In 1961 General MacArthur executed a deed of gift in which he gave the City of Norfolk all his trophies, medals, prizes, decorations, uniforms, flags, swords, battle souvenirs, personal papers, documents, records and other personal memorabilia. The city restored the historic 1850 city hall to house this collection. The Jean MacArthur Research Center, an administration, archives, and education building serves as the repository for the MacArthur collection.
The library contains General MacArthur's original collection of 5,000 volumes augmented by gifts and purchases of books concerning the General, his times, and his associates. This is a non-lending reference and research library. The archives proper hold some 2 million documents, 86,000 photographs, 130 photograph albums, and 111 motion picture films in addition to sound recordings, newspapers, rare books, scrapbooks, and microfilms.
General MacArthur's correspondence and papers are both personal and official; they include not only his private correspondence but also his headquarters official files of letters, reports, photographs, messages, memoranda, and orders. Except for a few scattered items, the General's papers date from the summer of 1941 to his death.
Of particular interest to researchers have been the documents on the General's tenure as Philippine Military Advisor; the unique materials on the first months of the war in the Philippines, 1941-1942; WWII; the occupation and rehabilitation of Japan; the Korean War; the message files of 1941-1951; the photographic collection; and the General's private correspondence. Certain papers of Major General Whitney, Major General Willoughby, and Lieutenant General Sutherland are also available.
The archival collection is now available on 35mm microfilm. The film may be borrowed through interlibrary loan or purchased directly.