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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 manuscripts in Special Collections

    Special Collections link to manuscripts
  • For a complete, A-Z list of manuscripts, go to the Nimitz Library homepage. In the "Special Collections & Archives" box on the bottom right, and click "Manuscript Collections." The list includes brief descriptions of the material and you can search the page using the usual "Control-F/Command-F" command.
  • The titles of larger collections are hyperlinked, and clicking on the links will take you to an online finding aid with more detailed information about the collection.
  • Another route to the finding aids for the larger manuscript collections, is to click "USNA Digital Collections" in the "Special Collections & Archives" box. In the "All Collections" box, scroll down to the bottom list where you'll see "Manuscript Collections Finding Aids" as the second to last item. By the way, this list you've scrolled through includes manuscript collections that have been digitized. Note, this isn't a complete list of manuscript collections, just those with finding aids.

Manuscripts in the library catalog

Manuscript icon

All manuscript collections have catalog records in the online catalog as well, so if in the course of searching the catalog, if you see a record containing this icon, you'll know it's a manuscript collection and can go right to the pages described above for more information.

Manuscript highlights in SC&A

  • WWII Naval Reports: MS 415 (World War II Ship Action Reports, 1942-1945) and MS 416 (World War II Battle Action and Operational Reports, 1941-1945) contain descriptions of battles and other U.S. naval activity during WWII. These are primary sources and many have been digitized.
  • War of 1812: Performing an "Control-F/Command-F" search for "War of 1812" in the manuscript collections list will show several primary sources related to the War of 1812 providing perspectives from both sides of the conflict.
  • Spanish-American War: Another "Control-F/Command-F" search for "Spanish-American War" in the manuscript collections list will produce some firsthand accounts from sailors who fought in that war.

Archival boxes