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Office of Naval Records and Library 1882-1946

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Navy Department

Office of Naval Records
and
Library
* * *
1882-1946

(This draft contains the notes and editorial revision
suggested by Commodore D.W. Knox.)

Captain J.W. McElroy,
United States Naval Reserve
Washington, D.C.
1 June 1946

Contents

Chapter Page
  Introduction  i
I. Period from 1882 to 1917  1
    1. Library.  
    2. Naval Records.  
II. Period from 1917 to 1921  11
    1. World War I and Active Postwar Era.  
III. Period from 1921 to 1939  24
    1. Era between World Wars I and II.  
IV. Period from 1939 to 1946  38
    1. World War II and Postwar Era.  
Appendices
A. Annual Appropriations and Personnel Allowances, 1884-1946  ii
B. Publications of the Office, 1882-1946  iii
C. Part I: Problems Involved in Systematic Collection and Classification of War Documentation  iv
  Part II: Procedures Suggested for Examination and Adoption of Plans  v
D. Roster of Officers Attached to Staff, 1882-1946  vi
E. Scope, Facilities and Size of Library  vii
F. Weekly Tabulation of Operational Reports  viii

Introduction

1. This historical narrative was prepared at the request of the Office of Naval Intelligence and in accordance with the Director of Naval History directive, Serial CL-162 of 14 February 1945. It is based principally on printed and manuscript records in the files of the Office of Naval Records and Library, the most important of which (for its recent accomplishments and history) were the day to day War Diary and Progress Reports maintained during the war by officers of the staff. Personal recollections of these officers frequently "spliced out" such official sources and provided considerable additional and valuable material.

2. Although the directive called for an appraisement of activities from 1919 to date, it was believed a convenient opportunity to review the entire history of the Office of Naval Records and Library from its inception of 1882. Such additional information, it is believed, will be useful in providing a background of prewar functions and purposes for those not familiar with its earlier existence, as well as for planning and appraising the place of the Office of Naval Records and Library in the postwar naval establishment.

Part I: Period from 1882-1917 -- Origins to World War I

The Naval Library was established as a departmental institution and became recognized as such through an Act of Congress in 1882, which directed each head of the department to ascertain and report at the beginning of the next session of Congress "...the conditions of the several libraries in his department, number of volumes in each, and plan for consolidation of the same so that there should be but one library in each department."1 By a general order of 23 March2 in the same year, "to collect and record information of value in war or peace", an Office of Naval Intelligence had been created in the Bureau of Navigation, where to facilitate its establishment and carry out its purposes, the new intelligence branch was combined with the existing bureau library.

The departmental library, like other offices of the Navy, at this time had only recently moved into new quarters in the State, War and Navy Building, then under construction at the corner of Pennsylvania Avenue and 17th Street, where it was "...located on the fourth floor of the east wing looking over the beautiful grounds of the White House, the Potomac River and the Park in the distance. The reception and reading room was 50 feet wide by 55 feet long and it had extended up two stories. Overhead was a beautiful dome of stained glass. The ceiling of this room was frescoed and studded with gold stars to represent the firmament."3

On 9 June 1882 Professor James Russel Soley, USN, was assigned to duty in the Bureau of Navigation as officer-in-charge of the newly consolidated departmental library. The appointment proved to be an extremely fortunate one from every point of view, for not only was Soley exceptionally well-qualified and enthusiastic for the work, but more important, continued his sympathetic interest in the library after 1889 when he was appointed Assistant Secretary of the Navy. He at once began formulating plans to salvage and collect the few rare books still scattered through the different bureaus; to gather up old prints and photographs of naval battles and American or Foreign war vessels; to subscribe for all historical, professional and scientific periodicals; to classify and catalogue this material; and generally to lay the foundation of the present-day naval library.

Meanwhile, the first legislative appropriation for books for the departmental library was made and became available on 1 July 1883.4 In addition to an appropriate of $2500 for the purchase of technical books and magazines, this Act of 5 August 1882 also made provision for one clerk and one assistant messenger to be carried on the Secretary's office appropriation for the care of the library. After this original grant, however, Congressional generosity towards the new library waned in the next session for in the annual report for 1885, the Chief of Bureau of Navigation reported:5 "Department Library. During the past year the Library has continued to receive valuable additions by gift and by purchase, and the classification and cataloguing of books has been nearly completed. The reduction of the annual appropriation from $2500 to $1000, made by the appropriation Act of last year, is a serious obstacle to the improvement and growth of the Library, which has been steadily in progress since 1882."

Thus within a few years of the date of its establishment, the Naval Library was located in permanent quarters designed for the purpose in the new State, War and Navy Building; provided for in matériel and funds by Congressional Acts; staffed with an authorized complement of civilian employees; and supervised and directed by an exceptionally qualified naval officer.

___________

1. Public Act No. 217 of 7 August 1882. In response on 15 November 1882, Captain John Grimes Walker, USN, Chief of the Bureau of Navigation, reported to the Secretary of the Navy that there were approximately 7,000 books on hand in the departmental library, mostly relics of old ships' libraries, and further stated that these were of comparatively little value.

2. General Order No. 292 of 23 March 1882. In 1889 the Office of Intelligence was transferred to the Secretary's Office, where it remained until the outbreak of the Spanish American War, when it was again transferred to the Bureau of Navigation. The Library was left under the Secretary until 1919.

3. Rear Admiral Elliot Snow, CC, USN, Historical Sketch of the Navy Department Library and War Records, March 1926. (Manuscript in files of Naval Historical Foundation.)

4. Public Act of 5 August 1882.

5. Report of the Secretary of the Navy, 1885, Vol. I. The report continued, "...There is certainly no object for which money may be expanded more productive of direct benefit than the formation and maintenance of the collection of books of professional reference for the Navy Department, and the crippling of this important work cannot be compensated by a saving to the Government of $1500...."

Naval Records

Early naval records like those in most other departments of the Government were considered the property of the various bureaus, offices, or even officials themselves, and usually remained in the haphazard custody of their respective originators. The Act of 17906 which separated naval from military functions by creating a department of the Navy, provided under Section 3, that the new Secretary of the Navy was authorized and empowered to take possession of all the records, books, and documents relevant to naval matters, then deposited in the office of the Secretary of War.

To this inheritance of original archives, the Secretary of the Navy's office had added many of its own plus those created by the Board of Naval Commissioners which was established in 1815 under his superintendence.

Section 8 of the Act of 1842 which reorganized the Department of the Navy into several major bureaus, and repealed the Naval Commissioners' Act,7 directed "...that the books, records, and papers now belonging to the office of Naval Commissioners shall be distributed among the bureaus according to the nature of their duties respectively; and the Secretary of the Navy is hereby authorized to provide for each bureau such books of records and accounts . . . as may be further necessary..."

The nature of the duties and activities of the new Bureau of Navigation proved to be most varied and widespread and as a consequence, this branch inherited many more records from the Secretary's and Commissioners' offices than did any of the other newly created bureaus. It was not until 1881, however, that serious thought was given to any plan for the Navy Department itself to collect and publish some of the source materials in the bureaus' files.8

When Captain John Grimes Walker, USN, was appointed Chief of the Bureau of Navigation in 1881, the first departmental project of such a nature was undertaken when he began the task of collecting records of Union and Confederate naval operations during the war between the states with a view to eventual publication of the material. The work was carried on under his direction for three years until the value of the Bureau of Navigation's efforts to prepare its civil war records for publication was recognized in July 1884 and legislation enacted similar to that which provided funds and personnel for the departmental library in 1882. This latest Act carried the first appropriation for collecting, compiling and arranging the naval records of the War of the Rebellion,9 whereby a sum of $2640 was provided for the services of one clerk and two copyists to perform work on naval records is distinct from another fund of $1800 for one clerk and messenger in the library.

Although separate appropriations were thus made for the clerical staffs working with war records and in the library, both activities, under the joint title of "Office of Library and Naval War Records", were supervised by Professor Soley. In his dual capacity as officer-in-charge of the Library and Naval War Records, Professor Soley acquired additional space on the fifth floor adjacent to the Library in the State, War and Navy Building for a "record office," and here the work of copying and preparing material for publication "went forward rapidly." The original complement of three workers in the War Records office was increased in 1888 when Congress appropriated sufficient funds to employ six additional clerks.10

In October 1889, Lieutenant Commander F.M. Wise, USN, succeeded Professor Soley as librarian and "in charge of War Records", when the latter was appointed Assistant Secretary of the Navy. By fortunate coincidence, the Office of Library and Naval War Records was at this time transferred from the Bureau of Navigation and placed under the Secretary's Office. Further evidence of the change in opinion as to the importance of the work of the "records office" likewise is indicated in a circular letter to the Chiefs of the Bureaus, over the signature of B.F. Tracy, the Secretary of the Navy, which directed that "...the officer-in-charge of the Naval War Records Office will hereafter be designated, Superintendent, Naval War Records."11

Through the efforts of the newly appointed Assistant Secretary of the Navy, additional personnel were authorized next year and the two staffs assigned to the Library and Naval War Records were increased to three and fourteen clerks respectively. At this figure, office personnel remained practically constant for the next 28 years until the influx of World War I records in 1918 necessitated further expansion of the office force.

In 1894, the sum of $15,000 was authorized for printing the official records of the Union and Confederate navies in the War of the Rebellion, the first in a long series of Congressional appropriations provided annually until 1915.12 Five volumes of Civil War material were printed during 1895, 1896 and 1897 under the direction of Captain Richard Rush, who had succeeded Wise in 1893, and one volume followed each year thereafter during the incumbency of Professor E.K. Rawson, USN, as Superintendent, Naval War Records until 20 September 1902. A paucity of source material of Confederate origin (confirmed by appearance in print of these first volumes) resulted in a request that an agent be appointed in the War Records Section to seek out and collect official records of both the Union and Confederate Navies from other than sources available at the Department. "...The agent authorized by Congress for that purpose has continued his inquires, especially for Confederate material, of which there is little to be obtained, the greater part of the official documents having been destroyed at the close of the War. He has interested many people to make searches for such papers as are pertinent for publication. The amount for traveling expenses for this purpose has been reduced from year to year in the interest of economy, but at present is sufficient for all practical purposes."13 Seventeen additional volumes were published between the year 1902 and World War I, during a period in which Mr. Charles Stewart, formerly Chief Clerk of the office, was acting Superintendent of War Records. "...The Naval War Records furnish the best data for the study of the naval history of the Civil War and the methods by which a legal blockade was maintained along nearly 4,000 miles of coast line . . . The operations of the Confederate Navy are completely presented here for the first time in history. These records, including the construction, equipment, and performance of ironclads, cruisers, torpedoes, and torpedo boats, stand as a monument to the energy, skill, and daring of Confederate naval officers and sailors . . . The compilers of these records have endeavored to make these volumes compact in material, and in addition general operations, have relegated to a second series the reports, orders and correspondence as is indicated in the preface to each volume relating to:

  1. The condition of the Union Navy in 1861, before the commencement of hostilities, and to its increase during the progress of the war, including the annual and special reports of the Secretary of the Navy and chiefs of various bureaus.
  2. The construction and outfit of the Confederate Navy, including the privateers, setting forth also the annual and special reports of the Confederate Secretary of the Navy and chiefs of bureaus.
  3. Statistical data of all vessels, Union and Confederate.
  4. Returns of naval and military property captured.
  5. Correspondence relating to naval prisoners....14

Meanwhile, the comparatively neglected earlier records of the Navy Department were beginning to receive attention as a result of separate legislative Acts passed by Congress in 1904 and 1906.15 The first of these in 1904 directed that all naval records, etc., "...from the beginning of the Navy Department to the War of the Rebellion shall be transferred to the Secretary of the Navy to be preserved...."; while the second, two years later, directed that all records, etc., in the War of the Revolution then in any of the executive departments be transferred to the Secretary fo the Navy to be preserved, indexed and prepared for publication.

Congress was being awakened to a belated realization that many official records of the period of the Revolution were scattered throughout Archives of several states, historical societies, libraries and private collectors, and a third piece of legislation in 191316 authorized the collection of military and naval records of the Revolutionary War with a view to their publication, and appropriated for the purpose $25,000 for the War Department and $7,000 for the Navy Department. "...The Commission which started this work very soon decided that their funds would limit effort to a few states and decided to concentrate on Massachusetts, Virginia and North Carolina. Even in this restricted field it was further impossible to be thorough. For example all that could be done in Massachusetts was to photostat from the State Archives, the Massachusetts Board of War matters, orders and letters (2,914 documents), and from the Harvard University library, Hamilton's Journal of the Vincennes Expedition (77 documents). The Commission ceased its work in 1914 on account of exhaustion of funds...."17

On 4 March 1915, the Legislative Act consolidate the two appropriations heretofore made for the Library and the Office of Naval Records into one lump sum and the office received the title of "Office of Naval Records and Library."

___________

6. Public Act of 30 April 1978, Sec. 1.

7. Act of 31 August 1842, Sec. 8.

8. Act of 26 August 1842, for instance, about the time or reorganization of the Navy Department, authorized and directed a Congressional Joint Committee on the Library to supervise the publishing of "an account of the discoveries made by the exploring expedition under the command of Lieutenant Wilkes of the U.S. Navy." Another Congressional Act on 20 February 1845, again without direct Navy participation or representation, decided that Lieutenant Wilkes' completed report would be distributed by the Library of Congress.

9. Act of 7 July 1884.

10. Rear Admiral Snow's "Historical Sketch." In March 1926, "when his manuscript was prepared," one of these six workers added to the staff in 1888 was then in charge of the "Archives Division," Miss Nannie Barney. Much of the author's material on the origins of the Naval Library apparently was based on the first-hand information provided by Miss Barney.

11. B.F. Tracy, Secretary of the Navy, Circular Letter, 31 October 1889.

12. See Appendix A for data on "Annual appropriations, for Personnel, and Printing for the Library and Naval War Records, 1884-1946."

13. E.K. Rawson, Report of the Superintendent of Library and Naval War Records, 31 July 1901, in the Annual Report of the Secretary of the Navy for 1901.

14. Charles Stewart. Report of the Superintendent of Library and Naval War Records, 29 September 1903, in the Annual Report of the Secretary of the Navy for 1903.

15. Public Acts No. 189 and 336 of 27 April 1904 and 29 June 1906, respectively.

16. Public Act No. 402 of 2 March 1913.

17. D.W. Knox, "Our Vanishing History and Traditions," USN Institute Proceedings, January 1926.

Part II: Period from 1917-1921 -- Period of World War I and Postwar Era

World War I may be said to being the transition in the Office of Naval Records and Library, between an era of custodianship and primary concern with records of the past and a period of active selection, collection and classification of data on current naval operations.

In 1917 with the publication of Volume 27, the Office of Naval Records and Library suspended further work on this Civil War records project and shifted its emphasis to matters of contemporary historical importance, such activities of the Office having increased considerably. All during the war the Library was the mecca for news correspondents and others utilizing its reference facilities for information on treaties, international law, and subjects related to the war, and in addition, a great many ranking naval officers, allied officials and members of the government were frequent visitors. Josephus Daniels, Secretary of the Navy in President Wilson's cabinet, during his long tenure of office, used the Library facilities more than any previous Secretary. At other times, the reading room was also used for confidential conferences on anti-submarine warfare devices, models of which could be displayed on the library table, or as a lecture hall where escort duties and the convoy system were explained to embryonic subchaser skippers.18

Prior to 1917 it was generally accepted that the principal function of the section was to take charge of the Navy Department's earliest books, manuscripts, historical material and old records and no plan to collect and to make current records available for contemporary and future historical or official purposes apparently had ever been contemplated by the Office of Naval Records. The idea that such a project should be undertaken by the Navy seems to have originated as a result of an announcement on 3 June 1918 that the War Department was beginning work on and proposed to "...publish a History of the War of 1917...." In a letter soliciting active cooperation, Secretary Newton B. Baker informed the Secretary of the Navy that the Army, in its War History, tentatively planned to include one volume treating of naval operations.19 Instead of appointing a naval officer to serve as liaison with the Historical Branch in the War Department for that purpose however, the Navy decided to initiate a similar work and produce a separate story of naval operations during the war.

Within a few weeks, Admiral Sims commanding United States Naval Forces Operating in European Waters, who had been instructed on 25 June 1918 to ascertain what was being done in the matter of collecting historical data on English, French or Italian naval operations by the respective allied powers,20 reported after a comprehensive survey that Great Britain already had a large staff of experts organized under the War Cabinet compiling and arranging material for its naval, military and air force histories. The naval section under Sir Julian Corbett, comprising four officers and twelve civilians especially qualified for the duty, had been granted access to all records, reports, dispatches and ships' logs in custody of the Admiralty. Sims proposed21 that a similar arrangement be instituted at his headquarters and that the American staff be authorized to visit other naval bases for the purpose of gathering data of historical value.

On 18 August 1918, shortly after such a recommendation was made, the Secretary of the Navy issued a Circular Notice22 stating that "...a History Section has been established under the direction of the Chief of Operations...." and directing that the collecting of historical material be carried on until the end of the War. The circular emphasized that no hampering or interference with the war effort should be permitted to occur in obtaining information. Recognition of the importance of the historical aspects of naval operations and the growing volume of current war records resulted in the appointment of Rear Admiral W.W. Kimball, USN (Ret.) as head of the new section.

In London, in compliance with the Secretary's order, Admiral Sims in October 1918 created an Historical Section in the staff of the U.S. Naval Forces Operating in European Waters. In an exchange of dispatches and correspondence with OPNAV, about this time, Admiral Sims stressed the importance of adding trained historians to his staff, but before properly qualified officer could be selected for the historical project and sent to London, the Armistice was declared. Though the cessation fo hostilities on 11 November 1918 precluded sending an history section abroad, it released many of the Admiral's staff whose service could be utilized for the collection of source materials for the proposed naval history. By early 1919, Commodore (then Captain) Dudley W. Knox, USN, previously of the Plans Section, who had been designated head of the project in London, had a staff of approximately 20 officers and 50 enlisted men engaged in the task of collecting documents of historical value in connection with the proposed history of naval operations in the war against the Central Powers.

This collection was principally composed of Admiral Sims' weekly reports to Chief of Naval Operations -- the headquarters War Diary; the intelligence division's weekly information bulletins; the monthly operational reports received in London from other Force Commanders; and the Admiral's personal official correspondence on the general naval policy, strategy and administration of our forces in Europe. There likewise was included considerable material from the files sent to London after the Armistice by the subordinate commands as they became inactivated in England, Ireland, France, Italy, the Azores and Gibraltar.

Where the London staff found gaps to exist in their files, efforts were made to obtain copies of missing portions from appropriate English, French or other sources. The collection also included statements, summaries, and narratives prepared by those staff members or officers most concerned or familiar with certain aspects of operations in the several areas of naval activities, such material being incorporated under the appropriate headings.

The system based somewhat on the experience of the Admiralty's Historical section, comprised four general archival divisions of operational material:

  1. War Diaries, Log Books, etc.
  2. Telegrams, by chronology within geographical areas.
  3. General correspondence, similarly filed.
  4. Subject files -- documents whose bulk, scope or nature made them inappropriate for chronological files.

The telegrams were eventually merged with the chronological correspondence file -- the two forming an area file, geographically subdivided. The collection of historical data on naval operations in European waters was completed by the London staff and forwarded to the Navy Department in August 1919.

Meanwhile in Washington, the Historical Section, established in August 1918 under the direction of the Chief of Operations, had partly lost its autonomous identity. Recognizing their common interests, and considering the younger as a lusty "offshoot" of the old Office of Naval Records and Library, the Secretary of the Navy on 1 July 1919 ordered the Historical Section "...and the Library be incorporated in the Office of Naval Intelligence under the Director of Naval Intelligence and the Chief of Operations."23

The Secretary's order coincided with passage of the first legislative appropriation24 "for collecting World War Records"; a sum of $20,000 being earmarked for the latter purpose in addition to the usual annual amount of $21,000 set aside for the Office of Naval Records and Library.

The order of 1 July 1919 incorporating the Departmental Library and the Historical Section in the Office of Naval Intelligence was timely inasmuch as several previous directives had expanded activities of the Historical Section where overlapping with Office of Naval Records and Library functions seemed inevitable. Since both activities, at this time were fortunately under a single head, the demarcation between "old" and "current" records was recognized and accepted as marking the respective spheres of the original Office of Naval Records and the newer Historical Section. A few years later as World War I records outgrew their original secret or confidential classifications, this distinction gradually became less and both interpretation and scope of the work of the Office of Naval Records was broadened to include all operational records regardless of the date of origin.

There was nothing inconsistent with this earlier policy and a directive from the Secretary of the Navy to all bureaus, naval districts, Commander U.S. Naval Force in Europe, and Commanders in Chief of the Asiatic, Pacific and U.S. Fleets dated 13 June25 which read:

  1. "It is proposed to make the Historical Section of the Office of Naval Operations the depository for all files and all other material that will contribute to the writing of the History of the Navy in the War with the Central Powers.
  2. Therefore, it is directed that, as each unit or activity is closed, the files of that unit, together with the file cases shall be immediately shipped to the Chief of Operations, and marked for the Historical Section, Room 1736, Navy Building, Washington, D.C.
  3. Many of the minor units, both in the United States and abroad, have already been closed and their files should be shipped at once. Such are certain naval districts, many training camps, schools, minor aviation stations, etc. The same principle shall be applied when dealing with the files of the various headquarters, as soon as Peace has been declared and their activities, so far as pertains to war, have ceased."

