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.
The Archives staff can provide limited remote reference services for those who are not able to visit us in person. Our primary mission is to support the Department of the Navy, DOD, and the Department of Veterans Affairs. All other requests will be handled in the order received and as staff time allows. Please be advised that there may be delays depending on the number of requests received and the current workload. Unfortunately, we are not able to undertake large-scale research projects. For reference requests received from the general public, searches conducted by our staff will be limited to one hour per request.
Before contacting us, we highly recommend reading through our Reference FAQs.
If you are interested in conducting research in person, please read our guide on How to Conduct Research at the Navy Archives.