John B. Hattendorf Center for Maritime Historical Research

The John B. Hattendorf Center for Maritime Historical Research serves as a central resource for naval history matters, from exploration and theory to strategy and operations. In addition to contributing to the curriculum and publishing original research, our faculty helps preserve our institutional history.

Director, Hattendorf Center

Enriching the Curriculum

Preparing for the future often means exploring where we’ve been; many of our core and foundation courses cover crucial aspects of military history. U.S. Naval War College (NWC) also offers an array of electives, which change from term to term, many of which take a deeper dive into the past. For example, you may find classes that focus on the American Civil War or the life of George Washington.

Inspiring Research: The Edward S. Miller Fellowship

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Naval War College and Regional History

Founded in 1884, Naval War College has a rich history. The Maritime History Department is pivotal in archiving and preserving the history of our institution, as well as all naval activity in the Narragansett Bay region.

Naval Historical Collection Archives

The Naval Historical Collection (NHC) is the depository for College archives, manuscripts, oral histories, and special collections relating to the history of naval warfare and the history of the Navy in Narragansett Bay. Established in 1969 and located in Mahan Hall, the NHC's primary source material are of interest to naval historians, scholars, and students of American military and diplomatic history, Naval War College students, faculty and staff, and the general public.

Mahan Hall, home to NHC at the Naval War College, is temporarily closed from spring 2021 through 2023 to undergo a comprehensive renovation. To accommodate the extensive work involved, all archival collections have been relocated to an off-site storage facility and will remain off-site for the duration of the project which is expected to be completed by the end of 2023. During this time, the NHC Archives is unavailable for research, digitization services are suspended, and there is no access to the building.

Although the physical collections are inaccessible during renovation, we encourage researchers to continue to use our online collections website to discover digital versions of documents and images from the collection.

Naval Historical Collection Archives Strategic Plan

U.S. Naval Historical Collection Archives Strategic Plan FY 21-23

The Naval Historical Collection Archives seeks to preserve the information and personal stories that address the critical issues of past and future naval warfare, joint planning at the strategic, operational, and tactical level, and the role of the U.S. Navy in the local, national, and global community.

Explore our Strategic Plan

College Archives

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Oral Histories

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Special Collections

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Rare Books

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