The first expansion of the activities of the Historical Section had been the establishment on 1 January 1919 of a Pictorial Branch whose purpose was to collect and file under proper references photographs illustrating activities of U.S. and foreign navies. A follow up in the form of an ALNAV26 on 14 March requested that copies of photographs and motion pictures of naval activities, ships, bases, personnel, and incidents taken during the war be forwarded to the Historical Section.27 Subsequently a letter over the signature of the Secretary of the Navy addressed to all Bureaus stated:

"A photographic Division of the Historical Section has been established, in which will be gathered and filed all the photographs of historic interest taken of Naval activities during the war. As the issuance of a Pictorial History of the War is contemplated, it is desirable for the Historical Section to have copies of all Navy photographs of interest; and it is requested that each Bureau furnish to the Historical Section, Room 1732, Navy Department, two copies of all such photographs it has, and that each contractor who was engaged in Navy work be requested to furnish such photographs."

Now closely related during the post war period, were the functions of the original Office of Naval Records and Library and the Historical Sections (which in theory at least had been combined under the Director of Naval Intelligence) may likewise be seen in the following extracts from the Secretary's Annual Report dated 1 December 1920:28

"...The Historical Section is specifically charged with the collection, copying, and classification, with a view to publication, of the naval records of the war, and the acquirement of books, periodicals, photographs, maps, and other publications, documents, and pictorial records of the Navy relating to the war. This work has been efficiently carried on with the limited funds and personnel provided.

The large consignment of material received from United States naval headquarters in London, comprising copies of records, reports, dispatches, and orders concerning the operations of our forces in Europe, has been indexed and filed, and is available for use and reference. From the files of the departmental bureaus quantities of reports, dispatches, and other material have been obtained and placed in the historical files. A vast number of papers from ships and stations which have gone out of commission have been received.

Thousands of photographs, maps, and posters have been collected and mounted for preservation and use.

A large war map, showing various naval activities during the war, has been made and is a graphic representation of the scope of the Navy's operations...."

There are other striking parallels between conditions prevailing in the Office of Naval Records and Library after World War I and the present transition period. There was then, (a) an expressed fear of delay in obtaining vital increases in personnel to collect and compile comparatively recent operational records; (b) a hope for establishment of a suitable berth in the Department to attract a qualified civilian librarian; and (c) the need of establishing a proper naval museum.

"...The records of the great war form a body of historical material of incalculable value, and their collection and preservation is too important to be neglected. The material on hand and in sight is so large that to handle it the force of the Historical Section must be increased. This work can be done now with less difficulty and at lower cost than if it is deferred.

We should not, as was the case following the Civil War, allow a generation to elapse before these records are compiled. The people are entitled to this information within a reasonable period; and while it may be years before a comprehensive and authoritative history of the World War is written, we can and should provide for the preparation and publication of accounts of all important naval activities, written while they are fresh in the minds of those who took part in them...."29

Similarly as a result of wartime expansion of activities and space considerations, the departmental library has been forced to move three times during the recent war, and the need of skilled supervision and coordination today is as great as when the Secretary wrote in 1920:

"...The Naval Library, which contains more than 50,000 volumes and many rare manuscripts, could be made of much greater value if a competent librarian were secured. The law at present provides for a chief clerk, and for years the work was conducted under the direction of that official, but the position has remained long vacant, owing to the small compensation offered, $2,000, and the impossibility of securing, at that salary, a competent and experienced man.

Unifying the working forces of the Naval Library and the Historical Section, both of which are now under the same general supervision, would result in economy and the utilization of all the force to the best advantage.

Organized under a competent librarian, the library would be able to furnish officials of the department and others engaged in naval work of research, complete references on any subject desired. These references should extend to books in other libraries on technical or naval matters. There is increasing demand from many sources for information of this character, and the Naval Library should be able to furnish it, and could easily do so if an experienced man who possesses a knowledge of naval history and affairs as well as of library methods is secured...."30

Incidentally, twenty-five years ago, there was also the same urgency in the arguments for and requests that a Naval Museum be established:

"...The need of a naval museum in Washington in which can be gathered the historic relics of the Navy in all our various wars, representing notable incidents in the service, where can be displayed models of our various types of ships, specimens of typical aircraft like the NC-4 which made the first flight across the Atlantic; examples of naval ordnance and other implements of war, showing the progress made from time to time; and providing a place where naval officers and other may deposit their trophies for permanent preservation. I would suggest that the Naval Affairs Committees of Congress direct the department to prepare plans for such an institution to be ready when the time is propitious for the appropriation of sufficient funds for its construction. A considerable collection of articles of naval interest has already been gathered and placed in the National Museum.

The preservation in graphic form of historical events is so important that I would urge that Congress make appropriations for the painting of subjects illustrating naval activities and naval encounters and naval contribution to victory in the World War...."31

Between 1917 and 1921 -- a period coinciding roughly with the duration of World War I and its active post-war era -- there were to major organic changes in the Office of Naval Records and Library. First, restoration of the Library to the Office of Naval Intelligence from the jurisdiction of the Secretary's Office, and second, revival of its earlier historical functions which had by that time, almost ceased to exist.

About 1900, when the Office of Intelligence was restored to the Bureau of Navigation, the Office of Naval Records and Library was retained under the direction of the Secretary's Office. This separation arrangement was continued during the Meyer reorganization of the Navy Department in 1909 which placed intelligence under the Aid for Operations and again when the Office of Operations was legalized in the Act of 1915.

As a direct result, work of both the Navy Library and Intelligence Sections suffered; the latter because lack of its own sources created delays and uneconomical answering of requests for data; the former, because accessioning of new materials practically ceased and its valuable collections of historical manuscripts and printed documents were seldom consulted or used.

To remedy this situation, the Office of Naval Intelligence made repeated and urgent requests that the Library be returned to its cognizance. It was argued that the primary function of the Library was closely related to "intelligence", and in addition, many administrative handicaps were cited, such as the fact that a considerable number of requests for information, whether from the General Board, Plans Division, other offices or bureaus of the Navy Department, or from members of Congress, involved search both in the archives of the Office of Naval Intelligence and the printed sources in the Navy Library. Finally, by order of the Secretary of the Navy on 1 July 1919, the Library was again brought in to the Office of Naval Intelligence.

The revival of the historical function of the Library is likewise attributable to World War I. Under the date of 9 April 1928, Commodore D.W. Knox, then as now, Officer-in-Charge of the Office of Naval Records and Library wrote:

"...Until that time there was almost no effort made to follow the general practice of our Army and all foreign Navies and Armies in preserving historical records. The documentary collection of the Office of Naval Records practically stopped with the year 1885. Many records of much historical value between that date and the World War as well as others antedating 1885, have been destroyed by the various bureaus and offices when their administrative value had lapsed and filing space became crowded. The work of filling in the gap of historical records between about 1885 and the World War is yet to be done -- preliminary to the completion of the new federal Archive Building.

In 1918 Congress provided for the collection and archiving, preliminary to publication, of the World War records of the Navy, which work is actively in progress and will be completed in two or three years. When it is finished there will remain the need of continuing the function of safeguarding records of more recent naval operations against loss, by archiving them from time to time, after they have ceased to be of current administrative value. This work is closely related to the Library function because of the many requests for information, a part of which may be found in printed sources and the remainder in the manuscript collection.

While the Library supplements the Office of Naval Intelligence principally in matters pertaining to the past, it is also useful in current subjects on account of the technical and other periodicals regularly subscribed to by the Library, which legal restrictions prevent the various bureaus from purchasing under their own appropriations. Experience since the moving of the Library to space adjacent to the Office of Naval Intelligence and placing it under the organization of the Office of Naval Intelligence has amply justified the changes which are now in effect...."32

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18. Snow's "Historical Sketch." Based on personal recollections of those who served in the Library. One recalled that while Theodore Roosevelt was Assistant Secretary of the Navy, he took active interest in Library matters, and later as President telephoned the Librarian from the White House on one occasion "that the shades were drawn unevenly" and another that "growing plants should not be placed in the Library windows."

19. Secretary of War, letter 3 June 1918.

20. OPNAV Dispatch to Admiral Sims, 22 June 1918.

21. Sims, Cablegram to OPNAV, 30 June 1918. Lieut. Tracy Barrett Kittredge, U.S.N.R.F., one of Sims' officers, undertook this study. From this and subsequent experience acquired in World War I, Kittredge, who returned to active duty in April 1942, prepared and submitted such an excellent and thorough analysis of the "Problems Involved In Systematic Collection And Classification Of War Documentation; Office of Naval Records," that it has become the standard and basis for archival activities in the Office of Naval Records and Library since. (See Appendix C)

22. Secretary of the Navy, Circular Letter, 18 August 1918. In Washington, History Section headquarters was located in close proximity to the principal offices of the Department in the Navy Building; but in this new nine wing building which had been constructed between 17th and 19th Streets on Constitution Avenue (on land reclaimed by draining part of the Potomac mudflats), space originally assigned to Office of Naval Records and Library proved too damp and untenable for its purposes. As a consequence, the Library did not relinquish its original quarters in the State, War and Navy Building until several years after the Historical Section had been consolidated with the Library and Manuscript sections as the "World War Records Section" of the Office of Naval Records and Library, and all three branches quartered in the Navy Department Building.

23. Secretary of the Navy, Order of 1 July 1919. This restored the Library to the Office of Naval Intelligence with which it was originally established in 1882. In 1889, it had passed into the jurisdiction of the Secretary's Office.

24. Legislative Act of 1 July 1919.

25. Secretary of the Navy, Circular Letter, 13 June 1919. Ultimately the Office of Naval Records and Library, as the logical depository for all operational records, inherited this material.

26. ALNAV 86, 14 March 1919.

27. H.F. Lunenburg. Chronological History of Office of Naval Records and Library. 15 July 1931.

28. Secretary of the Navy Annual Report, 15 November 1920.

29. Ibid.

30. Ibid.

31. Ibid.

32. D.W. Knox, Commodore, USN (Ret.). "Memo on organization of Office of Naval Records and Library." 9 April 1928.

Part III: Period from 1921 to 1939 -- Era between World Wars I and II

In the twenty odd years before the outbreak of World War II in September 1939, the Office of Naval Records and Library developed from a comparatively little known departmental activity to one of national repute in the field of naval archives and history.33 This transition was accomplished despite a steady reduction in personnel and in the face of such further handicaps as the fact that the Library itself did not move to and merge with the other activities until 1923; that the historical function operated on a quasi-independent basis until 1927; and that funds for actual publication were not authorized until 1934.34

When Commodore (then Captain) D.W. Know, USN, (Ret.), was assigned to duty as Officer-in-Charge on 1 August 1921, the Office of Naval Records and Library consisted of the Library, the Old Records Section, and the World War Section.

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33. Its broadened policy and widened field may be observed in Commodore Knox's memo for Director of Naval Intelligence, dated 18 December 1928, which succinctly stated that the mission of Office of Naval Records and Library was: "To acquire, systematically arrange, and preserve, manuscript, pictorial and technical Naval information; and to make such information readily available to the Naval service and the public." (In the files of Office of Naval Records and Library.)

34. D.W. Knox, in a letter to Committee on Naval Affairs, dated 7 February 1929 stated: "It seems pertinent for me to add that the number of clerical employees attached to this office has been steadily reduced, from a peak of 32 in 1922, when 17 were employed jointly on Old Naval Records and in the Library, while 15 were engaged on World War work. The present number is 22 . . . This notwithstanding a substantial increase in work of the Library and Old Records."

 

The Library

The Library proper was not only the central source of books, magazines and reference for the administration of the entire Navy Department, but, as has been shown, its facilities were frequently utilized by Members of Congress and other departments of the government. Acting Superintendent of the Library (since 1890), Mr. Charles Stewart, civilian Chief Clerk of the Office, was relieved in 1921 by Lt. Colonel H.K. White, USMC, (Ret.), who was the first in a succession of officers assigned as librarians during the next ten years. Commander J.H. Sypher, USN, (Ret.), served as Superintendent of the Library from March 1923 until November 1925; Lt. Commander Richard Wainwright, Jr., USN (Ret.), followed from November 1925 until January 1929; and Captain H.C. Cocke, USN, from the latter date until June 1931 when as an economy measure, the Superintendent's position was consolidated with that of the Officer-in-Charge, and Commodore Knox took on this additional duty.

Old Records Section

The Old Records Section, which formerly had been mere custodian of an unorganized mass of old papers and documents, under the immediate supervision of Commodore Know during this period, gradually evolved into the most valuable and principal original source of naval history in the country. Containing more than million old documents and manuscripts dating from the beginning of the Navy to the late 1880's, these records were frequently consulted by civilians as well as technical historians and researchers. In 1923, when the Manuscript collection and Library were moved from the State, War and Navy Building, there was discovered a considerable amount of the old records which had never been properly archived, but remained boxed or otherwise unarranged and in bulk. As a consequence, data was not available except by an expenditure of considerable time and effort and many inquiries involving pensions, claims and other matters had not been answered.35

In the process of archiving these papers, a great amount of additional source material which had been lost, misplaced or forgotten in other departments was found and added to the collection.

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35. D.W. Knox, letter dated 7 February 1929: "After coming to duty here it was necessary for me to give considerable study to the question of an appropriate scheme of archives into which all of the heterogeneous matter could be permanently incorporated systematically. This was obviously necessary to avoid tremendous future losses of time in accomplishing the immediate task which Congress had set us as well as in all future research work. The most eminent archivists in the city were consulted & a comprehensive plan adopted which was appropriate for the old records as well as the new. The office personnel was then reorganized to handle archiving in a systematic way, (which had not previously been undertaken seriously) so that there would be a steady and orderly flow of documents from the selection desks, through the classifiers, into the archive files. To date, approximately 400,000 letters, telegrams, and reports have been selected, classified and systematically archived; while several times that number have been examined, rejected as not of sufficient historical importance to archive, boxed, and placed in storage. Substantially all of the archiving has been completed and during the last year the selection of material for printing has been pursued."

World War Section

The World War Section, established in 1919 by an Act of Congress and charged with "The collection or copying and classification, with a view to publication, of the Naval Records of the World War, etc." likewise had been able to accomplish very little toward preparing material for publication. The collection received from London was the only group of papers properly and thoroughly archived, while virtually all other World War naval files still remained to be classified and archived into the general system.36

The three reserve officers -- Ensign S.P. Knut, Lt. (jg) P.B. Whelpley, Lt. Comdr. Edward Breck -- who had originally been assigned to the Office fo the purpose of preparing war records for publication, were released to inactive duty in June 1922 and the work thenceforth carried on by a succession of regular officers in accordance with the usual naval rotation policy.37 These officers concurrently supervised the activities of the Pictorial Section, and after 1934 when funds for printing were authorized, the Publications Section.

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36. When, for the purpose of making a single appropriation after 1927, both of these sections were consolidated, a memo to Captain William Beggaley, USN, in Chief of Naval Operations, dated 12 August 1932, suggested that the distinction still be observed between two types of materials and activities in the Office of Naval Records and Library. "World War Records" Section, then under Lieutenant Charles B. McVay III, USN; and the older, original section, designated "Old Records" under direct supervision of the Office-in-Charge. (In the files of Office of Naval Records and Library.)

37. See Appendix D for Rosters of officers and other personnel assigned to Office of Naval Records and Library for World War to present date.

Related Activities

In addition to the work of its three main branches, the Office carried on some minor historical writing projects, printing seven monographs on various subjects38 connected with naval operations (with about fifteen others in preparation) before a joint Congressional Committee on Printing, in June 1922, forbade further publications of World War I historical material.39

The best overall picture of its functions, and most comprehensive description of its accomplishments, despite inadequate funds and insufficient personnel which handicapped the work of the Office of Naval Records and Library between the two World Wars are these paragraphs from the Annual Report made by the Secretary of the Navy in 1923:

HISTORICAL SECTION AND LIBRARY.

  1. The following report of the activities of the historical section and library is submitted for the year ending June 30, 1923.
  2. The principal activity of the historical section has been the continuation of the work of collecting, arranging, and filing documents pertaining to the Navy's activities in the late war. This work has been done in accordance with the general policy approved by the Secretary of the Navy during the preceding fiscal year. The office force has been so organized and the work so systematized that greater progress has been made in archive building than in any previous year.
  3. However, the small office force still prevents a reasonably early completion. Estimates of the time needed to complete the work are necessarily very inaccurate, but probably 10 years will be required on the present basis. In submitting the last estimates to the Budget office, it was pointed out that probably five years could be saved by about doubling the subordinate clerical force, without increasing the supervisory force. The latter is at a minimum, needed to carry on the work at all, yet this minimum is capable of supervising a greater subordinate force. The speeding up of the work through increasing the number of lower-paid employees should therefore result in a saving of overhead costs for about five years, amounting in the aggregate to a saving of about $100,000.
  4. The historical value of the archives in constantly increasing with the addition of new matter. The archives are also valuable in furnishing ready reference on World War matters. Many inquiries are received and answered daily from officials of various departments of the Government, historical societies, and other public and private persons. Foremost among these is the Veterans' Bureau, which requires verification of circumstances surrounding the deaths of naval personnel during the World War in the establishment of claims against that bureau.
  5. During the year approximately 35,000 documents were added to the archives. About 9,000 pounds of rejected material, from which papers possessing historical value have been extracted, were stored at Bellevue. A number of photographs and charts have been added to the pictorial collection.
  6. Preparation of monographs to cover some of the Navy's principal activities during the World War has continued but publication of them has been stopped by the action of the Committee on Printing. By special authority one monograph, in the hands of the Public Printer at the time when the ban was placed upon further printing, will be completed and issued at an early date. A pamphlet summarizing casualties to both naval and merchant vessels during the war has been printed and issued. Twenty monographs have reached such an advanced state of preparation as to be practically ready to be placed in the hands of the Public Printer.
  7. On June 30, 1922, congressional provision for three reserve officers for the section expired. It should be renewed and made permanent, or else provision should be made for the employment of professional historians in a civil status. It is the deliberate opinion of many eminent scholars and naval officers who have studied the question, that the professional historian must participate in the preparation of naval history of merit. Historical writing is a profession in itself, in which naval officers can rarely hope to become proficient. Both professions must collaborate in the work. The reserve officer positions may be filled with duly qualified historians as the work progresses and as suitable persons can be found.
  8. Work upon the compilation of the General index to the "Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion" has continued, though progress has been slow owing to the need of periodic diversion of the limited personnel available to other pressing work. The general index can not be completed in less than one year.
  9. Early in 1923 the Navy Department library was moved from its original quarters in the old building to the present Navy Department Building. An immediate and great increase in its activities ensued, and its value to the department resumed the position it was intended to have. The new location permits a greater economy in expenditures for magazines and books of a technical nature for the various bureaus and offices of the department.
  10. The Library includes the Office of Naval Records, in which is filed a great number of old original manuscripts of much historical and traditional value. Efforts are being made to add to this collection and also to the collection of pictures pertaining to the 'Old Navy', with a view to making the library a center of naval tradition.
  11. The Office of Naval records is frequently called upon to furnish old naval historical data, not only by the Pension and other Government offices, but also by numerous historical and patriotic societies, as well as by individuals. This function has been given careful attention in an effort to meet the demands of the country at large for information of the past deeds of its Navy."40

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38. See Appendix B for list of publications of the Office of Naval Records and Library.

39. The early casual relationship between the Historical Section and the Office of Naval Records and Library before their actual consolidation in 1927, is indicated by a single sentence in Secretary Denby's Report for 1921, which summarized their activities as follows: "The activities of the Historical Section and the Library and the Naval War Records Section continue with a view to the eventual publication of the Naval records of the World War."

40. SECNAV's Report 1923, pp. 160, 162 -- Edwin Denby.

Naval Museum

Another collateral duty of the Office of Naval Records and Library, the long-discussed naval museum, finally received some slight but hopeful impetus when on 28 April 1930, in an order originating in the Office of Secretary of the Navy, Commodore Knox was appointed Curator for the Navy Department.41 This secondary function logically was placed under the naval records branch in view of the close relationship between written and printed sources on the one hand, and graphic records, objects and pictures on the other. The Curator was responsible for the collection and preservation of objects, trophies, and relics of historical or inspirational value to the Navy, except those permanently assigned to the Naval Academy and other naval stations, and had cognizance over matters connected with the proposed Naval Museum at Washington, D.C. From thenceforth, pending construction of a new Navy Department building with suitable space and museum facilities, relics and pictures of past naval eras have been stored or recorded as to custody elsewhere.

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41. Secretary James Forrestal, in a letter to all ships and stations, dated 28 April 1945 (15 years later) stated: "...The functions of the Curator for the Navy Department are hereby placed under the cognizance of the Chief of Naval Operations who will promulgate such instructions with respect thereto as may be deemed necessary...."

