Special Collections

The Norfolk Special Collections

Phone: 757-443-6400
Hours: Monday-Friday, 0730-1600
Closed Federal Holidays

Repository includes:

  • World War II documents such as campaign plans, summaries of operations, and books.
  • Select, hard copy student papers from 1947-1998.
  • Gifts from alumni and visiting delegations, including books, plaques and artwork.


Washington, D.C. Special Collections, Archives, and History

Phone: 202-685-3957
Hours: Monday - Friday, 0930-1630
Closed Weekends and Holidays

The Special Collections, Archives, and History Section of the NDU Library (Washington, D.C. campus) is the repository for personal papers, rare books, historical photographs, maps, prints, artifacts, the university archives, and local historical materials. The manuscript collection contains primarily the personal papers of 20th century military and diplomatic leaders, with emphasis on those of former Chairmen and Vice-Chairmen, Joint Chiefs of Staff, Supreme Allied Commanders, Europe, and other Combatant Commanders.

Archival collections from the Hudson Institute, the Presidential Commission on Women in Combat, the Title V Report to Congress on the Conduct of the Persian Gulf War, Civil Affairs in the Persian Gulf, the Skelton Panel on Military Education and Goldwater-Nichols legislation are available for research in Special Collections.

Classics on military/naval strategy and warfare are represented by a 1534 edition of Vegetius’ De re militari with dramatic woodcuts illustrating weapons and war machinery, together with early editions of Marshal de Saxe, Frederick the Great, Von Steuben, Jomini, and Mahan. Documenting the Napleonic wars is the rare colorplate book illustrating British military victories, The Martial achievements of Great Britain and her allies, 1815. A highlight from the Civil War includes an autograph album with the signatures of Joshua Chamberlain, U.S. Grant, and Robert E. Lee. Contemporary photographs of historic buildings on post, including the Model Arsenal (Quarters 21) and the Penitentiary (Quarters 20) are complemented by 19th century maps, prints, and newspapers. A select collection on the Lincoln assassination, and the trial and execution of the Lincoln conspirators, includes unique ephemera such as a memorial fan illustrating events leading up to and after the assassination, and a signed pass to the trial. Special exhibits are located on the 3rd floor of Grant Hall adjacent to the courtroom.

An energetic exhibition program supports the university’s curriculum and features distinguished individuals or special events/anniversaries. Exhibits in Special Collections feature GEN Colin L. Powell, USA (Ret.), GEN Maxwell D. Taylor, USA (Ret.), and GEN John W. Vessey, USA (Ret.). In addition to providing historical resources on the post, the staff also offers historical walking tours. Seeking to preserve and provide access to these national treasures, the Library’s Special Collections is a vital resource for research and a portal to our nation’s heritage.