Naval History and Heritage Command (NHHC) staff will review donation offers and make selection decisions based on their respective branches’ needs and collection development policies. Gifts are accepted with the understanding that they become the property of the branch, and that the branch may make all necessary decisions as to their retention, location, cataloging, and other considerations relating to their use and disposition. When it is necessary to decline a gift, alternative repositories will be suggested whenever possible.
NHHC is unable to provide appraisals.
Donation guidance specific to particular collections follows.
Donating to the Archives
Materials that enhance the Archives’ collections and support the research of U.S. Navy personnel, historians, scholars, and other researchers are greatly appreciated. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have material you are interested in donating. Do not send unsolicited material.
Every potential donation will be evaluated by the Collections Committee. Detailed information about the object, an account of how you acquired it, and a photograph are required for the Committee to make its decision. Please email email@example.com with the requested information along with clear digital photographs and we will contact you. If you are unable to email, please call 202.433.7873. Due to staff availability and the ongoing move of the Navy's permanent artifact collection, please allow sufficient time for your offer to be fully considered. Refer to our directory and notices pages for the latest access and contact information.
Please include your name, contact information, and object information in your email. This would include an itemized list and description of all artifact(s), dimensions, historical significance of the object, full name of person who is associated with the object, etc. Please do not send us any original items prior to contact from Curator Branch staff.
The Navy Department Library welcomes gifts of books, documents, and manuscripts, as well as financial assistance. Materials and assistance that enhance the library’s collections and support the research of U.S. Navy personnel, historians, scholars, and other researchers are greatly appreciated.
The library is particularly interested in the following Navy-related items:
- Cruise books for ships, Seabee and aviation units, and training activities.
- Diaries, journals, memoirs, scrapbooks (but not scrapbooks only filled with newspaper and magazine clippings), and letters relating to naval service.
- Welcome aboard, launching, christening, commissioning, decommissioning, and transfer to a foreign government ship brochures.
- Change of command and retirement ceremony brochures.
- Manuals, ship and unit newsletters, and other official publications.
- Documents, reports, and ceremonial certificates.
- Menus, shipboard entertainment and sports programs (including "smokers"), and other paper ephemera.
- Naval postal covers.
- Naval, nautical, and military history books in foreign languages.
- Naval war games.
Please do not send books and other items without first contacting the library to describe the material, and to receive shipping instructions. When donating ten or more books, a written list, including author and title of the offered items, must first be provided to the library.
Materials that prove not to be needed in the library may be transferred to other military and government libraries, or donated to nonprofit agencies. Donors may request that books not needed be returned to them.
Tax-deductible contributions may be made to the Naval Historical Foundation to assist the library with acquiring books, manuscripts, archival supplies, training, etc. Please be sure to explain to the Foundation that the money is being donated to support the Navy Department Library.