Publications

In 1922 as the printing of Civil War Documents (a work which had begun in 1894) neared completion, a Congressional Committee on Printing forbade further expenditures for this purpose pending a time when the publishing of such historical source material might be undertaken jointly by all concerned. Permission was granted, however, to complete the printing of a monograph then in the printer's hands but further work on many other proposed subjects was stopped for the next dozen years. Finally, in 1934 through the President's interest in naval matters, an appropriation was obtained from Congress for the printing of documents pertaining to the Quasi-War with France and the Barbary Wars. The publication section's work on these volumes commenced in April 1934 and carried on until seven volumes of Naval Documents, Quasi-War with France and six volumes of Naval Documents, United States Wars with the Barbary Powers eventually were brought out.42

President Roosevelt was much impressed with the first of these volumes and highly complimented Commodore Knox: "...You have done a splendid and useful piece of work in get out these volumes...." and further indicated his pleasure by concluding the letter "...and I hope the Congress will keep the appropriations going year after year...."43

To make this personal communication a matter of official record, on 28 December 1938 Commodore Knox sent a copy, via Director of Naval Intelligence, to Chief of Naval Personnel stating:

  1. "I enclose a copy of a letter received today from President Roosevelt and request that it be filed with my record.
  2. The matter referred to is the project for printing early naval manuscript records of which the first series of seven volumes relating to the Quasi-War with France has been completed. The first volume of the documents pertaining to the Barbary Wars is now on the press, and this series will also run approximately seven volumes. In his foreword to the Barbary volumes, the President says, 'It is my earnest hope that the printing of naval manuscripts relating to the War of 1812 and other phases of our national life, may follow'.
  3. Inasmuch as the printed volumes are sold at cost to the public, the project is intended to be self-liquidating and the probability of obtaining appropriations from Congress over an extended period of years, therefore, seems to be good."

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42. See Appendix E for a complete list of these and other works published by the Office of Naval Records and Library.

43. F.D. Roosevelt, letter dated 27 December 1938 (beginning typically "My Dear Dudley".)

Public Relations

In their methods of conducting routine business between the two World Wars, Commodore Knox and his staff made many friends for the Navy Department in general, and the Office of Naval Records and Library in particular. Cheerfully and carefully carrying out its stated purpose of rendering assistance to any civilian or extra-departmental researchers interested in naval subjects, the office received much favorable comment and publicity, and in the files of the office may still be found many interesting clippings. of this period.

On 15 November 1931, a feature article in the magazine section of the Washington Sunday Star, describing some of the important Governmental Libraries in various agencies in the District of Columbia, included the following:

"...In the large, well arranged Library of the Navy Department in the Navy Building are more than 77,572 volumes, records and documents on Navy Science, reference, biographies, and history. Here are Admiral Dewey's original papers and also those of Admiral Farragut and Admiral Porter. . . . (The Navy Library) also has a file of 35,000 photographs pertaining to ships, personnel and other Navy subjects. . . . Its most ancient original documents are copies of the instructions given to the Navy Commanders to Capture British boats, signed by Henry Laurens, President Continental Congress, April 3, 1776...."

Additional paragraphs are devoted to the branch libraries under or affiliated with the Navy Library, such as those at the Navy Medical School, Hospital, the Aviation Section and finally, an excellent description of the Library of the Naval Observatory and the priceless rare publications in its custody.

On 1 April 1935, a few year later, in the Los Angeles Times, Mr. Harry Carr who conducted an popular newspaper column "The Lancer", contrasting his treatment as a civilian in the Navy and War Departments wrote:

"...The Chair Warmers. The fault is with the officers of the General Staff in Washington. Brethren they are just plain snooty. I cite two incidents.

I wanted to get the Army records of Fort Tejon near Bakersfield. After a long delay the War Department labored and brought forth the date of its founding and abandonment -- which could have been found in any school library.

With some trepidation, I went to the Navy Department and asked to see some records. They gave me a desk in the Bureau of records, a special library assistant, the use of a stenographer, sent a car for me every morning and dug up so many old log books and records that I lived for two weeks in a lather of excitement...."

In the Washington Post of 22 November 1931, another magazine story gave considerable space to an article on the Pictorial Section of the Office of Naval Records and History. Under the caption "THE U.S. NAVY'S FAMILY ALBUM" it declared that "If the 70,000 Pictures Comprising the Gallery Tucked Away in Room 3629 of the Navy Building Were Ever Mounted in Albums, a New Building Would Be Needed to House Them. They Embrace History of the Navy and Allied Subjects . . . And Still Service a Valuable Purpose." The collection consisted mostly, it was said, of actual photographs of officers and men, ships and crews, guns and armament, sea chases and battles, and of naval subjects of all kinds, as well as reproductions of drawings, sketches and paintings of historical events from the days before the invention of photography.

Historical pictures made up the most interesting part of the collection and from the time of the war for independence, one great event typical of naval action in every war was described by the author in considerable detail.

As its pictorial branch and other facilities became more widely known through such media, an increased interest in the records of the Navy's part in the historical development of the nation reflected itself in numerous requests from the general public.44

To facilitate and expedite making suitable replies, the filing system of the Pictorial Section was overhauled and in the interest of accuracy, many corrections made in the nomenclature. Lt. Commander Taylor, USN, the officer then performing a tour of duty in the Office of Naval Records and Library reported that:

"Certain shore establishments were filed under several different names. These were changed to the title of the shore station appearing in the Navy Directory of the year of the picture.

Many ship's pictures were obtained from the Press and filed under the title given them in the press, -- Destroyers called battleships, battleships called cruisers, cruisers called transports, etc. In addition, all the British transports were marked U.S.S. The ship titles were changed to the correct nomenclature as listed in the Ships Data Book of the year the photograph was taken.

The German and Austrian pictures were filed under Enemy ships. These were changed to German and Austrian respectively."

From time to time other articles concerning the Office of Naval Records and Library were published. One appearing in the U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings for January 1926, describing the rapidly diminishing source materials of the Navy's history and traditions, pleaded the cause of preserving these vanishing naval archives.45 The author (Commodore Knox) stressed the importance of recovering records of the Navy's origins and early history both as a means of understanding the past and as a guide to planning for the future of the nation.

Appealing especially to former officers of the service (and their descendants or families) to make available any documents discovered among "family papers", the articles not only evoked widespread interest but caused the editors to print a Special Notice inviting attention to the subject.

"...The Board of Control is so impressed with the timeliness and importance of the subject matter of Captain Knox's article in this issue, entitled 'Our Vanishing History and Traditions,' that it deems it worthy of special notice, and sincerely trusts that there will be created such a lively interest as will result in the adoption of a successful plan."46

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44. D.W. Knox in a Circular, dated 15 April 1936, authorized one of the office employees on his own time and with his own materials "To supply photographs for other than official purposes. . . . In order to meet the frequent demands for such service and as a convenience to the public."

45. D.W. Knox, "Our Vanishing History and Traditions," in U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings, January 1926.

46. Plans ultimately resulted in establishment of the Naval Historical Foundation. This non-profit organization accepts gifts of documents, relics, etc., and retains them in custody for the Office of Naval Records and Library, thus eliminating necessity for Congressional action were they presented to Navy or other Governmental departments.

Peacetime Plans for Additional Publications

In mid-summer 1939, just before the Second World War broke out in Europe, the Office of Naval Records and Library having practically completed bringing out its volumes of early historical documents pertaining to the Quasi-War with France and the naval records of the Barbary Wars, was looking forward to similarly printing a collection of the more important documents pertaining to naval operations during the War of 1812 and during 1917 and 1918.

The President's active interest in naval history promised well for carrying on such a program of publishing naval war records, but after a state of limited emergency had been declared on 8 September 1939, and war clouds were seen to be gathering on the horizon, priority for such a project dropped rapidly. For the duration therefore all plans for the job were suspended, contemplated requests that civilian and officer staffs be restored47 to former size were postponed and Commodore Knox again carried on alone as Librarian, Archivist, Curator, Historian and representative of the Navy Department in the National Archives Council.

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47. Since 1919, the clerical force had been reduced from 32 civilian employees to 21, and the officer complement from 5 to a single naval officer assigned to duty in the Office of Naval Records and Library, in addition to the officer-in-charge.

Period from 1939-1946: World War II and Postwar Era

General Mission and Objectives

Although non-military activities substantially decreased while departmental functions increased, the basic mission of the Office of Naval Records and Library during the war did not change. Established for the purpose of making information available to the Navy Department and to the general public from its constantly growing reservoir of operational records, the need of providing pertinent old data in the conduct of current business of carrying on the war because so paramount that its utility to the public, necessarily was curtailed for the duration.

The three immediate objectives of the office, after Pearl Harbor, were:

  1. to procure and commission the most skilled personnel that could be obtained in the field of naval archives and history;
  2. to survey the entire field of operational records with a view to determining which, in addition to war diaries, would be most valuable to the war effort;
  3. to arrange, classify and disseminate to those authorized to know whatever pertinent operational data were received by the office.

Personnel

Selection of key personnel began within a week after 7 December 1941 when T.B. Kittredge, who had helped set up the Historical Branch in London after World War I, wrote Commodore Knox, volunteering to serve again in similar duty. After months of delay, Kittredge reported in April, "turned to" preparing an outline of policy and submitted a report which became the basis of the subsequent wartime activities of the Office of Naval Records and Library. John H. Kemble who had performed considerable research in, and was familiar with the archives of the Office of Naval Records and Library, had been called to active duty in February 1942, and was able to assist. In May 1942, two nationally known university professors -- R.C. Albion of Princeton and S.E. Morison of Harvard -- were solicited to head the War Archives Section of the Office of Naval Records and Library, but Albion could not leave his college duties and Morison (already commissioned as a Lieutenant Commander) felt he could better contribute to the war effort by his historical writing under the Secretary's Office.

Commander Percy T. Wright, USN (Ret.) joined in July, and became ranking member of the wartime staff; in September, Marion V. Brewington, long interested in naval and maritime history, was commissioned and reported for duty; November saw Walter M. Whitehill, Curator of the Peabody Museum of Salem, Massachusetts reporting; and in December, George B. Porter of Washington, Nelson M. Blake of the National Archives, and Richard Leopold of Harvard College, completed the quota of key personnel who remained on duty in the Office of Naval Records and Library during the course of the war.

Several additional officers were assigned from time to time in connection with a sound recording program ambitiously planning on operational uses afloat. When for reasons of security, it failed to live up to the high hopes of its sponsors, officers assigned for such duty were detached and finally the unit carried on for the duration in the Washington office largely under direction of Lieutenant George R. Porter.

Preliminary Activities

Meanwhile, as the important task of selecting personnel proceeded during the first year of war, plans were discussed and matured for the survey of operational records proposed by Kittredge. Early in 1943, accredited officer of the Office of Naval Records and Library began a sampling of the files of the Bureau of Ships, Commander in Chief, Chief of Naval Operations and the Secretary's Office with a view to determining the volume, content and distribution of classified and unclassified records.48

One of the duties of the Office of Naval Records and Library in the pre-war mobilization plan was the preparation of a letter of instruction to cover the preparation of War Diaries in the event of war.49 On 29 April 1941, Commodore Knox sent a memorandum to the Director of Naval Intelligence with a draft of the proposed letter, which was to be sent out in the event of mobilization. This letter was submitted in December 1941 and immediately met with opposition from various offices in Naval Operations. They felt that the keeping of War Diaries imposed an undue additional load of paper work. In view of this opposition, considerable time was lost. Commodore Knox pointed out in a memorandum of 16 January 1942, to the Director, that "the original draft represented a substantial simplification of the same order actually carried out during the last war". The letter was in due course submitted to CominCh, who wished to know more about the keeping of Diaries in World War I.

On 30 January 1942, a memorandum from Commodore Knox to CominCh with a copy of the World War I directive enclosed, stated, "A similar order was prepared by this office several years ago for inclusion in the war plans. After the outbreak of the present war it came to my attention that the order covering War Diaries incorporated in the war plan had not been issued and that further simplification was desired."

The letter of instructions was subsequently rewritten and was issued on 22 February 1942, signed by the Chief of Naval Operations.

Even before this directive was issued, certain ships and task forces, particularly in the Pacific, had been keeping War Diaries on their own initiative, which when submitted proved to be of very considerable value. As the War Diaries began to be received in Washington, the attitude toward them changed almost immediately, and their high value as a source of current operational information and guidance was very soon recognized.

The establishment of the Microfilm Library in the Readiness section of the Headquarters of the Commander in Chief, to facilitate the dissemination among bureaus and interested offices of the Navy Department of the information contained in the War Diaries,50 took place less than two months after the appearance of the 22 February 1942 directive, and was a proof of the usefulness of the Diaries.

After the dissolution of CominCh in October 1945, activities of the Microfilm Library were turned over to the Office of Naval Records and Library.

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48. The principal benefit of the survey was the establishment of a mutual understanding between the officer personnel of each branch and the Office of Naval Records and Library, as well as an idea of each other's problems and objectives. Later, when increasing records and depleted office space required disposition of their files, both CominCh and CNO knew that the Office of Naval Records was a safe and proper custodian of current material regardless of its classification.

49. W.M. Whitehill, Comdr., USNR. Most of this material on the preliminary activities and selection of officer personnel during the early months of World War II was taken from an unpublished monograph on the subject by Comdr. Whitehill, who served the Manuscript Section from November 1942 until July 1946.

50. All War Diaries, Submarine Patrol Reports, Action Reports and many personal narratives were microfilmed immediately after they were received in headquarters. Each bureau and office concerned designated a representative "reader" who was enabled to have immediate access to the film of the original report without unavoidable delay of regular routing of the documents themselves. This proved to be the most valuable method of rapid dissemination of information in such reports to those who needed to know. Special indices were devised whereby any information required on a certain vessel or event, for instance, might be found by cross references under battle, campaign or area file. In 1942, Commander Cleveland McCauley was placed in charge of the Reading Room, which shortly thereafter was officially designated as the Microfilm Library. Equipment in the Microfilm Library included nine Recordak projectors, dictaphones into which readers might dictate as they read, and four fire-proof safes in which are now stored more than 1800 reels. By reason of the rapidly increasing number of reports due to greater naval activity, the staff increased from one officer and two civilians in 1942 to a complement of two full-time officers and nine enlisted men. A detailed account of the personnel, operation and accomplishments of the Microfilm Library may be found in the history of the Headquarters of the Commander in Chief.

Estimate of Situation

At the outbreak of the War, Commodore Knox, feeling that the business of fighting should not be impeded in any way, and anticipating that the influx of World War II Records would not occur in any great volume until demobilization, decided on a long range policy of slow and careful selection of officer personnel, as the method of least interfering with more urgent activities, and best utilizing the interim period.

On 7 December 1941 there was not one single naval officer specifically assigned to the staff of the Manuscript Section of the Office of Naval Records and Library (Op-16-E-2). Its civilian personnel, all of long experience, then quartered in Room 3314 of the Arlington Annex, consisted of: Mrs. Alma Lawrence; Mrs. Fay King; Mrs. Clara R. Collins; Mrs. Mary E. Jones; Miss Mary M. McHale; and Miss Georgia Munroe.

First Appointment to Wartime Staff

Various other civilians who had had relations with the office in peacetime wrote offering their services in any capacity in which they might be useful. Among those was Mr. Tracy Barrett Kittredge, who had during the last war been a Lieutenant, USNR, attached to the staff of Admiral Sims in London, and had worked very closely with Commodore Knox in organizing the historical section in World War I. On 13 December 1941, Mr. Kittredge wrote to Commodore Knox, to the Administrative Officer of the Office of Naval Intelligence and to Admiral Stark offering his services.

Commodore Knox in replying on 15 December, stated, "The day you called, we discussed the problems of taking over current historical documents for our historical collection and I understand that we were in agreement that nothing should be done until the period of demobilization sets in. Nevertheless, I have the problem of studying this matter, preparing plans for doing the job when the war is over, and I would very much like to have you on duty here in that connection." At that time, it seemed that Mr. Kittredge's services might not be required full time in this office and that he might undertake other duties with Admiral Stark.

This plan of making a study of the archival problem of World War II in advance of the actual end was the one which occupied the attentions of the office for a number of months to come.

Mr. Kittredge applied for reappointment as an officer in the U.S. Naval Reserve, but in spite of strong recommendations from Commodore Knox and Admiral Stark, a considerable amount of time was spent in paper work between New York and Washington, and it was 5 March before he was finally sworn in as Lieutenant, USNR.

Preliminary Study and Basic Memorandum

Admiral Stark in the meantime was making plans for proceeding to London and wished to take advantage of Lieutenant Kittredge's extensive European experiences for duty there. Commodore Knox was agreeable to this, but told Admiral Stark that he would like to have Lieutenant Kittredge spend a few days in Washington before his departure to make a preliminary survey of the archival problems of this office. This was agreed upon and Lieutenant Kittredge reported in Washington the last week of March.

Lieutenant Kittredge applied himself to the problems involved in the systematic collection of war documentation with great energy and insight and in an extremely short time prepared a memorandum for Commodore Knox which has become the basis and point of departure for the subsequent activities of the office.51

As the length of Lieutenant Kittredge's stay in Washington was uncertain, he was compelled to work in considerable haste, and after preparing his original memorandum, which was submitted on 10 April, he found that he had a few remaining days before leaving. Consequently, he prepared a second memorandum on 20 April, entitled "Procedures suggested for examining and disposition of plans for activities of the Office of Naval Records in the centralization, classification and filing of documentation relative to the Naval operations during the war."

This memorandum of Lieutenant Kittredge involved proposals for preliminary surveys by officers attached to the Office of Naval Records of existing files relating to naval operations, and the laying of plans for the establishment of a future operational archive in the Office of Naval Records. Lieutenant Kittredge suggested the extensive use of microfilm as a solution of the space problem, and as a means of reconciling the desire of the Archivist of the United States for records to be filed by provenance, and the practice of the Office of Naval Records in arranging its files similar to the methodized system already in use.

Lieutenant Kittredge's suggestion for possible staff requirements for the Office of Naval Records were as follows:

One officer to make a survey of Navy Department files and archives;

One officer, with perhaps one or more assistants, to make a survey of present methods for analysis and synthesis of information available; this officer was to be personal assistant to Commodore Knox;

One officer to be responsible for the organization and maintenance of a microfilm archive, with one or more assistants to do any classification and indexing of microfilm prints;

One officer to be responsible for the planning, installation and maintenance of the files of War Diaries and other special collections relating to naval operations;

One officer to assist Commodore Knox in working out cooperative arrangements with government agencies concerned with war activities and with the National Archives.

Lieutenant Kittredge left Washington for London on 28 April. Three days before, on 25 April, Commodore Knox had submitted a memorandum to the Director of Naval Intelligence, outlining this program and requesting the assignment of an appropriate number of officers to undertake it.

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51. Appendix C. Parts 1 and 2, include the two memoranda prepared by Kittredge at this time.

Selection of Other Qualified Officers

A few days after Commodore Knox's memorandum of 25 April had been submitted to the Director, Ensign Kemble, who was going to New York, was asked by Commodore Knox to stop at Princeton and ascertain the possibilities of securing suitable personnel for carrying out the project. He talked with Dr. Edward Meade Earle, Dr. Harold G. Sprout, and Dr. R.G. Albion. Dr. Earle recommended Dr. Albion and Professor S.E. Morison of Harvard University as the best persons for carrying out this project.

While in New York, Ensign Kemble also saw David B. Tyler, who was eleven months later commissioned Lieutenant, USNR, for field duty in the sound recording unit.

At this time, the only officer specifically requested was Ensign John Haskell Kemble, USNR, who was to undertake the survey of Navy Department's files and archives. Ensign Kemble, in civilian life, was a member of the History Department of Pomona College, Claremont, California. He had held a commission in the Naval Reserve for several years, and had spent some time in the Office of Naval Records while engaged in private research. He had been called to active duty shortly after Pearl Harbor, but because of the interminable and trivial delays which seemed to dog the steps of all officers who were needed in this Office, he was not actually assigned for duty in Washington until 26 February 1942, when he was assigned to Op-16-A3 e (Foreign Intelligence Records).

Ensign Kemble called on Commodore Knox shortly after his arrival and, during Lieutenant Kittredge's stay in Washington, was in close contact with him as Lieutenant Kittredge occupied a desk in Room 3833, main Navy Building, where Ensign Kemble was then located.

Commodore Knox's memorandum of 25 April to the Director was lost, and no action was consequently taken until a duplicate copy was submitted on 26 May. It was on that date, "approved for planning and arrangement" with the added notation by the Director, "believe it is too early yet however to consider transfer of any files to Archival state."

In the meantime, Commodore Knox had been taking steps to assemble a staff in accordance with Lieutenant Kittredge's proposal. On 6 May 1942, he wrote Robert Greenhagh Albion, professor of History and Assistant Dean to the Faculty of Princeton University, sending him a copy of the 25 April memorandum and requesting his services. "In part, the task I had in mind for you is outlined in paragraph 7. Your administrative experience and general background however qualify you further for the position of my principal assistant in the whole project dealing [with] the current war. I should be delighted to have you in this dual capacity."

On the same day, Commodore Knox wrote to Marion Vernon Brewington, Jr. of Philadelphia, outlining his plans for the project, stating that he hoped that Professor Albion might be coming in charge of the entire work, and suggested that Mr. Brewington might be interested, fitting into some of the aspects of the plan either as a Lieutenant, USNR, or as a civilian employee with equal pay. Mr. Brewington, although in civilian life a trust officer of the Pennsylvania Company in Philadelphia, had for many years devoted himself to the study of Naval and Maritime History with great distinction, and had, in the course of his work, been in constant contact with Commodore Knox and the office staff. He telegraphed Commodore Knox on 9 May accepting the suggestion, and the process of his enrollment as a reserve officer began although it was four months before he appeared in Washington.

