United States Naval Academy Library Records, 1845-1971: Finding Aid
Published in 1989
- Publisher: United States Naval Academy. Special Collections & Archives.
- Publisher Address:
589 McNair Road
Annapolis, Maryland 21402-5029, USA
- Call number: MS 239
- Location: Special Collections & Archives Department - Manuscripts
- Title: United States Naval Academy Library Records
- Dates: 1845-1971
- Size: 9.86 linear feet
- Container Summary: 17 manuscript boxes, 1 half-manuscript boxes, 3 flat boxes
- Creator: United States Naval Academy. Library
- Language(s) of material: English
- Abstract: The United States Naval Academy Library Records pertain to the operation of the Naval Academy's library system from the founding of the Academy until just prior to the opening of Nimitz Library.
History of the United States Naval Academy Libraries
Initially tucked into a corner of Superintendent Franklin Buchanan's office, the Naval Academy Library received its first official home when it moved into the second floor of the old Mess Hall following that building's completion in 1847. When the order was given to evacuate the Naval Academy by Superintendent George Blake in April 1861, the Library was packed up and shipped to Newport, Rhode Island, accompanying the Academy in it's temporary home. Following the cessation of hostilities, the Library returned to Annapolis and its former quarters in the Mess Hall.
In 1869, the Library found a new home when the Naval Academy purchased the Old Governor's Mansion. There the Library remained until 1900, when the Old Governor's Mansion was razed to make way for Ernest Flagg's construction projects. After a brief stay in the old chapel, the Library reopened in Mahan Hall on May 13, 1907. By the outbreak of World War II however, Mahan Hall had proven insufficient to house the Library's collections, requiring part of the adjoining Maury Hall to be converted into stacks space.
By 1952, the Library had again outgrown its space, requiring the establishment of the Library's first satellite space, the Library Annex, located in Building 131. Eventually, the Annex was staffed and came to house, for a time, most of the Library's periodicals, government documents, and rare books. In 1961, a second satellite location appeared on the scene with the opening of the Brigade Library (modern day Mitscher Hall). The Brigade Library initially held Bancroft Hall's Regimental Libraries (recreational reading), but would later come to hold the Library's fine arts and recreation materials. In 1966, a third satellite location opened in Isherwood Hall, housing the newly created Science-Technology Library. Around the same time, the Library's Technical Services Department was transferred to Isherwood Hall as well, before moving again in 1968 to the adjacent Griffin Hall. Finally, in 1969, the Special Collections Division, located in the basement of Maury Hall, was founded to care for the Library's rare book and manuscript collections, leaving only those books in the areas of the humanities and social sciences in Mahan Hall.
In 1973, the Library began the consolidation of its collections with the opening of Nimitz Library. Designed by architect John Carl Warnecke, Nimitz Library was dedicated on September 7, 1973. One by one, each of the existing library locations were closed down as their collections were moved from their respective homes in Mitscher, Griffin, Maury, Isherwood, and Mahan Halls, and into Nimitz Library.
Description of Contents
The United States Naval Academy Library Records, comprising 9.86 linear feet of documentation, span from 1845 to 1971. The records pertain to the operation of the Naval Academy's library system from the founding of the Academy until just prior to the opening of Nimitz Library.
The records consist of record books, memoranda, histories, studies, proposals, regulations, and orders.
Nearly three-quarters of the records pertain to the Library's collections, their purchase, and processing. Among these collection records are the Library's accession books, catalogs, circulation records, collection inventories, and classification schedules. The remainder of the collection consists of histories of the Library, studies of the Library, and subject files on various aspects of Library activity and administration, including bibliographic instruction, cataloging, personnel, and the Library buildings. Found among the subject files and histories are proposals and plans for a new library, which ultimately resulted in the construction of Nimitz Library.
The United States Naval Academy Library Records are organized into the following three series:
- Series 1: Histories and Studies, 1951-1968
- Series 2: Subject Files, 1845-1971
- Series 3: Major Records, 1857-1966
- Subseries 3a: Accession Books, 1857-1946
- Subseries 3b: Catalogs, 1857-1869
- Subseries 3c: Circulation Records, 1877-1886
- Subseries 3d: Classification Records, 1945-1953
- Subseries 3e: Inventories, 1907-1931
- Subseries 3f: Miscellaneous Records, 1917-1966
Access and Use
Access is unrestricted.
