Located on the Thames River in Groton, Connecticut, United States, The United States Navy Submarine Force Library and Museum is the only submarine museum operated by the US Navy.
It maintains the world’s finest collection of submarine artifacts, documents and photographs relating to U.S. Submarine Force history.
Established in 1955, the museum was originally operated by the Electric Boat Division of General Dynamics and was known solely as the Submarine Library. The Submarine Force Library and Museum soon gained respect for its archival and research value. The submarine builder eventually realized the huge value of such a collection of documents, artifacts, and information and in 1964, General Dynamics donated the collection to the US Navy.
The museum’s collections include more than 33,000 artifacts (including the first nuclear-powered submarine in the world, the USS Nautilus, launched in 1955 and decommissioned in 1980). The museum also includes midget submarines from World War II; working periscopes salvaged parts from the nuclear USS NR-1, a submarine control room, models of submarines, and the Explorer, an early U.S. research submarine.
In addition to its large collection of submarines and related objects, the museum also has a library with around 20,000 documents and 30,000 photos related to the history of submarine development.
Documents in the collection include notes and calculations by John Holland for the U.S. Navy’s first commissioned submarine, “one-of-a-kind artifacts from World War I and World War II”, and the submarine library collections of both Electric Boat Corporation and the U.S. Navy.
The 6,000 volume reference and research library is a world-renowned collection relative to the history of U.S. submarines and is open to anyone looking for information on submarines or submarine history.