse Tour Tickets 2022...


40 Years on the Pier

The Maritime Museum is celebrating its 40th year on the West First Street Pier in 2022

There's something for everyone at the Maritime Museum. ...