The Navy Department Library built the collection described in this bibliography over a period of many years. These historical manuscripts deal primarily with U.S. naval operations and policy and include information on the outlook and activities of a number of the Navy's past leaders. In terms of chronology, the collection predominantly covers the 19th century, although materials from the 18th and 20th centuries also are included. The library received these documents as transfers from other naval activities or as donations from private individuals. In a few cases, they were acquired through purchase.
With the publication of this bibliography, it is at last possible to give scholars, students, and naval professionals a basic tool that will allow them to use an invaluable collection of historical data. We are deeply grateful to Vice Admiral George W. Emery, USN, who prepared this bibliography as a dedicated volunteer in the Navy Department Library. Admiral Emery is a prominent serving officer in today's Navy and an avid and able student of the Navy's early history.
Many dimensions of the U.S. Navy's past remain to be explored and understood. The Navy's historians hope that this publication will encourage further study of the Navy's rich experience as it has defended the nation and the nation's interests throughout the course of American history.
Dean C. Allard
Director of Naval History