Professor Albion was however unable to leave his duties at Princeton University entirely and raised the possibility of his coming to the Office of Naval Records as a civilian working half time. It was felt however, that the head of the project must be a commissioned officer, and therefore, there seemed no way to secure Professor Albion's services.

Consequently, on 22 May, Commodore Knox wrote to Professor Samuel Eliot Morison, professor of history at Harvard University, offering him the post of "Naval Reserve Office in charge of this project."

Professor Morison had on 9 December 1941, written to Captain J.A. Gade, USNR, in the Office of Naval Intelligence, concerning his possible enrollment in the Naval Reserve. Captain Gade had referred this inquiry to Commodore Knox, who had, in a memorandum of 24 December, said, there is no plan at present for a history of naval operations to be prepared after the war", and that "the function of this office is mainly archiving". Professor Morison, in reply (letter of 7 January 1942) had suggested the desirability of getting "history hot off the griddle, written as the operations progressed, and then laid away for publication after the war or whenever it can be told". Commodore Knox at that time, felt that such a proposal did not fall within the scope of this office.

Professor Morison in the intervening months had followed his proposal through other channels, and when Commodore Knox wrote him on 22 May, he had recently been commissioned Lieutenant Commander, USNR.

On 29 May, he wrote Commodore Knox as follows: "After giving your flattering offer very careful consideration, I decided that it would be better for my historical work if I devoted my entire time and energy to keeping abreast of current history. That alone is a stupendous job; much bigger than anything I have heretofore tackled, and if I undertake to make a collection of source material it would consume all of my time".

As Ensign Kemble was at this time about to go to Massachusetts on leave, Commodore Knox requested him to sound out Dr. Walter Muir Whitehill, Assistant Director fo the Peabody Museum and Editor of the American Neptune concerning the possibility of his joining the staff to take over the duties originally contemplated for Professor Albion. As Dr. Whitehill was much interested, Ensign Kemble reported this fact to Commodore Knox, who wrote him in June and shortly after, requested the Personnel Officer of Office of Naval Intelligence to arrange for his enrollment as Lieutenant, USNR. This procedure, however, again proved extremely slow, and it was 16 November 1942 before Lieutenant Whitehill reported for Duty. As Ensign Kemble had urged that the person who was to be charged with the planning of the project should have some hand in the choosing of the staff, no further efforts were made to secure additional personnel immediately.

By the end of June, it appeared desirable that Ensign Kemble should be transferred from Foreign Intelligence Records and begin to devote his time to the duties which were contemplated for him in Lieutenant Kittredge's memorandum. As this was agreeable to Commander Harding, he was transferred to Op-16-E on 12 July. Kemble had on 20 June been promoted to Lieutenant (junior grade) and on 20 August was again promoted to Lieutenant, as it had been discovered that he should have been called to active duty in the previous winter with the rank of Lieutenant (junior grade) rather than Ensign as had been the case.

On 2 July 1942, Commander Percy T. Wright, USN, (Ret.), reported for duty in the Office of Naval Intelligence and was assigned to Op-16-E. Commander Wright had had a distinguished career as a submarine officer in World War I; had subsequently served as Navigating Officer of the West Virginia and as the Commanding Officer of the Canopus on the China Station. He had retired on 1 September 1933 because of health, but it had so improved by the summer of 1942 that he was able to return to active duty of a limited nature. This seemed a particularly fortunate coincidence for the plans of the Office of Naval Records as it would in wartime be extremely difficult to secure the services of an officer of the regular Navy with extensive sea experience for such a project as this, and it was felt that Commander Wright's extensive acquaintance throughout the Navy would prove of great value to the Reserve officers of the staff and would assist them in finding their way through the intricacies of the naval establishment. Commander Wright spent some days familiarizing himself with the work of the various branches of Op-16-E and was given the choice of assignment to any one in which he saw the greatest possibility for useful service. His choice was Op-16-E-2 and consequently Commodore Knox asked him to become head of that section.

Completion of the Shakedown Period

Thus for all practical purposes, the assembly of key personnel may be considered as completed and the wartime expansion of the Office of Naval Records and Library well underway by the close of the first year of the war. Commander Wright with Lieutenants Whitehill, Brewington, Kemble and Porter, were carrying on the preliminary survey proposed by Kittredge; Lieutenant Blake performing liaison work in the National Archives and the Office of Records Administration; Lieutenant Small instructing ships in preparation of war diaries and interpreting those received for the Bureau of Personnel and Ordnance; and Ensign Leopold setting up classifications and filing systems, with Boatswain Newbold directing the enlisted force in this work.

Under the date of 22 January 1943 Commodore Knox, in a memorandum to the Director of Naval Intelligence was able to state that the situation in Op-16-E-2 had then reached a point where a more specific report could be made on the duties and functions of the officer personnel.

He found that it had become increasingly clear that the function of his staff should be to make the operational records of the present war of immediate use in its conduct, and believed that, if this task was accomplished satisfactorily, these materials would form the basis for the preparation of a staff history immediately after the war, should that be deemed advisable. "...Such a project was decided upon by the Secretary of the Navy and by Admiral Sims in 1918, but was not carried through in its entirety due to the close of the war. This resulted in the loss to a large extent of the naval lessons of World War I, and it therefore seemed imperative to undertake this work for World War II at the earliest possible time...."

One administrative officer and four other officers of the Washington staff were concerned with the collection of significant operational records.52 War diaries were automatically received for permanent retention, but it was necessary also to maintain constant contact with offices of the Navy Department and related governmental agencies to locate and earmark for reference, future microfilming, and possible future transfer of pertinent supplementary documents which were essential to complete the operational record.

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52. In this memo, Commodore Knox reported: "The duties of the Washington staff also include the indexing and filing of the records received in order to make the information contained instantly available. The present flow of documents is only a fractional part of the files that will be received as the war progresses and nears its end. Microfilming is being used to the utmost to minimize the space problem. One officer devotes his full time to general problems of planning this classification. This officer, with the assistance of the officers described in paragraph 4, maintains a high degree of familiarity with the information in the materials received, in order to insure its fullest usefulness. The mechanical work of indexing and cross-indexing these papers is carried out by a staff of yeomen under the direction of a warrant officer. This staff is at present large, but as the back accumulation of war diaries is processed, this work can be kept up by fewer men...."

Suspension of Recording Project

While assembling the Washington staff, a second group of especially qualified officers was also in the process of selection. It was contemplated that these would be distributed among the forces in the forward action areas and at strategic points within the continental limits of the United States.

The field staff would consist of thirteen units of one commissioned officer and one stenographic yeoman (equipped with voice recording machines), assigned to duty at sea frontiers and centers of naval importance overseas. These units would be concerned with the collection of significant operational records not available in Washington, by obtaining recorded narratives from those who have taken a prominent part in operations. Narratives of this sort already recorded by this section were proving of great value from many angles, but experience had demonstrated the necessity of getting them immediately after the action.

In addition, these officers would be familiar with the procedure for the disposal of excess files as they accumulate on board ship and ashore. it was expected that field units would be of great assistance to operating forces in aiding them in the reduction of burdensome files. In this capacity they would work in close cooperation with the Office of Records Administration, looking to the destruction of useless material and the forwarding to Washington of important records. Unfortunately, to the intense chagrin and disappointment of Commander Wright, its principal sponsor, and after considerable time and care had been consumed in the selection of proper equipment and personnel for the sound recording program, the Vice Chief of Naval Operations, in a memo to Commodore Knox dated 4 February 194353 stated:

"In view of the desire of our Commanders in the theaters of operations to remain unhampered, insofar as possible, by persons or activities not essential to the business of fighting, I regret that I cannot permit sending personnel into the field for the purposes specified in your memorandum dated January 29, 1943, in which you requested the services of Ship's Clerk Richman."

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53. Later on, this view was modified by CominCh letter, Serial 2770, dated 1 May 1943 which ". . . approves the assignment of two recordgraphs, with operating personnel, to the Pacific Fleet, for the purpose of recording action narratives of Fleet personnel." with the understanding that one machine would be used at Pearl Harbor and the other at discretion of Commander Third Fleet. All recordings to be sent to CominCh for censor and disposition.

Utilization of Field Personnel

Summing up the situation six months later, however, it was decided that while the refusal of the Vice Chief of Naval Operations to allow historical officers to be sent into combat zones seemed particularly unfortunate at the time and left the Office of Naval Records and Library with an embarrassing richness of personnel and Recordgraph machines, the arrangements made for disposition of machines and utilization of field officers were far from disappointing.

The assignments to test the Recordgraph were by the dispatch of Lt. Kemble to Pearl Harbor, and of Boatswain Newbold to the South Pacific.

The assignments of historical utility were by ordering Lt. (jg) Summersell as historical officer on the staff of ComSubPac; Lt. Kemble to the staff of CincPAC; and Lt. (jg) Morison as assistant historian, Eastern Sea Frontier.

The balance of the Sound Recording Project's officer personnel were issued individual orders. Ens. Preston went to the Western Sea Frontier as war diary officer; Lt. Dickson ordered as officer-in-charge of Foreign Intelligence Records in ONI; and Lt. Tyler assigned to fill the vacancy caused by Kemble's detachment. Lt. Shopen and Ens. Byrd qualified themselves as operational intelligence officers; and Ens. Haskett was ordered to sea.

Lt. Porter alone remained of the staff and he quietly and efficiently used the Recordgraph machine in Washington to obtain a considerable number of recordings from officers and men who have returned from combat zones, thereby carrying out the purpose for which the machines were first procured.

Thus, after six months of fundamental parts of the original program had been accomplished, although not to the extent, or in the manner originally anticipated.

Relationship With Other Branches

In carrying out its mission of classification and collection of manuscript materials pertaining to the conduct of the naval side of the war, the Office of Naval Records and Library established working relationships with various branches of Commander-in-Chief, Chief of Naval Operations and the Secretary's Offices. Among those which appeared to be the best potential sources of operational records or whose activities were most closely connected with the origin, collection or evaluation of such material were the Readiness Section, (CominCh F 2321) and the Combat Narratives Section (OP 16C).

The Readiness Section was, among its other duties, charged with rapid dissemination of information contained in war reports to "those who needed to know." All Action Reports and some of the more important War Diaries, Submarine or Aircraft Patrol Reports were immediately microfilmed on receipt at headquarters and authorized readers for all offices or bureaus concerned granted access to the films. Ultimately, the original documents (or photostats in some cases) were sent to the Office of Naval Records and Library as the final repository, and the great bulk of materials accessioned during the months that followed were derived in this manner.

The Combat Narratives Branch (OP 16C) was the office in the Chief of Naval Operations organization whose functions involved the evaluation of similar classes of operational material. This section, however, found films or photostats suitable source materials for its purposes, and in consequence came very little within the scope of the Office of Naval Records and Library.

The Office of Records Administration, under the Secretary, with which cooperation and close liaison were maintained, proved of some value in the early months of the war. Charged with the general overall problems of proper disposition of obsolete naval records, it intended, had the proposed field staff been permitted in the forward combat areas for the purpose of obtaining sound recorded personal narratives, to indoctrinate these officers in the fundamental of streamlining current records in files afloat or in the advanced areas, by disposal of worthless material. It also arranged, when contraction of space at the Navy Annex became necessary, for the National Archives to accept legal custody of the bulk of the older manuscript collection of the Office of Naval Records and Library to reduce its office requirements and to make room for an expected deluge of World War II records.

Others working independently under the Secretary's Office with whom the Office maintained fairly close liaison in the conduct of its business, were Captain (then Lieutenant Commander) S.E. Morison and Professor Albion of Princeton University. The former as Historian of Naval Operations was given desk space in the Office of Naval Records and Library and offered whatever other facilities were available. His plan was to write history "hot off the griddle" with the understanding that publication would take place after the war.

Professor Albion had been appointed in a civilian capacity to write an administrative history of the Navy Department. His collateral duty was to encourage the various bureaus to record and publish histories of their own activities.

Among the beneficent results of beginning promptly the survey of the Operational Files proposed by Kittredge were those good neighborly relations, which were established during the early months. With the cooperation of these and other branches, the staff carried on a successful survey of materials of current or future historical value. Some files of a non-current nature were accessioned almost immediately from offices already hard pressed for filing space and equipment, while other records were earmarked for future accessioning or microfilming when security conditions would permit.

As work proceeded, it became apparent that the bulk and variety of records would be extremely great, but the impression was confirmed that eventually a well-rounded cross section of all vital operational records would have been accessioned. It also became fairly obvious that the value of unofficial reports such as personal narratives, sound recordings, etc., would not be commensurate with the costs in time and trouble to collect them. Thus, the refusal of CominCh to permit sound project field forces, which seemed a blow at the time, was considerably lessened as a result of first hand knowledge gained during the survey.

Location and Relocation

Foreseeing that operational activities would expand after the declaration of a limited emergency on 8 September 1939, the Office accepted that it might soon have to relinquish space in the Main Navy Building to other branches for more important and current business of the department.

On 19 June 1940, Commodore Knox prophetically published the following order for the guidance of the several sections should a "state of greater emergency than exists at present" arise:

(a) The Library proper will continue to function substantially as at present, giving priority to information for Navy Department use.

(b) The Publications Section will stop sending material to the printer, but will complete preparation of typed material of Barbary Wars, for future publication.

(c) The World War Section will minimize work not connected with research for the Navy or other Government Departments. It will prepare to move to other quarters and keep in a state of readiness to do this. It will be prepared to archive war diaries and other documents related to the current emergency.

(d) The Old Records Section will minimize research work not connected with Navy or other Government Departments. Most outside inquiries can be answered by a circular stating that such work has been suspended until after the emergency. Continue transfer of papers from Bureau of Navigation files, but be prepared to stop it. Organize in readiness for moving to other quarters should the necessity arise.

(e) The Picture Section will undertake "to receive, record, classify and distribute as necessary photographs of current or potential strategic or historical interest". The distribution will include appropriate bureaus and offices of the entire Navy Department, as well as outside naval agencies.

First Move to National Archives

It was hoped that the completion of the Navy Annex, then under construction in Arlington, Virginia, would take care of the office requirements of expanding departmental activities, but long before the Annex was ready for occupancy, space problems in the main building became so acute that arrangements were made with the National Archives to provide temporary quarters for the Office of Naval Records and Library. In March 1941, there began the first move in a series of three separate relocations, when all personnel, equipment and activities of the Office of Naval Records (excepting those of a small reference library and the pictorial section) were moved to the National Archives.

Second Move to Navy Annex

The second major move was to Arlington after a period of about six months tenancy in the National Archives.

Although a state of unlimited emergency had been declared in May 1941, no change in plans for "final" location of the Office in the Annex was felt necessary, and in October of that year when the third wing was ready, its personnel and materials were shipped across the river. The civilian staff involved at that time (as may be seen in Appendix D) totalled only fifteen since Mrs. Lathrop still remained with the reference section of the Library in the Navy Building.

Relocation of Library and Pictorial Section

No sooner, it seemed, had the Office settled in its new and spacious quarters at the Navy Annex than the attack on Pearl Harbor occurred. Immediately, a further expansion of departmental office activities resulted and once again encroachments began on the space allotted to the Office of Naval Records and Library. Finally, it became necessary in November 1942 to effect a reduction in occupied space by shelving most of its printed volumes in borrowed stack areas in the Library of Congress. About the time of the transfer of its books, the pictorial section, whose collection was rapidly changing from historical to emphasis on strategic photographs, was moved to the Steuart Building under direct supervision of the Office of Naval Intelligence.

Transfer of Manuscript Section to National Archives

Shortly after the outbreak of war, when it was seen that office space would be at a premium in the Annex, negotiations were begun to transfer records in the Manuscript Section antedating 1910 to the legal custody of the National Archives.

After interdepartmental legal and technical formalities had been completed through the Office of Records Administration, the National Archives in a letter on 10 November 1942, stated that the Archivist would take into his permanent legal custody all records contained in the Office of Naval Records and Library collection which date prior to 1911, and already had delivered is requisition therefor. He was also willing to provide storage space for the duration of the war for the remaining records of the Office dating subsequent to 1910, with the understanding that this material will remain in the legal custody of the Navy Department.

The Archivist agreed to provide office space permanently for the Civil Service personnel attached to these records, and had no objection to naval personnel completing the work then in progress of assembling the recently acquired Spanish-American War records.

Arrangements were made with Commodore Knox for the transfer of the material, and satisfactory space was provided for the records and the personnel involved. The transfer to the National Archives began on Thursday, 12 November 1942.

Third Move and Return to Main Navy Building

In the summer of 1945, when the last units of the Bureau of Yards and Docks had moved to new quarters across the Potomac and vacated the Navy Building, space in the latter location was obtained for use of Office of Naval Records and Library.

Ten days after the Japanese capitulation, on 25 August 1945, Commodore Knox, together with his expanded wartime staff and manuscript material, augmented by accessions of air and submarine patrol reports, war diaries, action reports and operation plans, were moved into present quarters in the "E" Building, a small brick structure located between the fourth and fifth wings.

Acquisition of Microfilm Library

Less than one month after the Office of Naval Records and Library had moved to the main Navy Building, CominCh recommended that "the activities of the Microfilm Library be transferred to the Office of Naval Records and Library (Op-16 E-2) their ultimate destination."

During the period of hostilities, the safeguarding of the contents of the Microfilm Library was necessary for strategic purposes, but with the surrender of Japan it was felt that these films could be handled according to their security classification.

Commodore Knox concurred in the recommendation on the assumption that the Office of Naval Records and Library would also obtain the space, equipment, and personnel of the Microfilm Library.

Request for Return of Library to Navy Building

Another result of the return of the Office of Naval Records and Library to the main Navy Building, Commodore Knox found, was the growing use of the Library collections for administrative reference, especially on higher command levels.

The great bulk of its books having been shelved since November 1942 in borrowed space in the Library of Congress involved much loss of time and effort in a shuttle service for those needed for Navy Department officials. Moreover, the Library of Congress was becoming crowded, while Naval demobilization needs promised to decrease with sufficient rapidity to warrant planning for the return of the books.

A new location on the ground floor of the building was preferred in order to economize floor space, for on upper floors, the weight limitations prevent fully loading book-stacks.

Floor space required for book-stacks alone was estimated at about 5,000 square feet, to which should be added about 3,000 for administrative purposes. This minimum allowed for expansion or a reading room, and would be met by putting book-stacks in the rear section of a wing, and assigning six adjacent rooms from the middle section of that wing.

Thus far, however, favorable action on the request has been deferred pending final demobilization and definition of post-war shakedown to peacetime Navy requirements.

Collateral Contributions

In addition to its main function of making available to the Department whatever information in Diaries, Action or other war reports was of current value in the operational conduct of the war, many other useful contributions to the overall war effort were made possible through recourse to the older collections in the Office of Naval Records and Library. At various times during the first years of the war, several departmental offices and bureaus, the Secretary of the Navy, and even the President himself solicited the aid of its research staff.

A small group of civilian workers carried on these activities, first in the main Navy Building, then at the Arlington Annex when the records were moved across the Potomac in March 1941, and finally in the National Archives, to which agency the collection was legally transferred in November 1942. In a memorandum dated 11 December 1944, Mrs. A.R. Lawrence, who directed the group, outlined a chronological resumé of some of these searches as follows:

1941 -- Research for the President of the United States for data on neutrality precedents where U.S. Vessels were instructed to attack hostile forces. Many precedents found for "shoot on sight" order.

In 1942 -- Research for Dr. A.C. Davidonic for the preparation of "The American Naval Mission in the Adriatic, 1918-1921. A study of occupation of foreign territory."

1943 -- Research for preparation of an article by Division of Naval Intelligence on "U.S. Naval Activity in connection with the Armistice of 1918 and The Peace Conference of 1919."

1943 -- Research for Commander Charles E. Peterson (CEC) on U.S. Bases at home and abroad in the past, for the training program by Yards and Docks.

1943 -- Research for a study of demobilization at conclusion of World War I by Ensign T.H. Hamilton, Bureau of Naval Personnel.

1943 -- Research for material on occupation of Cuba, Vera Cruz, Haiti, Santo Domingo and mandated German Islands in the Pacific for the use of U.S. Naval Reserve Midshipmen's school, 431 West 117 Street, N.Y.C., to train men for government of occupied territory in Europe.

1944 -- Research for data for a magazine article by Secretary of the Navy Forrestal, to show the fallacy of reducing naval forces drastically at the end of every war.

1944 -- Research for Clifford M. Drury, Chaplain, U.S. Navy, in preparation of a history of the Chaplain Corps.

1944 -- Research for data relative to U.S. vessels in European waters during the Spanish Civil War, 1936-1939, for Commander F.A. Brook, CominCh.

1944 -- Research on American Naval Occupation and Government of Guam, 1898-1902, by Dr. Henry P. Beers. Much of the material for his study was secured in this office.

1944 -- Research for data on cruise of U.S.S. Milwaukee to Truk and other mandated islands in the Pacific, 1923.

