There are several institutions that hold large collections
of photography of U.S. Navy Subjects. Four major ones are listed here. Three are agencies of the U.S. government, and
one is a private organization.
The three government agencies' collections can be roughly
Photo Service, U.S. Naval Institute
291 Wood Road,
Annapolis, MD 21402-5035
(410) 269 295-1022
In contacting these institutions, keep in mind than none of them can support general
requests or requests for more than three or four specific subjects at a time.
NAVAL HISTORY & HERITAGE COMMAND PHOTOGRAPHIC SERVICES
The NHHC's Photographic Section has extensive pictorial reference files on all aspects of Naval history. Its own collections are the principal source of photographs and other illustrations of U.S. Navy subjects made prior to 1920, and contain a wide selection of unique photography from later years. It also holds thousands of references to Naval photographs held by other repositories.
The Photographic Section provides LIMITED RESEARCH SERVICES in response to written and telephone inquiries. Such requests should be as specific as possible concerning names, dates, places, ship hull numbers and other details of the views wanted.
Send research requests to:
Naval History & Heritage Command (CUP)
Washington Navy Yard
805 Kidder Breese SE
Washington, DC 20374-5060
Telephone: (202)433-2765, or: DSN (Autovon) 2882765
If extensive research is required, it must be conducted in person. The NHHC's photographic reference facilities are located in the Dudley Knox Center for Naval History, Building 44, in the Washington, D.C. Navy Yard. They are open to the Public from 9:30 A.M. to 4 P.M. on weekdays (Holidays excluded). APPOINTMENTS are RECOMMENDED to ensure the availability of reference staff.
AVAILABILITY OF REPRODUCTIONS OF NAVAL HISTORY & HERITAGE COMMAND PHOTOGRAPHS
The NHHC's Photographic Section has no official photographic reproduction system.
If patrons wish to visit the Section's offices to copy file photographs, or can arrange for a private photographer to do this work, unrestricted photos will be available for this purpose IN THE SECTION'S OFFICES ONLY. THERE WILL BE NO LOANS. There is one copy stand, available for visitors' use, but no other photographic equipment. Working areas with nearby electrical outlets can be provided for patrons who bring their own copy equipment.
In addition, the Naval Historical Foundation, a private, nonprofit organization, has made arrangements to reproduce photographs in the NHHC's collections at no expense to the Government. This service is offered to the Public as a possibly more convenient alternative to the copy access mentioned above, and rates are comparable to those charged by other institutions for similar services.
The National Archives' Still Picture Branch maintains most Official Navy Photography taken from about 1920 to 1982, including pictorial coverage of World War II and the Korean and Vietnam Conflicts. It also holds older photographic files of the Army, Marine Corps and many Civilian Government Agencies.
The National Archives can provide VERY LIMITED RESEARCH SERVICES in response to written and telephone inquiries. Such requests should be as specific as possible concerning names, dates, places and other aspects of the pictures wanted.
SEND REQUESTS TO:
Still Picture Branch (NNSP)
National Archives & Records Admin
8601 Adelphi Road
College Park, MD 20740-6001
Telephone: (301) 837-0561
If extensive research is required, it is advisable to conduct it in person. The National Archives' research facilities are open to the public on weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. They are located in College Park, Maryland, a northern suburb of Washington, DC.
Reproductions of most photographs in the National Archives collections can be obtained through several private firms that have made arrangements to reproduce the National Archives' photos. These private firms offer varying types of services and prices.
Since this system is complex and can not be summarized briefly, persons interested in obtaining National Archives photos should contact the Still Picture Branch (NWCS-Still) to obtain a complete information package on the services and fees of the various private firms involved in the National Archives' photographic reproduction system.
The Department of Defense (DoD) Visual Information Center (previously called the Department of Defense Still Media Records Center) maintains the official still photographic collections of the Armed Forces from 1982 to the present. Earlier official photography of the Navy, Army, Marine Corps and Army from 1955 and Air Force have been transferred to the National Archives, except for Air Force photography up to 1954, which is held by the National Air and Space Museum.
HOW TO OBTAIN DoD PHOTOGRAPHIC RESEARCH SERVICES:
The Defense Visual Information Center can be contacted at:
1363 Z Street
March AFB, CA 92518-2717
Telephone: 919-413-2522 or (DSN) 348-1522
The United States Naval Institute, a privately-funded professional organization for the sea services, has a large collection of Naval photography. Subject matter covers all eras, but emphasizes the 20th Century. The Naval Institute has also obtained a number of important independent photo collections, notably including those of the late Naval author, James C. Fahey, and of the old "Our Navy" magazine.
The Naval Institute Photographic Library can provide LIMITED RESEARCH, emphasizing services to members of the U.S. Naval Institute. It also can provide reproductions of many photographs in its collections.
U.S. Naval Institute
291 Wood Road
Annapolis, MD 21402-5035