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Malcolm Peters Nash Papers, 1887-1968

Identifier: AP-0018

Contents of Collection

The Malcolm Peters Nash Papers focus on his career at sea, beginning in 1887 through his retirement in 1933. The materials take the form of correspondence, documents, clippings, diaries, medals, photographs, ephemera, and artifacts.

Certificates of discharge, application letters, and hand written sea service records document Nash’s career. These items demonstrate where he traveled, ranking on ships, and other accomplishments. Documents such as a letters of assignment, ship communications, a patent request, correspondence from colleagues, and retirement papers provide evidence of Nash’s maritime activities and interests.

A prominent achievement in Nash’s life was receiving the Navy Cross during World War I. Included in the collection are the official letter announcing his award, an account of what took place during the incident written by Nash, and a local newspaper clipping from his town of residence (Huntington, New York). There is also a plaque and medal commemorating the award.

A collection of diaries and correspondence offer insight into Nash’s personal life. Nash was able to keep a near daily account of his life through diaries. The entries describe both his personal like and his time spent at sea. The collection of forty-three diaries, ranges from 1888 to 1933, with only a few years missing. The correspondence includes a letter to Nash’s wife just before their son was born in 1915; a letter to Nash’s newborn son, Malcolm Peters Nash Jr. in 1915; and another letter to Nash’s son on his birthday in 1926.

Photographic prints consist of early portraits; several of the training ship St. Mary’s in 1903; two later portraits; and a photo of the USS Alameda, a ship he commanded in 1919.

The collection also includes objects and printed materials Nash collected over the course of his career, such as books on maritime history, travel publications, newspaper articles relating to historic events, and a handmade sea chest.


  • 1887-1968

Language of Materials

Materials entirely in English.

Conditions Governing Access

Appointments to examine materials must be made in advance. Please email for more information or to schedule an appointment.

Conditions Governing Use

Reproductions may be provided to users to support research and scholarship. However, collection use is subject to all copyright laws. The responsibiligy to secure copyright permission rests with the patron.

Biographical Note

Malcolm Peters Nash was born in Bloomfield, New Jersey on July 13, 1869. He spent 43 years of service at sea. Nash’s life at sea began as a cadet on the training ship St. Mary’s of the New York Nautical School (now SUNY Maritime College). After graduating in 1887 he returned to the St. Mary’s in 1895 as a post graduate and again in 1903 as quarter master. Nash sailed the world on various civilian trade ships, and then in 1905 was appointed Third Officer in the U.S. Naval Collier Service. Between 1905 and 1916 he worked on ships contracted by the U.S. Navy, rising to the rank of First Officer. In 1917 he was commissioned as a Commanding Officer on the USS Saturn for the U.S. Navy. During World War I Nash was awarded the Navy Cross due to his heroic handling of a fire aboard the USS Ophir. While relieved of active duty in 1925, Nash remained in the Naval Reserve in some form until his retirement in 1933. He died on August 22, 1934 and is interned at the Bloomfield (NJ) Cemetery in the "Peters" family plot.


4.75 Linear Feet (4 document boxes, 2 oversized boxes)


This collection documents the career of Malcolm Peters Nash from his education at the New York Nautical School (now SUNY Maritime College) through his service with the United States Navy and his years with the Naval Reserve. The collection consists of documents, diaries, correspondence, photographs, newspaper clippings, artifacts and ephemera.

Arrangement of Materials

Materials from Nash’s professional career are listed first in chronological order, followed by photographs and personal items.

Physical Location

Stephen B. Luce Library, SUNY Maritime College 6 Pennyfield Avenue Bronx, NY 10465 Telephone:(718) 409-7231

Custodial History

The contents of this collection were passed down through the Nash family. Malcolm Peters Nash Jr. passed the collection to his son, Malcolm Peters Nash III, who held on to the materials for many years and through multiple moves.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Malcolm Peters Nash III donated the materials to SUNY Maritime College in April 2016 at the urging of his daughter, Katie Nash, who is a professional archivist.

Related Materials at SUNY Maritime College

The Graduate Records Registries, 1876-1916 (Box 3, 1882-1888). And New York Nautical School Conduct Books include entries for Malcolm Peters Nash.

Related Materials at Other Repositories

The North Carolina Maritime Museum holds several artifacts that once belonged to Malcolm Peters Nash.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Martin Zmijewski in the spring and summer of 2016. Finding aid written by Martin Zmijewski and edited by Annie Tummino. Description based on Describing Archives: A Content Standard (DACS).

Malcolm Peters Nash Papers
Martin Zmijewski
May 2016
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Stephen B. Luce Library Repository

6 Pennyfield Avenue
Bronx NY 10465 United States
(718) 409-7231