Resources of the Historian's Office & Historical Archive

Cutter Files

These files consist of all or part of the following: photography, "Welcome Aboard" pamphlets, official histories, news clips, decommissioning documents, scrapbooks, and operational highlights.  Please note that cutter logbooks are found at the collections of the National Archives.


Lightship Files

These files cover each distinct lightship that served with the Lighthouse Service or Coast Guard as well as the various stations these vessels were moored on.  The files consist primarily of photography along with limited documentation dating from the World War II-era to the mid-1980s.


Disaster Files

These files cover significant maritime disasters, including merchant vessel incidents, floods, hurricanes, oil spills, and major search-and-rescue incidents.  The files consist of photography, some official documentation, and newsprint.  Please not that his collection consists of incidents since 1950 up to the advent of the electronic age of the late-1990s.


Personnel Files

These files consist of official biographies of senior officers and famous Coast Guard personnel.  Please note that official personnel jackets of retired and/or deceased personnel are held by the National Archives.


Aviation & Aircraft Files

These files consist of photography of the various types of aircraft that Coast guard has flown along with subject files for most Coast Guard-related aviation subjects.


Lighthouse Files

These files consist of photography of most of the lighthouses and lighthouse stations in the United States.  Many date from the later-19th Century through the 1970s and include official photos of the light towers with many having images of the keepers' quarters and other buildings on the light station's grounds.


District & Station Files

These files consist of photography of Coast Guard, Life-Saving Service, and Lighthouse Service deports, offices, and shore stations.


Subject Files

These files consist of a wide-range of materials regarding a number of diverse subjects including the history of the Service's various missions, roles during the nation's wars, minorities, uniforms, and women, among others.  The files are arranged alphabetically.


Manuscript Collection

This collection consists primarily of personal record collections, scrap books, photographs, official and personal correspondence, and order books, etc., that were put together and kept by various Coast Guardsmen.

Atkins Hall on St. Elizabeth's campus circa 2014

Atkins Hall, on the campus of St. Elizabeth's Hospital, circa 2014.

The Coast Guard Historian's Office is located here.

Other Materials and Further Information

Reference Collection & Library

This collection consists of several thousand books, pamphlets, manuals, directives, instructions, and newsletters that deal specifically with the Coast Guard or are Coast Guard publications.  Most significant are the old manuals, service publications and back issues of most of the periodicals published by the service.


Photography Archive

The Coast Guard Historian's Office photography collection is one of the largest collections of Coast Guard-related photography in the world.  It consists of hundreds of thousands of distinct photographs, negatives and slides dating from the post-Civil War-era to the early 1990s.  Images include lighthouses, cutters, lighthouse tenders, light vessels, combat images (especially from World War II and Vietnam), personnel, life-boat, and air stations.


Collections Management & Donations

The Historian's Office maintains an active collections management program, including art and artifacts, manuscripts, and personal collections.  Contact our office at for further information, including on how to donate personal collections to the Special Collections archive.


U.S. Coast Guard Curatorial Services Program

The Historian's Office manages the Coast Guard's Curatorial Services Program, which collects, stores, preserves, restores, and loans heritage assets including art and artifacts.  These include historic art, lighthouse lens, ships' bells and binnacles, aircraft and their assorted parts and equipment, small boats, uniforms, weapons, among many others. 

Museums wishing to locate items to borrow for display should contact our office at for further information.


U.S. Coast Guard Museum

The Coast Guard Historian's Office is responsible for the U.S. Coast Guard Museum, which is located on the grounds of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in New London, Connecticut.  The museum curator is in charge of the museum and also curates a significant portion of the Coast Guard's historic artifacts. 



The Historian's Office no longer has the resources available to print brochures, art, and line-drawing sets, but they are available in the photo gallery and document resources available on this website.  We will continue to publish new material to our website as .jpg image files and .pdf documents as it becomes available.