National Archives Next Generation Search

Introducing the Next Generation National Archives Catalog
The National Archives Catalog is getting an upgrade! We are excited to announce a sneak preview of our fully redesigned and modernized online public access Catalog. This new and improved Catalog maximizes our ability to make the records of the National Archives even more accessible. 

I have been searching for USS Midway (CV-41) deck logs for the past five years. When I can go to Archives II in College Park, I can usually get physical copies of specific deck logs if the Archives has them. (All deck logs are supposed to be turned over to the Archives after 30 years. The Midway was decommissioned in 1992, so all of them should be available, but the Navy has still retained the last several years of the Midway’s deck logs.) However sometime in 2000:

U.S. Navy deck logs related to the Vietnam Era will be closed for research due to a digitization agreement with the Department of Veterans Affairs.

The following records at A2 will close on December 20th:

RG 24, Logbooks of U.S. Navy Ships and Stations, 1976-78

RG 24, Logbooks of U.S. Navy Ships and Stations, 1956-75 remain closed as of the date of the issuance of this notice.” From the homepage of the https://www.archives.gov/college-park.”

From Archives II webpage.https://www.archives.gov/college-park

Before COVID, these deck logs were supposed to have been digitized by 2021. Now, no date appears on the text I just copied and pasted from the webpage.

Troy Prince, https://www.midwaysailor.com/, researcher extraordinaire, has found some deck logs that most of us can never quite locate. I do not pretend to be in Troy’s level of being able to search the Archives catalog.

When the Archives sent out an announcement about the new improved catalog, I tried USS Midway (CV-41) Deck Logs. This is what I retrieved.

You can see my search terms and you can see that the single search result did not have anything to do with the Midway.

Other searches reveal some Midway deck logs as well as deck logs for other carriers, things on the Battle of Midway, and USS Midway related documents that are not deck logs. If there is an improvement, it is too subtle for me to see.

6 thoughts on “National Archives Next Generation Search”

    1. What would you like me to look up instead? Deck logs are the official record that something happened that day and that way on a Navy ship. The Officer of the Deck writes up any significant event that occurred during that four hour watch. It becomes a historical document that eventually lives in the National Archives. Historians and researchers use the deck logs as primary source material to verify accidents, deaths, visits, and any other things that seem significant for a variety of reasons (personal or otherwise). For sailors who may have been exposed to Agent Orange during Vietnam, but were not physically in the country like Marines or soldiers, the ship’s deck log can help prove that the ship they were on was off the coast of Vietnam during part of the conflict and they may have exposed them to Agent Orange.

      Liked by 2 people

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