September 18, 2017 Library and U.S. Military Academies Sign Cooperative Agreement

Interagency Cooperation Provides Enhanced Research Opportunities, Grows Service Member Representation in National Collections

Press Contact: Gayle Osterberg (202) 707-0020

The Library of Congress and the five U.S. Service Academies today entered an inter-agency cooperative agreement to support growth of service member representation in the national collections at the Library, including within the Veterans History Project. The agreement also provides enhanced research access to Library collections for the U.S Air Force Academy, U.S. Coast Guard Academy, U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, U.S Military Academy and U.S. Naval Academy and enhanced access to service academy collections for Library researchers.

The three-year agreement takes effect today. It was signed by Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden in a ceremonial gathering at the Library today with David Schaffter, Acting Director, Academy Libraries, U.S. Air Force Academy; Lucia Maziar, Library Director, U.S. Coast Guard Academy; Donna Selvaggio, Chief Librarian, U.S. Merchant Marine Academy; Christopher Barth, Librarian and Associate Dean, U.S. Military Academy; and Larry Clemens, Library Director, U.S. Naval Academy.

The United States Service Academies are internationally recognized for their pursuit of academic, military and physical excellence, preparing young men and women to become professional officers.

Today’s agreement enhances access by midshipmen, cadets and faculty members to the Library’s global collections, which span different languages, culture and regions of the world.

“I am so thrilled because this agreement throws open the doors of the Library of Congress and its rich collections even wider to students and faculty of our nation’s service academies,” Hayden said. “Importantly, it will also support growing our national collections of papers, photos and oral histories of service members so researchers today and tomorrow will have access to these extraordinary stories of service to our country. I thank the leadership of the academies for working with the Library to reach this mutually beneficial agreement.”

Added Schaffter of the USAFA, “This is an exciting opportunity to expand access for our cadets and faculty to the world-class research support the Library of Congress can provide, and to reaffirm our connection and shared mission with the nation’s service academies. Opening the U.S. Air Force Academy’s unique collections on the history of air power to a national audience exemplifies the commitment to service we expect of our future leaders.”

Donna Selvaggio, USMMA Chief Librarian, said, "We are elated and excited for this opportunity to enter this resource-sharing agreement between the Library of Congress and the other four service academies. This opens the doors to expanded access and research support for our Midshipmen and faculty and an opportunity to expose the unique assets of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy."

The agreement provides for cooperation in the following areas:

Collection Development

  • The Service Academies and the Library could cooperate to build awareness of and participation in the Veterans History Project among Service Academy students, faculty and alumni.
  • The Library and Service Academies could cooperate to identify materials being deaccessioned from the Service Academies that are appropriate for inter-governmental transfer to the Library. In addition, Service Academy library staff, faculty and students could provide input and user feedback to strengthen the Library’s Collections Policy Statements in subject areas such as military science and naval science.

Shared Collection Access

  • The Library and Service Academies could work together to assure enhanced mutual access to their respective collections, including remote access and preferential interlibrary loan.

Research Services & On-Site Experiences

  • The Library and Service Academies could provide each other with customized orientations, research consultation and on-site research spaces.
  • The parties could develop short-term staff exchanges between the Service Academies and the Library including joint teaching and research programs.
  • The Library could host Service Academy students in its academic internship and service programs.

 The United States Air Force Academy educates, trains and inspires men and women to become officers of character, motivated to lead the United States Air Force in the service of our nation. The Academy isn’t just a premier high-education establishment. It’s an unparalleled academic and military institution that provides young men and women with rewarding opportunities to transform into the leaders of tomorrow.

 United States Merchant Marine Academy educates and graduates licensed Merchant Marine officers who serve America’s marine transportation and defense needs in peace and war. With 95 percent of the world’s products transported over water, these leaders are vital to the effective operation of our merchant fleet for both commercial and military transport.

Congress created the Veterans History Project in 2000 to collect, preserve and make accessible the firsthand remembrances of America’s war veterans from World War I through the more recent conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, so that future generations may hear directly from veterans and better understand the realities of war. For more information, visit or call the toll-free message line at (888)371-5848. Subscribe to the VHP RSS feed to receive periodic updates of VHP news. Follow VHP on Facebook @vetshistoryproject.

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PR 17-128
ISSN 0731-3527