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History and Library Directorate

Aligned under WHS in 2015, the History and Library Directorate (HLD) provides a wide range of research services for OSD, DoD components, and other federal entities. 

The Historical Office, charged with preserving the institutional memory of the largest federal agency in the U.S. Government, was founded in the 1940s and is one of the longest-serving, continually operating offices in OSD. A small cadre of professional historians routinely provide the Secretary of Defense and his key personnel with essential historical background information.

The Pentagon Library, also dating to the 1940s, provides customized research services, and maintains a collection of DoD specific materials in a variety of formats and coordinates and collaborates with other federal and military libraries.
    

The History and Library Directorate (HLD) provides a wide range of history and library services to the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD), Department of Defense (DoD) components, other federal entities, and the public.  The OSD Historical Office and the Pentagon Library have distinct but synergetic missions.  The Historical Office collects, preserves, and presents the history of the OSD, in order to support DoD leadership and inform the American public.  The Pentagon Library connects WHS customers with information resources and subject matter expertise to meet a broad spectrum of needs in support of the DoD mission.  Through the Historical Office and the Pentagon Library, HLD provides customized research services, acquires and provides training on licensed electronic content for the OSD and DoD components, maintains collections of DoD specific materials in a variety of formats, and coordinates and collaborates with other federal and military libraries

Pentagon Library is a strategic knowledge management resource that enables WHS customers to gain and maintain full-spectrum information and knowledge superiority—the right information at the right time and place to support the DoD mission.   

The purpose of the Pentagon Library is to provide professionally managed library services to customers and their communities to meet a broad spectrum of mission support and unique information needs essential to the DoD.  The Pentagon Library connects customers with valuable print and digital materials, licensed and publicly available electronic resources, and subject matter expertise to ensure informed decision making in support of the DoD mission.

Office of Secretary of Defense Historical Office is one of the longest serving continuously operating offices in the Office of the Secretary of Defense and has been recognized for the excellence of its publications and programs for over a half century.  The office dates back to 1949.  It was awarded the OSD Exceptional Civilian Service Award in December 1999.

The mission of the historical office is to collect, preserve, and present the history of the Office of the Secretary of Defense, in order to support Department of Defense leadership and inform the American public.

Key Responsibilities within the office include:

  • Preparing and publishing the series, History of the Office of the Secretary of Defense.

  • Providing expertise in support of the historical activities of the Department of Defense.

  • Representing the Department of Defense before other government agencies on matters related to history, including serving on advisory panels and commissions on behalf of DoD.

  • Coordinating joint historical efforts among the military service and Defense Agency history offices.

  • Preparing special historical studies and perform special assignments.