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Curatorial Services: Frequently Asked Questions

A lighthouse lensQ: What exhibits can I see at the U. S. Coast Guard Exhibit Center?

A: There are no exhibits to see at the Coast Guard Exhibit Center, which is not open to the public. The name reflects a time when traveling exhibits and local displays were built at, and shipped in and out of, the center.   That is no longer done, but the original name "Exhibit Center" remains.

Q:  What is Coast Guard Curatorial Services?

A:  The Coast Guard's national Curatorial Services Program is directed by the History Office of Headquarters in Washington, DC.  The program is operated by the Coast Guard Curator and the Coast Guard Collections Manager.  The mission of the program is to ensure the proper collection, preservation, security, accountability and educational use of the Coast Guard's historically significant artifacts and art.  Curatorial Services also manages the Coast Guard's artifact loan program.

Q: What if I would like to donate historical material to the Coast Guard?

A: Click here to send an email to the Collection's Manager.

Q: How do I care for historical assets that our unit has?

A: Click here to view a Powerpoint presentation on the care and preservation of Coast Guard historical artifacts.

Q: What are the standards and qualifications needed to be considered as an approved Lampist?

A: Professional Lampist Standards

Q: I would like to dive on the wreck of a Coast Guard cutter, is it legal to do so?  Does the Coast Guard have a policy on recovering the wrecks of cutters or aircraft?  May I remove an artifact off a Coast Guard wreck?

A: The Coast Guard policy is posted here.

Q:  My child was baptized/christened and his name was inscribed inside the bell of a Coast Guard ship.  Does that mean the bell becomes my family's property when the ship is decommissioned?

A: No, the Coast Guard is prohibited by law from giving away its artifacts.

Q: What is the value of my Coast Guard artifact?

A:  We are prohibited from appraising property that does not belong to the Coast Guard.  We suggest you ask an antiques dealer or check an internet auction site for similar items.

Q:  Do you want to purchase my Coast Guard artifact?

A:  The Coast Guard receives no appropriations for the purchase of historical artifacts.  The primary method whereby the Coast Guard acquires historical objects is through unsolicited gifts donated by the generous public.

Q:  Can I borrow an old Guard uniform to wear in a parade, event, film, etc.?

A: No, Coast Guard policy prohibits the use of its artifacts in that manner.

Q: I served on a Coast Guard ship. Can you give me an artifact from that ship?

A:  No, the Coast Guard cannot give, donate, transfer or sell its historical artifacts and artwork to the public.

A Revenue Cutter Soup Bowl

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Last Modified 1/12/2016