Whaling Museum and Education Center

301 Main Street
Cold Spring Harbor, New York 11724
Phone: 631-367-3418

Whaling Museum and Education Center


Long Island boasts a particularly vibrant whaling heritage. Historically, whaling was one of Long Island’s most important commercial industries, significantly shaping the economic development and social foundation of the region, as well as contributing to America’s emergence as an international power in the 19th century. One of the three whaling ports on Long Island, Cold Spring Harbor, a village located on the North Shore of Suffolk County, offers a microcosmic view of the quintessential 19th century American whaling town. To honor the town’s heritage, the Whaling Museum Society, Inc. was founded in 1942.

The Museum’s object and archival holdings of 6,000 artifacts document the whaling and general maritime history of Cold Spring Harbor, Long Island, and general US whaling history. The star of the Museum’s permanent exhibits is a historic whaleboat, the only fully-equipped whaling vessel with its original gear on display in New York. Highlights of the collection include one of the notable scrimshaw collections in the northeast. Additional objects include whaling implements, ship’s gear, navigational aids, ship models and maritime art. The library and archival collection contains 2,800 primary and secondary volumes and manuscript material from the Cold Spring whaling fleet, ship’s logs, journals and business correspondence of the Cold Spring Whaling Company, family documents dealing with maritime commerce on Long Island, records of the Long Island coastwise trade under sail and records from the Cold Spring Harbor Customs House (1798-1908).

Whaling Museum and Education Center is a member of the Long Island Library Resources Council.


Cold Spring Whaling Company Assorted Papers (1842-1855)

The Anonymous Collection consists of various papers related to voyages made by the Cold Spring Harbor Whaling Company vessels Alice, Edgar, Huntsville, Monmouth, Richmond, and Splendid between 1842-1855, as well as letters and financial documents related to the Abraham Bell & Son shipping firm.

Eleanor Disston Papers

The Disston Papers are comprised of a 24-page letter written by John D. Jones to his sisters describing his 1835 voyage aboard the Expeditious from New York to the Island of Nassau in the Bahamas.

Hewlett Collection

The Hewlett collection is comprised of documents relating to the Hewletts, a prominent Cold Spring Harbor family

Hewlett-Jones Collection

The Hewlett-Jones collection is made up of records from the Cold Spring Whaling Company and the U.S. Customhouse at Cold Spring Harbor, NY.

Jones Collection

The Jones collection is made up of records from the Cold Spring Whaling Company.

Knight Collection

The Knight collection is made up of records from the Cold Spring Whaling Company.

Stamp used in logbooks for record keeping.

Manuscripts recording maritime labor, business, and industry.

Miscellaneous Objects

The miscellaneous collection is made up of various objects primarily dating to the mid 19th century.

Richmond Collection

The Richmond collection is made up of financial records and personal correspondence relating to the Ship Richmond’s whaling voyage from 1846-1849.

Scrimshaw & Baleen Objects

The Scrimshaw and Baleen Objects collection is made up of primarily 19th century objects that were carved or decorated using scrimshaw techniques.

Tool Collection

The tool collection is made up of various whaling and maritime tools primarily dating to the mid 19th century.

ULYSSES Photographs

Photographs taken by Neil J. Beck during the 1938-1939 voyage of the Factory Whaling Ship the ULYSSES.

Enrollment of the Sloop Sophia of Cold Spring Harbor

Materials related to the US Customs Port of Delivery at Cold Spring Harbor, primarily created by the Surveyor Jacob C. Hewlett.