Copyright and Permission
The United States Naval Academy Library Records are the physical property of Nimitz Library. Copyright belongs to the authors or creators of the works, or their legal representatives. For further information, consult the Head, Special Collections & Archives.
It is the responsibility of the researcher to secure written permission to publish, reprint, or reproduce material from Special Collections & Archives. The researcher assumes responsibility for infringement of copyright or literary or publication rights. Please contact the Head, Special Collections & Archives for permission to publish and for further information.
Acquisition and Appraisal
The United States Naval Academy Library Records were produced by the Naval Academy Library prior to transfer to Special Collections & Archives.
Related Archival Material
Additional material pertaining to the operation and administration of the Naval Academy Library can be found in RG-405, Records of the United States Naval Academy and in the Nimitz Library Records, MS 240 and Nimitz Library Project Files, MS 243, available at Special Collections & Archives, Nimitz Library.
Materials Cataloged Separately
No materials have been removed from this collection and cataloged separately.
Processing and Other Information
United States Naval Academy Library Records, MS 239
Special Collections & Archives Department
United States Naval Academy
This collection was processed by Mary R. Catalfamo in 1989. Finding aid written by Mary R. Catalfamo in 1989 and revised by David D'Onofrio in May 2014.
These materials have been indexed in the Naval Academy Library online catalog using the following terms. Those seeking related materials should search under these terms.
Name and Subject Terms
- Classification -- Books
- Libraries -- United States
- Library administration
- Library catalogs
- United States Naval Academy. Brigade Library
- United States Naval Academy. Library
- United States Naval Academy. Mahan Library
- Accessions registers
- Book catalogs
- Cataloging systems
- Logs (records)
Series 1: Histories and Studies, 1951-1968 Box 1Series Description
Histories and studies of the Naval Academy Library, written prior to the construction of Nimitz Library. Included among the studies are a Midshipman First Class Paper and a Masters dissertation.Series Arrangement
Dalton, Jack. Report of a Survey of the Library of the United States Naval Academy for the Naval Academy ... On Behalf of the American Library Association. Chicago, American Library Association., 1955
Survey to determine "the effectiveness of the library in fulfilling its mission" and to propose "practical recommendations for both short and long term change."
Jablonski, Felix J., Library Project Officer. The Library of the United States Naval Academy 1965. Annapolis, United States Naval Academy, 1966
"A collection and analysis of information about the United States Naval Academy Library, prepared to aid in its development and maintenance." Report produced for the Library Board of Review, convened January 1966.
Building Program (Modernization, Expansion, New Library Proposals), 1963-1970
Alteration and improvement projects, correspondence, notes, proposals, reports, studies, surveys, etc. Includes papers of Commander Felix J. Jablonski (Library Project Officer), Vernon Tate (Librarian) and Library committees.
Specific documents include: "Question: Why is it not satisfactory to remodel Mahan Hall for the Library," circa 1965; "Chronology of progress toward a new Naval Academy Library," 1966; "The original Library and early textbooks of the United States Naval Academy," 1966; "The Library: A three year plan of action for the U.S. Naval Academy," ; "The Sea Power Library in the United States Naval Academy Library," 1967; and "The Library building program for the U.S. Naval Academy Library," 1967 revised.
Subseries 3c: Circulation Records, 1877-1886 Boxes 13-15Subseries Description
Record books noting the circulation of library materials. Included in several of the record books are lists of the Naval Academy Board of Visitors, Officers' Directories, and orders pertaining to book binding and other library operations.Subseries Arrangement
Subseries 3f: Miscellaneous Records, 1917-1966 Box 21Subseries Description
Log books of the daily activities and major events in Mahan Library, Brigade Library, and the Public Services Departments. Included with the log books is a record of all materials at the Brigade Library classified according to the Library of Congress Classification System.
In addition to daily events, the "Log of the U.S. Naval Academy Library" records major projects, such as the insertion of check-out cards and pockets in all of the Library's holdings. The log book also notes the death of former Naval Academy Librarian Louis Bolander.Subseries Arrangement
Arranged by volume number.
Volume 54 - Log of the U.S. Naval Academy Library, 1917-1957
Records daily library activities, including those related to visitors, gifts, furnishings, personnel, and projects. Includes information concerning provenance, history, and disposition of many gifts and artifacts ultimately transferred to the USNA Museum.