Legislation Establishing the Navy Department Library as a Departmental Institution in 1882


August 7, 1882. CHAP. 433 – An act making appropriations for sundry civil expenses of the government for the fiscal year ending June thirtieth, eighteen hundred and eighty-three, and for other purposes…

For the library of the Treasury Department: For purchase of law-books and suitable books of reference for the library of the Treasury Department, five hundred dollars, And for the purpose of limiting the appropriations, the head of each department shall report to Congress, at the beginning of the next session of Congress, the condition of the several libraries in his department, the number of volumes in each, and duplicates in all, and a plan for consolidating the same, so that hereafter there shall be but one library in each department, and the amount of annual appropriation necessary to maintain said departmental library.


Source: The Statutes at Large of the United States of America from December, 1881, to March, 1883, and Recent treaties, Postal Conventions, and Executive Proclamations. Vol. 22. (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1883): 302, 315.

Note: Although the Navy Department Library was established as a departmental institution by an act (law) passed by the Forty-Seventh Congress on 7 August 1882, the library was originally founded on 31 March 1800 by Benjamin Stoddert, the first Secretary of the Navy, in response to a letter from President John Adams. The library, which was attached to the office of the Secretary of the Navy, and located near the White House, was in continuous existence until it was formally named The Navy Department Library in 1882.


Related Resources:

History of the Navy Department Library

Office of Naval Records and Library 1882-1946.

Navy Records and [Navy Department] Library (E Branch).

Scope, Facilities and Size of the Library of the U.S. Navy Department, In the Office of Naval Records and Library.

US Navy Libraries: Historic Documents