H.W. McCurdy Library

Our mission is to offer the Port Townsend community, visitors to the community, and staff of the Northwest Maritime Center a welcoming and comfortable place to pursue and research maritime topics and interests. The library is located on the second floor of the yellow building at the Northwest Maritime Center.

Collection Topics Include

  • Boatbuilding and yacht design
  • Boat maintenance and repair
  • Rigging, sail making, and canvas work
  • Worldwide nautical chart collection
  • Voyaging and cruising narratives
  • Sailing and racing
  • Kayaking, canoeing, and rowing
  • Maritime and naval history
  • Model boatbuilding and boatbuilding plans
  • Vintage boating magazines
  • Sea shanty books and CDs
  • Maritime art and photography
  • Nautical fiction
  • Maritime videos and DVDs

Our extensive collection of books, periodicals, charts, and boat plans has evolved over many years through donations given to the Wooden Boat Foundation and the Northwest Maritime Center. In addition to the topics listed above, the library has a small collection of rare historic books on yacht design and maritime history. These are kept in an archive but are available on request for reference use in the library. Also of historic importance are photo albums of shipping on Puget Sound from the mid-19th century to the mid-20th century and bound Rudder magazines from the early 1900s.

Shared Online Catalog

The holdings of the H.W. McCurdy Library are now included in Port Townsend and Jefferson County Public Libraries’ online catalog (CLEO). This catalog can be searched from the library or from home. The addition of our collection to the CLEO catalog complements the already existing maritime collection at Port Townsend Public Library and makes it possible to view all of Port Townsend’s maritime library resources in one spot.

All library users with a Port Townsend, Jefferson County, or school library card are eligible to check out books from our collection. New library cards may be obtained at the Port Townsend and Jefferson County Libraries. Checked out maritime books may be returned at any of the three locations.

Donate to the Library

Donations of books on maritime subjects are gratefully accepted. Each donation will be evaluated for inclusion based on subject matter and condition. Duplicate copies given to our library may be passed on to the Port Townsend Public Library if they do not yet have it in their collection.

Contact Us

Open Monday–Friday, 10 AM–2 PM
431 Water Street
Port Townsend, WA 98368