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Nimitz Library
Nimitz Library

United States Naval Academy Library Records, 1845-1971: Finding Aid

Published in 1989

Summary Information

  • Publisher: United States Naval Academy. Special Collections & Archives.
  • Publisher Address:
    589 McNair Road
    Annapolis, Maryland 21402-5029, USA
    Phone: 410-293-6917
    https://www.usna.edu/Library/sca/index.php
  • Call number: MS 239
  • Location: Special Collections & Archives Department - Manuscripts
  • Title: United States Naval Academy Library Records
  • Dates: 1845-1971
  • Size: 10.14 linear feet (21 manuscript 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.

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Description of Contents

The United States Naval Academy Library Records, comprising 10.14 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.

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Arrangement

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
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Access and Use

Access

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.

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Acquisition and Appraisal

Custodial History

The United States Naval Academy Library Records were produced by the Naval Academy Library prior to transfer to Special Collections & Archives.

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Related Materials

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.

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Processing and Other Information

Preferred Citation

United States Naval Academy Library Records, MS 239

Special Collections & Archives Department

Nimitz Library

United States Naval Academy

Processing Information

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.

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Subject Headings

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

Genre Terms

  • Accessions registers
  • Book catalogs
  • Cataloging systems
  • Correspondence
  • Logs (records)
  • Manuscripts
  • Reports
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Contents List

Series 1: Histories and Studies, 1951-1968 Box 1

Series 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

Arranged chronologically

Box 1 Folder 1

Luckett, George Ridgely. A History of the United States Naval Academy Library, 1845-1907. MSLS dissertation, Catholic University of America, 1951

Box 1 Folder 2

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."

Box 1 Folder 3

Johnson, Robert K. The Library System of the U.S. Naval Academy Library. Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama, U.S. Air University Library., 1955

Part of the Air University Library Study of Libraries in Selected Military Educational Institutions.

Box 1 Folder 4-5

Federici, Fred J. United States Naval Academy Study of the United States Naval Academy Library: An Essay Submitted to the Head of the Department of English, History, and Government. Midshipman First Class Paper, United States Naval Academy, 1957

Box 1 Folder 6-7

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.

Box 1 Folder 8

Berthel Report, 1965-1968

By John H. Berthel, Librarian, Johns Hopkins University.

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Series 2: Subject Files, 1845-1971 Boxes 2-5

Series Description

Files on various topics of library operation, such as bibliographic instruction, cataloging, acquisitions, weeding, and personnel.

Series Arrangement

Arranged alphabetically by topic.

Box 2 Folder 1

Acquisitions, Ordering, Selection, Weeding, 1922-1966, undated

Annual reports, instructions, memos, policies, etc.

Box 2 Folder 2

Bibliographic Instruction, 1940-1955

Box 2 Folder 3-4

Bibliographies and Guides, 1943-1970, undated

Box 2 Folder 5-6

Brigade Library, 1961-1968, undated

Annual reports, memos, notices, policies. Trainee librarians' reports on Brigade Library.

Box 2 Folder 7-11

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," [1967]; "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.

Box 3 Folder 1-2

Buildings and Grounds, 1922-1968, undated

Blueprints, floor plans, measurements, shifts.

Box 3 Folder 3-6

Cataloging and Classification, 1908-1966, undated

Annual and other reports, memos, programs, projects, etc. USNA Library Classification schedule. Conversion of collection from USNA Classification schedule to Library of Congress Classification.

Box 3 Folder 7

Cataloging and Classification - Aeronautics, 1944, 1955

Includes copies of "A New Classification Schedule for Aeronautics" by James M. Saunders.

Box 3 Folder 8

Gifts, 1912-1954

Mason Books, Naval Lyceum transfer, and others.

Box 3 Folder 9-10

History - 19th Century (Originals), 1870-1896

Correspondence, Library rules and regulations, reports on Library conditions and future plans, USNA orders regarding the Library, etc. Colonel James H. Jones' gift of books, James R. Soley's book purchases while at the Paris Exposition.

Box 3 Folder 11-12

History - 19th Century (Copies), 1845-1899

Acquisitions, bibliography, book catalogs and lists, correspondence, description and history, gifts, memos, reports, request lists, rules and regulations, etc.

Box 3 Folder 13-14

History - General and 20th Century, 1916-1970

Descriptions, fact sheets, general and 20th century histories, memos, periodical articles, and miscellaneous.

Box 4 Folder 1

Inventories, 1937, 1956-1966

Memos, plans, projects, and statistics.

Box 4 Folder 2

Organization and Administration (General), 1954

Box 4 Folder 3

Periodicals, 1937, 1964-1971

Title and subject lists.