In 1945, the Manuscript Section, servicing old records in the legal custody of the National Archives, tabulated its activities in a memorandum report which showed that: 196 letters of inquiry had been answered by recourse to the old records; 226 authorized military and civilian visitors had performed research of various kinds; 73 searches had been undertaken on behalf of the National Archives; and 356 searches had been carried on for the Office of Naval Records and Library.

In addition to research activities, the section continued archival work in the operational naval files of World War I and in the pre-war CNO records which were accessioned from time to time during the recent war. These latter records are eventually to be moved and consolidated with World War II files now in custody of the Office of Naval Records and Library in the main Navy Building.

Incoming Operational Reports

Very little operational material was accessioned by the Office of Naval Records and Library during the first year of the war. Records and reports of the relatively few naval actions were too urgently required for current study and analysis, as well as too recent to permit the beginning of an archival collection of World War II documents. These early months, therefore, were profitably utilized in assembling and training an office staff, in surveying types of materials available locally, and in planning methods for accessioning and indexing. So far as World War II records were concerned, the primary task of the Office of Naval Records and Library was forseen and defined as the selection, arrangement, filing and indexing of operational data on United States Naval activities in a manner which would best facilitate the work of naval historians and current official reference.

As a result of its survey and studies, the staff had planned for and was prepared to receive the four general types of reports which in the spring of 1943 began to arrive in increasing volume at the Arlington Annex. Under the direction of Ensign Richard Leopold, the office staff was just able during April and May to index, bind and file most of the war diaries received at headquarters. Although in a memorandum to Captain Wright about this time, Leopold, who had been detailed to supervise the activities of the enlisted staff, gloomily reported "The staff of yeomen, as now constituted and directed is unable to carry out the original system of indexing . . ." He further stated that so much precious time was being wasted on collateral or less important office activities, such as irrelevant schooling and the sound recording project, that the two primary functions -- receipt and filing, followed by indexing and classifying of operational records -- were relegated to a status of secondary importance.

The great tidal wave of World War II records anticipated by Commodore Knox after demobilization, by occurring much sooner than expected, upset many of the well-laid plans of both Leopold and Captain Wright. Neither realized at this time that the trickle would soon become a torrent, and by July the backlog of materials awaiting processing was so great that practically "all hands" would bed turned to on the task of accessioning.

Archival Classifications

Appendix F gives a week by week tabulation of the materials accessioned, indexed and bound from April 1943 until after V-J Day.

The several types of records and reports tabulated embrace most of the operational archives of naval action during the war and include:

  1. Operation Plans and Orders.
  2. Action Reports.
  3. War Diaries.
  4. Patrol Reports -- submarine and aircraft.

Original Operation Plans and Orders (master set) are filed under administrative titles of originators; while duplicate copies (if any were received) are filed in the Class III material (area) file under pertinent task designation where possible within the area and operation. This type of record did not reach the Office of Naval Records and Library in any great amount of time and was allowed to accumulate while tasks considered more urgent were carried on. Servicing of such plans and orders has practically been competed for Atlantic operations, all having been sorted and arranged. Those for Pacific operations are well on the road to completion. Arrangement is by originating commands task design within areas. Complete sets of guide cards have been prepared for both Atlantic and Pacific, except for insertion of an occasional operation plan or order found among those still being accessioned.

Action Reports, which are the second largest collection of operational records now on hand, have been acquired through four different channels: the chain-of-command copy, the photostat of the original document, the advance copy and very often an extra copy appended to a war diary. In addition, there are elsewhere available microfilm copies in the CNO microfilm library and at the Naval War College.

The most complete chain-of-command copy together with endorsements, received from the CominCh files room is considered the master copy. The photostat distributed by the Readiness Division very often was the first to appear for accessioning. The advance copy and those appended to the war diaries likewise were acquired from CominCh file room.

All action reports are filed by originators. However, it is intended in the near future to incorporate the photostat copies into the Class III area file under the pertinent operation. Any gaps found to exist in the photostat collection will be filled in by utilizing one of the extra copies on hand.

Separate cabinets of guide cards (3x5) (duplicates) enable searchers to locate action reports either by origination or operation. The "A" file indicates "author" and the "B" file similarly indicating "battle." Each card contains a very brief summary of the content of the reports including type command, task group, date, battle, etc.

War Diaries make up the largest part of the Naval Operational Archives of World War II. These are filed by originators and recorded on a Kardex visible index file. Those submitted during early months of the war when the war diary was part of the ship's log are of log sheet size; while others prepared in conformance with later revised instructions are of letter size. Except for symbol craft such as LCIs, all war diaries from ships are filed alphabetically; command war diaries sometimes included operation plans or action reports. The 5x8 card file for war diaries also includes microfilm serial numbers.

Patrol Reports (submarine and aircraft) are filed by originators and indexed on a 3x5 card system. Land based air is filed under Class III material within a single section in each area. When this file is more nearly complete, it may be found advisable to reduce the bulk of this section by subdividing it by areas attacked.

Lessons Learned and Recommendations

During its sixty-four years of existence, the last thirty of which encompassed two world wars, the Office of Naval Records and Library has not only accessioned a great physical quantity of archival materials, but at the same time, accumulated considerable valuable experience in the field of naval history. The most important lesson learned is that in planning for the future of the Service, whether in war or in peace, cognizance must be taken of and recognition accorded to the operational records of the past. The principal missions of the Office of Naval Records and Library are:

  1. to arrange and classify such records and to make available to the Navy Department information in them of current utility in the conduct of its business; and
  2. to provide promptly all published works necessary for research.

To carry out these missions with most effectiveness, the following recommendations are made:

1. Provide suitable permanent space and facilities. The Office, during the recent war, was forced to move three times, partly through failure to recognize the current utility of source materials in its custody. At the present time, the microfilm library, the reference library, the World War II records, and administrative offices are in different localities in the Main Navy Building; about 100,000 of its books are shelved in borrowed space in the Congressional Library; World War I records are housed in borrowed space in the National Archives; and thousands of pictures and photographs comprising its historical collection are still under the Office of Naval Intelligence cognizance in the Steuart Building. Reasons for consolidating these widespread facilities or activities in one central location are too obvious to enumerate. Space should be readily accessible to the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, whose non-current files already are in the custody of the Office of Naval Records and Library.

2. Carry on the accessioning and archiving of war records. In view of the great scope and revolutionary technical developments that have characterized the war, the accumulation of operational archives of the Navy's part therein is a task of very high importance. Properly arranged and serviced, these records will be a reservoir of valuable source material for professional education, utility in future planning, and all varieties of historical treatment, as well as for meeting the inevitable needs of reference in the future. Some of the wartime functions of the office also should be continued and developed. During the war, the Office was called on by CominCh headquarters to assume certain important responsibilities for the care and processing of documents which obviously were of historical as well as current utility. The accessioning and servicing of Chief of Naval Operations files at stated intervals is a function which should be maintained even in minor degree during peacetime, with a view to resumption of the same relationship in any future war.

3. Resume peacetime practice of publishing early naval documents. The publication of naval documents of both the past and present will be of inestimable value in presenting the naval viewpoint to the general public. Similar source materials printed in the State Department's Foreign Relations Series and Treaty Series have been found invaluable for libraries, scholars, and the general public. The naval series thus far issued by this office includes the operational records of the Civil War, the Quasi-War with France, and the Barbary Wars. To complete this series, documents of the War of 1812 and those for World War I, already prepared, but not printed due to lack of funds, should likewise be published.

4. Provide for expansion and development of the Curator function. The Office of Naval Records and Library should have suitable permanent exhibit space available either in a naval museum ashore or by the utilization of historical vessels for that specific purpose. There are already in existence a considerable quantity of relics and pictures of the past (stored or recorded as to custody elsewhere), and before many of those of the current era are destroyed or lost, some provision should be made for their safe preservation.

5. Consolidate the Office of Naval History with the Office of Naval Records and Library. Combine historical and records--library activities should then be carried on under the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Administration, rather than under the Secretary's Office and ONI as at present. In the recent war, as in World War I, the Office of Naval History got off to a belated start, primarily because historical activities had been allowed to laps in the 20's. The mistake of making the historical section a temporary war-time office would not be repeated were its functions and activities coordinated and consolidated with Office of Naval Records and Library -- the whole section in peacetime carried on under the direction of three civilians of professional status qualified in the fields of History, Archives and Library respectively. The writing of naval history should be perpetuated rather than allowed to diminish to nothingness, as was the case after World War I. The employment of a permanent civil service staff between active periods is needed to give continuity to historical efforts and to collaborate in producing staff studies and histories.

Appendix A: "Annual Appropriations and Personnel Allowances, 1884-1946"

Year Activity Personnel Appropriation
1884 Office of Library
Naval War Records
  2
3
  ...
...
1,800
2,640
1885 Office of Library
Naval War Records
  2
3
  ...
...
1,800
2,640
1886 Office of Library
Naval War Records
  2
3
  ...
...
1,800
2,640
1887 Office of Library
Naval War Records
  2
3
  ...
...
1,800
2,640
1888 Office of Library
Naval War Records
  3
7
  ...
...
2,380
6,280
1889 Office of Library
Naval War Records
  3
9
  ...
...
2,380
9,880
1890 Office of Library
Naval War Records
  3
14
  ...
...
2,380
16,680
1891 Office of Library
Naval War Records
  3
14
  ...
...
2,380
16,680
1892 Office of Library
Naval War Records
  3
14
  ...
...
2,380
16,680
1893 Office of Library
Naval War Records
  3
14
  ...
...
2,380
16,680
1894 Office of Library
Naval War Records
Printing of N.W.R.
  3
14
  ...
...
...
2,380
16,480
15,000
1895 Office of Library
Naval War Records
Printing of N.W.R.
  3
14
  ...
...
...
2,380
16,280
20,000
1896 Office of Library
Naval War Records
Printing of N.W.R.
  3
14
  ...
...
...
2,380
16,280
18,000
1897 Office of Library
Naval War Records
Printing of N.W.R.
  3
14
  ...
...
...
2,580
15,880
20,800
1898 Office of Library
Naval War Records
Printing of N.W.R.
  3
14
  ...
...
...
2,580
15,880
19,000
1899 Office of Library
Naval War Records
Printing of N.W.R.
  4
14
  ...
...
...
3,980
15,730
19,000
1900 Office of Library
Naval War Records
Printing of N.W.R.
  4
14
  ...
...
...
3,980
14,290
21,000
1901 Office of Library
Naval War Records
Printing of N.W.R.
  4
13
  ...
...
...
3,980
16,090
21,000
1902 Office of Library
Naval War Records
Printing of N.W.R.
  4
13
  ...
...
...
3,980
16,090
21,000
1903 Office of Library
Naval War Records
Printing of N.W.R.
  4
13
  ...
...
...
3,980
16,140
31,500
1904 Office of Library
Naval War Records
Printing of N.W.R.
  4
12
  ...
...
...
3,980
14,340
10,500
1905 Office of Library
Naval War Records
Printing of N.W.R.
  4
12
  ...
...
...
3,980
14,340
21,000
1906 Office of Library
Naval War Records
Printing of N.W.R.
  4
12
  ...
...
...
3,980
14,340
21,000
1907 Office of Library
Naval War Records
Printing of N.W.R.
  4
12
  ...
...
...
3,980
14,340
21,000
1908 Office of Library
Naval War Records
Printing of N.W.R.
  4
14
  ...
...
...
3,980
17,340
21,000
1909 Office of Library
Naval War Records
Printing of N.W.R.
  4
14
  ...
...
...
3,980
17,340
21,000
1910 Office of Library
Naval War Records
Printing of N.W.R.
  4
14
  ...
...
...
3,980
17,340
21,000
1911 Office of Library
Naval War Records
Printing of N.W.R.
  4
14
  ...
...
...
3,980
17,640
21,000
1912 Office of Library
Naval War Records
Printing of N.W.R.
  4
14
  ...
...
...
3,980
17,640
21,000
1913 Office of Library
Naval War Records
Printing of N.W.R.
  4
14
  ...
...
...
3,980
17,640
10,500
1914 Office of Library
Naval War Records
  4
14
  ...
...
3,980
17,740
1915A-1  Naval Rec. & Lib.
Printing of N.W.R.
  17   ...
...
21,100
A-230,210
1916 Naval Rec. & Lib.   17   ... 21,100
1917 Naval Rec. & Lib.   17   ... 21,100
1918 Naval Rec. & Lib.   17   ... 21,000
1919A-3  Naval Rec. & Lib.
World War Records
  17
15
  ...
...
21,000
20,000
1920 Naval Rec. & Lib.
World War Records
  17
15
  ...
...
21,000
20,000
1921 Naval Rec. & Lib.
World War Records
  17
15
  ...
...
21,000
20,000
1922 Naval Rec. & Lib.
World War Records
Printing of N.W.R.
  16
15
  ...
...
...
20,000
19,000
A-44,500
1923 Naval Rec. & Lib.
World War Records
  16
15
  ...
...
20,000
19,000
1924 Naval Rec. & Lib.
World War Records
  16
15
  ...
...
20,000
19,000
1925 Naval Rec. & Lib.
World War Records
  16
13
  ...
...
24,840
20,400
1926 Naval Rec. & Lib.
World War Records
  16
12
  ...
...
25,160
19,720
1927A-5  Naval Rec. & Lib.   25   ... 40,000
1928 Naval Rec. & Lib.   23   ... 37,940
1929 Naval Rec. & Lib.   23   ... 40,840
1930 Naval Rec. & Lib.   22   ... 38,640
1931 Naval Rec. & Lib.   21   ... 39,300
1932 Naval Rec. & Lib.   21   ... 39,960
1933 Naval Rec. & Lib.   21   ... 39,240
1934 Naval Rec. & Lib.   18   ... 35,970
1935 Naval Rec. & Lib.
Print. Hist. & Nav. Doc.
  18   ...
...
34,080
A-610,000
1936 Naval Rec. & Lib.
Print. Hist. & Nav. Doc.
  18   ...
...
34,080
20,000
1937 Naval Rec. & Lib.
Print. Hist. & Nav. Doc.
  18   ...
...
34,080
25,000
1938 Naval Rec. & Lib.
Print. Hist. & Nav. Doc.
  18   ...
...
34,080
20,000
1939 Naval Rec. & Lib.
Print. Hist. & Nav. Doc.
  18   ...
...
34,080
12,000
1940 Naval Rec. & Lib.
Print. Hist. & Nav. Doc.
  18   ...
...
34,360
12,000
1941 Naval Rec. & Lib.
Print. Hist. & Nav. Doc.
  18   ...
...
34,640
12,000
1942 Naval Rec. & Lib.
Print. Hist. & Nav. Doc.
  18   ...
...
34,680
12,000
1943A-7  Naval Rec. & Lib.
Print. Hist. & Nav. Doc.
Pay, Sub. & Travel
  18
1
1
  ...
...
...
38,865
100
1,200
1944A-8  Naval Rec. & Lib.
Print. Hist. & Nav. Doc.
Pay, Sub. & Travel
  20
 
4
  ...
...
...
39,000
14,000
7,685
1945 Naval Rec. & Lib.   20   ... 47,500
1946A-9  Naval Rec. & Lib.
Pay, Sub. & Travel
  20
4
  ...
...
39,700
5,640

____________

A-1. 4 March 1915. Legislative Act consolidating Library and Naval War Records under present title: Office of Naval Records & Library.

A-2. Unexpended balance authorized for printing.

A-3. 1 July 1919. Legislative Act appropriating funds for collecting World War Records.

A-4. Appropriation for completing the printing of Naval War Records.

A-5. 1 July 1927. Legislative Act consolidating funds for Library and World War Records under one appropriation.

A-6. These annual appropriations for printing Historical and Naval Documents included salary for 1 typist @ $1440 per annum.

A-7. 1 Typist paid out of Pay, Subsistence & Travel funds. Token appropriation for printing.

A-8. 4 Typists paid out of Pay, Subsistence & travel funds. Unobligated balance (printing appropriation Act repealed).

A-9. 4 Typists paid out of Pay, Subsistence & travel funds.

Appendix B: "Publications of the Office of Naval Records and Library, 1881-1946"

  1. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion.
    The work of preparing for publication the official records of the Union and Confederate Navies, which was begun 7 July 1884, was organized under the superintendency of Professor J.R. Solely, U.S. Navy, at that time librarian of the Navy Department, afterwards Assistant Secretary of the Navy.

    First Series.

    VOLUME I

    (Published 1894. Lt. Cdr. Richard Rush, USN, Officer-in-Charge)
    "Operations of the cruisers from January 19, 1861, to December 31, 1862."

    VOLUME II

    (Published 1895. Lt. Cdr. Richard Rush, USN, Officer-in-Charge)
    "Operations of the cruisers from January 1, 1863, to March 31, 1864."

    VOLUME III

    (Published 1896. Lt. Cdr. Richard Rush, USN, Officer-in-Charge)
    "Operations of the cruisers from April 1, 1864, to December 30, 1865."

    VOLUME IV

    (Published 1896. Lt. Cdr. Richard Rush, USN, Officer-in-Charge)
    "Operations in the Gulf of Mexico from November 15, 1860, to June 7, 1861. Operations on the Atlantic coast from January 1 to May 13, 1861. Operations on the Potomac and Rappahannock Rivers from January 5 to December 7, 1861."

    VOLUME V

    (Published 1897. Lt. Cdr. Richard Rush, USN, Officer-in-Charge)
    "Operations on the Potomac and Rappahannock Rivers from December 7, 1861, to July 31, 1865. Operations of the Atlantic Blockading Squadron from April 4 to July 15, 1861."

    VOLUME VI

    (Published 1897. Prof. Edward K. Rawson, USN, Officer-in-Charge)
    "Operations of the Atlantic Blockading Squadron from July 16 to October 29, 1861. Operations of the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron from October 29, 1861, to March 8, 1862."

    VOLUME VII

    (Published 1898. Prof. Edward K. Rawson, USN, Officer-in-Charge)
    "Operations of the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron from March 8 to September 4, 1862."

    VOLUME VIII

    (Published 1899. Prof. Edward K. Rawson, USN, Officer-in-Charge)
    "Operations of the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron from September 5, 1862, to May 4, 1863."

    VOLUME IX

    (Published 1899. Prof. Edward K. Rawson, USN, Officer-in-Charge)
    "Operations of the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron from May 5, 1863, to May 5, 1864."

    VOLUME X

    (Published 1900. Prof. Edward K. Rawson, USN, Officer-in-Charge)
    "Operations of the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron from May 6, to October 27, 1864."

    VOLUME XI

    (Published 1900. Prof. Edward K. Rawson, USN, Officer-in-Charge)
    "Operations of the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron from October 28, 1864, to February 1, 1865."

    VOLUME XII

    (Published 1901. Prof. Edward K. Rawson, USN, Officer-in-Charge)
    "Operations of the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron from February 2 to August 3, 1865. Operations of the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron from October 29, 1861, to May 13, 1862."

    VOLUME XIII

    (Published 1901. Prof. Edward K. Rawson, USN, Officer-in-Charge)
    "Operations of the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron from May 14, 1862, to April 7, 1863."

    VOLUME XIV

    (Published 1902. Prof. Edward K. Rawson, USN, Officer-in-Charge)
    "Operations of the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron from April 7 to September 30, 1863."

    VOLUME XV

    (Published 1902. Charles Stewart, Chief Clerk, Officer-in-Charge)
    "Operations of the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron from October 1, 1863, to September 30, 1864."

    VOLUME XVI

    (Published 1903. Charles Stewart, Chief Clerk, Officer-in-Charge)
    "Operations of the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron from October 1, 1864, to August 8, 1865. Operations of the Gulf Blockading Squadron form June 7 to December 15, 1861."

    VOLUME XVII

    (Published 1903. Charles Stewart, Chief Clerk, Officer-in-Charge)
    "Operations of the Gulf Blockading Squadron from December 16, 1861, to February 21, 1862. Operations of the East Gulf Blockading Squadron from February 22, 1862, to July 17, 1865."

    VOLUME XVIII

    (Published 1904. Charles Stewart, Chief Clerk, Officer-in-Charge)
    "Operations of the West Gulf Blockading Squadron from February 21 to July 14, 1862."

    VOLUME XIX

    (Published 1905. Charles Stewart, Chief Clerk, Officer-in-Charge)
    "Operations of the West Gulf Blockading Squadron from July 15, 1862, to March 14, 1863."

    VOLUME XX

    (Published 1905. Charles Stewart, Chief Clerk, Officer-in-Charge)
    "Operations of the West Gulf Blockading Squadron from March 15 to December 31, 1863."

    VOLUME XXI

    (Published 1906. Charles Stewart, Chief Clerk, Officer-in-Charge)
    "Operations of the West Gulf Blockading Squadron from January 1 to December 31, 1864."

    VOLUME XXII

    (Published 1908. Charles Stewart, Chief Clerk, Officer-in-Charge)
    "Operations of the West Gulf Blockading Squadron from January 1, 1865, to January 31, 1866. Operations of the Naval Forces on Western Waters from May 8, 1861, to April 11, 1862."

    VOLUME XXIII

    (Published 1910. Charles Stewart, Chief Clerk, Officer-in-Charge)
    "Operations of the Naval Forces on Western Waters from April 12 to December 31, 1862."

