Researching particular events in Naval History can be difficult if you donâ€™t know where to look. The Navy Department Library has a multitude of resources available to help in your research, and if we donâ€™t have something we are always available to consult on other possible resources. A great place to start as always is the Frequently Asked Questions on the Naval History and Heritage Command website. Our Online Reading Room under the Navy Department Library webpage is also a valuable resource. Here in the library we have many books, journals, and primary source material available to aide in your research. On our website we also offer bibliographies and research guides, a list of our special collections, and even a portion dedicated to wars and conflicts of the US Navy. Visit our website, give us a call, or better yet come into the library and let us help you find the information you seek.
The Navy Department Library traces its roots to a letter dated 31 March 1800 from President John Adams to Secretary of the Navy Benjamin Stoddert directing him to establish a library that would contain “the best writing…on the theory and practice of naval architecture, navigation, gunnery….”
From that beginning, the Library’s collections have grown to 156,000 books and tens of thousands of manuscripts, periodicals and government documents, with an emphasis on naval, military, and nautical history including foreign navies. The Library is home to the most comprehensive collection of historical literature on the United States Navy.
To enhance and enrich naval and maritime knowledge-based heritage by preserving, acquiring, and providing access to pertinent books, manuscripts, and other print and non-print materials for the benefit of the Navy and the nation.
To increase and foster that heritage by providing access to information using both traditional and non-traditional formats and sources.