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SUNY Maritime College Admissions, Graduate and Progress Registers, 1875-1944

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: CA-RG8-0002

Contents of Collection

This collection includes several different types of registers kept by the administrators of the New York Nautical School (now SUNY Maritime College) in the early years of the institution. The Admissions Registers contain information regarding all the students who were admitted to the school between 1875 through 1944. The information that can be found in these volumes include names of students, dates of admission, ages, students’ place of birth, birth dates, as well as the height, weight and chest size of incoming students. These books also record the names and addresses of the students’ parents or guardians and the dates of when the students either graduated, withdrew or were dismissed.

The Record of Graduates Registers are ledgers where school administrators kept track of the careers of the graduates of the New York Nautical School (now SUNY Maritime College). This information includes the year a student graduated as well as ships served on, positions held, military careers or other jobs graduates went on to perform. Later books include assessments in different areas of study, as well as a student’s age, height, weight and chest measurement at graduation. Some entries include ships the graduates transferred to upon graduation and reports from Masters.

The Record of Progress Registers (also known as the Academic Records) are ledgers that contain students monthly, quarterly and yearly grade averages in the different subjects they studied at the New York Nautical School (now SUNY Maritime College). These ledgers are organized by class (1st class, 2nd class etc.) and in later years the classes are further divided by departments (deck or engine). Term and overall averages as well as class ranking are also included in these registers. Some of the areas of study included are Deportment, Activity/Aptitude, Knotting/Splicing, Sail-making, Arithmetic, Geography, Writing, Spelling/Grammar, Navigation and Seamanship. Later years include the addition of Marine Engineering and Electricity.


  • 1875 - 1944

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.

For institutional records, the library follows the “72 year rule” used by the U.S. government for census records, meaning that we will not release records with personal information about individuals for 72 years from the record date. Additionally record will be reviewed for compliance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), which states that student records must be restricted until an individual is deceased, before being released.

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 New York Nautical School (now SUNY Maritime College) was created in 1874 to train young men for the United States Merchant Marines. At first the school was based entirely aboard school ships, the converted sloop-of-war, St. Mary’s being the first of such ships. During the period of 1874 to 1913 the school was administered by the Board of Education of the City of New York and rated as a New York City public grammar school. During this time boys who were of grammar school-age and were able to prove that they resided or had a guardian who resided within the city limits of New York were granted admission. In addition to the typical grammar school studies (history, writing, mathematics, etc.) students of the New York Nautical School would also study various areas of seamanship including navigation, steering, sail-handling, etc. As the years progressed and sail gave way to steam engines, certain subjects were added such as marine engineering and electrical.

By the turn of the 20th century the New York Nautical School had produced a steady stream of sea officers who would go on to become leaders in their vocation. However, by the early 20th century, the St. Mary’s had become antiquated and was replaced by the Newport, a sail-steam hybrid, which in the following decades was replaced by the first of a long line of ships named the Empire State. Coinciding with this modernization was a professionalization of the curriculum, which was enhanced in 1913 due to a takeover by New York State that expanded enrollment and bolstered funding. The school now had become the preeminent institution of its kind, which was reflected in a change of name; first to the New York State Merchant Marine Academy in 1929, later to the New York State Maritime Academy in 1941. At this time it had also become clear that in order to maintain its place as the finest school for merchant marines in the country the school needed a permanent shore base and Fort Schuyler in Throggs Neck, New York was dedicated for the school's use in 1938.

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


18.66 Linear Feet (11 flat archival boxes, 7 custom book boxes and 1 standard archival document case)

Arrangement of Materials

Materials are grouped alphabetically by the type of registers (Admissions, Graduates or Progress). Each register type is then arranged chronologically.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

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

Related Materials

SUNY Maritime College Conduct Books, 1875-1950 Identifier: CA-RG8-0003

SUNY Maritime College Student Files, 1892-1946 Identifier: CA-RG8-0001

SUNY Maritime College Photograph Collection, circa 1874-1999 Identifier: CA-RG14-0001


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


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.
SUNY Maritime College Admissions, Graduate and Progress Registers, 1875-1944
Jannette D'Esposito
December, 2017
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Edition statement
"Records of Graduates" registers from 1876-1916 were previously described in a 2011 finding aid created by Elizabeth Berilla in Microsoft Word.

Repository Details

Part of the Stephen B. Luce Library Repository

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