The first places to check for information about a ship or boat are:
For books that discuss ship design, start with the appropriate one in this series of illustrated design histories by Norman Friedman.
Check for journal or newspaper articles from when your ship or boat was commissioned or in the news for some reason. A librarian can help you find these, no matter how old your ship is. In particular, look at the separate index for the early U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings, which began in 1874. The index is in print on Reference Table 1.
There also are some bibliographies like Shipindex which give references to articles or chapters of books on specific ships. Click on the tab called Bibliographies at the top of the page and check the Ships section in the left column for other choices.
There are some hearings on shipbuilding programs which are one kind of primary source, but they are not online. For example, Hearings Before the General Board of the Navy, 1917-1950 is a useful collection on 15 reels of microfilm under VA52.A834H43. Or older Naval Affairs Committee Hearings are in the general collection book stacks under VA53.A2.
Other kinds of primary sources might include war patrol reports, papers of the officer who commanded the ship, records of an inquiry into an accident or disaster involving the ship, debates on funding or requirements, papers of ship designers like John Ericsson, ships logs or cruise books, and accounts of battles involving the ship.
There may be some original primary source material in Nimitz Library's Special Collections and Archives Division, so you might want to check with them as well.
Ask a librarian for additional assistance.
Here are some factors to consider in analyzing a battle:
These steps may help you with your research:
Most book reviews come out within a year of the date the book was published. Subsequent paperback editions or reprints are not normally reviewed again, so use the original publication date.
These sources are primarly just book reviews:
These sources are journal databases that contain book reviews:
The best starting point is 2 books specifically on USNA monuments. Both are on the book cases immediately behind the Reference Desk on the first floor.
Notice both are in the call number section V415, which is a call number specifically for USNA. Books in the general collection with this call number are shelved on the 3rd floor. You'll find a number of books on Naval Academy history which will have some information on the monuments.
There may be some coverage of the dedication, traditions, or repairing of a monument in Shipmate, the USNA Alumni Association magazine, or the Capital, the local Annapolis newspaper. Ask a librarian to help you check these.
You probably need to find some information on the person or event which the monument commenorates. Use scholarly encyclopedias or jounal databases to do this.
Nimitz Library's Special Collections and Archives Division will also have information on monuments, so stop by there on the 3rd deck for additonal information.