Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

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Navy Archives Policies

Collections Access

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 on-site research or submit a remote reference request through the archives email address at archives@navy.mil.

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 currently accepting donations at this time. We anticipate being able to begin accepting donations again after August 1, 2022.

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)

The Navy Archives is only able to provide limited amounts of photocopies/scans to those who are not able to visit us in person. We limit each requester to 100 pages per month. For larger requests that cannot be fulfilled by the Archives staff, the general public has the option to submit a request under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Please note that you may be charged a fee for this service.

Photocopies/Scanning

For remote reference requests, there is no charge for photocopies or scans of documents.  Please note - we will provide no more than 100 pages per month per requester

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: Wed Apr 27 15:12:40 EDT 2022