Inventory of the Naval Records Collection of the Office of Naval Records and Library

Staff of the Old Military and Civil Records Branch of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) compiled this inventory. All of the Record Group 45 documents are located at NARA, 700 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20408, and all inquiries about these records should be made to them. The Naval History & Hertitage Command provides this online version of the inventory as a service to researchers.


Acknowledgements iii
Preface v
Introduction 1
  Secretaries of the Navy 4
  Assistant Secretaries of the Navy 5
  Under Secretaries of the Navy 5
  Assistant Secretaries of the Navy (Air) 5
Records of the Office of the Secretary of the Navy, 1798-1921 (1-211) 6
  Correspondence, 1798-1918 6
      Letters and Telegrams Sent 6
      Letters and Telegrams Received 15
      Other Correspondence 26
  Directives, 1798-1913 27
  Muster Rolls, Payrolls, Officer Rolls and Related Records, 17981-1889 28
  Fiscal Records, 1798-1890 32
  Personnel Records, 1803-97 36
    Records Relating Primarily to Civilian Employees 36
      Letters Sent 36
      Registers of Letters Received and Other Registers and Lists 37
    Records Relating to Naval Officers' Service 38
      Letters Sent 38
      Letters Received 40
      Other Correspondence Concerning Naval Service 42
      Registers and Lists Pertaining to Applicants for Positions and Reinstatements 42
      Registers and Lists Pertaining to Orders 44
      Statements of Service and Compilations of Service 45
      Other Registers and Lists 49
    Records Relating to Enlisted Men 49
  Legal Records, 1807-83 50
      General Records 50
      Records Relating to Blockade Running 51
      Prize Case Records 52
      Records Relating to Navy Yard Cases 54
      Records Relating to Contracts 55
  Registers and Other Records Pertaining to U.S. Naval Vessels, 1797-1919 55
  Records of Chief Clerk John W. Hogg, 1875-92 56
  Records of the Assistant Secretary of the Navy, 1898-1921 56
Records of the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, 1887-1945 (212-301) 57
  Records of the Assistant for Naval Operations 57
  Records of Divisions, 1897-1940 59
    Ship Movement Division 59
    Communications Division 61
    Division of Operating Forces 63
      Air Operations 63
      European Operations 64
      U.S. Atlantic Fleet 65
    War Plans Division 65
  Records of the Historical Section, 1917-26 66
      War Diaries and Related Records 66
      Carded Reference Compilations 67
      Histories 69
  Records of the Office of Naval Intelligence, 1887-1927 70
      Correspondence and Records of Naval Attachés 73
      Correspondence Concerning Disturbances in Foreign Countries 74
      Miscellaneous Records Primarily Relating to Foreign Nations 77
  Other Records, 1945 78
Records of Boards and Commissions, 1812-90 (302-385) 78
  Board of Navy Commissioners 78
      Journal of Meetings 79
      Letters Sent 79
      Letters Received 81
      Reports 85
      Contract Records 86
      Miscellaneous Records 87
  Naval Inventions Boards 90
      Board for Examination of Naval Inventions 90
      Permanent Commission 91
  Naval Policy and Planning Boards 92
  Naval War Board 92
  Officer Examination Boards 93
      Naval Examining Board for Officers Seeking Promotion 93
  Commission to Ascertain the Cost of Removing the Naval Observatory 94
  Other Boards 95
Records of Bureaus, 1823-1933 (386-422) 95
  Bureau of Construction, Equipment, and Repair 95
  Bureau of Ordnance and Hydrography 96
  Bureau of Yards and Docks 99
    Timber Reservations 99
      Letters Sent 99
      Letters Received 99
      Other Timber Reservation Records 100
    Other Records 101
  Bureau of Equipment 102
  Bureau of Navigation 102
Records of Shore Establishments, 1814-1919 (423-498) 103
      Baltimore Naval Station 103
      Boston (Charlestown) Navy Yard 104
      Gosport (Norfolk) Navy Yard 104
      Havana, Cuba, Naval Station 105
      Mare Island Navy Yard 106
      Mound City, IL, Navy Station 106
      New Orleans Naval Station 107
      New York (Brooklyn) Navy Yard 107
      Newport Torpedo Station 110
      Pensacola Navy Yard 110
      Philadelphia Navy Yard 112
      Portsmouth, NH, Navy Yard 113
      Rio Grande Station 113
      U.S. Naval Academy 114
      Washington Navy Yard 114
Records Created and Organized by the Office of Naval Records and Library (499-674) 116
    Collections for 1775-1910 116
    Collections for 1910-27 118
    Compiled and Other Records Relating to Naval Service 121
    Records Relating to the Acquisition and Publication of Documents in the Collection 122
      Records Relating to Donors 122
      Records Relating to Publications 123
    Copied Records Relating to the Early Navy 125
  Records Acquired From Other Executive Departments, 1794-1903 127
      War Department Records 127
      Treasury Department Records 129
      State Department Records 129
  Records Acquired From Foreign Sources, 1775-1915 130
  Records Acquired From Private Sources in the United States, 1775-1908 134
      Correspondence 134
      Logs, Journals, and Related Records 135
      Registers and Lists 136
      Fiscal Records 138
      Other Records 139
  Records Relating to the Confederate States Navy, 1861-65 141
    Confederate States Navy Department 141
      Correspondence 142
      Muster Rolls, Payrolls, Shipping Articles, and Pay Records 143
      Logs, Journals, and Diaries 144
      Fiscal Records 145
    Confederate Army Records 146
    Other Records 146
  Appendix A: List of Subseries of Letters from Officers Commanding Cruises and Expeditions (Entry 40) 149
  Appendix B: List of Volumes in Letters Received from Commanding Officers of Squadrons (Entry 45) 152
  Appendix C: List of Muster Rolls and Payrolls of U.S. Navy Vessels (Entry 68) 173
  Appendix D: List of Muster Rolls and Payrolls of U.S. Navy Shore Establishments (Entry 69) 196
  Appendix E: Glossary of Abbreviations Used in Communications by Naval Forces Operating in European Waters (Entries 229, 231, 245 and 272) 211
  Appendix F: List of War Diaries of Vessels, 1917-27 (Entry 254) 212
  Appendix G: List of War Diaries for Naval Commands, Convoys, Stations, and Detachments (Entry 254) 236
  Appendix H: Geographic Designations Used in the U.S. Navy Area Files (Entries 500, 501, and 517) 246
  Appendix I: File Designations Used in the U.S. Navy Subject Files (Entries 502 and 520) 248
  Appendix J: File Designations Used in the Confederate Navy Subject File (Entry 503) 259
  Appendix K: Outline of Logistics File (Entry 522) 262
  Appendix L: List of Vessels For Which There Are Logs and Journals (Entry 608) 270
  Appendix M: List of Logs and Journals (Entry 608) 274
  Appendix N: Naval Officers' Personal Letterbooks (Entry 603) 294
  Appendix O: List of Muster Rolls, Payrolls, and Related Records for Confederate Vessels (Entry 651) 304
  NARA Microfilm Publication Reference in Inventory 18 305
  Index 307




