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Special Collections & Archives

The rare or unique holdings of Nimitz Library.

Overview

Below are collections of SC&A material that we've digitized and made available online. In the right hand column you'll find links to other online digital repositories with collections of USNA-related material and books similar to those held by SC&A.

Digital Collections - click the heading to view collections

midshipmen artworkNaval Academy History
The Naval Academy History Collection, through primary and secondary sources, tells the stories of the founding and organization of the Academy, its early days of operations, the experiences of some of its first students and faculty, the centennial celebrations of the Academy, and the genesis of the school seal. Included in the collection are early published and unpublished histories, personal recollections, private correspondence, guidebooks, and several of the founding documents of the Academy. ...

 

image of the USS SomersThe Somers Affair
The U.S.S. Somers (brig), an experimental schoolship for naval apprentices, sailed from New York on September 13, 1842, Commander Alexander Slidell Mackenzie in command. The vessel’s course took it first to...

 

Army-Navy Game program coverArmy-Navy Football
On November 28, 1890 the cadets of the United States Military Academy and the midshipmen of the United States Naval Academy met at West Point to play the first Army-Navy football game...
photo of an advisory groupAdvisory Groups
The Advisory Groups subgroup includes group and individual member photographs of the Academic Advisory Board, who are faculty members that guide the academy's curriculum, and the Board of Visitors, who serves in a capacity similar to most universities' boards of trustees and is composed of both civilian and military members. ...

 

photo of Mahan HallBuildings & Grounds
In addition to photographs of the existing academy, the Buildings and Grounds subgroup includes images of former buildings and views of the yard. The subgroup also contains images of monuments, memorials, historical architectural plans, and aerial views of the academy. There are also some photographs of Cemetery Point and the buildings and grounds on what is now Naval Support Activity Annapolis on the north bank of the Severn. ...

 

photo of a classroomFaculty and Staff
In addition to its holdings of textual records, Record Group 405, Records of the United States Naval Academy, includes over 8,500 historic photographic prints. The photographs represent images of the Academy's superintendents...

 

midshipmen marchingMidshipmen
In addition to its holdings of textual records, Record Group 405, Records of the United States Naval Academy, includes over 8,500 historic photographic prints. The photographs represent images of the Academy's superintendents...

 

superintendent photographSuperintendents
In addition to its holdings of textual records, Record Group 405, Records of the United States Naval Academy, includes over 8,500 historic photographic prints. The photographs represent images of the Academy's superintendents...
Annual Register cover pageAnnual Register of the United States Naval Academy
Originally published as the Official Register of the Officers and Acting Midshipmen of the United States Naval Academy (see below), the register's primary function is to list the academy midshipmen and their relative academic standing, as well as providing a directory of the academy's academic and command staff. At various times throughout its publication, the Annual Register also detailed the academy's curriculum, admissions regulations, entrance examination questions, award winners, and specifics of the summer practice cruises. The Annual Register of the United States Naval Academy ceased publication in 1970....

 

Official Register cover pageOfficial Register of the United States Naval Academy
The Official Register of the Officers and Acting Midshipmen of the United States Naval Academy was first published in 1858. In 1865, the Government Printing Office took over its publication under the new title, Annual Register of the United States Naval Academy (see above), but the publications have always had the same primary function listed in the Annual Register's description. ...

 

photo album coverClass Photograph Albums
Prior to the publication of the first issue of the Lucky Bag in 1894, the role of the yearbook at the Naval Academy was played largely by class photograph albums. These albums, many of which are the product of the studios of F. M. Zuller and F. Gutekunst, consist of portraits of individual midshipmen, as well as occasional photographs of Naval Academy faculty, buildings, and grounds. Consisting of 23 volumes, the collection spans from the Class of 1860 through the Class of 1902. ...

 

Lucky Bag coverThe Lucky Bag
In 1894, the inaugural issue of the Lucky Bag was produced by an editorial board of five midshipmen and has been published annually by the First Class of each succeeding class of midshipmen. The Lucky Bag, from its first issue through the 1970 issue has been digitized as part of a partnership with the Naval Postgraduate School, the Naval War College, and the Internet Archive....

 

Naval Academy Catalog coverNaval Academy Catalog
The Naval Academy Catalog, known originally as the Catalogue of Information, details the Naval Academy's curriculum and course offerings. The catalog also offers information on admissions requirements, Naval Academy life, faculty...
letterJosiah G. Beckwith Letters
The Josiah G. Beckwith Letters, comprising 1 linear inch of documentation, span from February 1853 until January 1855. Produced during his two years as a midshipman in Annapolis, Beckwith's letters discuss various aspects of student life at the Naval Academy, including academics, conduct and discipline, summer cruises, and the activities of classmates....

 

letterRoscoe C. Bulmer Journal
The journal was kept by Midshipman Roscoe C. Bulmer while on a cruise aboard the cruiser U.S.S. San Francisco. The journal, which spans from May 26, 1895 to April 16, 1896, includes detailed descriptions of the various European ports. The volume is illustrated by numerous photographs, mechanical drawings of ships and equipment, and maps (both printed and hand drawn)....

 

letterWilliam Frederick Durand Journal
The William Frederick Durand U.S.S. Mayflower Journal of Practice Cruise spans from June until August of 1879. The volume, kept by William Frederick Durand, is an account of the First Class summer practice cruise at the United States Naval Academy aboard the screw tug U.S.S. Mayflower. The journal also features a list of officers and cadet engineers (page 1) and a drawing of the Mayflower affixed to the last page of the journal....

