Resources of the Historian's Office & Historical Archive

Cutter Files

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

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 duplicate photography along with limited documentation dating from the World War II-era to the mid-1980s.  The National Archives and Records Administration hold the official original records (including logbooks) and photography.

Disaster Files

These files cover significant and historic maritime disasters, including merchant vessel incidents, floods, hurricanes, oil spills, and major search-and-rescue cases.  The files consist of some limited photography, copies of 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 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 and Records Administration.

Aviation & Aircraft Files

These files consist of duplicate 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 duplicate photography of most of the lighthouses and lighthouse stations in the United States.  

District & Station Files

These files consist of primarily duplicate photography and some information regarding 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, personal photographs, personal correspondence, private 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 many distinct photographs 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, lifeboats & small boat stations, 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.