The Prints & Photographs Division has a large number of military and civilian ship images, but coverage of US ships is not comprehensive and non-US ships are even less so. Larger and more prominent ships are more likely to be found in the collections than smaller and lesser known ones. Our collections do not include many ship plans, although some appear in the Historic American Engineering Record (HAER) Collection.
One common question is whether the Library has photos of World War II Liberty Ships. While the Prints & Photographs Division has a small number of Liberty Ship photos scattered in the collections, mostly in the New York World-Telegram & Sun collection and the Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information collection, we do not have photos of most of the Liberty Ships produced.
See below for descriptions of collections that are good sources for images of ships. Links will guide you to fuller information from the Prints & Photographs Online Catalog or descriptive pages on the Prints & Photographs Reading Room web site.