Cruise Books In The Navy Department Library Collection
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US Navy Cruise Books are unofficial publications published by a ship's crew to document a cruise or deployment. The number of copies of a cruise book is very limited. Several commands only order copies for about 2/3 of the crew as a rule of thumb. Creating those books is an old tradition in the US Navy. This tradition dates back to the late 1800s, when the crews began documenting events of their cruises. A major difference compared to today's cruise books is that the early log books, as they were called, covered a period of up to two years which was the common period for a standard deployment at that time. It is estimated that by now, almost 10,000 different US Navy cruise books have been published and the number of collectors is constantly increasingThe cruise books displayed here are part of my own collection. A few books, however, have been donated to me by visitors of the website. In these cases, the name of the contributor is mentioned on the cruise book's index page. My own books are not for sale and I'm not able to help you locating old Cruise Books. You have a cruise book that is not listed here and you like to contribute it? Here are your options.You would like to have high resolution digital images of one of the cruise books listed here? A few of the books are already available as download. The price depends on the size of the book: As a basic rule of thumb (exceptions are possible) I charge $15 for books up to 200 pages, $20 for books with 200-400 pages, $25 for books with 400-500 pages and max. $30 for the largest books. The download is a .pdf file that consists of the original scans in high resolution (not resized, no watermarks and pages are in the book's original order). The book you are looking for is not available as download yet? Contact me using our contact form and I will see what I can do for you. This offer only applies to my own books, therefore, all books that carry a "contributed" or "submitted by..." remark on their index page are usually only available as low resolution scans.You are interested in having a hard bound reproduction made of one of the books listed here? Click here for more information.
Cruise books are a pictorial history documenting the daily life and voyages of a ship's crew. The Navy Department Library (NDL) has a large collection of cruise books from the Spanish American War to the present. These books, as well as yearbooks from training stations, Seabee units, ROTC units and other navy groups and activities, total more than 8,000 volumes. To determine if the Library has a particular ship's cruise book, you may review our list of holdings and/or search the catalog (in the library). These booksare not available for purchase.
Borrowing Conditions and ReproductionServicesMost cruise book in the Navy Department Library may be reproduced. Researchers are encouraged to bring a digital camera to the library, or contact the Naval Historical Foundation concerning purchasing a reproduction. In some cases, photocopying or scanning by visitors and the Naval Historical Foundation will not be permitted when a volume is too fragile. World War II cruise books are not available for interlibrary loan. Duplicate copies of post-World War II cruise books may be loaned to your local library for "in library use" only, if your library agrees to return the books via a commercial courier service such as UPS or FedEx rather than the US Post Office.
Donations The Navy Department Library accepts donations of cruise booksfrom all time periods. Please check the list above to determinewhether the Library already has a copy. If it does not, pleasecontact the Library prior to sending your donation: (202) 433-4132.
Cruise books, usually similar in general content and format to high school or college yearbooks, are not official publications. They are compiled by the officers and enlisted personnel of a ship, unit, or station for private distribution. Like school yearbooks, they are usually paid for by subscription from crewmembers or from proceeds of the ship's store. The Navy does not stock or sell copies of cruise books.
A ship, unit, or station may frequently keep a set of its own cruise books. For a list of World War II cruise books, and libraries that they can be examined at, see: Mawdsley, Dean L. Cruise Books of the United States Navy in World War II: A Bibliography, Washington: Naval Historical Center, 1993. Other collections of Navy cruise books can be found at the New York Public Library and the library of the Naval War College, Newport, Rhode Island.
The NDL World War II Cruise Book Collection is only available for research use inside of the Library. While Reference Librarians can confirm whether we hold a cruise book in our collection and provide limited photocopying of portions of a book for personal use, cruise books are copyrighted works, and the Library is unable to duplicate entire works.
A cruise book is a yearbook-style publication often produced by ships of the United States Navy upon completion of a long deployment (typically six months or more). The books typically contain photos of all the people who were aboard during the cruise, usually grouped by their division or department. There are often candid photos as well, showing the people at work aboard the ship. Often there is a map or a description of the ship's travels during the cruise, and there are almost always pictures taken at the various ports of call.
On large ships, the books are produced on board by the ship's Morale, Welfare and Recreation department and Public Affairs staff, and are then printed ashore by printing companies that specialize in such services. The cruise book of a Nimitz-class aircraft carrier typically reaches over 600 pages in length, as it includes portraits of the more than 5,000 sailors and U.S. Marines assigned to the ship's company and embarked carrier air wing.
USMC units also have a long-standing tradition of doing cruise books for deployments. Many units do so remotely from their deployed location, allowing them to proof the books prior to final printing. This is usually done by allowing the publisher to maintain a website where the pages are displayed to be viewed by anyone in the unit and then giving feedback.
Our collection includes a collection of over 10,000 items. The major holdings are in naval aviation, aircraft carriers, and World War II in the Pacific. The library has 1,500 cruise books including 600 aircraft carrier cruise books. Click here to access the USS Midway Museum Library Online Catalog sorted by title.
We are combing through muster rolls, cruise books, and newsletters to create a database of the men who served on the USS Midway. Currently, there are approximately 85,000 names on the list, with more added every day.
In a joint project with the U.S. Naval Institute (USNI), we have volunteers reading every article in the Proceedings back to 1874. These volunteers catalog and summarize all important articles from each issue. The volunteer team compiling summaries for the U.S. Naval Institute (USNI) Proceedings Database cruised into its eighth year of work recently in what appears to be a 10-year project. The searchable database, which will eventually be accessible via the USS Midway Museum and USNI websites, will provide interested parties with a valuable research tool heretofore unavailable. Over 10,000 summaries have been completed of a target set of over 13,000 main articles covering the period 1874 to date. As part of the joint project, USNI has digitized its entire Proceedings collection and it is available on their website.
5. NavyDepartment Library - telephone (202) 433-4132 The Library maintains an extensive collection of cruise books for individual ships. Duplicate post-World War II cruise books can be used at the Library or borrowed through interlibrary loan channels for in-library use only. Due to possible copyright violations, often fragile book conditions and a small staff, the Navy Department Library does not provide photocopies of entire cruise books. See New York Public Library entry as an alternate source for cruise books.
The NHHC/Navy Department Library will only accept an original cruise book for their collection, and because of copyright issues, will only photocopy portions of a book for personal use and not the entire book.
On large ships, the books are produced on board by the ship's Morale, Welfare and Recreation department and Public Affairs staff, and then printed ashore by the same printing companies that publish high school and college yearbooks. The cruise book of a Nimitz Class aircraft carrier typically reaches over 600 pages in length, as it includes portraits of the more than 5000 sailors and Marines assigned to the ship's company and embarked carrier air wing.
Last week, in the first stage of a partnership with the Naval Historical Foundation, Steve Lanning of Bluewater Publishing of Gloucester, Virginia (www.cruisebooksource.com) visited the Washington Navy Yard to make a generous donation to the Navy Department Library. Ninety-five cruise books published by Bluewater were donated to the Library to supplement their extensive collection of
The Museum has also opened a Research Library. With advanced reservations, guests can investigate primary source material in our archives that includes historical naval and aircraft books, cruise books, photo albums, reference books, historical newspapers, newsletters, magazines, and USS Hornet publications from her time during service.
The National Archives holds our nation's military records, but we do have a fairly large collection of cruise books. (A cruise book is a memory book of the voyage, similar to a high school year book.) If you know the name of the ship on which your relative served, you can search our Keys catalog and see if we have cruise books from that ship. 2b1af7f3a8