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Nimitz Library

William Patrick Keeshan Papers, 1921-1935: Finding Aid

Published in February 2014

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 383
  • Location: Special Collections & Archives Department - Manuscripts
  • Title: William Patrick Keeshan Papers
  • Dates: 1921-1935
  • Size: 1.25 linear inches (55 items)
  • 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 consist of ephemera and photographs related to Keeshan’s service in the Navy, including discharge certificates, identity cards, and papers relating to the crossing the line ceremony, as well as photographs of traversing the Panama Canal. The U.S.S. Black Hawk (AD-9) and the U.S.S. Pittsburgh (Armored Cruiser No. 4) were among the vessels on which Keeshan served.

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. That same year he crossed the equator aboard the U.S.S. Black Hawk (AD-9). On October 15, 1935 he was transferred to the Fleet Naval Reserve.

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Description of Contents

The collection consists of ephemera and photographs related to Keeshan’s service in the Navy. The documents include discharge certificates, identity cards, and papers relating to the crossing the line ceremony. Other items of note are a menu for Christmas Dinner 1928 aboard the U.S.S. Pittsburgh (Armored Cruiser No. 4), flagship of the Asiatic Fleet, and a trade card for a Chinese laundry in Tsingtao [Quing Dao]. 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.

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 crew 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).

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The William Patrick Keeshan Papers are organized into the following two files:

  • File 1: William Patrick Keeshan Papers, 1921-1935, undated
  • File 2: William Patrick Keeshan Photographs, 1927, undated
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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.

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Acquisition and Appraisal

Custodial History

The photographs in the Keeshan Papers were previously part of the Special Collections Transitional Picture File.

Provenance and Acquisition


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Related Materials

Related Archival Material

There are no other known collections of papers of William Patrick Keeshan.

Materials Cataloged Separately

No materials have been removed from this collection and cataloged separately.

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Processing and Other Information

Preferred Citation

William Patrick Keeshan Papers, MS 383

Special Collections & Archives Department

Nimitz Library

United States Naval Academy

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Jennifer A. Bryan with additional processing by David D'Onofrio in February 2014. Finding aid written by Jennifer A. Bryan.

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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

  • Black Hawk (Destroyer tender : AD-9)
  • Keeshan, William Patrick, 1899-
  • Military discharge -- United States
  • Naval ceremonies, honors, and salutes
  • Panama Canal (Panama)
  • Pittsburgh (Armored cruiser No. 4)
  • Shellbacks
  • United States. Navy -- Recruiting, enlistment, etc
  • United States. Navy -- Sea life

Genre Terms

  • Certificates
  • Ephemera
  • Manuscripts
  • Photographs
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Contents List

Box 1 Folder 1

William Patrick Keeshan Papers, 1921-1935, undated 23 items

Box 1 Folder 1

William Patrick Keeshan Photographs, 1927, undated 32 items

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