USS Midway Research Library

The USS Midway Research Library represents a collection of over 10,000 items. The major holdings are in naval aviation, aircraft carriers, and World War II in the Pacific. The library has 1,500 cruise books, including 600 aircraft carrier cruise books.

The Library is a non-lending research library that supports the USS Midway Museum's mission with three goals:

  • To be a repository for resources that will help to preserve global and national naval aviation and naval history.
  • To provide support for staff research projects within the museum.
  • To provide a resource for the San Diego community.

The library is open to museum staff, volunteers, former Midway crewmen, Circle Level Museum Members, and researchers. Its hours are usually seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Calling first at +1 (619) 398-8275 is always best. The library can also be reached by email at library@midway.org.

Our Projects

Database of Men Who Served

We are combing through muster rolls, cruise books, and newsletters to create a database of the men who served on the USS Midway. Currently, the list has approximately 85,000 names, with more added daily.

U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings Project

In a joint project with the U.S. Naval Institute (USNI), we have volunteers reading every article in the USNI Proceedings dating the magazine's inception in 1874. The project has been underway since 2011, and over 100 volunteers have participated at one time or another along the way.  Phase I of the project lasted through June of 2022, and the goal of Phase I was to catalog and summarize some 13,500 Main, or Feature, articles appearing in Proceedings. 

Having accomplished that goal, Phase II kicked off in July 2022. Phase II is dedicated to keeping up with the Main articles and all other items published monthly and cataloging and summarizing the many other articles/items that have appeared in the magazine. Around 4,000 summaries and cataloging of 25,000 All-Other-type articles cataloged thus far have been completed, so there are many enjoyable years for our summary writers ahead. 

As part of the joint project, USNI has digitized its entire Proceedings magazine collection, which is now available on the USNI website. They have agreed to host the summaries database the Midway library is compiling on their website, with a target start date of about two years into the future.

Battle of Midway Bookstore

This space is adjacent to The Battle of Midway Experience and is staffed by library volunteers. The Bookstore features a wide range of used books at fair prices. Featured are more than two dozen titles on the Battle of Midway; books on naval history, ships, and aviation, as well as many general interest titles. We also sell unique professional aviation art not found elsewhere, including limited edition posters of Torpedo Squadron 8 and the USS Midway and other unique aviation art posters. The bookstore sells the “Voices of Midway” video, which includes the 14-minute video seen in the Battle of Midway Theater and the 40-minute behind-the-scenes video showing what went into the making of the movie here onboard.

Proceeds from the sale of the books and posters benefit the Research Library (enabling us to buy needed volumes for the library), and proceeds from the sale of the Voices of Midway videos benefit scholarships given by the Education Department to visiting school groups. The bookstore is usually open 7 days a week from 10 AM – 4 PM.

Research Library Facebook Page

The Research Library created a Facebook page in June 2014 to celebrate the Museum's 10th Anniversary. Today, the page focuses on the history of the USS Midway and naval aviation and aircraft carriers. Click here to access our page and “like” it!

Milestone Landings Aboard

We believe over 325,000 landings (or traps) were aboard the USS Midway. We are keeping a database of every thousandth landing from 1945 to 1992. This information will be used to recreate the ten large brass plaques that displayed those milestones here onboard the ship. There are many gaps in the record (especially in the final years), and this special project is determined to find the missing information regarding pilot names, dates, and aircraft types involved.

Magazine Indexing

Library volunteers sort through our naval aviation and history magazines collection to locate information about the USS Midway. Articles are summarized, indexed, and added to our database.

Digitizing USS Midway History Documents

The library is working to digitize documents on the Midway’s history, including command histories, deck logs, Plan of the Day, menus, cruise books, and over 650 ship and squadron newsletters. This digital archive will eventually be accessible to the public via the museum’s website.

Book Publishing

From commissioning in 1945 to decommissioning in 1992, the USS Midway inspired men to write about her in rhyme. “The Complete Rhymes of the Midway Mariners” book features verses written by the Officer of the Deck in official Deck Logs during the first watch of a new year.

Accompanied throughout by photographs of Midway crew and air wings, the book includes additional verses discovered in the ship’s newsletters and cruise books. All reveal the spirit of the thousands who served during her 42 years of active duty and contributed to the magic that continues aboard the USS Midway Museum today.

The library volunteers have now published two books, “The Complete Rhymes of the Midway Mariners” and “The Ghost and Miss Maddy,” which are available in the Battle of Midway bookstore. They are currently working on a new book about the aircraft on display at the USS Midway Museum.

Maddy, an emotional support dog, and her owner, Nancy, have volunteered at the USS Midway Museum for years. Maddy made friends with all the library staffers, and now she has made a new special friend. This is their story. For questions regarding the book, please fill out the form below.

The Scuttlebutt Newsletter

The library publishes a semi-monthly internal newsletter about library events, including stories of visitations by former crew members. This newsletter has become so popular that distribution is expanded to all staff members, volunteers, and Museum members.

Research Library Instagram Account

The library manages its Instagram account, highlighting Midway's diverse and interesting collection of books, magazines, manuals, and videos.

Photo Archives

The Curatorial department (along with the ship’s Engineering Library) is amassing an archive of photographs from the USS Midway’s history. Almost 1000 photos have been put online to represent our larger collection. They can be viewed at the library’s Flickr page.


USS Midway History Files

The USS Midway Museum Library collects and maintains several records on the ship’s history in different categories and formats. Some of those are available online as linked below, while others may be found by contacting the Library, by email at library@midway.org.

Ship’s Command Histories (Command Operational Reports)

Ship’s Newsletters

USS Midway Deck Logs

USS Midway Crew List to Date

Memorial board list (As of May 2023)

A selection of our photograph archives can be found here

Midway Milestone Landings

USS Midway History Display Handout

USS Midway Museum Library Holdings

Contact Us

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