This publication was made possible through a contribution in memory of Rita P. Shea.


The following additional individuals made archival, editorial, and technical contributions to this publication:

Ivadnia Scott-Cora cheerfully undertook the enormous task of transcribing handwritten entries into machine readable format.
John VanDeeredt wrote descriptions of records that were added to the inventory after the original compilation was complete and incorporated them into the inventory.
Robert Gruber substantively edited the completed manuscript for adequacy of archival description and records coverage, taking a somewhat unformed manuscript and making it clear and comprehensible and identifying areas where more work was needed.
Sandra Tilley copy edited the completed manuscript and improved its usability by making it grammatically and stylistically correct and by identifying places where information was confusing or incomplete.
Rosemary Land input the editorial corrections and did yeoman service formatting the manuscript so the designer could work with it. In many cases, she provided a backup to the editor by catching problems and inconsistencies.
Brian Barth designed and typeset the completed publication in record time and created a handsome look to an eminently readable volume.
Susan Carroll produced a comprehensive index that will facilitate the use of the publication for users for years to come.




This inventory describes Records of the Naval Records Collection of the Office of Naval Records and Library, Record Group (RG) 45. The nearly 3,000 cubic feet of material in RG 45 span the years from the Revolutionary War to World War II. The Office of Naval Records and Library collected most of the official files created by the Office of the Secretary of the Navy before 1897 as well as significant historical records created by the bureaus, boards, stations, and offices of the Navy Department before World War II.

NARA's descriptive program produces a variety of publications--inventories, lists, guides, reference information papers, and databases--to help people find their way through the voluminous records in our holdings. To best serve our researchers and disseminate information in an efficient and cost-effective manner, these publications are increasingly being made available in electronic as well as microfilm and paper formats.

As the nations' recordkeeper, NARA safeguards records of all three branches of the Federal Government. NARA meets an almost unlimited range of information needs, ensuring access to records on which both the credibility of government and the accuracy of history depend. We welcome any comments you may have on the information products and services NARA provides. Please e-mail your ideas to


Archivist of the United States  

The NHHC's Early History Branch and the Navy Department Library gratefully acknowledge the National Archives and Records Administration for their support and encouragement in posting this online edition.