 

letterJohn Porter Merrell Johnston Letters
The John Porter Merrel Johnston Letters were written by Johnston while a midshipman at the United States Naval Academy. The collection consists of almost 200 items of correspondence spanning the period of June 1933 through May 1937 and a 1932 group photo showing his father, Captain R. H. Johnston. The collection is composed of letters, a few telegrams and greeting cards. ...

 

letterHenry Mylin Kieffer Scrapbook
The Henry Mylin Kieffer Scrapbook spans from 1907 until 1911. The scrapbook focuses primarily on Kieffer's athletic, social, and religious activities while a midshipman at the Naval Academy. The scrapbook is composed of photographs, press clippings, correspondence, event programs, visiting cards, invitations, original artwork, and diary entries. ...

 

letterRichard Mueller Nixon Letters
The Richard Mueller Nixon Letters, comprising 10 linear inches of documentation, span from 1923 to 1930, with the overwhelming majority written between 1926 and 1930, while Nixon was a midshipman at the United States Naval Academy....

 

letterWar of 1812
The War of 1812 Collection is a joint venture between Special Collections & Archives, Nimitz Library and the United States Naval Academy Museum. The collection consists of journals kept by American sailors, the diaries of British officers...

 

letterFrom Preble Hall - The Oliver Hazard Perry Collection
"We have met the enemy and they are ours." Those historic words, written by Oliver Hazard Perry to General William Henry Harrison, announced the American victory over the British at the Battle of Lake Erie on September 10, 1813...
archival imageDaniel D. T. Nestell Papers
The Daniel D. T. Nestell Papers, spanning from 1852 to 1911, focus primarily on service and experiences of Nestell as an Assistant Surgeon in the United States Navy during the Civil War. The papers describe naval career of Daniel Nestel...

 

letterFrancis A. Osbourn Papers
The Francis Osbourn Papers, comprising .5 inches of documentation, primarily span the career of Francis Osbourn in the Twentieth Regiment Indiana Volunteers and the Sixth Regiment U.S. Colored Troops, from 1862 to 1866. The papers, mostly letters, focus on duties, experiences and observations, and requests for items from home by Osbourn....

 

letterJohn E. Hart Letters
The John E. Hart Letters, consisting of 1.5 linear inches of documents, span the period from 1861 to 1863. The letters focus on the time spent by Hart aboard U.S.S. Vincennes and U.S.S. Albatross, both of the West Gulf Blockading Squadron...

 

propaganda leafletAmerican Propaganda in Japan
Psychological Warfare has become an inextricable part of any modern military campaign. The battles for the hearts and minds of both allies and opposition can prove just as vital as those fought on the ground, at sea, or in the air...

 

letterJapanese Propaganda in the Philippines
Immediately following their attack on Pearl Harbor, the military leaders of the Empire of Japan turned their sights on the Phillipines. As naval and ground assault forces pressed their attacks, the Japanese forces also engaged in psychological warfare...

 

letterC.H. Paulsen Papers
The C. H. Paulsen Photograph collection consists of 62 photographs taken by Carley Herbert Paulsen, United States Naval Reservist, during the aftermath of the Allied Invasion of Normandy in June, 1944. The photographs are of Omaha, Utah...

 

letterBattle Reports and Analyses
Throughout the Second World War, the United States Navy issued various information bulletins to the officers of the Fleet in order to promulgate vital information on and analysis of recent wartime operations. Combined with action reports filed by commanding officers throughout the Fleet, these documents offer an in-depth accounting of Naval actions in the Pacifc and Alaska, Naval support for the Allied invasions of Europe, and amphibious operations in both the European and Pacific theaters....

 

letterCombat Photographs
Throughout the Second World War, United States Navy combat photographers cataloged a conflict that defined a generation. Embedded in units and ships throughout the fleet, the photographers captured timeless images of aerial operations...

 

letterEdwin Jesse DeHaven Papers
The Edwin Jesse DeHaven Papers, comprising ten linear inches of documents, spans from 1832 to 1928. The papers document, in varying levels of detail, the naval career of Edwin De Haven, with special focus on the Grinnell Arctic Expedition...
exhumation photoPaul Weiss Papers
The collection consists mostly of material related to the recovery of the body of John Paul Jones in 1905. Weiss oversaw the excavations at the former cemetery for foreign Protestants in Paris where research indicated the remains of John Paul Jones...

 

image of John Paul JonesTwo Letters
In 2002, the Nimitz Library, U.S. Naval Academy, received a generous gift of two 18th-century letters relating to John Paul Jones from Faith McCurdy of Cold Spring Harbor, New York. One letter is from George Washington to John Paul Jones...
finding aid pageManuscript Collections Finding Aids
Special Collections & Archives at Nimitz Library is home to over 400 manuscript collections, spanning the 18th to the 20th centuries. Included among the collections are approximately 100 ships' logs, journals, letterbooks, order books, and watch...

 

finding aid pageArchives Finding Aids

Other digital collections

Digital Maryland hosts a collection of photos of life at USNA in 1893 and a collection of buildings and grounds photos from the years 1861-1904.

Internet Archive hosts our digital Lucky Bags, Annual Registers, and Catalogues, but there is more Naval Academy-related material there as well. This blog post describes some of the highlights.

Hathi Trust is another online repository with a lot of Naval Academy-related material. Among the highlights there are:

News & Updates

USNA Digital Collections introduces USNA Photographs - Superintendents, featuring portriats of the Naval Academy Superintendents from Commander Franklin Buchanan through Vice Admiral Rodney P. Rempt. 03-05-2019

USNA Photographs - Midshipmen welcomes the upload of 55 photographs of the Naval Academy Baseball Team, spanning from 1870 to 1982. 02-2019

USNA Photographs - Buildings & Grounds, totalling 1,588 images of Naval Academy buildings, grounds, monuments, and aerial views, is completed. 01-04-2019