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Pentagon Digital Library

@The Pentagon 703.695.1992 | 703.695.1997 | PLC2
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Speechwriters' Toolbox

General Resources

Encyclopedia Brittanica*

Merriam-Webster Dictionary*

Oxford English Dictionary*

* Available to authorized Pentagon Library cardholders.

Defense Almanac (Department of Defense)

Provides statistical information on the people, organization, equipment, and funding of the Department of Defense.

Dictionary of American Fighting Ships


American War and Military Operations Casualties: Lists and Statistics
Wars covered include the Revolutionary War, War of 1812, Mexican War, Spanish-American War, World Wars I and II, Korean War, Vietnam Conflict and Persian Gulf War.

Military operations covered include the Iranian Hostage Rescue, Lebanon Peacekeeping, Urgent Fury in Grenada, Just Cause in Panama, Desert Shield and Desert Storm, Restore Hope in Somalia, Uphold Democracy in Haiti, and the ongoing Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Beginning with the Korean War more detailed information on types of casualties, and when available, demographics have been included.

Personnel and Military Casualty Statistics

Country Information

County Research subject guide
Authoritative resources compiled by the Pentagon Research Staff.

Country Studies (Library of Congress)
On-line version of books previously published by the Federal Research Division of the Library of Congress under the Country Studies/Area Handbook Program sponsored by the U.S. Department of the Army.

The World Factbook (CIA)
Provides a two to three page summary of the demographics, geography, people, government, economy, transportation, military and transnational issues of U.S.-recognized countries, dependencies and other areas of the world. The Factbook is updated every two weeks.


Navy Historical Center
Preserves, analyzes and interprets U.S. Navy history.

OSD Historian Website
The rich heritage of Office of the Secretary of Defense and the Defense Department is chronicled in a newly designed website. Visit the site to read more about our nation's defense secretaries and to view publications, documents and historical images.

United States Army Center of Military History (Ft. McNair)
Provides historical information, analysis and support to Army leaders.

Publicizes Army history/oral history/unit history.

United States Army Heritage and Education Center (Carlisle Barracks PA)
Primary historical research – photographs, reference bibliographies, finding aids for U.S. Army history.

United States Marine Corps History and Museums Division
Provides the histories and traditions of the U.S. Marine Corps.


Air Force Biographies
Active and Retired General Officers, Senior SES.

U.S. Army General Officer Management Office
Resides on Army Knowledge Online (AKO) Portal.

Requires an AKO account to access; Select Army A-Z; G; General Officer Management Office.

CAC enabled.

U.S. Coast Guard
Coast Guard Senior Leader.

U.S. Marine Corps
General Officer and Senior SES.

U.S. Navy Biographies
Flag Officers and Senior Navy leaders.

Unofficial Sources


Biography in Context
Includes 400,000 biographies on over 320,000 people from over 800 volumes of more than 130 respected Gale Group sources such as Contemporary Authors, Encyclopedia of World Biography, Newsmakers, Contemporary Theatre, Film, and Television, Contemporary Musicians, Historic World Leaders, Notable Twentieth-Century Scientists, Contemporary Black Biography, Religious Leaders of America, International Dictionary of Art and Artists, and Writers Directory, with full-text articles from more than 265 magazines including American History, The Christian Century, Saturday Night, and U.S. News & World Report.

Indexes general periodicals with some articles in full text. Includes Academic Search Premier, American Humanities Index, Business Source Premier Communication & Mass Media Complete, Military & Government Collections, Regional Business News.

Provides access to business, military, and a wide variety of other subject area journals and magazines in the form of indexes and abstracts, some full text and image documents. Also includes full text of historical newspapers:

Atlanta Constitution (1868-1942), Boston Globe (1872-1926), Chicago Tribune (1849-1986), Christian Science Monitor (1908-1996), The Guardian and The Observer (1791-2003), Harford Courant (1764-1984), Irish times (1858-2008), Los Angeles Times (1881-1986), Pittsburgh Courier (1911-2002), NY Times (1851-2006), Washington Post (1877-1993), and Wall Street Journal (1889-1992).


Merriam-Webster Dictionary, available to authorized Pentagon Library cardholders.

Oxford English Dictionary, available to authorized Pentagon Library cardholders.

Fact Checking

Encyclopedia Brittanica, available to authorized Pentagon Library cardholders., a project from the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the Univeristy of Pennsylvania.

The Fact Checker, from the Washington Post., a project from the Tampa Bay Times and its partner news organizations.


Battles and Leaders of the Civil War
First-hand accounts of battles and events that shaped the American Civil War, Edited by Robert Underwood Johnson and Clarence Clough Buel, members of the editorial staff of the Century Magazine.

Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion (Cornell University)
Formal reports of both Union and Confederate navies, relating to all naval operations on the Atlantic and Gulf coasts and inland waters; correspondence, reports and orders of both navies. Format: chronological, Union followed by Confederate.

The War of the Rebellion: a Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies (Cornell University)
Formal reports both Union and Confederate, of all military operations in the field, with correspondence, orders and returns relating to those operations.

Format is by campaigns and theaters of operations; Union account followed by Confederate account.

Includes reference works, quotations, poetry, fiction, nonfiction.


Department of Defense
Official speeches, testimony by senior officials of the Department of Defense.

American Presidency Project (University of California at Santa Barbara)
40,000 documents relating to the study of the Presidency.

Included are State of the Union Messages, Inaugural addresses, Debates.

American Rhetoric
Database of 5000+ full text, audio and video (streaming) versions of public speeches, legal proceedings, debates, interviews and other recorded media events.

Urban Legends

Resource for validating and debunking urban legends, rumors and e-mail forwards.

Gateway Sites

AnyDay Today-in-History
Birthdates/historic events cited for a selected day of the year.

Avalon Project (Yale Law School)
Digital documents from Pre-18th – 21st centuries relevant to the disciplines of Law, History, Economics, Politics, Diplomacy and Government.

Chronicling America (Library of Congress)
Internet-based tool which allows searching and reading of American newspapers from 1900-1910 and to find information about American newspapers published from 1690-present.

Documents Center (University of Michigan)
Comprehensive gateway site for Local, State, Federal and International government information; Statistics; Current Events.

EuroDocs: Primary Historical Documents from Western Europe (Brigham Young University)
Comprehensive chronological listing of key primary historical documents for selected Western European nations.

Internet Public Library (ipl) 2
Comprehensive online directory of critically evaluated web sites by librarians.