    VOLUME XXIV

    (Published 1911. Charles Stewart, Chief Clerk, Officer-in-Charge)
    "Operations of the Naval Forces on Western Waters from January 1 to May 17, 1863."

    VOLUME XXV

    (Published 1912. Charles Stewart, Chief Clerk, Officer-in-Charge)
    "Operations of the Naval Forces on Western Waters from May 18, 1863, to February 29, 1864."

    VOLUME XXVI

    (Published 1914. Charles Stewart, Chief Clerk, Officer-in-Charge)
    "Operations of the Naval Forces on Western Waters from March 1 to December 31, 1864."

    VOLUME XXVII

    (Published 1917. Charles Stewart, Chief Clerk, Officer-in-Charge)
    "Naval Forces on Western Waters January 1 to September 6, 1865. Operations of Supply Vessels 1861 to 1865."

    Second Series.

    VOLUME I

    (Published 1921. Captain Chas. C. Marsh, USN (Ret.), Officer-in-Charge)
    "Part 1. Statistical data of Union and Confederate ships.
      Part 2. Muster rolls of Confederate Government vessels.
      Part 3. Letters of Marque and reprisal.
      Part 4. Confederate departmental investigation, etc."

    VOLUME II

    (Published 1921. Captain Chas. C. Marsh, USN (Ret.), Officer-in-Charge)
    "Navy departmental correspondence, 1861-1865."

    VOLUME III

    (Published 1922. Captain Chas. C. Marsh, USN (Ret.), Officer-in-Charge)
    "Proclamations, Appointments, etc., of President Davis. State Department Correspondence with Diplomatic Agents, etc."

  1. Naval Documents Related to the Quasi-War Between the United States and France.

    In 1934, President Roosevelt initiated, and Congress authorized, the publication of documents on the early history of the United States Navy. The detailed preparation and editing of the volumes under direction of Miss Loretta I. MacCrindle, with the assistance of Miss Catherine MacDonnell, Miss Georgia Freese, Mrs. C.R. Collins and Mrs. A.R. Lawrence was started in April 1934, and carried on until October 1945, under the supervision of Commodore (then Captain) Dudley W. Knox, USN (Ret.).

    First Series.

    VOLUME I

    (Published 1935. Period from February 1797 to October 1798.)
    "In addition to documents concerning the diplomatic and commercial prelude to hostilities, the volume contains much source material related to the establishment of the Navy Department and the procurement and mobilization of the Navy for prosecuting this war."

    VOLUME II

    (Published 1936. Period from November 1798 to March 1799.)
    "A special feature of the second volume is a section devoted to the American armed merchant vessels which participated in this naval war during the year 1798. Such information as the names of masters and other officers, number of crew, tonnage, guns carried, registry ports, etc., is given when available. Together with interesting details of encounters between armed merchant vessels and French privateers."

    VOLUME III

    (Published 1936. Period from April to July 1799, inclusive.)
    "It contains additional documentary material related to the early organization of our naval forces, the establishing of bases in the Caribbean Area, operations of our Navy incident to the protection of American commerce, and the activities of our armed merchant vessels."

    VOLUME IV

    (Published 1937. Period from August 1799 to December 1799.)
    "It carries forward the operations of the Navy and related events, together with accounts of the captures of several French privateers, and many recaptures from the French of American and British vessels."

    VOLUME V

    (Published 1937. Period from January 1800 through May 1800.)
    "Deals with events when an active naval campaign was conducted, principally in the Caribbean region. Besides the notable engagement between the Constellations and La Vengeance, there is covered the action between the Boston and nine armed barges, as well as the capture of many French Privateers or their engagements with American armed merchant vessels."

    VOLUME VI

    (Published 1938. Period from June 1, 1800 to November 30, 1800.)
    "It continues the active campaign in the Caribbean and covers the capture of the French Sloop of War Le Berceau by the Boston, a number of hard fought and successful engagements of the Experiment, and numerous captures and recaptures by other vessels."

    VOLUME VII

    (Published 1938. Period from December 1, 1800 to December 31, 1801.)
    "It contains much hitherto unpublished matter concerning naval activity, together with related political and commercial affairs. In addition to the material relating to operations, this volume contains supplementary data as follows: a register of naval officers serving in the war; a list of United States Ships of War with pertinent data; a list of such armed merchant vessels as have been found in various contemporary sources with data concerning their active part in the war; a list of Navy Agents; and a small Appendix which includes documents received after the publication of preceding volumes."

  1. Naval Documents Related to the United States Wars With the Barbary Powers.
  2. Second Series.

    VOLUME I

    (Published 1939. Period from 1785 through 1801.)
    Deals with the voyage of the U.S.S. George Washington from Algiers to Constantinople under compulsion by the Dey of Algiers; the declaration of war by Tripoli against the United States; the sending of a squadron under Commodore Richard Dale to the Mediterranean; the capture of the Tripolitan cruiser Tripoli by the U.S. schooner Enterprize and the blockade of Tripoli.

    VOLUME II

    (Published 1940. Period from 1802 through August 1803.)
    War continued with Tripoli, and its blockade was kept up. In the Spring of 1802, Commodore Richard Dale was relieved by Commodore Richard V. Morris in command of the Squadron. The Emperor of Morocco displayed a determination to declare war against the United States, while peace with Algiers was preserved only through payment of tribute, and relations with Tunis remained very precarious.

    VOLUME III

    (Published 1942. Period from September 1803 through March 1804.)
    Covers naval operations from September 1803 through March 1804. Among the events dealt with therein were the declaration of war against the United States by Morocco, and a naval demonstration at Tangier by the squadrons under Commodores Rodgers and Preble, which, together with diplomatic pressure, was notably successful in persuading the Emperor of Morocco to confirm and ratify the Peace Treaty of 1786.

    VOLUME IV

    (Published 1943. Period from April 1804 through August 1804.)
    Deals with series of vigorous attacks on Tripoli made by the squadron under the redoubtable Commodore Edward Preble. These operations were notable in several aspects. They were conducted far from home in times when supply and communications were exceedingly difficult, not only from the then normal handicaps imposed by sail, but also because of the political turmoil in Europe incident to the great Napoleonic Wars. Preble had to depend largely upon the good will of the Neopolitan and British governments for the use of bases at Syracuse, Malta and Gibraltar, and for other essential aid in the matter of supplies and equipment.

    VOLUME V

    (Published 1944. Period from September 1804 through April 1805.)
    The period coincides with the command of Commodore Samuel Barron, and forms a phase contrasting sharply with the preceding combat operations under Commodore Edward Preble, in previous volumes.

    VOLUME VI

    (To be published in 1946. Covers period from May 1805 through 1807.)

    VOLUME

    Register of Personnel and Ships' Data, Barbary Wars, 1801-1807
    (Published 1945. Preparation of this volume supervised by Lt. Comdr. M.V. Brewington, USNR, and Mrs. A.R. Lawrence.

Appendix C
(Memoranda prepared by Commander Tracy Barrett Kittredge)

Part I:
Problems Involved in Systematic Collection and Classification of War Documentation; Office of Naval Records

Notes for Captain D.W. Knox.

The Office of Naval Records will be faced, at the end of the present emergency, with the problem of taking over, or extracting, from the files and archives of the various offices and bureaus of the Navy Department, those reports, documents and correspondence files essential for the analysis and study of American naval participation, and of American naval operations in the present world-wide hostilities. Ultimately, the greater part of this mass of material will doubtless be transferred to the National Archives. Officers of the Navy, of the General Board, of the War Plans Section of Operations, of the Office of Naval Intelligence, of other government agencies, and future historians, will turn to the Office of Naval Records for pertinent documentation to make systematic appraisals of the lessons of the present struggle and analytical studies of the operations of the Navy.

I am therefore summarizing below comments and suggestions as to procedures which might be adopted, during the present emergency and at its termination, to permit the Office of Naval Records to respond adequately to the demands that will later be made upon it. These comments are grouped under the following headings:

  1. Present systems of filing and classification of naval documentation and records.
  2. Relations of collections in the Office of Naval Records to other files and archives.
  3. Current measures for circulation, appraisal and synthesis of data and information.
  4. Centralization and classification of essential documentation in Office of Naval Records, during or at the end of the emergency.
  5. Summary of suggestions.

I. Present Systems of Filing and Classification of Naval Documentation and Records.

The infinitely complicated aspects of modern war, in its world-wide manifestations, are reflected in the variety and multiplication of files and archives now in operation in the Navy Department. Not only do the Office of the Secretary, the Office of Naval Operations, the Office of Naval Intelligence, and the various bureaus, maintain separate files and archives, but many divisions of each of these offices and bureaus also maintain autonomous collections. Methods of circulating, classifying and filing documentation, worked out in established agencies in peace time, ordinarily continue. The exigencies of war, however, so far as naval operations are concerned, have led to the establishment of new methods of circulation, classification and filing of important classes of documentation. To the normal agencies of the Navy Department have been added the various naval commands, the joint boards and commands, and the arrangements for war councils and special commands for combined forces and operations. New systems have also been set up for appraising and summarizing all available information; to meet needs and requirements of organization of belligerent operations; to guarantee the necessary security of all secret data and documents; and to permit the High Commands to be provided with a continuous estimate of the situation, as a basis for war plans and operations.

The needs of the High Command now--the criteria applied in the selection, appraisal and synthesis of current documentation available--are, in all probability, not greatly different from the needs and criteria of boards, individual officers or historians, who may later wish to reexamine and appraise the records of naval operations and of naval participation in all aspects of the war.

It would therefore appear to be possible and desirable for the Office of Naval Records to profit from the current efforts of many different officers, in the various offices and bureaus of the department, to prepare the later selection and classification of the essential documentation relative to the war. This would appear to involve the following measures during the period of the emergency:

1. A careful and continuing survey of classes of documentation and records received, indexed, circulated, classified and filed in each of the separate files and archives of the Navy Department. Such a survey should make clear the system of classification used in each such office, and the criteria followed in establishing and maintaining the different files and archives. Some one member of the office, or some section thereof, should be responsible for following continuously any developments or changes that may occur in methods or places of collecting and filing records and documentation.

2. The introduction of the practice of making microfilm copies of important collections of documentary material may also greatly facilitate the later task of the Office of Naval Records. Arrangements should be made for this office to be kept constantly informed of all files or classes of documentation of which such microfilm copies are made; of the rules followed in each office and bureau for determining which documents should be so microfilmed; of the disposition made of the negatives of such microfilm copies of departmental files and records; and of any arrangements which may be approved for making and circulating copies of prints from microfilm negatives.

3. It may be found advisable also to establish immediately, in the Office of Naval Records, a central microfilm archive in which should be deposited immediately negatives or prints of all microfilm copies of documents in department files or archives related directly or indirectly to naval operations. This would greatly facilitate the later centralization, classification and indexing of all materials concerned with naval operations during the present war.

Part II.
Relation of Collections in the Office of Naval Records to Other Files and Archives.

In recent years, the Office of Naval Records has taken over and reclassified, under appropriate subject headings, the archives of the Navy Department concerned with naval operations for a large proportion of the nineteenth century. A special historical collection was prepared, in the London Naval Headquarters in 1919, of copies of all records relative to U.S. Naval operations in European waters, 1917-1919. A methodical subject classification for such documentation was worked out. A sufficient number of copies of each document was made, at the time, to permit one copy to be filed under each subject dealt with. As this method presented a great advantage to anyone engaged in research or investigation on any special subject, arrangements were later made, by the Office of Naval Records, for earlier documentation on naval operations to be similarly reclassified under subject headings, by having the necessary number of copies made of each documents.

The National Archives Council has raised certain objections to the continuance of this methodical reclassification of archives relating to naval operations, turned over to the Office of Naval Records. The volume of documents, reports and correspondence now currently received in the Navy Department is such that any methodical reclassification of office and bureau files concerned with naval operations, for the period after 1939, would appear to present insuperable difficulties.

It is therefore probable that it will be necessary to maintain intact the present systems of classification used in the various current files and archives of the Navy Department. In accordance with the general rules laid down by the National Archives Council, steps are being taken, or can be taken, to arrange in each of the current files for separate classifications of a great mass of ephemeral and routine materials, additional copies of documents, etc., which can thus be automatically eliminated from files and archives before the materials of permanent interest are transferred either to the National Archives; or, if they relate to naval operations, to the Office of Naval Records.

The historical collections now in the Office of Naval Records are to a large extent made up of copies of original documents filed in accordance with a carefully prepared subject classification, to facilitate the work of investigators and research workers. The Office of Naval Records should be able, before the end of the present emergency, to arrange for the continuation of this historical collection of documents pertinent to naval operations and naval experience during the present war, if such continuation is deemed desirable and practicable.

Under present circumstances, such a collection might be composed of either typed or microfilm copies of the original documents. These originals could then be retained, in the administrative files to which they originally belonged, for later deposit in the National Archives. Comprehensive, annotated subject indexes or guides might also be made, with adequate references to the files in which the original documents are to be conserved.

If there is a wide extension of the microfilming of department files and archives, these will constitute in fact a duplicate set of nearly all important documents and records. Moreover, if appropriate criteria are followed, during the emergency, in selecting current records for microfilming, this collection of microfilm negatives will, in the case of certain files and archives, contain practically all of the records necessary for a separate historical collection, to be retained in the Office of Naval Records. The cost of making prints from such films is so low that it would appear possible to make later a sufficient number of prints of such film to permit the reclassification and filing of such prints under the methodical subject headings, already worked out for earlier records, with such modification and revision as may be necessary to adapt it to changed conditions of naval operations during the present war. The provision of an adequate number of reading machines would permit easy utilization of such film archives. Conditions now existing will also probably result in the concentration in certain special files--such as those of the Combined Staffs, of the office of the Secretary, of the Office of Naval Operations, of the Office of the Commander in Chief, and of the Office of Naval Intelligence--of practically all documents and records of definite historical significance. Copes of important reports, documents and correspondence in files of the various bureaus which relate directly to plans, operations, or general estimates of the situation made from time to time, will thus be found in this comparatively small group of central files of offices directly concerned with information or operations. Hence, the Office of Naval Records, in planning later transfer of files of documents, historical importance or the establishment of a special historical collection can no doubt limit its action in the first instance to these special files, within various branches, or special services, of the Office of the Secretary of the Navy and the Office of Naval Operations.

The files of the various bureaus will in all probability contain the records of all significant technical developments. In collaboration with officers responsible for bureau activities during the war, it should be possible, without great difficulty, to arrange for copies to be made of records of all such technical and special developments of definite general interest for naval operations during the war, and those of historical significance.

There may also be certain classes of documents at present not adequately utilized for current studies such as war diaries, and other sources of information, now available in the Navy Department, or in other government agencies in Washington (Office of the Coordinator of Information; Board of Economic Warfare; Office of Inter-American Affairs; Office of Emergency Management; War Production Board; Lend-Lease Administration; British and other Allied Intelligence services or operations, staffs, etc.).

Part III.
Relation of Current Measures for Circulation, Appraisal and Synthesis of Information, to Plans Office of Naval Records.

The multiplication, both of sources of information and data concerning all phases of war activities, and of agencies in the Navy Department, or of Joint and combined staff arrangements for the planning and conduct of operations, has necessitated the creation of special procedures and mechanisms. These are designed to facilitate centralization in appropriate offices of all pertinent information and reports; the systematic appraisal and synthesis of such data; and adequate diffusion of the results, of such studies and surveys, to the officers and services directly concerned.

The General Board of the Navy, the War Plans division of the Office of Naval Operations, and the plans and intelligence branches of joint or combined staffs or agencies, must also be carrying on continuous surveys or frequent restatements of war developments and estimates of the general situation.

Such activities are, at the same time, part of the naval and military history of the war, and form an invaluable guide and index to all available materials, documents and information concerning war plans and operations. It might be possible, if current lists are maintained of documents, reports, correspondence, etc., referred to, and dealt with by such central intelligence, planning and operations staffs, for copies of such lists to be made available for the Office of Naval Records; with such annotations, memoranda, and general reports as may be prepared in these central staffs, on the basis of such data. Only in this way, can the record of the central planning and direction of operations be preserved.

In the Office of Naval Intelligence itself, there are a group of special sections, each responsible for following certain special problems, or categories of information, and for communicating reports or summaries of data, collected from reports, special documents, correspondence, etc., to the appropriate divisions or sections of the Office of Naval Operations or the Bureaus. Current records of such surveys or data are no doubt kept, and these might later be made available for the special collections of the Office of Naval Records.

The effort now required and spent, on current recording and analysis of reports and documentations received in the Navy Department, might thus be made to contribute directly to the process of making such records more accessible for future investigations, naval studies and historical reports. The results of contemporary study and analysis of such records, frequently absent or exceedingly difficult to reconstruct in later studies, might thus be made part of the essential war documentation.

This process might be further improved and perfected, were it possible to make arrangements to have a limited number of officers, charged with such central staff assignments during the war, to collaborate, for at least a brief period after the end of the emergency, in the integration of the documentation and reports, with which they had dealt directly for current purposes, into the body of the permanent historical collection relating to naval operations, to be transferred to the Office of Naval Records and organized for ready reference and access.

An over-all survey of such sources of information, concerning various phases of war activities and operations, might therefore prove of immediate importance for current purposes, as well as of value for any collection of historical records that may later be brought together. Such a survey might also include some reference to methods now in effect for survey, appraisal and distribution of information, and of important records and documents not normally included in the materials received in the various offices of the Navy Department. Surveys such as this have no doubt already been made for special purposes. If so, it would be important to make sure that the results were ultimately to be made available to the Office of Naval Records.

Part IV.
Centralization and Classification of Essential Documentation in the Office of Naval Records, During and at the end of the Emergency.

It would appear necessary to prepare plans well in advance for the transfer of papers, from the various files and archives of the Navy Department, to the Office of Naval Records at the end of the war. Many of the problems that will be faced have been mentioned above. It may be found possible and desirable to arrange for continuous transfer, during the course of the present emergency, of certain documents, and of microfilm copies of records.

The major questions on which early decisions would greatly facilitate the later operations of the Office of Naval Records can perhaps be summarized as follows:

  1. Should the administrative systems of classification of papers in the various files and archives be preserved for any documents later to be transferred to the Office of Naval Records?
  2. If such original records are not to be reclassified, should a separate historical collection be formed, to be made up of copies, or microfilm prints of such documents, classified and filed by subjects as has been the case of earlier collections in the Office of Naval Records?
  3. Should arrangements be made for an early transfer of microfilm negatives or prints to the Office of Naval Records, for deposit and for later utilization as the basis of any special historical collection to be established and maintained?
  4. Will it be possible to arrange for general surveys to be made, both of contents of existing files and archives, methods of classification, etc., and of current studies, summaries or general surveys by intelligence, planning or operations sections or staffs?
  5. Would it be possible to arrange, in advance, for a limited number of officers, from the various divisions of the Office of Naval Operations and from the bureaus, to be temporarily assigned to the Office of Naval Records, at a later date, to assist in planning and arranging for the transfer of various files and collections of documents and for their incorporation into whatever general plan may be adopted for classifying and conserving essential documentation of historical interest?
  6. If such assignments were possible, could such officers collaborate immediately--at least informally--with the staff of the Office of Naval Records, in arranging for transfer of documentation during and at the end of the war?

The answers to a number of these questions will depend upon decisions of general policy, applicable to all government agencies in Washington. The commission on government archives may be elaborating general plans for transfer of records, selected for preservation, from the various departments to the National Archives. If such decisions of general policy are reached, these will necessarily necessitate special consideration as to their application to the special problems involved in the classification, transfer and preservation of records of naval operations.

There would appear to have been a great variation in the procedures followed in the past, in the various offices and bureaus of the Navy Department, in the disposal of old files, in the selection of material for transfer from current files to other archives, or to the Office of Naval Records, and in determination of the period covered by materials in current files. Some standardization of these procedures would appear necessary and desirable.

The rapid increase in reports and documents now received in all files will require more frequent transfers from current files to other archives. It may be necessary from lack of suitable storage space, to reduce drastically the volume of material to be conserved.

Generalization of microfilm use might make it desirable to preserve only microfilm copies of various classes of papers and documents no longer currently used. This would necessitate the organization of an adequately prepared microfilm archive with suitable indices to make it possibly easily to find and use film copies of material so preserved. The custody of such an archive might possibly be transferred to the Office of Naval Records. Such a decision would require new technical facilities to be planned and prepared.

Such a microfilm archive would raise in another form the problem of classification and indexing of film records. Should the old departmental filing methods and classifications be retained for such a microfilm archive, or could more suitable methods be developed?

Whatever the method to be used, both for the preservation of records, and for their classification when removed from the various active files and archives of the Navy Department, the arrangements for such transfers involve many problems which must be solved well in advance of the time when such transfers are actually made. It will be necessary to arrange for a highly competent and specially trained staff to be available for a period of six months or a year after the end of hostilities. So far as possible, arrangements should be made to obtain the temporary assistance of officers (perhaps of the various branches of the reserve) who have had active service in the various offices and bureaus of the Department during the war period. Some tentative arrangements might be made well in advance for such temporary assignments of specially qualified officers, who may already have been in touch with the problems to be faced by the Office of Naval Records, in effecting the transfer and reclassification of the documentation relative to American naval effort and operations during the present war.

