Using the Collections Effectively


The GG Archives is an expansive resource, housing a trove of social and cultural history materials. Our collection includes passenger lists, posters, broadsides, tickets, passports, menus, souvenirs, correspondence, itineraries, postcards, maps, and other forms of ephemera from numerous steamship companies that are no longer in operation. There are over 8,000 static pages and over 29,000 images on the GG Archives website to explore and utilize for your family history books or ideas for your next novel.


Images from the Discovery Channel's Treasure Quest, Season One, Episode 11: The Silver Queen.

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


Using the GG Archives Is a Breeze

Using the GG Archives is a breeze. Our website is designed for easy navigation, allowing you to find social and cultural history materials that will enrich your research and enhance your family history. Please note that, with the exception of our military and Bangor Punta collections, the archives primarily focus on American history from the 1880s to 1954, the year Ellis Island closed its doors.


Treasure Trove of Ephemera

The Archives hold a treasure trove of ephemera, journals, and articles about transatlantic voyages. Here, you'll find crucial documents such as passage tickets, landing cards, and immigrant certificates of vaccination. Once you've pinpointed when your ancestors made their journey, you can enrich your understanding by perusing brochures, photographs, and postcards from most transatlantic steamship lines.


Passenger List Gems

If you're curious about what the voyage was like for your ancestors, you can review the 'information for passengers' section of many passenger lists from the early 1900s through the 1930s. To find a specific passenger list, simply enter the relevant details in our search bar. Although we may not have the specific passenger list containing your ancestor's name, we have thousands of lists from the period we cover, providing a wealth of information about the era and the people who traveled during that time.


The Forgotten Steerage Passenger

If your ancestor crossed the ocean in steerage, it is unlikely that the steamship companies created any list of passengers in steerage (except for the German steamship lines). Most printed materials were designed to benefit cabin class passengers, so interior photographs of the ships were focused on those areas.


Factors Influencing US Immigration

Immigration to the US was influenced by several factors and events over the years. Economic recessions, such as the Panic of 1893 and 1907, the Great Depression of the 1930s, and the Stock market crash of 29 October 1929, had a significant impact on steamship lines. The Steamship Trust, formed in 1902 by J.P. Morgan and other financiers, also affected the steamship lines.


Changes in Immigration Policies

Moreover, changes in US Immigration Policy, particularly in 1921, significantly impacted many steamship lines that had carried a large number of immigrants to the US and Canada. Consequently, Cabin Third Class and Tourist Classes of travel replaced the remaining immigrant steerage class.


Prohibition's Impact on Steamship Travel

Prohibition, a significant event in American history, impacted steamship travel between 1920 and 1933. People who wanted access to alcohol preferred to travel with European lines, which were not subject to the same restrictions. At the same time, those who supported Prohibition chose steamship lines based in the US, which had stricter rules on carrying alcoholic beverages. This period saw a shift in passenger preferences and the strategies adopted by steamship companies, which is reflected in our collection.


Experience the Opulence of the Palm Court Ballroom on the RMS Belgenland of the Red Star Line, 1924.

Experience the Opulence of the Palm Court Ballroom on the RMS Belgenland of the Red Star Line, 1924. GGA Image ID # 1d43c97868


Vintage Fashions

Our vintage fashion section is a treasure trove for understanding women's clothing styles during different periods. It features detailed descriptions, high-quality images, and historical context, making it a valuable resource for fashion historians and enthusiasts. Our unique collections section also provides background on motion pictures and music, especially those popular on steamships.


Vintage Ocean Liner Menus

The GG Archives also boasts a rich collection of vintage menus from various voyages, classes, and special occasions on many steamship lines from the late 1800s to the 1950s. These menus not only provide a glimpse into the culinary offerings of the time but also reflect the social and cultural aspects of the era. All of our collections feature exceptional graphics, making them a visual treat for history buffs.


US Military Collections

The GG Archives is well-known for its vast collection of US Naval Training Center graduation books, brochures, booklets, pamphlets, and magazines produced by the US Military, particularly the US Navy, from the late 1800s through the early 2000s. Our collection includes several Carrier Deployment Cruise Books, US Army Boot Camp Training Yearbooks, and MCRD Boot Camp Books from the US Marine Corps. Additionally, we have extensive materials on World War I, including the Hello Girls, Draft, and letters from King George V. These materials provide a comprehensive view of the military history of the United States, making them invaluable resources for historians and military enthusiasts.


Low-Resolution Images

Low-resolution images are free for non-commercial purposes (copy and save the image to your hard drive), while high-resolution images are available at a reasonable cost.


High-Resolution Images

If you're a production company, author, or genealogist, we offer high-resolution images of a wide range of historical documents. These include passenger lists, brochures, photographs, and other materials from the 1800s through 1954. Our website provides detailed ordering information and digital image fees, making it easy for you to access the specific resources you need for your projects or research.


Last Updated: May 2024


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