Abraham Friedman's Navy Yard ID, 1947
Tools Used by Joseph F. Rogers, circa 1946
Engraved Illustration of the Navy Yard Lyceum, 19th century
Building 3 Blueprint Detail, 1943
Machinery Division, 1913
Inside Building 4, 1963
WELCOME – The Brooklyn Navy Yard Archives
The BNYDC Archives collects, organizes, and preserves in perpetuity the corporate records and assets of the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation, as well as material relating to the history of the Brooklyn Navy Yard. The Archives makes this material accessible and provides research support to any interested persons who seek to evaluate the impact of Brooklyn Navy Yard and BNYDC activities on the history of Brooklyn’s social, cultural, and economic development.
The Archives was established in 2004 and operates under the authority of the BNDYC's General Counsel.
WHAT WE HAVE – Collections of the Brooklyn Navy Yard Archives
The collections of the Brooklyn Navy Yard comprise architectural, manuscript, and special collections that document the rich history of the Brooklyn Navy Yard. The Archives is also the repository for the corporate records of the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation (BNYDC).
The Brooklyn Navy Yard’s collections are made available to general researchers at the museum’s reference center, located on the second floor of BLDG 92. There you will find our Collections database containing more than 7,000 photographs, architectural plans, artifacts, and ephemera items related to the history of the Brooklyn Navy Yard, as well as the full run of the Navy Yard’s newspaper, the Shipworker, which was published from 1941 to 1966. You may visit the reference center during BLDG 92's normal operating hours. No appointment is required. Visitor Services Staff can offer limited research support. Should you want a copy of any item found in the Collections database, please note the item number, and complete and submit a Reproduction Request Form to the Archivist.
The bulk of the archival collections maintained by the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation Archives consist of architectural plans dating between the 1910s and 1966. There is also a modest collection of material related to the history and development of the Yard, artifacts salvaged from the Yard, as well as personal papers donated by individuals or families of Yard workers. A small reference library and vertical file of research material is also available for consultation. Fuller descriptions of these collections will be posted here when available. Refer to our Collection Development Policy for more details on the type of materials we seek to collect. If you would like to donate material to the archives, please visit our support page.
VISITING THE ARCHIVES
The BNYDC Archives are open by appointment only, Monday through Friday, between 9am and 5pm. Please read our reading room regulations prior to your visit. The Archives also offers remote reference services. For this service we ask that you fill out a Research Request Form. Please be as specific as possible as to what materials or information you are researching. Please note, due to the high volume of requests we cannot guarantee an immediate response. Archives staff endeavor to respond to all external inquiries within two weeks.
For academic and professional groups, please see our page on specialized tours, and associated archival support, that can be adapted to complement undergraduate, graduate, research, and professional development programs.
ACCESS AND USE OF ARCHIVAL MATERIAL
Access of BNYDC Archives’ Collections
The BNYDC Archives is committed to providing open access to its holdings as far as possible within the limits of privacy and confidentiality. Although many architectural plans and collections are open for use, there are materials held by the BNYDC Archives that are subject to access restrictions.
Please read our Access and Use Policy for information about the various types of holdings under the Archives care, and their levels of access.
Reproduction and Use of BNYDC Archives’ Collections
The BNYDC Archives provides Use Copies of the material in its collections to facilitate construction projects in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, private study, scholarship, and research. We welcome you to use materials in our collections that are in the public domain and to make fair use of copyrighted materials as defined by copyright law. In order to furnish a Use Copy, users must complete and submit a Reproduction Request Form to the Archivist.
Please read our Access and Use Policy for information about the various types of holdings under the Archives care, and the procedures for providing Use Copies.
The copyright law of the United States (Title 17 United States Code) governs the making of reproductions of copyrighted material. Under certain conditions specified in the law, libraries and archives are authorized to furnish a reproduction. One of these specified conditions is that the reproduction is not to be “used for any purpose other than private study, scholarship, or research.” If a researcher uses a reproduction for purposes in excess of “fair use,” that researcher may be liable for copyright infringement.
ONLINE RESOURCES – For Historical Research
- A helpful guide to using archival collections and conducting research, published by the Society of American Archivists, is available here.
- Guides to the processed collections of the BNYDC Archives are available here. These Guides include information about the origin, history, content, date, and format of the material, as well as the physical and intellectual arrangement imposed upon them by the archivist.
Below is a non-exhaustive list of resources that are relevant to general inquiries about the history of the Brooklyn Navy Yard:
- A list of ships at the Brooklyn Navy Yard is available here.
- 1945 Brooklyn Navy Yard Telephone Directory
- Selection of General Overview Maps, 1818-2010
- 1965 Survey of Buildings and Structures
RELATED ARCHIVAL COLLECTIONS
The following repositories maintain collections that also relate to the Brooklyn Navy Yard and may be of interest to researchers.
Brooklyn Historical Society
Local history collections, including material related to the Yard.
Brooklyn Public Library - Brooklyn Collection
Local history collections, including material related to the Yard and digital access to the Brooklyn Eagle newspaper.
National Archives at New York City
Administrative and operational records of the Yard when it was a Federal facility.
National Personnel Records Center
Military and civilian personnel records. Especially useful for geneaology and family history of indvididuals who worked at the Yard.
Naval Academy Nimitz Library Special Collections
Archival material related to the U.S. Navy.
Navy History and Heritage Command
Operational history of the U.S. Navy and official ship histories.
New York City Municipal Archives
Local city archives, including the history of the Yard and surrounding neighborhoods.
New-York Historical Society
New York history, includes a photo collection of the Yard during WWII as well as a maritime history collection.
New York Public Library - Milstein Division
Local history and genealogical division of the NYPL.
SUNY Maritime Library and Museum
General maritime history.
U.S. Naval War College Naval Historical Collection
Archival material related to the US Navy.
The Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation Archives
63 Flushing Avenue
Building 292, Unit 300
Brooklyn, NY 11205