Box 4 Folder 4-5

Personnel, 1909-1966, undated

Duties, job descriptions, organization charts, scheduling, staff, training programs. Partial lists of Librarians and Assistant Librarians with tenure dates.

Box 4 Folder 6-7

Policy, Rules, and Regulations, 1931-1970, undated

Box 5 Folder 1-3

Special Collections (Manuscripts, Incunabula, Rare Books, Etc.), 1923-1971, undated

Lists, memos, periodical articles.

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Series 3: Major Records, 1857-1966 Boxes 6-21

Series Description

Catalogs, inventories, registers, and logbooks detailing the maintenance, development, and usage of the Naval Academy Library's collections.

Series Arrangement

Organized into six subseries by document type.

Subseries 3a: Accession Books, 1857-1946 Boxes 6-12

Subseries Description

Catalogs of additions to the Naval Academy Library's collections.

Subseries Arrangement

Arranged in two sequences, thereunder by accession number.

Box 6 Folder 1
Volume 1 - Library Naval School Numerical Catalog [Accessions 1-3473], circa 1857
Box 6 Folder 2
Volume 2 - Manuscript Catalogue of Books in U.S. Naval Academy Library No. 1 Accessions 1-3473, circa 1857

For explanation of item and date, see Saunders' note in front of this volume.

Box 6 Folder 3
Volume 3 - Manuscript Catalogue of Books in U.S. Naval Academy Library No. 2 Accessions 3474-7175, 1853-1858
Box 6 Folder 4
Volume 4 - Manuscript Catalogue of Books in U.S. Naval Academy Library No. 3 Accessions 7176-9050, 1858-1861
Box 6 Folder 5
Volume 5 - Manuscript Catalogue of Books in U.S. Naval Academy Library No. 4 Accessions 9051-11608, 1861-1868
Box 6 Folder 6
Volume 6 - Manuscript Catalogue of Books in U.S. Naval Academy Library No. 5 Accessions 11609-12970, 1868-1871
Box 7 Folder 1
Volume 7 - Manuscript Catalogue of Books in U.S. Naval Academy Library No. 6 Accessions 12971-15658, 1871-1873

"1st gift to Library (N.A. Alumni Assoc.) 1873 - Mrs. S.F. DuPont."

Box 7 Folder 2
Volume 8 - Manuscript Catalogue of Books in U.S. Naval Academy Library No. 7 Accessions 15659-18549, 1873-1877
Box 7 Folder 3
Volume 9 - Manuscript Catalogue of Books in U.S. Naval Academy Library No. 8 Accessions 18550-22155, 1877-1880
Box 7 Folder 4
Volume 10 - Library Naval Academy Accessions 22156-26370, 1880-1886

Final page of entries missing.

Box 7 Folder 5
Volume 11 - Library Naval Academy Accessions 26371-27000, 1886
Box 8 Folder 1
Volume 12 - Accessions 1-5000, undated

"A copy made from old Accession book." Largely blank.

Box 8 Folder 2
Volume 13 - Accessions 25001-27000, undated

Entirely blank, no entries.

Box 8 Folder 3
Volume 14 - Accessions 27001-30000, 1886-1889
Box 8 Folder 4
Volume 15 - Accessions 30001-35000, 1889-1895
Box 9 Folder 1
Volume 16 - Accessions 35001-40000, 1895-1900
Box 9 Folder 2
Volume 17 - Accessions 40001-45000, 1900-1903
Box 9 Folder 3
Volume 18 - Accessions 45001-50000, 1903-1909
Box 9 Folder 4
Volume 19 - Accessions 50001-55000, 1909-1914
Box 10 Folder 1
Volume 20 - Accessions 55001-60000, 1914-1923

Includes list of library staff and successors.

Box 10 Folder 2
Volume 21 - Accessions 60001-65000, 1923-1927
Box 10 Folder 3
Volume 22 - Accessions 65001-70000, 1927-1929
Box 11 Folder 1
Volume 23 - Accessions 70001-75000, 1930-1932
Box 11 Folder 2
Volume 24 - Accessions 75001-80000, 1932-1934
Box 11 Folder 3
Volume 25 - Accessions 80001-85000, 1934-1937
Box 11 Folder 4
Volume 26 - Accessions 85001-87800, 1937-1939
Box 12 Folder 1
Volume 27 - Accessions 87801-108000, 1939-1946

Subseries 3b: Catalogs, 1857-1869 Boxes 12-13

Subseries Description

Alphabetical and topical catalogs of the Naval Academy Library's mid-nineteenth century holdings.

Subseries Arrangement

Arranged chronologically.

