The USMA Library Archives and Special Collections retains the United States Military Academy's official records and associated items related to USMA graduates and the history of West Point. Our primary mission is to support cadet, faculty, and staff research.
As such, we are often not the best source for information on non-USMA related questions. Here are some other resources that will support your research.
The USMA Library Archives and Special Collections retains cadet records, but not graduate records from their time in the Army or the records of service members who are not associated with West Point. Here are some other resources that will support your research:
USMA Association of Graduates
Biographical Register of the Officers and Graduates of the U.S. Military Academy
Official Register of the Officers and Cadets of the U.S. Military Academy
AHEC list of useful museums and resources: https://usawc.libguides.com/c.php?g=657420&p=4615556
Army Military Research and Education Support
U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) Libraries: Specialized libraries support branch training locations
U.S. Army Museums
AHEC list of useful museums and resources: https://usawc.libguides.com/c.php?g=657420&p=4615556
American Battle Monuments Commission: The American Battle Monuments Commission, established by Congress in 1923, is an agency of the executive branch of the federal government. ABMC — the guardian of America’s overseas commemorative cemeteries and memorials — honors the service, achievements, and sacrifice of U.S. Armed Forces.
Civil War Soldiers and Sailors Database: The Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System (CWSS) is a database containing information about the men who served in the Union and Confederate armies during the Civil War. Other information on the site includes histories of Union and Confederate regiments, links to descriptions of significant battles, and selected lists of prisoner-of-war records and cemetery records, which will be amended over time. The CWSS is a cooperative effort between the National Park Service and several public and private partners whose goal is to increase Americans' understanding of this decisive era in American history by making information about it widely accessible.
National Personnel Records Center: The repository of millions of military personnel, health, and medical records of discharged and deceased veterans of all services during the 20th century. NPRC (MPR) also stores medical treatment records of retirees from all services, as well as records for dependent and other persons treated at naval medical facilities.
National Union Catalog of Manuscript Collections: The mission of the NUCMC program is to provide and promote bibliographic access to the nation's documentary heritage. This mission is realized by NUCMC production of cataloging describing archival and manuscript collections held by eligible repositories located throughout the United States and its territories. The program's mission is further realized by the provision of free searching, via NUCMC gateways, of archival and manuscript cataloging in OCLC WorldCat.
National Security Archive, at The George Washington University: Founded in 1985 by journalists and scholars to check rising government secrecy, the National Security Archive combines a unique range of functions: investigative journalism center, research institute on international affairs, library and archive of declassified U.S. documents ("the world's largest nongovernmental collection" according to the Los Angeles Times), leading non-profit user of the U.S. Freedom of Information Act, public interest law firm defending and expanding public access to government information, a global advocate of open government, and indexer and publisher of former secrets.
Department of Defense Resources
Naval History & Heritage Command: The Naval History and Heritage Command (NHHC) manages the official history program of the United States Navy, fulfilling its mission to strengthen the Navy’s effectiveness by preserving, analyzing, and interpreting the service’s hard-earned experience.
U.S. Air Force Historical Research Agency: The Air Force Historical Research Agency is the repository for Air Force historical documents. The Agency's collection, begun in Washington, DC, during World War II, moved in 1949 to Maxwell Air Force Base, the site of Air University, to provide research facilities for professional military education students, the faculty, visiting scholars, and the general public. It consists today of over 70,000,000 pages devoted to the history of the service, and represents the world's largest and most valuable organized collection of documents on US military aviation.
This is by no means an exhaustive list of all military history-related museums but is meant as a starting point of other available resources.
The National WWII Museum, New Orleans, Louisiana: Offering a compelling blend of sweeping narrative and poignant personal detail, The National WWII Museum features immersive exhibits, multimedia experiences, and an expansive collection of artifacts and first-person oral histories, taking visitors inside the story of the war that changed the world. Beyond the galleries, the Museum's online collections, virtual field trips, webinars, educational travel programs, and renowned International Conference on World War II offer patrons new ways to connect to history and honor the generation that sacrificed so much to secure our freedom.
The National WWI Museum and Memorial, Kansas City, Missouri: The National WWI Museum and Memorial's online collections database allows you to search digital records of our global collection that began in 1920. With such a long history, the material available is only a fraction of their diverse holdings and is in an ongoing process with new digital records added monthly. To date, the focus of the project has been on the Museum and Memorial’s photograph collection and will continue with other image-related materials.
