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Fraser Shipyards archival material available at UWS

More than 9,000 technical drawings for more than 200 different ships are now available for research in the Fraser Shipyards Collection at the University of Wisconsin-Superior Special Collections, the university reported this week.

The Fraser Shipyards Collection was donated to the university in 2013. The drawings were used at Fraser Shipyards in Superior between the 1950 and 1980s, though some drawings date back to the 1890s. Projects at Fraser included repairs to propellers and hull plating, conversions to self-unloaders, lengthening of vessels, and repowering from coal to oil or diesel.

Many of the drawings in the Fraser Shipyards Collection are not available elsewhere. The new online index will allow researchers to access information about drawings for many famous Great Lakes vessels, including the Edmund Fitzgerald and the William A. Irvin. The collection also includes drawings for lesser-known vessels, like the supply boat Ojibway, the tug Frances A. Small, the research vessel Silas Bent, and the tanker Cross Keys.

In addition to thousands of technical drawings, the Fraser Shipyards Collection contains project files, correspondence, photographs and heritage catalogs. The collection figures to be of interest to model builders, maritime history researchers, maritime archeologists, and naval architects and engineers working on similar vessels.

A guide to the complete collection can be found at