How to Use The Gjenvick-Gjønvik Archives
Images from the Discovery Channel's Treasure Quest, Season One, Episode 11: The Silver Queen. The GG Archives supplied several of the still images of the Cunard Line RMS Laconia, sunk by SM U-50 on 25 February 1917. Items salvaged were 852 bars of silver and 132 boxes of silver coins worth an estimated £3m. GGA Image ID # 1544258c46
The GG Archives is a vast resource for social and cultural history from passenger lists, posters and broadsides, tickets, passports, menus, souvenirs, correspondence, itineraries, postcards, maps, and other forms of ephemera by the many different steamship companies that did not survive into the 21st century. There are over 15,000 images on the GG Archives website for you to explore and utilize for your family history books or ideas for your next novel.
Using the GG Archives
Organized by topics, the GG Archives specializes in providing social and cultural history in a historical context to aid in your research and enhance your Family History. Except for our military collection, the Archives are focused on the period of American History from the 1880s to 1954 (the year Ellis Island closed).
The Voyage Across The Sea
Immigrant ID Tag for K. R. Paulson, a Steerage Passenger Aboard the RMS Lusitania. GGA Image ID # 1d4278fda0
The strength of our Archives is having a representative sample of ephemera, journals, articles about transatlantic voyages, and many documents about the journey, including passage tickets and immigrant documents such as contracts, landing cards, and immigrant certificates of vaccination.
Inspection Card (Immigrant and Steerage Passengers) Aboard the RMS Germanic of the White Star Line dated 2 April 1902. GGA Image ID # 1d4294e8c5
Once you know when your ancestors crossed the ocean, you can find many brochures, photographs, and postcards for most transatlantic steamship lines to supplement your information.
Postcard of the RMS Empress of France of the Canadian Pacific Line. GGA Image ID # 1d42ccd318
Get an idea of what the voyage was like by reviewing the information for passengers section of many of the passenger lists from the early 1900s through the 1930s. Although we may not have the specific passenger list containing your ancestor's name, we have thousands throughout the period we cover.
Suppose your ancestor crossed the ocean in steerage. In that case, it is doubtful that the steamship companies created any list listing passengers in steerage (except for the German steamship lines).
Experience the Opulence of the Palm Court Ballroom on the RMS Belgenland of the Red Star Line, 1924. GGA Image ID # 1d43c97868
Steamship lines created most of their printed materials to benefit cabin class passengers. Most of the interior photographs onboard ships were of the cabin class areas.
The passage contracts about steerage passengers reveal the conditions and treatment of primarily immigrant passengers.
Steerage Contract for Passage for a Passenger of the Union-Castle Line Dated 12 November 1906. GGA Image ID # 1d42efd74b
Factors and Events Effecting Immigration
Recessions and Economic Depressions had a significant effect on steamship lines. There was the Panic of 1893 and 1907, and the Great Depression of the 1930s preceded by the Stock market crash of 29 October 1929.
A Young Couple with a Child Struggle to Survive During the Depression. Rural Youth -- Their Situation and Prospects, 1938. GGA Image ID # 1d43342d2d
Other events affecting the steamship lines were the Steamship Trust created by J. P. Morgan and other financiers in 1902; Changes in US Immigration Policy, especially in 1921, significantly impacted many steamship lines that had carried a significant number of immigrants to the US and Canada. From that point forward, Cabin Third Class and Tourist Classes of travel replaced what was left of the immigrant steerage class.
Prohibition also influenced steamship travel from 1920 to 1933, where those who preferred access to alcohol favored the European lines. Those who believed in Prohibition often favored the US Based steamship lines, which were more restricted in carrying alcoholic beverages.
Going in Style
A Stunning Costume by French Designer Drecoll. Les Modes, March 1908. GGA Image ID # 1d43d4be22
Our vintage fashion section will assist you in understanding what women wore clothing styles in different periods. Our special collections section will provide a background in motion pictures and music, especially those on steamships.
Farewell Dinner Menu from the RMS Aquitania of the Cunard Line, 23 September 1935. GGA Image ID # 1d4375f3a0
The GG Archives also contains an excellent collection of vintage menus from numerous voyages and a variety of classes and special occasions on many steamship lines from the late 1800s through the 1950s. One can find exceptional graphics throughout all of our collections.
Low-resolution images are free to use for non-commercial purposes (just copy and save the image to your hard drive) and high-resolution images are available for a reasonable cost.
Front Cover, USS Essex CVA-9, a US Navy Aircraft Carrier on their Third Far East Cruise, 1953-1954. GGA Image ID # 1d4378526d
The GG Archives is renowned for its collection of US Naval Training Center graduation books in addition to an extensive collection of brochures, booklets, pamphlets and magazines produced by the US Military, particularly the U.S. Navy, from the late 1800s through the early 2000s.
Front Cover of the Great Lakes Recruit Magazine from September 1918. GGA Image ID # 1d43ad33ed
We also have a number of Carrier Deployment Cruise Books, US Army Boot Camp Training Yearbooks, MCRD Boot Camp Books from the US Marine Corps, and extensive materials on World War I including the Hello Girls, Draft and letters from King George V.
Letter to US Soldiers Who Traveled Through the United Kingdom During WW1, Signed by King George V, April 1918. GGA Image ID # 1d43ba4fd7
High Resolution Images and Reprints
We supply high-resolution images to production companies, authors, and genealogist like you - of historical documents including passenger lists, brochures, photographs, and other materials form the 1800s through 1954.
See ordering information for services and digital images fees.
Consider Supporting the GG Archives. Your ongoing support is very much appreciated!
The generosity of our patrons like you keeps our entire website accessible and free to use by all interested patrons. We receive no public funding and rely entirely on limited advertising and contributions/donations from supporting patrons like you.