May 16, 2022

NARA: “New Web Page for Digitized U.S. Navy Logs Through 1940”

From NARA’s “The Text Message Blog”:

Imagine the ability to time travel virtually from the comfort of your home as you read on your computer or cell phone about:

  1. an Arctic rescue mission as it unfolded on the deck of the U.S.S. BEAR on June 22, 1884 (NAID 6919159), with its crews rescuing Lieutenant Greely and six surviving members of the Greely Expedition; or
  2. an observation of a meteor “appearing like a ball of fire” and then later “a brilliant aurora” from the deck of the U.S.S. JEANNETTE on September 25, 1879 (NAID 6919191), while the ship was caught in ice floes a mere two months after starting its Arctic expedition; or
  3. the battle of Hampton Roads on March 9, 1862 (NAID 148768897), as recorded by the U.S.S. MONITOR, the Union Navy’s first ironclad ship.

You can find those events and more in the above-mentioned Navy ships’ logbooks, which are among the 1,987 file units of Logbooks of US Navy Ships, ca. 1801-1940 (NAID 581208) from the National Archives in Washington, DC, that have so far been imaged and are available to view and download in the National Archives Catalog. To make it as easy as possible to find and access those digitized logbooks, the National Archives recently published a new web page: Navy Logbooks: Catalog Links to Logs Through 1940.

There are currently 113 Navy ship names listed alphabetically on the web page, and under each ship name, you can find the links to corresponding logbooks listed chronologically.

Learn More, Read the Complete Post

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.