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US Government Information in the Study of History

describes historically significant documents in the Library's collection, and important web sources for history

Online: Major Military History Sites

Service branches historical sites:

Other sources:

In the Library: Major Reference Sources

NOTE that the Library ceased receiving new tangible government documents in Spring, 2016, and withdrew large numbers of tangible documents during the previous year.

Reference Books:

  • American Military History. D 114.19:M 59/3. 2009. Volume 1 covers 1775-1917 and Volume 2, 1917-2008
  • Black Americans in Defense of Our Nation D 1.2:B 56/991 and Hispanics in America's Defense D 1.2:H 62/2/989. These volumes discuss the contributions of these ethnic groups in general as well as giving specific biographical information on outstanding individuals, including Medal of Honor Winners, general officers, etc.
  • Casebook on Insurgency and Revolutionary Warfare. D 101.2:IN 7/2. 2012-13. Detailed descriptions of revolutions worldwide from 1927-2009, from a broadly historical, as well as a strictly military, perspective.
  • Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. D 207.10:  We no longer have this set in print. A volunteer group maintains an online version. This resource gives histories of Continental Navy and U.S. Navy ships, in alphabetical order. Information given includes technical description of the vessel, builders' information, commissioning date, first commander, and concise operational record, as well as for what person, place or other object the ship was named.
  • Field Artillery (Army Lineage Series). D 114.11:AR 7/4. 2010. Comprehensive reference giving historical information on artillery battalions.
  • Guide to the Study and Use of Military History. D 114.12:St 9. 1982. Covers all of world history. Includes a bibliographical guide and lists of journals and reference works.
  • Medal of Honor Recipients. Y 4.V 64/4: M 46/3/863-978. The Army Center of Military History provides this listing of citations.
  • Reach and Power : the heritage of the United States Air Force in pictures and artifacts. D 301.82/7:R 22. 1997. Lavishly illustrated history of military air power from the beginning to the end of the 20th century.
  • Splendid Vision, Unswerving Purpose: developing air power for the U.S. Air Force during the first century of powered flight. D 301.82/7:C 33.
  • U.S. Army Chaplaincy D 101.2:C 36/5. Multi-volume history of the institution from before the founding of the country through 1975. The military historical agencies have produced many references such as this that deal with specific units or types of operations, such as logistics, engineering, intelligence, etc.
  • Winged shield, winged sword : a history of the United States Air Force D 301.82/7:H 62. Two-volume history
  • 1912-2012: 100 Years of Marine Corps Aviation: an illustrated history. D 214.13:AV 5/3. Profusely-illustrated coffee-table book with accompanying CD.

Important Agencies:

Since the titles in this box are only a selection of the most significant or comprehensive titles, you may find other publications of interest under these classification numbers:

  • Marine Corps Historical Publications D 214.13: and following.
  • Military History Center (Army) D 114.  .
  • Naval Historical Center D 221.  .

For military subjects, including history, the library at the Naval Postgraduate School in California has a particularly comprehensive set of links.

In the Library: Specific Conflicts

NOTE that the Library ceased receiving new tangible government documents in Spring, 2016, and withdrew large numbers of tangible documents during the previous year.

Revolutionary War

George Washington

Naval Documents of the American Revolution. D 207.12:  . This 10-volume set, arranged chronologically, contains letters, newspaper articles, official documents and other material relating to the Navy's role in the Revolution.

Revolutionary America, 1763-89: a Bibliography. LC 1.12/2: R 32/4/763-789. A guide to the Library of Congress' most valuable printed primary and secondary works on the period, published through 1984. The listings are arranged topically, but there is a detailed index.

Civil War

Robert E. LeeWar of the Rebellion; a compilation of the official records of the Union and Confederate armies. 3rd FLOOR E 464 .U61. Massive (129 volumes) compilation of the official records of both armies. It was edited by War Dept. historians and published at the end of the 1800's.

U.S. Army Campaigns of the Civil War. D 114.2:C 49/2/ . Booklets describing individual campaigns in detail.

World War I

American Armies and Battlefields in Europe: A History, Guide and Reference Book D 114.2:AR 5/4, Y 3.Am 3:B 32/938. Provides information on World War I battles involving Americans by region, using narrative, maps and photographs. Detailed directions to and descriptions of the battlefields are given (and their conditions as of the publication date—1938—which should be noted). 

Am. Battlefield Monuments Commission

Order of Battle of the United States Land Forces in the World War D 114.2:B 32. This multivolume set is a facsimile reprint (1988) of the original 1937 publication which details the operations of American Forces in the "Great War." There are narrative sections describing events, tables of information such as lists of units participating in particular actions, organization charts, and other details. 

U.S. Army in the World War. D 114.8: . In 17 volumes, this set provides a selection of records (some transcribed, some facsimiles) dealing with the buildup and employment of the American Expeditionary Force. 

World War II

World War II poster

Army Air Forces in World War II. 3rd FLOOR D 790.A89 1983. This is a reprint of the 1948 edition, which was prepared by Air Force Historians. Volumes 1-3 cover the European theatre, volumes 4-5 the Pacific. Concluding volumes are: Men and Planes, and Services around the World. Each volume contains voluminous notes and a detailed index.

Combat Chronology: 1941-1945. D 301.82:C 73. Descriptions of air operations by date, plus a detailed index.

History of U.S. Marine Corps operations in World War II. 3rd THIRD FLOOR D769.369 .U53 

U.S. Army in World War II. 3rd FLOOR (various call numbers). This comprehensive set contains several topical sub-series and volumes, covering different theatres of the war and special topics. Each volume has a detailed index. To see a listing of the volumes we own, perform a GOVERNMENT DOCUMENT NUMBER search in the Library Catalog using the number D 114.7: .

The poster shown in this box is from the University of North Texas World War poster collection.

Persian Gulf, Iraq, Afghanistan

Boots in the SandConduct of the Persian Gulf War D 1.2:P43/2. This report was made to Congress in accordance with the requirements of the law authorizing the war. It provides historical and diplomatic background information and details on the conflict by type of mission (air, maritime, ground). 

U.S. Marines in Iraq. D 214.13:IR 1, etc. Volumes covering different aspects of Marine operations in the war in Iraq.

Enduring voices : oral histories of the U.S. Army experience in Afghanistan, 2003-2005. D 114.2:Af 3/2. Interviews selected to provide insights into the planning and implementation of the early years of the conflict.

Other conflicts (in chronological order)

Naval War of 1812 :  a documentary history. D 207.10/2:H 62.

United States Army in the Korean War. 3rd FLOOR DS 918 U5246. The Library has four volumes of this series.

Honor Bound: The History of American Prisoners of War in Southeast Asia, 1961-1973 D 1.2:H 75/3. This volume draws upon research in official records, published literature and interviews with former POW's to chart the history of those taken prisoner during the Vietnam conflict. There is a companion volume: The Long Road Home: U.S. Prisoner of War Policy and Planning in Southeast Asia (D 1.2:P 93/5) which focuses on the policy aspects of the POW issue.

U.S. Army in Vietnam. D 114.7/3: . Several volumes dealing with different aspects of Army operations in the Vietnam War.

U.S. Marines in Vietnam. D 214.13:V 67, etc. Chronological volumes with details of operations from 1954 to 1975.

Vietnam Memorial

Graphic from the National Park Service, Vietnam Veterans Memorial