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Archives and Special Collections


The Archives collection is comprised of the historical administrative records of the U.S. Military Academy, dating from its founding in 1802 through the present. Manuscripts, typescripts, publications, photographs, sound recordings, and maps are all included in the collection. To qualify for the Archives, material must have been generated by the Academy in the course of official business and must be of permanent historical value. Although maintained at West Point, these materials constitute record group 404 of the National Archives of the United States. As part of the National Archives, they are available to researchers within the confines of applicable rules, regulations, and statutes.

The Archives include many series of Academy publications, such as the cadet yearbook, Howitzer; the post newspaper, Pointer View; Annual Reports of the Superintendent; and many others.

In addition to the original records comprising record group 404, the USMA Archives maintains National Archives Microfilm Publications of related records from other record groups.

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Special Collections

The Special Collections are comprised of a variety of materials from private and commercial sources. They are often made available to researchers from outside the Academy by request.

The Special Collections include approximately 1,500 linear feet of manuscript materials. Most of the collection consists of personal manuscripts of Academy alumni; however some non-graduate papers are also included.

The collections also contain published sources such as books, maps, photographs and ephemera. The book collection includes early European and American imprints and the Sylvanus Thayer Collection acquired in the early years of the Academy, as well as association volumes, books by and about Academy alumni, and books on the history of West Point, the Academy and the Hudson Valley.

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Reading Room

The Archives and Special Collections reading room is open to researchers Monday through Friday, 0800-1600; exceptions will be posted. Researchers (excluding USMA Cadets, staff and faculty) are accommodated by appointment only. To request a research appointment, please create an account in Aeon with details about your request. Once you submit a request, you can log in to receive updates on the status of your request. Please allow time for us to respond; appointments are not set until confirmation is received.

Research Registration System and Appointment Requests


USMA Faculty: Schedule a visit to the historic West Point Room to view original materials related to your course. Past visits include American History, Military History, History of the Book, English Composition, English Literature, and more. To request library instruction, please fill out this form: Information Literacy Instruction Request

Making an Appointment

To make a research request:

  • Search the USMA library holdings via SCOUT and select "Special Collection" as the location of the item.
  • Click on the Special Handling Required link. You will be redirected to your Aeon account.
  • Log into your account, your request will be pre-populated in a New Request form.
  • Fill in any additional relevant information.
  • Select an appointment date and submit the request (Researchers not currently USMA cadets, faculty or staff are required to select an appointment date that is at least two weeks in advance).
  • If you can't find the materials you need in the online catalog, you can make a manual request

To make a manual request:

  • Log into Aeon account, Select New Request.
  • Fill in all the relevant information about the material you would like to request.
  • Select an appointment date and submit the request (Researchers not currently USMA cadets, faculty or staff are required to select an appointment date that is at least two weeks in advance). Once your research request is submitted in Aeon, a member of the U.S Military Academy Library team will review your request and will be in contact with you soon.

Archives & Special Collections Hours

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