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Enter the Photo Archive

The Heritage Group is home to the personal and professional legacies of the sea services in the form of photographic collections, historical and certification documents, oral histories, and unique merchandise.

Battle of Midway - June 4-6, 1942. Because word of the approach of Japanese forces came so early in the morning, the flag was raised while the battle was in progress.

Naval Institute Photo Collection

Naval Institute Photo Collection

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This is the largest private collection of its kind in the world, with more than 450,000 photos. The U.S. Naval Institute photo collection is filled with deeply moving portrayals of Americans during times of War: of the U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Navy and Coast Guard, of ships and aircraft and of battles that changed the course of world history. Spanning from the Civil War to the present, images from the gallery have been used in everything from the textbooks to broadcast news to documentaries to permanent installations at the National Air and Space Museum and the U.S. Marine Corps Museum.

Oral History

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The U.S. Naval Institute's Oral History program exists for the purpose of preserving and making available the recollections of Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard and other military personnel. Since the inception of the program in 1969, more than 230 bound volumes have been completed, and interviews have been done to produce dozens more.

Americans at War

Americans at War is a living history of Americans at War in their own words and from their own experiences. These 90-second vignettes convey powerful stories of inspiration, pride, and patriotism. The U.S. Naval Institute has made available its vast archive of photos, oral histories, professional books, and writings to relate these powerful stories that both entertain and inspire. Featuring veterans from World War II to the present, Americans at War explores the heroics, the horrors, and the bonds formed by individuals thrust into unimaginable, often impossible circumstances, who unwaveringly did their duty, fighting to preserve the American way of life.


The Heritage Group is actively working to preserve the photo collection through digitization of the photo collection. We strongly believe that photos are a means to understand and experience history. Material not digitized will be lost from the collective American history. With financial support, the Naval Institute Foundation can expedite our efforts already underway to painstakingly yet quickly digitize images making them available to future generations.  Contribute.

Commercial Projects

Our staff and volunteers at the U.S. Naval Institute have professional backgrounds in Navy Intelligence, Library Science, C.I.A., Marine Corps, and FBI. Often we can tell you right away if we have what you are looking for and our typical turn around time is less than one week. Our archive is also open by appointment. We offer very competitive rates and special discounts for scholars, educators, and military commands. 


Conferences and Events

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From the Press

23 February - Seminar

Sat, 2019-02-23

David F. Winkler

3 March - Lecture

Sun, 2019-03-03

Stephen A. Bourque

Why Become a Member of the U.S. Naval Institute?

As an independent forum for over 140 years, the Naval Institute has been nurturing creative thinkers who responsibly raise their voices on matters relating to national defense.

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