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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content Note
  • Organization
  • Arrangement

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Harry Dring Photographs,
    Date (inclusive): 1870-1983
    Collection: P91-015
    Creator: Harry\personal Dring
    Extent: 6014 items (14 linear ft.).
    Repository: San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park (Calif.).

    Historic Documents Department
    Building E, Fort Mason, San Francisco, California 94123
    Language: English.

    Administrative Information

    Access Restrictions

    This collection is open to the public.

    Usage Restrictions

    The San Francisco Maritime NHP possesses physical property rights through ownership of the materials. However, copyright may reside with the individual or corporate body responsible for the creation of the materials, or with their heirs. It is the user's responsibility to respect the provisions of the copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code). Permission to reproduce or publish from this collection must be secured by the user from the copyright holders.

    Preferred Citation

    [Item description], [Location within collection organization identified by Collection Number/Series Number/File Unit Number/Item Number], Harry Dring Photographs, 1870-1983, San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park.


    Harrison (Harry) Joseph Dring began collecting the photographs and negatives as manager of restoration and maintenance of California's historic ships in 1954. He continued the collection when the ships were turned over to the Golden Gate National Recreation in 1977 and up to his retirement in 1982. He documented this work by photographing or hiring photographers as well as collecting images of the fleet and other non-National Park Service (NPS) historic vessels. These materials were transfered from his office on the Eureka wheelhouse and accessioned into Golden Gate National Recreation Area's museum collections in 1986. The fleet and collection were subsequently turned over to the San Francisco National Maritime Historical Park in 1989.

    Processing Information

    Processed by Tami Suzuki.

    Completed in 10 May 1999


    As Ships' Manager and Supervisor of Restoration at Hyde Street Pier under the State of California, Harrison (Harry) Joseph Dring oversaw the ongoing restoration of the museum's historic ship fleet from 1954 to 1982. Dring was responsible for the fleet of historic ships at the National Maritime Museum in San Francisco where he managed the fleets' restoration and maintenance. He documented this work by photographing or hiring photographers as well as collecting images of the fleet and other non-National Park Service (NPS) historic vessels.
    After doing restoration work on the Balclutha in 1954, Dring became the ship's manager and supervisor of restoration for California's historic ships. He was named "Conservator of Ships" for the NPS in 1977 upon transfer of the fleet to the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.

    Scope and Content Note

    The collection primarily documents the restoration and maintenance of the historic vessels at San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park from 1954 to 1982. The bulk of the collection holdings consist of black-and-white photographs and negatives created or collected by the ships' manager Harry Dring from 1957 to 1976. Other items include photo albums and motion picture film. Along with restoration and preservation of the vessels, the collection documents daily activities at Hyde Street Pier.
    Of particular note are the 1,689 negatives documenting the fleet's restoration and maintenance.


    Organized into the following series: 1. Negatives, file units 1- 8 as follows: 1.1. Alma; 1.2. Hercules; 1.3. C.A. Thayer; 1.4. Eureka; 1.5. Wapama; 1.6. Park & Pier; 1.7. Miscellaneous Vessels; 1.8. People; 2. Albums (classified), subseries 1-3 as follows: 2.1. Park Fleet; 2.2. Park & Pier; 2.3. Other Vessels/Miscellaneous/People; 3. Albums (not classified), file units 1-25 as follows: 3.1. Alma #1; 3.2. Alma #2; 3.3. Alma #3; 3.4. Eureka #1; 3.5. Eureka #2; 3.6. Eureka #3; 3.7. Hercules; 3.8. C.A. Thayer #1; 3.9. C.A. Thayer #2; 3.10. C.A. Thayer #3; 3.11. C.A. Thayer #4; 3.12. C.A. Thayer #?; 3.13. Wapama #1; 3.14. Wapama #2; 3.15. Wapama #3; 3.16. Wapama #4; 3.17. Wapama #5; 3.18. Wapama #6; 3.19. Fleet #F1; 3.20. Miscellaneous; 3.21. MS #1; 3.22. MT #1; 3.23. MT #2; 3.24. P; 3.25. From Eureka Wheelhouse; 4. Loose Photographs, organized into file units 1-11 as follows: 4.1. Eppleton Hall; 4.2. Eureka; 4.3. Wapama; 4.4. Hercules; 4.5. Alma; 4.6. Balclutha; 4.7. C.A. Thayer; 4.8. Miscellaneous 4.1; 4.9. Miscellaneous 4.2; 4.10. Oversized; 4.11. Film; 5. Photographs transfered from the Harry Dring textual records, HD 648. The negatives in Series 1 were further organized by item utilizing an existing classification scheme. Series 2 photos are a corresponding subset to the Series I negatives.


    Dring's classification scheme was maintained for the negatives in series 1 and the photograph albums in series 2. The vessels appear to be arbitrarily arranged within this classification scheme. The series 2 albums are arranged by subject. Series 3 photographs were arranged by vessels in albums, then chronologically within the file units. Series 4 photographs were arranged by vessel. Series 5 photographs maintain the arrangement found in HDC 648.