Part V.
Summary of Suggestions and Recommendations.

  1. A survey of documentation received, indexed, classified and filed, in each of the separate files and archives of the Navy Department, would facilitate study of the systems used, the criteria followed in selection and classification of documents, and arrangements for later transfer of material to the Office of Naval Records.
  2. The Office of Naval Records should be kept informed of the microfilming of documents in the various files and archives of the Department, of the criteria used in determining which materials are to be copied by microfilm, and of the disposition made of the negatives and prints of such microfilm copies of naval documentation.
  3. A central microfilm archive for copies of all documentation directly related to naval operations should be established, immediately if possible, in the Office of Naval Records to permit centralization of the deposit of such copies.
  4. Steps should be taken, during the present national emergency, for current materials to be so filed in department archives and files as to facilitate the later elimination of non-essential papers, in the transfer of such files to the National Archives or to the Office of Naval Records (in the case of those files and archives concerned with naval operations.)
  5. The Office of Naval Records should take appropriate measures immediately to arrange for the later establishment of special historical collections, and of the necessary indices and guides to documentation relative to naval operations during the war.
  6. If a microfilm archive of copies of documents relative to naval operations is established in the Office of Naval Records, this should facilitate the preparation of collections of prints of such copies classified under appropriate subject headings, if it were deemed desirable or practical to retain for such an historical collection, the methodical subject classification already applied to previous records of earlier naval operations.
  7. To complete the manuscript materials, or collection of, microfilm copies of documents relative to naval operations during the war, steps should be taken to arrange to obtain copies, or records of materials, from files and archives of other government war agencies, (including joint and combined staffs), needed to provide a complete record of naval operations.
  8. The value of collections in the Office of Naval Records would be greatly enhanced if complete sets of current memoranda, summaries of information, estimates of the situation, and records of documents utilized by the various naval, joint or combined operation staffs could be retained for later transference to the office. This would necessitate informal collaboration of certain officers, attached to such staffs, with the Office of Naval Records, both in maintaining complete sets of such staff documents and in assuring their later incorporation into any central historical collection that may be established in the Office of Naval Records.
  9. Similarly, an over-all survey of sources of information normally utilized by planning and operations staffs, might help to ensure more complete current utilization of data available in the Navy Department, or in other agencies in Washington, as well as to facilitate the later completion of historical collections of materials relative to naval operations during the war.
  10. Decisions on the questions above mentioned will greatly facilitate the immediate elaboration of plans for the transfer of documents (or of microfilm copies) relative to naval operations, to the Office of Naval Records both during the war, and at the end of the emergency. Early decision on these points would permit informal arrangements to be made in the near future for such transfers, as well as for the unofficial collaboration of officers, attached to various sections or divisions of the department, directly concerned with the current handling of such reports and documents.
  11. Some standardization of current procedures, in the various divisions of the Office of Operations and in the bureaus, in determining the criteria to be followed, in the administration of current files, in earmarking collections for preservation, and in eliminating non-essential data, would appear desirable.
  12. Arrangements should be made well in advance for the procedures to be followed, at the end of the emergency, in obtaining temporary collaboration of the personnel that will then be necessary, to complete the incorporation of materials from different sources in whatever historical collections may then be completed, and to arrange for appropriate subject indices and guides to be established. Wherever possible, an effort should be made to utilize the experience of officers, concerned with the current handling during the war of materials from the various files and archives, that may be transferred to the Office of Naval Records.

Index and Summary

Notes for Captain D.W. Knox, USN (Ret.)
Officer-in-Charge, Office of Naval Records.

Problems involved in systematic collection and classification of War Documentation; Office of Naval Records.
      Page
  General Character of Problems Faced: 1
I. Present systems of filing and classification of naval documentation and records. (Large number of files and archives in the Navy Department.) 2
  1. Survey of contents and procedures of such files and archives. 3
  2. Procedures determining the making of microfilm copies. 3
  3. Desirability of central microfilm archives for operations data. 3-4
II. Relation of collections in Office of Naval Records to other files and archives.  4
  Methodical subject classification of earlier records. 4
  Probability of maintenance of administrative classifications of current documents. 5
  Possibility of continuance, with copies, of separate historical collection. 5
  Microfilm negatives may permit a special collection of Office of Naval Records. 5-6
  Concentration in files of Office of Operations and joint and combined staffs of essential documentation for operations. 6
  Availability of documents which are in other government files and archives. 7
III. Relation of current measures for circulation, appraisal and synthesis of information, to Plans Office of Naval Records.  7
  Procedures for current use of operation documents. 7
  Possibility of retention of copies of records of naval, joint and combined staffs. 8
  Current analysis and appraisal of information by ONI. 8
  Suggested over-all survey of present measures for centralization and utilization of available data. 9
IV. Centralization and classification of essential documentation in Office of Naval Records, during and at the end of the emergency.  9
  Necessity of advance preparation of detailed plans. 9
  Major questions requiring early decisions. 10
  1. Should administrative filing systems be retained? 10
  2. Should separate historical collections be maintained in the Office of Naval Records? 10
  3. Should microfilm archives be established in the Office of Naval Records? 10
  4. Possibility of current surveys 10
    a. of contents of department files and archives, methods of filing, etc. 10
    b. of current studies and summaries based on available data. 10
  5. Possibility of later temporary assignment of officers with special experience to Office of Naval Records, and 10
  6. Informal collaboration of officers attached to other files and archives and officers operations divisions. 11
  Problem of relieving current files of accumulation documents. 11
  Possibility of preserving microfilm copies of file and archive materials. 12
V. Summary of suggestions and reccomendations.  12
  1. Survey of documentation and filing methods in Department files. 12
  2. Office of Naval Records to be informed of microfilming of documents. 13
  3. Central filing archive for operation documents in the Office of Naval Records. 13
  4. Immediate classification in all files and archives of documents for preservation. 13
  5. Early arrangement of historical collection in the Office of Naval Records. 13
  6. Preparation of microfilm prints of operation documents. 13
  7. Suggested completed collection with copies of documents from other files. 14
  8. Preservation of records of naval, joint and combined staff for historical collection in Office of Naval Records. 14
  9. Survey of current sources of information and current utilization of such sources. 14
  10. Early decision on general plans for Office of Naval Records. 14
  11. Standardization of procedures in administrative current department files. 15
  12. Advance arrangements for temporary detail qualified personnel at end of war. 15

Appendix C--Part II:
Procedures Suggested for Examination and Adoption of Plans for Activities of the Office of Naval Records, in the Centralization, Classification and Filing of Documentation Relative to Naval Operations During the War.

(Reference: Notes for Captain D.W. Knox, USN (Ret.); Problems involved in systematic collection and classification of War documentation, submitted by Lt. T.B. Kittredge, U.S.N.R., 10 April, 1942).

  1. Elaboration of general plans, Office of Naval Records, for submission to appropriate authorities in the Navy Department.
    1. Proposals for preliminary surveys, by officers, attached to the Office of Naval Records, or assigned by the Director of Naval Intelligence, the Chief of Naval Operations, or the Secretary of the Navy; such surveys to include:
      1. Inventory of existing files and archives, relative to Naval Operations, and of existing systems of filing, classification and indexing of current records;
      2. Analysis of existing arrangements and plans for microfilming department files and archives;
      3. Survey of existing methods of analysis, centralization, appraisal and synthesis of data available in current reports and documents relative to Naval Operations, to be earmarked for archives of the Office of Naval Records. One of the purposes of these surveys should be to ensure that maximum use is made of all available data for operating purposes. The same materials and methods necessary to ensure such an immediate objective would apply also to the later activities of the Office of Naval Records, in conserving these archives.
    2. Elaboration of general program for the current use, filing and later transfer to the Office of Naval Records of documents relative to Naval operations now in department current files and archives.
      1. Such a program to include proposals to be prepared, on the basis of the above suggested surveys, by the officer-in-charge, in collaboration with such officers attached to other services as may seem appropriate.
      2. Proposals, so prepared, to be submitted, for discussion and approval, to the Director of Naval Intelligence, to the Chief of Staffs of the Chief of Naval Operations and of the Commander-in-Chief, to Naval representatives on joint and combined staffs, and to the Office of the Secretary of the Navy.
      3. Such proposals, if approved, should be made effective by issuance of the necessary authorizations and orders by the appropriate authorities.
  2. Suggested current activities, Staff of Office of Naval Records.
    1. Liaison with officers in charge of current files and archives, relative to Naval operations.
      1. Duties of the staff to be determined in general proposal to be submitted for approval.
      2. Responsibility for such liaison duties to be assigned to qualified officer designated by officer-in-charge of the Office of Naval Records.
    2. Establishment of central microfilm archive of microfilm negatives or prints of files and records directly related to naval operations. This would involve:
      1. Assignment of specially qualified personnel to plan the organization of archives and maintenance of adequate systems for indexing, classification, and assurances of security of such records.
      2. Provision of necessary material and equipment for establishment and maintenance of such a microfilm operations archives.
      3. Maintenance of necessary liaison with naval operations, intelligence and planning sections or services.
    3. Collaboration of officers, in appropriate sections of Office of Naval Operations, Office of Naval Intelligence, and with officers assigned to Naval, joint and combined Staffs, to assure:
      1. Adequate recording of all documentation and records used by, or prepared in such services.
      2. Continuous survey of classes of material received, and of arrangements for analysis and utilization of such data.
      3. Arrangements for transfer of such documentation and data, at some later period, to Office of Naval Records for incorporation in special collections of documentation for Naval Operations and activities during the present war.
      4. Assignment of qualified officers to Staff of Office of Naval Records to assist in handling of documentation of operations and intelligence services, or, alternatively, designation of officers assigned such services to collaborate continuously with officer-in-charge, Office of Naval Records.
    4. Establishment and maintenance of Special Collections of War documentation, related to naval operations and activities. This would involve:
      1. Decision of character of such special collections, to conform to general programs and plans for preservation and analysis of government records related to war activities.
      2. Inauguration of such special collections of records, or microfilm copies thereof as may seem appropriate, with such systems of classification or indexing as may best serve the purpose of such collections.
      3. Arrangement for continuous transfer to such collections of data, records, or microfilm negatives or prints as may be released from time to time by Operations and Intelligence files and archives.
      4. Designation of qualified staff to assist officer-in-charge, in planning and administering such collections in the Office of Naval Records, such staff to include liaison officers to or from such Operations and Intelligence services.
    5. Maintenance of cooperative relations with other government, joint or combined agencies, directly or indirectly concerned with the conduct of war activities and operations. This would involve:
      1. Elaboration by the officer-in-charge, Office of Naval Records of plans for such cooperation and designation of officers to maintain contacts with each of such agencies.
      2. General planning of exchanges of documentation and for supply to Office of Naval Records of data to be included in special collections of war documentation relative to Naval Operations.
      3. Establishment of a list of such agencies with which continuous contact should be maintained, in accordance with any general plans which may be approved for the government services concerned with war activities.
  3. Planning and activities, Office of Naval Records, after the end of the present emergency.
    1. The suggested measures above outlined would necessitate early agreement as to the nature and method of classification of records related to naval operations during the war.
    2. Such decisions would also permit the immediate undertaking of preliminary measures for transfer of naval war operations documents to the Office of Naval Records, and for classification, indexing and filing of such documents and records. It should be understood that no files and archives should be transferred from the Navy Department to the National Archives without prior reference to the Office of Naval Records.
    3. Plans for the later activities of the Office of Naval Records can be put into effect gradually, as considerations of security and availability of personnel permit. Such plans should include arrangements to insure:
      1. Transfer of pertinent files and archives to the collections of the Office of Naval Records.
      2. Appropriate arrangements for classification, indexing and filing of such materials from files and archives and of any special war documentation collections to be established relative to naval operations during the war.
      3. Preliminary arrangements for temporary assignment to the Office of Naval Records, at the end of the present emergency, of qualified officers, familiar with operations records and activities, to assist in the transfer and classification of such documentation, and its incorporation into the files and collections of the Office of Naval Records.
    4. The Office of Naval Records, if the functions above outlined are to be assigned to it, must be provided at an early date with a limited number of qualified (reserve?) officers to assist the officer-in-charge.
      1. with preparation of general plans for the various functions and activities of the office;
      2. with preliminary measures, such as those above outlined, to permit general plans to be made effective during and at the end of the emergency;
      3. to assure current activities of the office, particularly in maintaining liaison with other services and agencies; and
      4. to complete plans for the later transfer, classification, indexing and filing of all documents, or microfilm copies thereof, relative to naval operations during the war.

T.B. Kittredge
17 April 1942

20 April 1942

Possible Staff Requirements, Office of Naval Records.

(if procedures for dealing with operations records are approved).

  1. Survey of Department files and archives.

      One officer (later to maintain liaison with other files).

  2. Survey of present methods for analysis, appraisal and synthesis of information available.

      One officer (to be personal assistant to officer-in-charge) who might collaborate with, or assist, officer to be designated by Director of Naval Intelligence or Chief of Naval Operations and with Directory of Records Coordination, of the Office of the Secretary.

      One or more assistants, possible to be assigned as Record Officers, to Office of Naval Operations, Office of Commander-in-Chief, and to joint or combined operations or intelligence staffs.

      Analysts (possibly to be designated by O.N.I. To survey and report on special categories of information).

  3. Microfilm archive of operations documents.

      One officer, to be responsible for organization and maintenance of microfilm archive in Office of Naval Records and Library.

      One or more assistants to aid in classification and indexing of microfilm prints.

  1. Special Historical Collections, Office of Naval Records.
  2. One officer, to be responsible for planning, installing and maintaining special collections of files, archives, etc., relating to Naval Operations, such as:

a. War diaries.
b. Records of Naval, joint or combined Staffs.
c. Special operations reports.

  1. Liaison with National Archives, and with government agencies concerned with war activities: e.g. War Department, Allied Government Agencies, Coordinator of Information, etc.?
  2. One officer to assist officer-in-charge in working out cooperative arrangements with other agencies.

Appendix D: "Roster of Officers Attached to Staff 1882-1946."

Officers in Charge
June 1882 - December 1941
Name Rank Attached Detached
Soley, J.R.D-1  Professor, USN June 1882 Oct. 1889
Wise, F.M. Lt. Commander, USN D-3Oct. 1889 May 1893
Rush, Richard Lt. Commander, USN May 1893 Mar. 1897
Rawson, E.K. Professor, USN Mar. 1897 1902
Stewart, CharlesD-2  Chief Clerk 1902 1917
Kimball, W.W. Rear Admiral, USN, (Ret.) Aug. 1918 1919
Marsh, C.C. Captain, USN, (Ret.) 1919 May 1920
MacDougal, W.D. Captain, USN May 1920 Aug. 1921
Knox, D.W. Commodore, USN, (Ret.) Aug. 1921 ---
Superintendents of the Library
White, H.K. Colonel, USMC, (Ret.) July 1921 Dec. 1922
Sypher, J.H. Commander, USN, (Ret.) Mar. 1923 Nov. 1925
Wainwright, Richard, Jr. Lt. Commander, USN, (Ret.) Nov. 1925 Jan. 1929
Cocke, H.C. Captain, USN Feb. 1929 June 1931
World War, Pictorial, and Publications Sections
Knut, S.P. Ensign, USNRF Nov. 1918 June 1922
Breck, Edward Lt. Commander, USNRF Feb. 1919 June 1922
Clephane, Lewis P. Lt. Commander, USNRF Feb. 1919 Nov. 1920
Whelpley, P.B. Lt. (jg), USNRF Feb. 1919 June 1922
Payne, Samuel S. Lt. Commander, USN Jan. 1923 Dec. 1924
Robertson, R.S., Jr. Lieutenant, USN, (Ret.) Dec. 1924 Aug. 1928
Doughty, Leonard, Jr. Lt. Commander, USN, (Ret.) Aug. 1928 Feb. 1930
Moore, C.G. Lieutenant, USN Feb. 1930 Apr. 1931
McVay, Charles B., 3rd Lieutenant, USN Apr. 1931 May 1933
Lawton, Andrew P. Lieutenant, USN June 1933 May 1935
Dunn, Lucius C. Commander, USN Aug. 1934 May 1935
Lademan, Joseph U. Lieutenant, USN May 1935 Dec. 1936
Taylor, C.E. Lt. Commander, USN July 1936 Jan. 1936
Bartman, Russel C. Lt. Commander, USN June 1937 Sept. 1937
Vensel, Frank E. Lt. Commander, USN Sept. 1937 May 1939
Robertson, R., Jr. Lt. Commander, USN, (Ret.) Oct. 1939 Dec. 1940
Dibrell, S.T. Lieutenant, USNRF Feb. 1941 ----
Sectional Roster
1 January 1942
Op-No. Duty Location Name Rank
Op-16-E Officer-in-Charge Arlington Annex D.W. Knox Captain, USN, (Ret.)
  Chief Clerk Arlington Annex Edward Stewart (Mr.) Civil Service
    Arlington Annex Florence Sharswood (Miss) Civil Service
    Arlington Annex Virginia Tapp (Miss) Civil Service
  Messenger Arlington Annex Lamar E. Bailey (Mr.) Civil Service
Op-16-E-1 Library The Navy Building Constance Lathrop (Mrs.) Civil Service
  Library The Navy Building Judy Maxwell (Miss) Civil Service
  Library (Messenger) The Navy Building Lathan H. Jones (Mr.) Civil Service
  Library The Navy Building Frederick Meigs (Mr.) Civil Service
  Library The Navy Building Clarence Gardiner (Mr.) Civil Service
Op-16-E-2 Manuscript Section Arlington Annex Alma Lawrence (Mrs.) Civil Service
  Manuscript Section Arlington Annex Faye King (Mrs.) Civil Service
  Manuscript Section Arlington Annex Clara R. Collins (Mrs.) Civil Service
  Manuscript Section Arlington Annex Mary E. Jones (Mrs.) Civil Service
  Manuscript Section Arlington Annex Mary M. McHale (Miss) Civil Service
  Manuscript Section Arlington Annex Georgia Munroe (Miss) Civil Service
Op-16-E-3 Graphic SectionD-4  The Navy Building S.T. Dibrell Lieut., USNR
Op-16-E-4 Publications Section Arlington Annex Loretta I. MacCrindle (Miss) Civil Service
  Publications Section Arlington Annex Catherine M. MacDonnell (Miss) Civil Service
  Publications Section Arlington Annex Georgia Freese (Miss) Civil Service
Sectional Roster
1 January 1943
Op-No. Duty Location Name Rank Date Attached
Op-16-E Officer-in-Charge Arlington Annex D.W. Knox Capt. USN, (Ret.) Aug. 1921
  Chief Clerk Arlington Annex Edward Stewart (Mr.) Civil Serv. ---
Op-16-E-1  Library The Navy Building C.D. Llathrop (Mrs.) Civil Serv. ---
Op-16-E-2 Manuscript Section Arlington Annex P.T. Wright Comdr., USN, (Ret.) July 1942
  Manuscript Section Arlington Annex J.H. Kemble Lieut., USN Feb. 1942
  Manuscript Section Arlington Annex M.V. Brewington Lieut., USNR Sept. 1942
  Manuscript Section Arlington Annex W.M. Whitehill Lieut., USNR Nov. 1942
  Manuscript Section Arlington Annex N.M. Blake Lieut., USNR Nov. 1942
  Manuscript Section Arlington Annex G.B. Porter Lieut., USNR Dec. 1942
  Manuscript Section Arlington Annex R.C. Haskett Ensign, USNR Dec. 1942
  Manuscript Section Arlington Annex R.W. Leopold Ensign, USNR Dec. 1942
  Manuscript Section Arlington Annex R.C. Newbold Boatswain, USNR Dec. 1942
  Manuscript Section National Archives A.R. Lawrence (Mrs.) Civil Serv. ---
Op-16-E-3 Graphic SectionD-5  Navy "L" Bldg. S.T. Dibrell Lt. Comdr., USNR Feb. 1941
  Graphic Section Navy "L" Bldg. F.R. Breen Ensign, USNR -
  Graphic Section Navy "L" Bldg. D.H. Patton Ensign, USNR -
  Graphic Section Navy "L" Bldg. J.M. Gallagher Lt. (jg), USN -
  Graphic Section Navy "L" Bldg. H.D. Johnson Ensign, USNR -
Op-16-E-4 Publications Section National Archives L.I. MacCrindle (Miss) Civil Serv. -

NOTE: Roster does not show enlisted and includes only key civil service personnel. Civilian Staff listed on Page 5 (1 Jan. 1942) has remained practically unchanged to date.

Sectional Roster
1 January 1944
Op-No. Duty Location Name Rank
Op-16-E Officer-in-Charge Arlington Annex D.W. Knox Captain, USN, (Ret.)
  Chief Clerk Arlington Annex Edward Stewart (Mr.) Civil Service
Op-16-E-1 Library Arlington Annex Constance Lathrop (Mrs.) Civil Service
Op-16-E-2 Manuscript Section Arlington Annex P.T. Wright Commander, USNR
  Manuscript Section Arlington Annex M.V. Brewington Lieut., USNR
  Manuscript Section Arlington Annex W.M. Whitehill Lieut., USNR
  Manuscript Section Arlington Annex N.M. Blake Lieut., USNR
  Manuscript Section Arlington Annex G.B. Porter Lieut., USNR
  Manuscript Section Arlington Annex D.B. Tyler Lieut., USNR
  Manuscript Section Arlington Annex E.W. Small Lt. (jg), USNR
  Manuscript Section Arlington Annex R.W. Leopold Ens., USNR
  Manuscript Section Arlington Annex Alma R. Lawrence (Mrs.) Civil Service
Op-16-E-4 Publications Section National Archives Loretta I. MacCrindle (Miss) Civil Service

NOTE: Roster does not show enlisted and includes only key civil service personnel. Other changes from previous roster: KEMBLE, HASKETT and NEWBOLD detached; five officers of Graphic Section now directly under ONI in Strategic Photographs Section.

