The Naval History and Heritage Command provides reference services, with policies differing by branch as described below. Extensive research must be conducted in person and by appointment. Research can also be obtained through the Naval Historical Foundation or by hiring a commercial researcher.
Please refer to our Notices page for the latest researcher access information, which is subject to change. To contact a staff member regarding reference assistance, consult our directory.
Visit the Library services page for information on reference assistance.
Provides limited research services on artifacts in response to written and telephone inquiries and by appointment. Check our Notices for the latest information on access to our collection, and review our Directions and Access page to plan your visit. Most files on hand relate to the command’s acquisition and custody of objects with a brief explanation of the item's significance. Extensive documentary information on the history of an item, such as technical design and development, operational employment, and serial numbers of major equipment, is more likely held by the Archives Branch.
We regret that the NHHC Archives is temporarily unable to assist public researchers with their requests. This temporary shift in priority will allow us to move into a new facility and address a large processing backlog. We anticipate these tasks will be completed no earlier than Summer 2023. The Archives is currently open to official researchers only. Federal employees and contractors pursuing research for official business are encouraged to schedule an appointment to come to the Archives and conduct onsite research or submit a remote reference request through the Archives email address at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We encourage all researchers to search the digitized materials available on the NHHC website to see if your needs can be met with material already available there. If public researchers require further support, they can request material via a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. Guidance and instructions on this process can be found on the FOIA section of this website. Additional Navy records can be found on the National Archives and Records Administration website.
Additional information on Navy Archives reference service policies can be found on the Research webpage.