Naval History and Heritage Command, Washington Navy Yard – Washington, D.C.
By Ryan Wadle
Texas A&M University
The Naval History and Heritage Command at the Washington Navy Yard maintains several separate collections that can constitute the core of any naval history research agenda. The NHHC is located at the Washington Navy Yard in Southeast Washington, D.C. As with any military installation, visitor access can be limited or curtailed for any number of reasons, so it is strongly advised to call ahead to determine if any restrictions are currently in place. The Navy Yard is accessible by car, but visitors must register for a pass upon entry at the 11th and O Street gate and the number of parking spaces in available in the yard can be limited. The Navy Yard stop on the DC Metro’s Green Line and the Eastern Market stop on the Blue Line provide good mass transit access for Navy Yard visitors. The nearest hotels to the Navy Yard can be found to its north and west closer to the Capitol and the National Mall, but these may be beyond the reach of many research budgets. Cheaper options may be found in hotels further away from the city, such as Camp Springs, or in the various hostels and research housing options in the area. The NHHC sponsors the John D. Hayes Pre-Doctoral Fellowship in Naval History each academic year that awards $10,000 to ABD-level graduate students studying American naval history. The fellowship can be used to fund research at the NHHC, but also to visit collections elsewhere.
Within the confines of the Navy Yard, researchers can visit the Early History Branch, the Operational Archives, the Curator Branch, the Navy Department Library, and the Navy Art Gallery. The Yard also hosts the Naval Historical Foundation and the Navy Museum. Visitors should consult the webpages for each of the branches to determine the extent of their holdings, their location within the Navy Yard, and their specific hours.