Box 12 Folder 2
Volume 28 - Library Naval School Alphabetical Catalogue, circa 1857
Box 12 Folder 3
Volume 29 - Catalogue of the Library of the U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland, 1860, June 30

Printed by Robert F. Bonsall, Annapolis.

Box 13 Folder 1
Volumes 30-31 - Library Naval Academy Analytical Catalogue, circa 1869

Subseries 3c: Circulation Records, 1877-1886 Boxes 13-15

Subseries 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

Arranged chronologically.

Box 13 Folder 2
Volume 32 - Circulation Record Book, 1877-1878

Also includes 1878 list of USNA Board of Visitors and Standing Committees, USNA Officer's Directory, and order regarding USNA book binding.

Box 13 Folder 3
Volume 33 - Circulation Record Book, 1879-1881

Also includes 1881 Order No. 23 (photocopy) and 1880 Officers' Directory (photocopy).

Box 14 Folder 1
Volume 34 - Circulation Record Book, 1881-1882

Also includes 1881 USNA Order No. 71 regarding report of cadets for violations and 1882 list of USNA Board of Visitors and Standing Committees.

Box 14 Folder 2
Volume 35 - Circulation Record Book, 1882-1884
Box 14 Folder 3
Volume 36 - Circulation Record Book, 1883-1885
Box 15 Folder 1
Volume 37 - Circulation Record Book, 1884-1885
Box 15 Folder 2
Volume 38 - Circulation Record Book, 1886

Subseries 3d: Classification Records, 1945-1953 Boxes 15-19

Subseries Description

Classification schedules used by the Naval Academy Library prior to the adoption of the Library of Congress Classification System.

Subseries Arrangement

Arranged by schedule title.

Box 15 Folder 3
Volume 39 - [United States Naval Academy Classification Schedules], undated

Manuscript with corrections.

Box 16 Folder 1
Volume 40 - United States Naval Academy Library Classification Schedules A-BM, circa 1945
Box 16 Folder 2
Volume 41 - United States Naval Academy Library Classification Schedules BN-F, circa 1945
Box 17 Folder 1
Volume 42 - United States Naval Academy Library Classification Schedules G-NT, circa 1945
Box 17 Folder 2
Volume 43 - United States Naval Academy Library Classification Schedules O-X, circa 1945
Box 18 Folder 1
Volume 44 - United States Naval Academy Library Classification Schedules BB to BK: Aeronautical Art and Science, 1953

Manuscript copy, James M. Saunders, compiler.

Box 19 Folder 1
Volume 45 - United States Naval Academy Library Classification Schedules BB to BK: Aeronautical Art and Science, 1953
Box 19 Folder 2
Volume 46 - United States Naval Academy Library Classification Schedules BB to BK: Aeronautical Art and Science, 1953
Box 19 Folder 3
Volume 47 - United States Naval Academy Library Classification Schedules BB to BK: Aeronautical Art and Science, 1953

Subseries 3e: Inventories, 1907-1931 Boxes 19-21

Subseries Description

Records of inventories performed on the Library's holdings in 1907, 1917, and 1931.

Subseries Arrangement

Arranged chronologically by inventory date.

Box 19 Folder 4
Volume 48 - Inventory of Books (As of July 11, 1907) U.S. Naval Academy Library, 1907-1931

Inventories from 1907, 1917, and 1931.

Box 20 Folder 1
Volume 49 - Inventory Book No. 1, 1907-1931

Inventories from 1907, 1917, and 1931. Explanatory notes and key to symbols at front of volume.

Box 20 Folder 2
Volume 50 - Inventory Book No. 2, 1917-1931

Inventories from 1917 and 1931. Explanatory notes and key to symbols at front of volume.

Box 20 Folder 3
Volume 51 - [Inventory Book A], 1917-1931

1917 and 1931 inventories. 40100-64999.

Box 21 Folder 1
Volume 52 - [Inventory Book B], 1931

1931 inventory. 65000-70000.

Box 21 Folder 2
Volume 53 - Accession Numbers Not Encountered in Inventory of July 11, 1907, 1907-1917

[1907?] and 1917 inventories.

Subseries 3f: Miscellaneous Records, 1917-1966 Box 21

Subseries 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.

Box 21 Folder 3
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.

Box 21 Folder 4
Volume 55 - Public Services Departments Log, 1961-1966

Statistics and data on microfilm, postage, and library usage.

Box 21 Folder 5
Volume 56 - Brigade Library Log, 1961-1966

Record of significant events from the time of the Library's Acceptance Ceremony through 1966.

Box 21 Folder 6
Volume 57 - A Numerical, Chronological and Classed Log of All Materials Received in the Brigade Library Cataloged in the Library of Congress System of Classification, 1965-1966
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