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Special Collections & Archives

A guide for finding information about the holdings of the Special Collections & Archives Department in Nimitz Library and accessing those holdings.

Finding digitized SC&A material

Screenshot of digital collections link

On the library's homepage, in the "Special Collections & Archives" box in the lower right corner, click "Digital Collections" to access the digitized material from our collections.

Our digital collections contain a wide assortment of material highlighted in other sections of this guide including

  1. Digitized archival material. These include historic photos and images of USNA as well as parts or all of several manuscript collections. Digitized battle reports are also included in this category.
  2. Finding aids. Manuscript collections consisting of more that one box or volume have finding aids that help users figure out which boxes or volumes have material relevant to them. These finding aids are available in our digital collections so that their text is searchable. A few parts of USNA's archival records also have digital finding aids available.
  3. Lucky Bags and Annual Registers. The Internet Archive has digitized and made available these two USNA publications for years up through 1970. However, you can find specific years a little more easily by getting to them through our digital collections pages.

Digital collections outside of SC&A

  • Some databases available through Nimitz Libary provide digital copies of books and other material also found in SC&A. In these cases the digital copy will also appear in the online catalog but separate from the print version. The Register of Commissioned and Warrant Officers of the United States Navy and Marine Corps is an example of material found in print in SC&A and as an electronic resource.
  • Other libraries may have scanned their copies of material that SC&A also holds. HathiTrust and the Internet Archive are two good public sites that provide access to digital special collections and archival materials such as the register mentioned in the last bullet point. There generally is not a record in the Nimitz catalog of digitized material available publicly.
  • The History Research Guide provides links to other non-USNA archival digital collections.

Digital collection highlights

  • Annual Register of the U.S. Naval Academy: Originally entitled "Official Register of the U.S. Naval Academy" and published annually until 1971. Provides the class standing of all midshipmen, a list of faculty and staff at USNA, and information on the course of study and summer cruises when applicable for the year.
  • World War II propaganda: Two digital collections present WWII propaganda used by the U.S. in Japan and by Japan in the Philippines. Both collections come from MS 207, the William J. Sebald Papers, which contains a wealth of information on postwar Japan.

Helpful tools

Helpful tools explained

  1. The search function works pretty well in the digital collections and can identify where the search term appears in specific sections of a finding aid, so don't be afraid to use it. If you prefer to look through everything available, use the "Browse All" button on the top left. Clicking on this button on the main digital collections page will give you a list of items from all collections. If you've selected a specific collection, clicking "Browse All" will give you a list of all items in that specific collection.
  2. You can adjust the size of the window displaying the digital image bl clicking on the tab on the bottom middle of the frame and moving it up or down.
  3. To obtain a copy of a digital image, click the "Download" button in the right corner above the image.
  4. To view all the pages of a finding aid together as if it's a Word or .pdf document, click the "Open finding aid" button next to the "Download" button.