The American Naval Records Society (ANRS) was founded in 2010. Its mission is to foster the expansion of research into, writing about and teaching of American naval history through the publication of documentary sources. The model for the ANRS has been the British Navy Records Society, which was established in 1893 for the purpose of printing unpublished manuscripts and rare works of naval interest.
The ANRS project brings the editing of naval documents into the 21st century. This bodes well for the continuance of series that could not have been published in the traditional way because of the vast expense involved. It also makes possible the distribution of archival documents that might not have seen the light of day, in the sense of being easily accessible. The editors’ tasks, of course, remain those of research, selection, annotation, organization and indexing.
The initial effort of the ANRS has been to publish—in electronic form—selected government publications in the public domain and other documentary sources not under copyright. These are available as Adobe Acrobat (PDF) files linked from indices on this site as follows: What’s New, Subject Index, Chronological Index and Alphabetical Index. Adobe Acrobat or Adobe Reader 9.0 or later are required view the PDF files.
This electronic publication of archival documents opens a wide vista for historians of future naval operations. This is important for operational analysts, historians, and their readers because, as has often been said: no documents, no history, and—we could add—no understanding of the past.
A state-by-state listing of local sources of naval history is maintained by the Naval History & Heritage Command
The Captain’s Clerk: a Library of Congress collection regarding “Old Ironsides”