Naval Historical Center
805 Kidder Breese Street SE
Washington Navy Yard, DC 20374
The Naval Aviation History Office was established in January 1942. The office deals with subject matter on Naval Aviation from its beginnings in 1911 to the present time. It provides research assistance; maintains record collections; and publishes articles, monographs, and books on Naval Aviation.
Founded in 1800 by direction of President John Adams, the Navy Department Library is one of the oldest federal government libraries. Its 150,000 volumes are the nation's most highly concentrated and accessible collections of literature on the United States Navy. The Navy Department Library 's Special Collections comprise two unique collections of naval and maritime-related materials. Books, documents, manuscripts, and pamphlets with imprint dates prior to 1840 are housed in the rare book room. This 9,000-volume collection includes more than 500 pre-eighteenth century items as well as late nineteenth century materials relating to the Civil War. Another collection, consisting of 10,000-volumes, contains post 1840 materials from important naval actions and operations; World War II literature is an important part of this collection. Early serials, maps, and charts are also located in this area. Also of historical interest is a 7,000 volume collection of cruise books. These titles document life, sea duties and operations, ports, etc. on particular ship cruises. Most of this collection is located in general stack area and is available for interlibrary loan. Spanish-American War, World War I and World War II books are in Special Collections and are not available for interlibrary loan.
The Operational Archives Branch, the main repository of the U.S. Navy's operational history, maintains a select group of operational records, histories of naval commands, manuscripts, oral histories, biographies, and personal papers dealing with the twentieth century Navy, especially after 1941.
The Naval Historical Center'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 Ships History Branch collects and maintains information on U.S. Navy ships; provides reference assistance to the Navy and the public; researches and writes the multi-volume Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships.
The Navy Art Collection has over 15,000 paintings, drawings, and sculptures. It contains depictions of naval ships, personnel, and action from all eras of U.S. naval history. Due to the operation of the Combat Art Program, World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam Conflict, and Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm are particularly well represented. Biographical information, photographs, and correspondence relating to the artists represented in the collection are also available for researchers.