The collection of the Hudson River Maritime Museum has been formed by donations from hundreds of donors since our founding in 1980. The collection includes archival material and items related to Hudson River steamboats, tugboats, ferries, iceboats, and industries. Much of the collection dates from the 1880s through the 1950s with some material older and some newer, as well.
Specific named collections include the Donald C. Ringwald Hudson River Steamboat Collection, the Cornell Steamboat Company Collection, the Dwyer Brothers Boatbuilding and Related Industries Collection, the Feeney Reliance Marine Boatbuilding Collection, the Ray Ruge Iceboating Collection, the Staples Brick Company Collection, a Hudson River Day Line Collection, the C.W. Spangenberger Collection, and a 1909 Hudson-Fulton Celebration Collection.
Types of items in the museum’s collection include boat models, photos, paper ephemera of many types, hardware from boats including steam gauges, lanterns, and bells, boat nameboards, boatbuilding tools, ice-cutting tools, and also many framed prints and paintings.
Also included in the collection are pieces of steamboats and tugs, including pilot wheels, and a number of small boats including shad boats, iceboats, rowing shells, a birchbark canoe, and a lifeboat from the famous steamboat Mary Powell. The number of items in the collection is at least 20,000.