Pritzker Military Museum & Library, Chicago, Illinois: Home to thousands of artifacts, posters, photographs, maps, and manuscripts available online and in person. Their collection represents the Citizen Soldier experience in America.
Military Women's Memorial, Arlington, Virginia: Educational programming, events, and activities that pay tribute to and tell the stories of the 3 million women patriots, past and present, who have served our nation, beginning with the American Revolution.
Library of Congress Veteran's History Project: Collects, preserves, and makes accessible the personal accounts of American war veterans so that future generations may hear directly from veterans and better understand the realities of war.
George S. Patton Diaries and Papers: The diaries of U.S. army officer George S. Patton (1885-1945) are part of a larger collection of Patton papers available for research use onsite in the Manuscript Reading Room of the Library of Congress. The entire collection spans the years 1807-1979, with the bulk of the papers concentrated from 1904 to 1945. The diaries, 1910-1945, digitized for this online presentation, illustrate Patton's activities during the Mexican Punitive Expedition, World War I, and World War II. The volumes, particularly from 1942 to 1945, document Patton's daily activities and observations and reveal his candor about himself, personally and professionally. They include information about American ground combat operations in the campaign for North Africa, the invasion of Sicily, the liberation of France, and the final assault on Germany. Annotated volumes covering World War II often contain additional detail expanding on the original volume entries. The original diaries are dated through 24 March 1945, while annotated transcripts continue to 3 December 1945.
John J. Pershing Papers: The diaries, notebooks, and address books of John Joseph Pershing (1860-1948), U.S. army officer and commander-in-chief of the American Expeditionary Forces in World War I, are part of a larger collection of Pershing papers available for research use onsite in the Manuscript Reading Room of the Library of Congress. The typed diaries, organized into two sets, describe Pershing's command of the American Expeditionary Forces in France during World War I and his postwar service as army chief of staff until 1925. The notebooks mainly document Pershing's army career prior to 1917, with a few that overlap the World War I diaries. The first notebook, from 1882, Pershing's plebe year at the United States Military Academy, is identified as his "cadet check book," or account book. There are notebooks covering much of the rest of his time at West Point, 1883-1884, and 1886, the year he graduated.
George Brinton McClellan (1826-1885): The papers of U.S. Army officer and governor of New Jersey George Brinton McClellan (1826-1885) consist of 33,000 items (59,477 images), most of which were digitized from 82 reels of previously produced microfilm. Spanning the years 1783-1898, with the bulk dating from 1850 to 1885, the collection contains correspondence, telegrams, memoranda, diaries, writings, notes, military papers, McClellan family papers, scrapbooks, printed copies of speeches, articles and books, and other papers relating primarily to General George B. McClellan's Civil War service, particularly in the 1862 Peninsular Campaign in Virginia and battle of Antietam in Maryland. McClellan's first letters in the collection were written during his years as a cadet at the United States Military Academy at West Point, 1842-1846. Later letters are from Mexico, where he was on duty during the Mexican War. Additional information on the war is contained in a diary, 1846-1853. Correspondence and another diary for the period during which he served as an instructor at West Point, 1848-1851, are also in the collection.
Ulysses S. Grant Papers: The papers of Ulysses S. Grant (1822-1885), army officer and eighteenth president of the United States, contain approximately 50,000 items dating from 1819-1974, with the bulk falling in the period 1843-1885. They include general and family correspondence, speeches, writings, reports, messages, military records, financial and legal records, newspaper clippings, scrapbooks, memorabilia, and other papers. The collection relates to Grant's service in the Mexican War and Civil War, his pre-Civil War career, and his postwar service as U.S. secretary of war ad interim under President Andrew Johnson, his 1868 presidential campaign and two-term presidency, his unsuccessful 1880 presidential bid, and his extensive travels and financial difficulties. The collection also includes the manuscript draft of his Personal Memoirs of U. S. Grant, correspondence and memoirs of his wife Julia Dent Grant (1826-1902), and a galley proof of the biography Ulysses S. Grant: Warrior and Statesman (1969) by his grandson Ulysses S. Grant III.
The United States Military Academy Library exists to provide library and information services to support cadets, faculty, and staff. While the USMA Library does not provide general library services to the public, it may provide limited and defined reference and research support to individuals and organizations external to the U.S. Military Academy and the U.S. Army. That support is detailed in Library Policy Operating Memorandum No. 2-2: External Reference and Research Support.