New York Shipbuilding Corporation
Archives Processing Project
Collection Background and Scope:
The New York Shipbuilding Corporation (1899-1967) collection includes the records of a historically important company both for the nation and the immediate area. Located in Camden, New Jersey, it was organized in 1899 by Henry G. Morse (1850-1903) with the revolutionary idea of applying advanced methods of structural steel construction to shipbuilding. Morse convinced industrialists Henry Clay Frick, Henry Walters, Henry Phipps, Jay Phipps, and Andrew Mellon to finance his company and opened for business on the Delaware River where the first keel was laid in 1900. The NY Shipbuilding Corporation contributed to the war efforts of World War I and World War II, built merchant ships and luxury liners, and remained in business until 1967. The collection is divided into 11 series to include an extensive photograph collection, union and business office material, blueprints, newspaper clippings, and ephemera from former workers. The blueprint series that includes booklets of blueprints is of particular interest as it represents the unique work done by NY Shipbuilding Corporation during WWII for the Navy as a design yard.
The collection encompasses 31 linear feet: 27 boxes of manuscripts, photographs and ephemera, and 16.5 linear feet of bound volumes. In addition, approximately 1 linear foot of material consists primarily of blueprints in both booklet and large format form in a flat file and oversize box.
Background of the Project:
In 2015, the NJ Historic Preservation Office (NJHPO) deemed the New York Shipbuilding Corporation shipyard eligible for listing as a district in the National and New Jersey Registers of Historic Places. In the same year, NJHPO received a proposal for redevelopment of the site for Holtec Technology Center, a project that would have an adverse impact on several historic resources within the district. Applicant Camden County subsequently paid mitigation funds totaling $55,000 as a permit condition for proceeding with the project. NJHPO used these funds to launch the NYSC Archives Processing Project, designed to preserve and improve historians' access to archival records of NYSC held by Camden County Historical Society.