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Georgia Tech Naval ROTC Scrapbook and Photograph Collection

Identifier: VAC367

  • Staff Only


This collection contains clippings and photographs that document the Naval ROTC unit at Georgia Tech from its beginnings in 1926 through the late 1970s. Documentation is particularly thorough for the 1920s through the 1950s.


  • 1926-1980


General Physical Description note

(2 scrapbooks and approximately 500 photographs)

Restrictions: Access


Restrictions: Use

Permission to publish materials from this collection must be obtained from the Head of Archives and Special Collections.


4.5 Linear Feet

Scope and Contents

The Georgia Tech Naval ROTC Scrapbook and Photograph Collection, 1926-1980, includes clippings, programs, and photographs that document the NROTC unit at Georgia Tech from its beginning. This collection contains two scrapbooks and one photo album. Most of the materials in the scrapbooks are identified and dated. The materials in the photo album usually have only basic event titles and very few dates.

The scrapbooks contain clippings from a variety of newspapers and magazines, including Georgia Tech, regional, and national publications. These textual items cover a wide range of topics: the formation of the NROTC program, general Georgia Tech NROTC information, as well as information and articles about events such as summer cruises, Honors Days, and commissionings. Also included are many articles that mention NROTC members involved in other school activities such as student government, athletics, or receiving academic honors. During the late 1940s there are also quite a few clippings about upcoming nuptials of NROTC midshipmen.

The scrapbooks also contain black and white photographs pasted on the pages. These photos mostly illustrate events such as commissionings, Honors Days, and summer cruises. Some of the images are snapshots and others are official Navy photographs, or other professional photographs.

Scrapbook 1 is in poor condition and most of the pages have broken out of the book. Because these loose pages are very brittle, they are housed separately and photocopies have been created. Please use the photocopies when possible. Scrapbook 2 is in better condition and all the pages remain intact.

The photos from the photograph album are black and white and document commissionings and Honors Days, ca. 1960-1966. All the photographs from the photo album are either professional photos or official Navy photos.

Administrative History of Georgia Tech Naval ROTC

In 1926, the Department of the Navy authorized the formation of Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps (NROTC) units at six universities around the country. Georgia Tech, along with Harvard, Yale, Northwestern University, University of California at Berkley, and the University of Washington, were selected to be the host institutions for the first NROTC units. Planning began in July 1926 and by autumn the Georgia Tech unit was underway with 59 students. Because Georgia Tech is not near a large body of water, the lake in Piedmont Park was used for training in the early years. To help with training, the Naval Armory, completed in 1935 (razed in 1980), included a ship's bridge with a complete communications system, a fully-operational ship's boiler, as well as a lifeboat with davits, a flagbag, and signal lights. Beginning in 1932, qualified NROTCs could choose either a Navy or Marine Corps option. Women were first admitted to NROTC programs at select schools in 1972 and authorized at all NROTC units by 1974.

At its founding, the NROTC program was intended to provide instruction and training to select college students, producing students qualified for appointments as officers in the naval reserve upon graduation. However, in the modern program, NROTC graduates are commissioned as active duty officers, rather than as reserve officers. In addition to the classes necessary for their chosen majors, NROTC midshipmen are also required to take several naval science courses as well as calculus and physics classes. Each summer before their sophomore, junior, and senior years, NROTC midshipmen participate in summer cruises. The summer cruises last approximately one month; the students are placed on active duty and gain experience in various aspects of Navy communities. Following graduation, NROTC members are commissioned as officers in the Navy or Marine Corps, and service commitment times vary depending upon the community or career designation. Basic commitment is usually four years of active duty and four years of inactive duty.

Georgia Tech's NROTC unit has produced a number of distinguished graduates including astronauts Richard H. Truly and John W. Young; Raymond G. Davis, a highly decorated Marine Corps officer who served in three wars; and Robert E. Cannon, Vice President of Proctor and Gamble. Two other notable men started in Georgia Tech's NROTC unit before being appointed to the US Naval Academy: David McCampbell, the Navy's top "Ace" of all time and Jimmy Carter, former Georgia Governor, former US President, and winner of a Nobel Peace Prize.

During World War II, Georgia Tech also served as a host institution for the V-12 Navy College Training Program. The V-12 program, in effect between 01 July 1943 and 30 June 1946, was designed to help increase the number of commissioned Navy officers during the war.

Currently, the Georgia Tech NROTC unit has approximately 100 midshipmen in the unit. Since its founding in 1926, the Georgia Tech program has commissioned more than 3000 officers. The NROTC unit at Georgia Tech also serves the students of Georgia State University and Southern Polytechnic State University.


This collection is arranged into two series by format: Scrapbooks and Photograph Album. When the scrapbooks and photo album were originally compiled, the materials were added in general chronological order. This original order was maintained, with the exception of the few materials just slipped between the pages of the scrapbooks--these were placed in a separate sub-series after the scrapbooks.

Many of the photographs remain in the scrapbooks. However, in cases where the photographs were loose or had already fallen off, they were removed and are housed in folders but described in original order.

The original photograph album was a three-ring binder; the actual photographs were punched and put in the binder with no identification other than divider sheets. Because the original photographs were placed directly on the metal rings of the binder, the original album was disassembled to better preserve the photos. The original order was maintained.

Other Finding Aids

A print copy of this finding aid is available in the Georgia Tech Archives reading room.


Accession #2005.017.

Related Materials

See also Georgia Tech Naval R. O. T. C. Records, 1928-1956 (MS104) and Charles E. Littlejohn Papers, 1943-1944 (MS123).

General Physical Description note

(2 scrapbooks and approximately 500 photographs)

Processing Information

Mandi D. Johnson processed these scrapbooks and photographs in May 2009.

Inventory of the Georgia Tech Naval ROTC Scrapbook and Photograph Collection, 1926-1980 VAC367
Finding aid prepared by Mandi D. Johnson
Copyright May 2009.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid is written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Archives and Special Collections, Library, Georgia Institute of Technology Repository

Georgia Institute of Technology
266 4th Street, NW
Atlanta 30332-0900 USA