The Historian's office maintains a collection of material that complements, and to some degree, duplicates the holdings in the National Archives. The collection consists of approximately 500,000 unique and accessible images and a much smaller number of documents. The office is also responsible for managing the Coast Guard's artifact collection and the Service's museum at the Coast Guard Academy.
The collection is open to researchers by appointment but walk-ins are welcome during our core business hours (0700-1600). Letter, email and telephone inquiries are answered to the most complete degree possible given the limited number of staff. The major categories of material in the office are broken down into several major categories.
1. Cutter Files--these files consist of all or part of the following: photography, brief histories, news clips, decommissioning documents, and operational highlights.
2. Disaster Files--predominantly maritime disasters, fires, floods, hurricanes, oil spills and major rescue operations. This includes photography and marine investigations. Most of these files represent post-World War II events.
3. Personnel Files--files on senior officers and famous personnel.
6. District Files--primarily photography of various depots, offices, small boat/lifesaving stations and air stations.
7. Subject Files--collections of material pertaining to a diverse number of subjects. These are maintained alphabetically and range from files on the Coast Guard Academy to World War II.
8. Manuscript Collection--collections of personal papers, photography, mementos, scrap books, etc., of former Commandants, officers, and personnel.
This collection consists of several thousand books, pamphlets, manuals, directives, newsletters, etc. that deal specifically with the Coast Guard or are Coast Guard publications. Most significant are the old manuals and service publications.
Coast Guard Archival Photos: Click here to access information on ordering photography from the collection of the Coast Guard Historian's Office. Please feel free, however, to visit our office and use the copy stand we have available to make your own copies of any image in our collection! You'll need to bring your own camera and film.
The Historian's Office has monographs pertaining to varied topics of Coast Guard history that are accessible through the web site.
Curatorial Services manages the Coast Guard's artifact loan program. Museums wishing to locate items for display should contact the Curator for guidance and procedures for loans. Click here for more information on the Coast Guard Artifact Program.
The office is open to the public for research from Monday through Friday, 8:00 am until 4:00 pm. We suggest that individuals wishing to use the collection call and make an appointment in advance but walk-ins are welcome during our business hours.
There are no restrictions to the use of the collections of the Coast Guard Historian's Office.