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Coast Guard Curatorial Services

Borrowing Artifacts From the U.S. Coast Guard


Curatorial Service is currently processing very limited artifact loan requests.  Once the backlog of overdue loans is cleared Curatorial Services plans to resume normal loaning operations and will endeavor to accomplish this as soon as possible.  Thank you for your patience.

A photo of a Fresnel lensArtifact Loans:

The mission of Coast Guard Curatorial Services is to ensure the proper collection, preservation, security, accountability, and educational use of historically significant Coast Guard artifacts and properties. This includes artifacts from the Coast Guard and its predecessor agencies: Revenue Cutter Service, U.S. Lighthouse Service, U.S. Lifesaving Service, Bureau of Marine Inspection, and Steamboat Inspection Service. 

Organizations wishing to borrow artifacts from Coast Guard Curatorial Services must submit a written proposal detailing how they would utilize, exhibit, and interpret Coast Guard artifacts. Coast Guard artifacts may only be loaned to 501(c)(3) not-for-profit, educational organizations, and will only be placed in appropriate educational venues.

Borrowing organizations must demonstrate their ability to properly care for, monitor, and exhibit collections in a manner consistent with the standards set by the American Association of Museums, and agree to any specific conditions set forth by Coast Guard Curatorial Services collections management policy. Organizations requesting to borrow historic Fresnel lenses must adhere to an additional set of requirements. Click here for the Coast Guard's policy on borrowing Fresnel lenses. 

The borrowing organization will agree to provide Coast Guard Curatorial Services with condition reports and photographs of borrowed artifacts throughout the loan term. The borrower also agrees to permit staff from Coast Guard Curatorial Services to inspect the facility and conditions of the exhibit and storage space if necessary.

The borrowing organization will be responsible for any costs associated with the loan, including but not limited to: shipping, crating, and packing, installation/de-installation, security, and photography if necessary.

Artifacts from Coast Guard Curatorial Services may not be sub-loaned to other institutions. Loan lengths will be determined based on the artifacts borrowed, proposed exhibits, current requests for similar artifacts, and the needs of the Coast Guard. Requests for artifacts for traveling exhibits will be decided on a case by case basis. First time borrowing organizations may be subject to a one year trial period.

Coast Guard Curatorial Services reserves the right to terminate any loan as set forth in the loan agreement. Loans may be terminated if the borrowing organization violates the standards set forth by the American Association of Museums, Coast Guard Curatorial Services collections management policy, the loan agreement, or any additional specific conditions placed on the borrowing organization.

Organizations that meet these requirements should submit to Coast Guard Curatorial Services the following information:

Send the completed documentation to:

     Coast Guard Curator
     U.S. Coast Guard Curatorial Services
     7945 Fernham Lane
     Forestville, MD 20747

Borrowing requests for the Coast Guard Academy Museum should be sent to:

     Coast Guard Academy Museum Curator
     Coast Guard Academy Museum
     15 Mohegan Avenue
     New London, CT  06320-4195

Request for artifacts should be received six months before the proposed exhibit opening. Requests received sooner than six months stand a greater chance of fulfillment as artifacts come available.

If you are a Coast Guard command or unit requesting an artifact loan, please contact the Curator directly.

Reports, Publications and Policy Statements:

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Last Modified 1/12/2016