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William M. Butler Notebook, 1936-1939: Finding Aid

Published in 1993

Summary Information

  • Publisher: United States Naval Academy. Special Collections & Archives.
  • Publisher Address:
    589 McNair Road
    Annapolis, Maryland 21402-5029, USA
    Phone: 410-293-6917
  • Call number: MS 288
  • Location: Special Collections & Archives Department - Manuscripts
  • Title: William M. Butler Notebook
  • Dates: 1936-1939
  • Size: 0.08 linear feet
  • Container Summary: 3 folders containing 3 items
  • Creator: Butler, William M., 1917-1946
  • Language(s) of material: English
  • Abstract: William M. Butler was an officer and submariner in the United States Navy and a member of the United States Naval Academy Class of 1940. The William M. Butler Notebook, kept by Butler while a midshipman at the United States Naval Academy, is composed of class notes for courses in English, History, and Government. Several documents are included with the notebook, including Instructions for Midshipmen in the Department of English, History, and Government, a syllabus for the course Modern Thought, and a request by Butler to work on a boat in the Academy's pattern shop in Isherwood Hall.

Biographical Chronology of William M. Butler

  • On January 4, is born in Needles, California
  • On June 29, is appointed to the United States Naval Academy from the Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps.
  • On June 6, graduates from the United States Naval Academy and is commissioned an Ensign in the United States Navy.
  • On July 13, reports to U.S.S. Colorado (Battleship : BB-45).
  • On April 20, is promoted to Lieutenant (jg) for temporary service.
  • On October 1, is appointed Lieutenant for temporary service.
  • On May 17, is ordered to Submarine Base, New London, Connecticut for instruction.
  • On June 14, is detached from U.S.S. Colorado
  • On August 11, is ordered to Submarine Squadron One for instruction in submarines.
  • On December 17, is ordered to Supervisor of Shipbuilding, Electric Boat Company, in connection with the fitting out of U.S.S. Barbel (Submarine : SS-316).
  • On April 3, reports for duty aboard U.S.S. Barbel.
  • On October 17, is appointed Lieutenant Commander, for temporary service.
  • On November 17, qualifies in submarines.
  • On February 18, is declared Missing in Action after U.S.S. Barbel fails to return from a war patrol in the South China Sea.
  • In February, is officially declared to have died aboard U.S.S. Barbel.
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Description of Contents

The William M. Butler Notebook is a holographic notebook of class notes kept by Midshipman Butler for Naval Academy courses in English, History, and Government. The notebook spans from 1936 through 1939.

Glued into the volume are the U.S. Naval Academy Department of English and History "Instructions for Midshipmen, dated 1 October 1935, and the U.S. Naval Academy Department of English, History, and Government syllabus for the course "Modern Thought," for the first term of 1938-1939. Accompanying the notebook is Butler's 1938 official Naval Academy request and approval to work on a boat in the pattern shop. Included on the back cover of the notebook are two sketches of a man on a donkey.

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The William M. Butler Notebook is organized into the following three files:

  • File 1: English, History and Government Notebook, 1936-1939
  • File 2: Instructions for Midshipmen, 1935 October 1
  • File 3: Pattern Shop Request, 1938 May
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Access and Use


Access is unrestricted.

Copyright and Permission

The William M. Butler Notes 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

Provenance and Acquisition


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Related Materials

Related Archival Material

Additional material pertaining to Butler's time as a midshipman may be found in his Personnel Jacket and Alumni Jacket in Special Collections & Archives, Nimitz Library.

Materials Cataloged Separately

No materials have been removed from this collection.

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Processing and Other Information

Preferred Citation

William M. Butler Notebook, MS 288

Special Collections & Archives Department

Nimitz Library

United States Naval Academy

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Mary R. Catalfamo in 1993. Finding aid written by Mary R. Catalfamo in 1993 and revised by David D'Onofrio in December 2013.

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Subject Headings

Name and Subject Terms

  • Butler, William M., 1917-1946
  • United States Naval Academy -- Curricula
  • United States Naval Academy. Department of English, History and Government

Genre Terms

  • Manuscripts
  • Notebooks
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Contents List

Box 1 Folder 1

English, History and Government Notebook, 1936-1939

Box 1 Folder 2

Instructions for Midshipmen, 1935 October 1

Photocopy of instructions glued into notebook.

Box 1 Folder 3

Pattern Shop Request, 1938 May

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