"What we become depends on what we read after all of the professors have finished with us. The greatest university of all is a collection of books." – Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881).
Full details can be found in our online library catalogue, but given that our holdings count some 75,000 books, 150,000 journals, and thousands of files, folders, binders and other artwork, models and photographs, a succinct description follows, giving credit where applicable to the benefactors. In our research section many recommendations for source material from our collections can be found. To search for items by some better known authors, please see our bibliography section.
More than half of our holdings cover various broad aspects of maritime history and conservation, marine research and nautical education; a further fourteen thousand titles cover associated aviation and military matters; associated subjects including biography, engineering and design, economics and politics, the Great Lakes, the Arctic and our First Nations, etc. are shelved as groups to assist researchers.
The Ben Ackerman collection includes Arctic submersibles and diving; a short biography is included here.
The Richard William Becker collection covers the design, building and sea trials of HMCS Bras d'Or; a short biography is included here.
The W.A.B. "Alec" Douglas collection covers naval, military and air force matters. Dr Douglas directed historical reseach at the Canadian Department of National Defence for many years; a short biography is included here.
The Peter Edwards collection covers vexilloloy, flags, burgees and yacht club history; a short biography is available.
The John M. Gray collection specializes in the Rebellion of 1837 and the judiciary involved in deporting some participants to Van Diemen's Land (Tasmania) and their wives efforts to repatriate them a short biography is included.
The John Harland collection is extensive in its coverage of seamanship, whaling vessels and corvettes, while also including many volumes on military matters and model making. It contains many early first editions, as well as many hundreds of ship plans and drawings. A short biography is available.
The Donald S. Jones fonds consists of his collection of documentation covering his career as an RCN officer, including his early training, his engineering career, his involvement with aviation in HMCS Bonaventureand surface skimming vessels; a short biography is available.
The Joseph Lucas Collection covers aspects of marine biology; a short biography is available.
The Gary Mauthe collection is comprised mainly of manuscript documents, relating to 19th century (some early 20th) shipping on the Great Lakes. Primary areas of interest are Customs House documentation, insurance and legal matters, shipping losses and the relationship of shipping with rail terminals in Great Lakes ports.
The W. M. "Sandy" McPherson collection covers his lifelong interest in, and writing about, yachting in Canada; a short biography can be found here.
The HMS Victory and Nelson collection comprises published documents, research, artwork and other artifacts, and includes a major contribution by the late G.E. Waring.
The James Pritchard collection is a major fonds relating to naval matters surrounding New France in the eightenth century. Dr Pritchard was Professor Emeritus at Queen's University; a short biography is available.
The Ross Richardson aeronautical collection comprises marine, naval, military and civilian aviation, including history, design, operations, etc. and extensive files and folders of research notes; a short biography is available.
The Frank Stockwell collection is aminly comprised of documentation concerning the preservation of HMCS Haida after decommissioning; a short biography is available.
The Tom Tumilty collection comprises books and material on shipwrecks of the Great Lakes, together with files of research notes. Mr Tumilty's extensive database has been incorporated into our on-line Ship Index. A short biography is available here.
The Cecil and Denny Yolles fonds is a major part of our collections, and contains books and material mainly on yachting, but with a number of rarer documents, and a short biography.
The Stormy Weather collection is our most extensive holding. A very partial listing of subect matter includes yachting (history, design, racing and cruising), astronomy and navigation, seamanship and rigging, meteorology and maritime safety, naval history from medieval times to carriers and jet fighters, the fisheries, marine art, fiction and verse, and more. A history of the famous ocean racing yawl can be found here.
Regional: Prince Edward County, Quinte, Great Lakes
A partial list referring to local history of The Great Lakes, the Quinte region and Prince Edward County represents a starting point for our "homeport" visitors; for more details see our regional resaerch pages.
Some examples from our catalogue
In our research pages you will find more details and research suggestions ... But from a broader perspective, the following extracts represent some subjects / authors taken from our catalogue, but should not be considered complete in any manner.
More references to naval matters may be found in:
In late 2014, the Naval Marine Archive – The Canadian Collection decided to start a series of "occasional papers" destined to include research, articles and other subjects published by the Archive.
In our Book Store, de-accessioned, surplus and other items that may be released for exchange or sale.