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Newport Schoolship Logbooks, 1920-1931

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: CA-RG1-0004

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of the logbooks from the U.S.S Newport, one of the schoolships used by the New York Nautical School (now SUNY Maritime College) to train young men for the merchant marines and the naval reserves. A ship’s logbook is a daily record of the ship’s course, speed and location. Navigational, piloting and other notable events occurring in and around the ship are also recorded in a ship’s logbook. Logbooks serve as a reminder to the officers of the deck of their various duties and to serve as a check on the activities of these officers. They are also maintained to serve as potential evidence in legal proceedings in naval, admiralty, or civil courts.

The Newport’s logbooks contain the above information as well as facts concerning weather and sea conditions and the effect of these conditions on the ship. There are entries regarding deliveries made to the ship, records of inspections, emergency drills and the activities of the various officers including when these officers are aboard or ashore.

This collection is comprised of both rough logbooks and smooth logbooks. A rough (or scrap) log is a preliminary draft of the ship’s record that is written by hand on the ship daily. The rough log is then transcribed as the smooth log, which is the final version of the ship’s record and considered the official log. Changes can be made to rough logs but a smooth log is considered permanent and erasures are not permitted. Corrections can be made to a smooth log as long as it is signed by the authorized keeper of the logbook and must only be made by drawing one line through the previous entry thereby leaving all entries legible.


  • 1920 - 1931


Language of Materials

Materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

Appointments to examine materials must be made in advance. Please e-mail for more information or to schedule an appointment.

Conditions Governing Use

Reproductions may be provided to users to support research and scholarship. However, collection use is subject to all copyright laws. The responsibility to secure copyright permission rests with the patron.

Historical Note

The U.S.S. Newport replaced the U.S.S St. Mary’s as the schoolship for the New York Nautical School (now SUNY Maritime College) on October 27, 1907. Before being turned over to the New York Nautical School the Newport was in use by the United States Navy and saw action during the Spanish American War. By the turn of the 20th century it had become obvious to school administrators that the St. Mary’s had become antiquated and the cadets at the New York Nautical School needed to be trained to operate steam engine ships. The Newport was a composite gunboat built in 1896. It was a sail-steam hybrid with a full engine room in which to train cadets. The Newport was used as the schoolship until 1931 when it was replaced by the U.S.S. Empire State.

In 1913 control of the schoolship was transferred from New York City to the State of New York and the school’s name was changed to the New York State Nautical School. This takeover by the state allowed for better funding and enrollment expanded. Also during this time the curriculum of the school was professionalized and by the 1920’s the school had become the leading institution of its kind. In order to reflect this modernization and stature the school’s name changed in 1929 to the New York State Merchant Marine Academy.

School Name Chronology

1873 – 1913: New York Nautical School
1913 – 1929: New York State Nautical School
1929 – 1941: New York State Merchant Marine Academy
1941 – 1949: New York State Maritime Academy
1949 – Present: State University of New York Maritime College


9.5 Linear Feet (30 bound volumes and 6 flat archival boxes)

Arrangement of Materials

Materials are arranged chronologically.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Transfer documentation or deeds of gift have not been located for these items. Presumably they were transfered to the library in the 1940s once the school established its shoreside campus at Fort Schuyler in the Bronx.

Related Materials

Newport Schoolship Records, 1896-1970 Identifier: CA-RG1-0002


Williams, Joseph A. (2013). Four years before the mast: A history of New York's maritime college. Bronx, NY: Fort Schuyler Press.

Processing Information

At some point in the past, some of these logbooks were bound. Presumably this action was taken by library staff.


This project was made possible in part by a generous grant from the Documentary Heritage Program of the New York State Archives, a program of the State Education Department. The collection was processed by Project Archivist Jannette D'Esposito under the supervision of Archivist Annie Tummino.

Newport Schoolship Logbooks, 1920-1931
In Progress
Jannette L. D'Esposito
November 2017
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Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the Stephen B. Luce Library Repository

6 Pennyfield Avenue
Bronx NY 10465 United States
(718) 409-7231