William Patrick Keeshan Papers, 1914-1941: Finding Aid
Published in February 2014
- Publisher: United States Naval Academy. Special Collections & Archives.
- Publisher Address:
589 McNair Road
Annapolis, Maryland 21402-5029, USA
- Call number: MS 383
- Location: Special Collections & Archives Department - Manuscripts
- Title: William Patrick Keeshan Papers
- Dates: 1914-1941
- Size: 0.42 linear feet
- Container Summary: 1 manuscript box
- Creator: Keeshan, William Patrick, 1899-
- Language(s) of material: English
- Abstract: William Patrick Keeshan was a printer in the United States Navy. The Keeshan Papers span from 1914 through 1941. The papers are the product of Keeshan's career in the United States Navy, and much of the printed ephemera and ships' newspapers were presumably produced by Keeshan in his role as ship's printer aboard U.S.S. Pennsylvania, U.S.S. Arizona, U.S.S. New Mexico, U.S.S. Pittsburgh, and U.S.S. Texas.
Biography of William Patrick Keeshan
A native of New York City, William Patrick Keeshan served as a printer in the U.S. Navy. He enlisted as an apprentice seaman on April 22, 1919 at the age of twenty. He completed linotype school in San Francisco and was a chief printer by 1927. Keeshan's first sea duty was likely aboard U.S.S. Pennsylvania (Battleship: BB-38) in 1920. Around 1921, he joined the crew of U.S.S. Arizona (Battleship: BB-39). Although he was temporarily detailed to U.S.S. New Mexico (Battleship: BB-40 in 1923 to stand up her print shop, Keeshan remained with the Arizona until some time in 1926. Later that year, he was attached to Asiatic Fleet flagship U.S.S. Pittsburgh (Armored cruiser: ACR-4). Remaining aboard U.S.S. Pittsburgh until at least 1929, Keeshan also served temporarily aboard U.S.S. Black Hawk (Destroyer tender: AD-9), with which ship he crossed the equator in 1927. He later served aboard U.S.S. New York (Battleship: BB-34) and, at some point in 1933, joined U.S.S. Texas (Battleship: BB-35) where he served on the staff of Commander Battleship Division One. On October 15, 1935 he was transferred to the Fleet Naval Reserve.
Description of Contents
The William Patrick Keeshan Papers, comprising 0.42 linear feet of documentation, span from 1914 through 1941. The papers are the product of Keeshan's career in the United States Navy, and much of the printed ephemera and ships' newspapers were presumably produced by Keeshan in his role as ship's printer aboard U.S.S. Pennsylvania, U.S.S. Arizona, U.S.S. New Mexico, U.S.S. Pittsburgh, and U.S.S. Texas.
Included in the collection are event programs, invitations, menus, dance cards, ships' newspapers, newspaper clippings, certificates, identification cards, postcards, photographs, and photographic negatives.
The Keeshan Papers are organized into two series by document type. Series 1: Papers and Ephemera, consists of the various documents produced by the ships' print shops to which Keeshan was detailed throughout his career, as well as samples from various other ships. The series also includes documentation pertaining to Keeshan's enlistments and discharges from the United States Navy. Series 2: Photographs and Postcards, consists of postcard views of several Asian countries and the Panama Canal, as well as photographs and negatives depicting ships' crews and shipboard life from throughout Keeshan's career.
The William Patrick Keeshan Papers are organized into the following two series:
- Series 1: Papers and Ephemera, 1914-1941
- Series 2: Photographs and Postcards, 1918-1934
Access and Use
Access is unrestricted.
Copyright and Permission
The William Patrick Keeshan Papers 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 Keeshan Papers were originally purchased by Senior Construction Battalion Chief Nerl Reinhart in Alameda, California.
Provenance and Acquisition
Gift of Vincent J. Vlach in February 1990. Accession No. 90-12.
Related Archival Material
William Patrick Keeshan's Navy personnel record may be available from the National Personnel Records Center.
Materials Cataloged Separately
A photo album of Keeshan's cruise aboard U.S.S. Pittsburgh from 1926 to 1929 was been removed and cataloged as Photo Album 75.
Processing and Other Information
The ships' newspapers and ephemera in the Keeshan Papers were previously processed as part of the Special Collections Vertical File, filed under each individual vessel.
The photographs and postcards in the Keeshan Papers were previously processed as part of the Special Collections Transitional Picture File.
William Patrick Keeshan Papers, MS 383
Special Collections & Archives Department
United States Naval Academy
This collection was processed by Jennifer A. Bryan with additional processing by David D'Onofrio in February 2014 and February 2020. Finding aid written by Jennifer A. Bryan.
Name and Subject Terms
- Arizona (Battleship : BB-39)
- Black Hawk (Destroyer tender : AD-9)
- Keeshan, William Patrick, 1899-
- Military discharge -- United States
- Naval ceremonies, honors, and salutes
- New Mexico (Battleship : BB-40)
- Panama Canal (Panama)
- Pittsburgh (Armored cruiser No. 4)
- Texas (Battleship : BB-35)
- United States. Navy -- Recruiting, enlistment, etc
- United States. Navy -- Sea life
- Printed ephemera
Series 1: Papers and Ephemera, 1914-1941 Box 1Series Description
The series consists of ephemera and other documents related to Keeshan’s service as a printer in the Navy. The documents include discharge certificates, identity cards, newspaper clippings, and papers relating to the crossing the line ceremony. The ephemera includes menus, programs, and invitations, as well as ships' newspapers from U.S.S. Arizona (Battleship: BB-39), U.S.S. New Mexico (Battleship: BB-40), U.S.S. Pennsylvania (Battleship: BB-38), U.S.S. Texas (Battleship: BB-35), and U.S.S. Pittsburgh (ACR-4), flagship of the Asiatic Fleet, as well as several other U.S. Navy and British Navy vessels. Two of the discharge certificates are photocopies. There is also one paper sheet used as a journal that runs from January 4 to January 24; there is no year, but it probably dates from 1921, when Keeshan was serving aboard U.S.S. Arizona.Series Arrangement
Arranged alphabetically by duty station, topic, and document type.
U.S.S. Arizona - Event Programs and Menus, 1921-1925
Includes programs and dance cards for Annual Balls, boxing tournaments, and an Engineering Department Happy Hour, as well as menus for Christmas and July 4th. Also includes a souvenir pamphlet from the Knights of Columbus Panama Council 1371.
United States Navy - Miscellaneous, 1934-1941, undated
Memo on discrimination against service members in California, uniform price list from the Brooklyn Naval Clothing Depot, a Christmas card from the Commander-in-Chief United States Fleet, and a copy of "U.S. Navy: What it Costs to Quit."
Series 2: Photographs and Postcards, 1918-1934 Box 1Series Description
The photographs, consisting of both prints and negatives, include portraits of Keeshan, group portraits, and other photographs depicting Keeshan's service and life in the Navy. Groups depicted in the portraits include the flag staff of U.S.S. Texas (Battleship : BB-35), a ship's crew in Peterongan, Java, and various smaller groups of Keeshan's shipmates. Among the action shots are photographs and negatives of a U.S. Navy vessel traversing the Panama Canal, and images of shipboard life and activities, such as swabbing the deck and dancing. Also among the photographs is an image of U.S.S. Black Hawk (AD-9).
The postcards in consist largely of views of various cities throughout Asia, including locations in China, Japan, and Indonesia. Other postcards depict U.S. Navy battleships transiting the Panama Canal and engaging in target practice.Series Arrangement
Arranged alphabetically by subject.