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Navy Archives Policies

Collections Access

The NHHC Archives is currently closed to all researchers as we undergo a move to our new facility. We regret that we will be unable to provide any reference services during this time. In addition, the Archives, Photo Archives, and Library will not be able to accept donations during the move.  A reopening date is still to be determined; please check back here for updates.

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.

Unclassified collections will be made available to researchers after processing has been completed. The use of some records is restricted due to information that is exempted from release under the Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. 552, as amended) or due to it being classified. Classified collections are available to the extent allowed by the requestor’s security clearance and need-to-know as defined by Department of Navy (DON) security requirements. The Archives Branch does not control or manage the Executive Order 129584 (Declassification Procedures); therefore, any requests for classified documents are subject to the DON declassification procedures and timeline.

Copyright and Citations

  • It is the responsibility of the researcher to comply with all copyright provisions.
  • The scanning of commercially published books and other non-government publications is prohibited during the life of their copyright protection.
  • Personal papers collections often contain numerous copyright holders. Scanning from personal papers collections will be limited to those materials for which the donor held copyright and has transferred it to the Naval History and Heritage Command and those whose copyrights have expired. Scanned photographs or documents from personal papers collections may not be reproduced in print or online without permission from the Archives Branch.
  • Official government photographs and documents are in the public domain and may be scanned and reproduced in print or online. They may be cropped or resized, but their content may not be altered. It is requested that any photograph or document used in print or online credit the Archives, in the form:

Folder title, Box number, Collection, Archives Branch, Naval History and Heritage Command, Washington, DC

Donations Policy

The Archives, Photo Archives, and Library are not accepting donations at this time. Our donations program is on hold until further notice due to our relocation to a new facility. 

Please continue to check our website for future updates.

Reference Services

We regret that we are not able to respond to reference requests from the general public at this time. Our primary mission is to support the Department of the Navy, DoD, and other government agencies. We will do our best to provide an accurate and timely response to your reference request; however, please be advised that there may be delays depending on the number of requests received and the current workload.  

Before contacting us, we highly recommend reading through our Reference FAQs. 

For general reference inquiries, you may wish to contact the Navy Department Library.

Deck Log Access

For more information on the deck logs maintained by the Navy Archives, the deck logs maintained by other repositories, and how to request copies of deck logs, please visit our Deck Log Access page

Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)

Requests for records from the general public should be submitted under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Please note that you may be charged a fee for this service.


When conducting research in person, the Navy Archives has a policy for the use of personal scanners.  You can find more information on that policy on our Scanning, Copyright, & Citation page.   

Published: Thu Nov 30 09:32:59 EST 2023