In 1943, a sailor serving aboard the aircraft carrier Hornet wrote home to his parents, saying “wherever we go, [we] will be part of America.” Indeed, the Navy’s story is the nation’s story and every Navy story has a history. The Naval History and Heritage Command (NHHC) preserves those stories and interprets that history as the official history program of the U.S. Navy, fulfilling its mission to strengthen the Navy’s effectiveness by preserving, analyzing, and interpreting the service’s hard-earned experience.
With headquarters located in the historic Washington Navy Yard in the District of Columbia, the command includes eleven Navy Museums as well as a detachment that maintains the Navy’s oldest commissioned warship, USS Constitution, in Boston, Massachusetts. A professional staff of historians, archivists, librarians, museum specialists, and naval personnel carries out historical activities and supports the fleet.
The Command oversees Navy programs and instructions related to history, produces publications such as historical analyses, narrative histories, and reference works; advises the Navy, other agencies, and the public on issues related to Navy ship and aircraft wrecks; and administers grants, fellowships, scholarships, and internships related to naval history.
You can help us be even more successful in our mission by a number of ways.
Please visit any and/or all of our 10 official U.S. Navy Museums. Admission is free.
Doing some spring cleaning and interested in finding a good home for your navy history related items? Please keep our Navy Department Library in mind. They are particularly interested in the following Navy-related items:
Cruise books for ships, Seabee and aviation units, and training activities from all time periods. Please check the our cruise book website to determine whether the Library already has a copy. If it does not, please contact the Library prior to sending your donation: (202) 433-4132 or email [email protected].
Diaries, journals, memoirs, scrapbooks, and letters relating to naval service.
Welcome aboard, launching, christening, commissioning/decommissioning brochures.
Change of command and retirement ceremony brochures.
Manuals, ship and unit newsletters, and other official publications.
Documents, reports, and ceremonial certificates.
Menus, shipboard sports and entertainment programs and other paper ephemera.
Postal covers (US Navy and foreign navy ship postal covers)
Naval, nautical, and military history books in all languages.
For more information about gifts and donations to preserve our naval heritage as well as contact information, please click here.
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