Sectional Roster
1 January 1945
Op-No. Duty Location Name Rank
Op-16-E Officer-in-Charge Arlington Annex D.W. Knox Captain, USN, (Ret.)
    Arlington Annex W.M. Whitehill Lieut., USNR
  Chief Clerk Arlington Annex Edward Stewart (Mr.) Civil Service
Op-16-E-1 Library Arlington Annex Constance Lathrop (Mrs.) Civil Service
Op-16-E-2 Manuscript Section Arlington Annex P.T. Wright Captain, USNR
  Manuscript Section Arlington Annex N.M. Blake Lieut., USNR
  Manuscript Section Arlington Annex C.B. Porter Lieut., USNR
  Manuscript Section Arlington Annex E.W. Small Lieut., USNR
  Manuscript Section Arlington Annex D.B. Tyler Lieut., USNR
  Manuscript Section Arlington Annex R.W. Leopold Lt. (jg), USNR
  Manuscript Section Arlington Annex R.M. Grime Lt. (jg), W-NR
  Manuscript Section Arlington Annex R.E. Delano Lt. (jg), W-NR
  Manuscript Section Arlington Annex Alma R. Lawrence (Mrs.) Civil Service
Op-16-E-4 Publications Arlington Annex M.V. Brewington Lieut., USNR
  Publications National Archives Loretta I. MacCrindle (Miss) Civil Service

NOTE: Roster does not show enlisted and includes only key civil service personnel. Other changes from previous roster: none detached; GRIME and DELANO attached.

Sectional Roster
1 January 1946
Op-No. Duty Location Name Rank
Op-16-E Officer-in-Charge The Navy Building D.W. Knox Commodore, USN, (Ret.)
  Chief Clerk The Navy Building Edward Stewart (Mr.) Civil Service
Op-16-E-1 Library Division The Navy Building M.V. Brewington Lt. Comdr., USNR
  Book Issue The Navy Building Constance Lathrop (Mrs.) Civil Service
Op-16-E-2 Records Division The Navy Building W.M. Whitehill Commander, USNR
  Assistant The Navy Building R.W. Leopold Lieut., USNR
    The Navy Building R.E. Delano Lt. (jg), W-NR
    The Navy Building B.A. Gilmore Ensign, W-NR
    The Navy Building H.F. Kuhns Ensign, W-NR
    The Navy Building Loretta I. MacCrindle (Miss) Civil Service
    National Archives N.M. Blake Lt. Comdr., USNR
    National Archives Alma R. Lawrence (Mrs.) Civil Service
Op-16-E-2A Microfilm Library The Navy Building Cleveland McCauley Captain, USN, (Ret.)
Op-23-E-3 Sound Records Division The Navy Building J.S. Phillips Captain, USN
    The Navy Building G.B. Porter Lt. Comdr., USNR

NOTE: Roster does not show enlisted and includes only key civil service personnel. Other changes from previous roster: TYLER, SMALL and GRIME detached; KUHNS, GILMORE, McCAULEY and PHILLIPS attached. Latter two Captains in charge of Microfilm Library and Sound Recordings respectively.

____________

D-1. Appointed Assistant Secretary of Navy. Oct. 1889.

D-2. Appointed Acting Superintendent, Naval War Records, by Secretary of Navy Moody. 1902.

D-3. Officer in Charge of Naval War Records Office; also designated Superintendent, Naval War Records. B.F. Tracy, Oct. 31, 1889.

D-4. Lieut. S.T. Dibrell, USNR, supervised the work of three enlisted men and two civilian workers assigned by Office of Naval Intelligence. Later, this branch became the ONI's Strategic Photographs Section.

D-5. Formerly Pictorial Section. At recommendation of Office of Naval Records and Library (in memo of 7 May 1942), name changed to Strategic Photograph Section. Personnel supervised by ONI.

Appendix E: "Scope, Facilities and Size of the Library of the U.S. Navy Department, in the Office of Naval Records and Library."

The Navy Department Library was established by Act of Congress in 1882 under the direction of the Bureau of Navigation, in which it was closely allied with the then new Office of Intelligence. In 1889, the Library was transferred to the Secretary of the Navy, whose office retained jurisdiction over it for thirty years. In 1919, by general order, the Library was restored to the Intelligence section in the Office of Naval Operations, where it has since remained.

To the time of Pearl Harbor in 1941, from the date of its establishment, the collections in the Navy Department Library have developed from a few hundred volumes to the number of about 89,484 and 182 periodicals. In addition, there were collections of approximately 40,588 photographs, and 1,037 charts and maps, and also 5,000 pamphlets. Nearly two million manuscript records, dating from before the organization of the Navy Department in 1798 through World War I, were located in the official archives cared for by this office. Commodore D.W. Knox (retired) has been the Officer-in-Charge since August 1921.

The library is maintained principally for the use of the Navy Department and other government agencies, as well as for writers and researches in naval history, naval technical, and professional questions. Under necessary restrictions, the library and bibliographic services were available for the use of college and research students. Authority has been granted by Public Document No. 12 -- 75th Congress to the Secretary of the Navy to accept gifts and bequests for the benefit of the Office of Naval Records and Library.

The Office of Naval Records and Library was located in the Navy Department on Constitution Avenue at 18th Street. The Office was the main library for the Navy Department, and comprised a manuscript division, which had on file naval records dating from the Revolutionary War through the World War, and a photographic division. The Library shelved 89,484 books and approximately 5,000 pamphlets.

The collection embraces the following subjects:

    Biography
    Engineering
    Fine Arts
    History
    Law
    Literature
    Military Science
               Naval Science
    Sociology
    Reference Books
    Science
    Technology
    Voyages
    Naval and Military History

Rare Book Section. There are 3,752 books in the rare collection, many of early dates. They are printed in the following languages: English, Greek, Latin, Italian, French, Dutch, Persian, German, Spanish, Japanese and Swedish.

The main subjects covered in teh collection are: Biography, Piracy, History-general, Engineering, Military and Naval Law, Navigation, Naval Ordnance, Naval Strategy and Tactics, Merchant Marine, Voyages, Shipwrecks, Naval and Military History, and Scientific Expeditions.

Engineering. The Engineering section contains 2,061 volumes which are divided under the main headings of Aeronautics, Civil Engineering, Canals, Waterways, Electrical Engineering, Refrigeration, Mechanical Engineering, Hydraulic, Sanitary, Marine, Steam, Mining, and Military Engineering.

The group contains surveys of the Nicaraguan Canal routes, the Isthmus of Darien, the Isthmus of Tehauntepec, and the Panama Canal. The material on salvaging, while not extensive, is of authoritative value. Marine Engineering is a strong section containing copies of all text books used by the Navy.

Naval and Military History. The Navy Department Library has 3,849 volumes of naval and military history, which embrace all countries. Special emphasis has been placed on volumes dealing with American history. The Revolutionary War, the Civil War, and World War I are well covered. The World War section contains 1,519 volumes. Naval official histories of all countries participating are in the World War collection, as well as the British Official Military History. Pictorial histories of all wars are well represented in the collection, and these are supplemented by an excellent file of photographic reproductions in the Photographic Division of this office.

Biography. The subject of biography is classified in three main divisions; Naval, Military, and Civil, with special emphasis on naval biography. There are 3,455 volumes in the whole collection, which embraces all countries. The naval section, comprising 870 volumes, is strongest in American, English and French biographical material. There are available in this group 47 items on the life of John Paul Jones.

Law. About 5,948 volumes are classified in this section, which is mainly composed of the following subdivisions: International Law, Maritime Law, Prize Law, Neutrality, International Relations, and Naval and Military Trials. All standard works on international law may be found, as well as a complete set of the publications of the Naval War College entitled "International Law Situations." treaties and conventions are well represented. Complete sets of Foreign Relations of the United States and British State Papers are available in the International Relations group. The section treating with naval and military trials is small, but contains several outstanding volumes as the "Somers Mutiny", "Trial of Commodore James Barron", "The Schley Court of Inquiry", and the "Inquiry on the Loss of the U.S.S. Jeannette."

Naval Science. There are 5,783 volumes treating with naval science in the Library. The main divisions in this group are Naval Architecture, Navigation, Signals, Strategy and Tactics. The section on naval architecture shelves 571 volumes, principally of the history of naval architecture. In the section treating with naval strategy and tactics, which comprises 555 volumes, a complete set of the writings of Admiral Mahan is available.

Navigation. The history of navigation is well covered by 1,020 volumes, which include a complete set of Bowditch's Practical Navigator, pilots and port directories for all areas. The subject of seamanship is well covered by American and English authorities.

Naval Ordnance. The Naval Ordnance group is comprised of 840 volumes by American, English, French and German authors, and covers the history of naval ordnance from earliest times.

The Naval Science group also includes general information on the navies of the principal powers and is covered by a group of 542 volumes with special emphasis on the navies of the United States and Great Britain.

The pamphlet file of the Navy Department Library contains 5,000 pamphlets; 1,792 of which are applicable to national defense. The main subject headings of this file are:

Accidents to ships
Aeronautics
Alaska
Army, U.S.
Azores
Battles
Biographies, naval
Camouflage
Canals
Casualties
Coast Guard
Commerce
Communications
Defense
Diplomacy
Discipline, organization
Economics
Education, military & naval
Engineering
Espionage
Foreign policies of U.S.
Foreign relations
Foreign service
Freedom of the seas
Fuel
Germany Navy
Guam
Hawaii
Hitler
Industrial mobilization
Insular America
International Hydrographic Bureau
International law
Italy (foreign policy)
Japan
Jutland, Battle of
Leadership
Mandates
Marine Corps, U.S.
Merchant Marine
Military Science
Monroe Doctrine
Navies, various -- strength
Navigation
Navy, Great Britain
           Neutrality
Nicaragua
Nicaraguan Canal
Naval Academy, U.S.
Naval Policy, U.S.
Naval Reserve, U.S.
Naval War College
Navy, U.S.
Navy Department, U.S.
Navy Yards
Ordnance
Pacifists, Pacifism
Panama Canal
Personnel, U.S. Navy
Philippines
Puerto Rico
Press Releases, State Dept.
Propaganda
Radio
Russia, Soviet
Safety of life at sea
Salvage operations
Samoa
Sea Power
Shipping
Ships, various
Ships, U.S. Navy (histories)
Ships, foreign
South America
Spain
Spratly Island
State Department Bulletins
Strategy and tactics
Submarines
Trade
Treaties
Uniforms
Virgin Islands
Warfare
Washington, D.C.
West Indies
World War

The Navy Department Library's lawful mission to serve as the Departmental Library was considerably hampered after the proclamation of a state of national emergency by space limitations in the main Navy Building, which necessitated three major moves to new locations, and the scattering of books and manuscripts between the National Archives, Library of Congress and the Arlington Annex.

Despite these handicaps, the Library continued to perform its function as the general reference library of the Department and its facilities were especially valuable to CominCh and CNO officers in planning and furnishing information during the war.

Meanwhile, physical expansion and scattering of the various bureaus and offices resulted in many of these latter offices building up their individual libraries. The decentralization was neither as deplorable or inefficient as feared inasmuch as the main Navy Library continued to be the central reference Library, while the "branch" libraries were for the most part sources of "technical" rather than general reference for their respective bureaus. A description of the scope and size of a few of these branch libraries follows:

    U.S. Naval Observatory Library:
    Over 3600 books, 6,000 pamphlets and 80 technical magazines. The major subjects covered are Astronomy, Mathematics and Physics.

    The Naval Medical School Library:
    Has a collection of over 22,000 volumes which cover all branches of Medicine and Surgery.

    Aeronautics Library:
    Has approximately 2,000 books on Aeronautics.

    Construction and Repair:
    Has a library of over 3,000 books and pamphlets on such subjects as Naval Architecture, strength of materials and technical government reports.

    Engineering Library:
    Contains about 4,250 books covering such subjects as Steam and Mechanical Engineering, Electricity and allied material.

    Hydrographic Office Library:
    Has approximately 4,000 volumes on nautical subjects, sailing directions and other technical works.

    Law Library:
    In the Judge Advocate General's Office: contains over 7,000 books on all branches of law.

    Navy Department Library:
    Has a total of 81,840 volumes. The subjects covered are in the main: Biography, History, Military and Naval Science, Sociology, Science, Technology, and Naval and Military History. There is shelved a complete file of Public Documents. The Manuscript Division contains letter books of officers, histories of ships and personnel, and miscellaneous naval documents up to 1910. The World War Historical Section has the records of that war.

    Yards and Docks:
    Has a technical library of about 3,000 volumes covering all engineering subjects.

Appendix F: Weekly Tabulation of Operational Reports: Accessioned, Indexed and Bound

 

  War Diaries Action Reports
  Accessioned Indexed Accessioned Bound
  In
Annex
Sub
Patrol
Armed
Guard
Fleet Ships TOTAL Originals Photo-
stats
Extra
Copies
TOTAL Originals Photo-
stats
TOTAL
1943  
April  
1-9       0 233 233              
10-16       0 315 315              
17-23       98 33 131              
24-30       41 89 130              
May  
1-7       180 51 231              
8-14       168 36 204              
15-21       71 61 132              
22-28       105 45 150              
29-4       170 33 203              
June  
5-11       159 0 159              
12-18       78 2 80              
19-25       81 9 90              
26-2       30 1 31              
July  
3-9       60 8 68              
10-16       59 11 70              
17-23       33 0 33              
24-30 303 188   37 1 38              
31-6 281 235   20 0 20              
August  
7-13 335 161   20 0 20              
14-20 438 153   30 1 31              
21-27 263 191   50 2 52              
28-3 323 139   43 2 45              
Sept.  
4-10 373 160   21 0 21              
11-17 530 214   20 1 21              
18-24 320 350   60 0 60              
25-1 233 120   11 4 15              
Oct.  
2-8 537 184   46 2 48              
9-15 571 459   46 1 47              
16-22 337 493   34 0 34              
23-29 357 549   31 3 34              
30-5 939 293   31 6 37 2     2 36   36
Nov.  
6-12 523 269   77 13 90 66     66 91   91
13-19 561 622   58 5 63 0     0 178   178
20-26 346 494   37 2 39 77     77 119   119
27-3 475 481   15 34 49 29     29 50   50
Dec.  
4-10 542 381   52 0 52 27     27 0   0
11-17 516 281   73 8 81 23     23 0   0
18-24 413 216   19 0 19 45     45 93   93
25-31 524 380   12 0 12 21     21 0   0
  War Diaries Action Reports
  Accessioned Indexed Accessioned Bound
  In
Annex
Sub
Patrol
WD
Arch
Armed
Guard
Fleet Ships TOTAL Origi-
nals
Photo-
stats
Extra
Copies
TOTAL Origi-
nals
Photo-
stats
TOTAL
1944  
Jan.  
1-7 871 517     111 4 115 11     11 114   114
8-14 512 458     26 0 26 163     163 0   0
15-21 773 335     58 0 58 35     35 0   0
22-28 549 326     84 0 84 29     29 60   60
29-4 749   72 83 134 14 148 61     61 180   180
Feb.  
5-11 353   78 108 76 1 77 86     86 0   0
12-18 203   11 162 23 4 27 105     105 0   0
19-25 425   45 65 49 4 53 21     21 0   0
26-3 466   200 119 94 22 116 36     36 0   0
Mar.  
4-10 650   50 115 71 1 72 61     61 40   40
11-17 475   16 190 84 0 84 106     106 114   114
18-24 422   21 119 62 14 76 24     24 201   201
25-31 142   84 85 31 17 48 74     74 117   117
Apr.  
1-7 373   95 198 60 5 65 39     39 27   27
8-14 414   19 96 91 0 91 75     75 11   11
15-21 519   14 163 32 6 48 60     60 116   116
22-28 211   244 149 84 0 84 81     81 110   110
29-5 608   65 95 53 13 66 151     151 59   59
May  
6-12 202 0 15 125 69 0 69 0 130 30 160 8 315 323
13-19 605 0 13 138 75 2 77 25 128 53 206 34 209 243
20-26 570 41 18 152 86 5 91 122 58 22 202 48 102 150
27-2 183 0 0 184 38 0 38 1 97 0 98 83 113 196
June  
3-9 497 1 66 75 177 0 177 2 92 0 94 0 0 0
10-16 915 0 22 207 180 26 206 38 49 25 112 3 141 144
17-23 994 0 0 123 23 0 23 28 90 77 195 65 11 76
24-30 854 0 6 123 125 27 152 12 109 85 206 12 154 166
.  
1-7 1174 0 40 95 30 5 35 102 125 47 274 84 114 198
8-14 1495 5 8 203 64 21 85 21 129 21 171 3 151 154
15-21 392 0 3 116 125 0 125 35 143 14 192 16 75 91
22-28 438 0 0 171 41 2 43 1 108 0 109 13 76 89
29-4 326 61 69 123 1 0 1 4 106 0 110 4 177 181
Aug.  
5-11 1039 34 33 167 20 14 34 4 37 0 41 4 40 44
12-18 351 0 31 160 27 4 31 4 23 5 32 0 33 33
19-25 498 0 0 110 1 0 1 50 6 2 58 34 4 38
26-1 814 36 0 222 0 0 0 28 45 0 73 22 8 30
Sept.  
2-8 253 0 0 37 1 1 2 23 41 14 78 36 81 117
9-15 1014 0 0 118 0 0 0 59 52 6 117 76 73 149
16-22 554 0 0 177 50 3 53 53 150 10 213 48 138 186
23-29 594 0 9 385 2 0 2 20 132 20 172 27 122 149
30-6 955 0 0 237 13 8 21 52 51 33 136 36 70 106
Oct.  
7-13 882 0 0 156 11 18 29 106 137 12 255 123 134 257
14-20 669 0 41 191 8 4 12 246 112 69 427 218 91 309
21-27 951 0 1 113 2 11 13 138 110 55 303 163 122 285
28-3 557 0 0 187 0 1 1 153 157 83 393 120 153 273
Nov.  
4-10 264 78 0 131 4 4 8 78 159 121 358 109 124 233
11-17 195 50 0 0 0 0 0 61 139 11 211 41 176 217
18-24 1703 0 0 238 0 0 0 154 50 47 251 163 49 212
25-1 344 0 0 205 0 0 0 296 79 10 385 253 81 334
Dec.  
2-8 1150 0 0 155 5 15 20 199 112 5 316 231 124 355
9-15 237 0 0 178 18 3 21 89 78 0 167 44 78 122
16-22 1184 173 0 259 0 0 0 49 87 30 166 0 55 55
23-29 1180 0 0 195 0 0 0 231 81 23 335 221 84 305
  War Diaries Action Reports
  Accessioned Indexed Accessioned Bound
  In
Annex
Sub
Patrol
Armed
Guard
Fleet Ships TOTAL Originals Photo-
stats
Extra
Copies
TOTAL Originals Photo-
stats
TOTAL
1945  
Jan.  
30-5 560 0 190 0 1 1 62 93 3 158 91 96 187
6-12 1054 31 0 0 4 4 171 174 38 383 175 147 322
13-19 1027 0 51 0 0 0 108 148 51 307 107 166 273
20-26 858 0 277 0 0 0 79 158 62 299 80 131 211
27-2 644 0 465 0 0 0 29 155 0 184 0 193 193
Feb.  
3-9 1091 0 222 0 0 0 90 95 0 185 86 72 158
10-16 1175 0 192 11 28 39 214 59 38 311 203 64 267
17-23 341 0 205 0 0 0 249 160 10 419 253 184 437
24-2 1499 0 147 0 2 2 101 97 31 229 41 65 106
Mar.  
3-9 289 63 186 0 0 0 241 129 53 423 203 134 337
10-16 1234 0 138 0 0 0 117 187 67 371 148 204 352
17-23 935 42 191 0 0 0 128 217 71 416 75 215 290
24-30 836 0 204 0 0 0 127 221 13 361 173 214 387
31-6 868 34 246 0 4 4 175 98 99 372 115 131 246
Apr.  
7-13 683 0 218 0 0 0 114 166 51 331 152 129 281
14-20 793 25 232 0 0 0 50 200 4 254 62 216 278
21-27 1114 0 172 0 23 23 175 131 88 394 143 128 271
28-4 250 39 165 0 0 0 151 145 50 346 182 154 336
May  
5-11 1173 0 256 0 2 2 236 102 34 372 124 125 249
12-18 641 0 110 1 0 1 211 124 98 433 320 106 426
19-25 912 0 320 1 0 1 139 88 73 300 137 94 231
26-1 894 37 232 0 0 0 345 146 55 546 249 96 345

 

[END]

Published:Mon Sep 19 08:01:01 EDT 2016