The Archives Branch of the Marine Corps History Division collects and preserves archival materials that are significant to the history of the Marine Corps.
Donations offers of materials that enhance the Archives’ collections and support the research of Marine Corps history, policies, and procedures are greatly appreciated. The Archives staff will review donation offers and make selection decisions based on the Branch’s Collection Development Policy. Gifts are accepted with the understanding that they become the property of the Marine Corps, and that the Archives may make all necessary decisions as to their retention, location, use, and disposition.
Due to our limited storage space, it is vital that only those materials of the greatest research value are added to our holdings. This is the foremost criteria we use in determining which donated items we will select to add to the Archives.
Please note that the Archives DOES NOT collect artifacts (i.e., flags, medals, plaques, uniforms, equipment, etc.). These items are in the purview of the National Museum of the Marine Corps; should you wish to donate artifacts, please visit the NMMC website: https://www.usmcmuseum.com/make-a-donation.html.
If you have material that you are interested in donating, contact the Archives at email@example.com or calling (703) 784-4685.
Please do not bring any materials to the Archives without first completing a Donation Information Form and speaking with an Archives representative. The Archives Branch will NOT be responsible for any unsolicited items sent through the mail.
We collect these items:
Diaries and journals
Personal correspondence (letters written to family or friends, etc.)
Official documents (studies, reports, drafts of
Personal photographs and photo albums
Audio and video recordings
Maps (with annotations or markings)
Other materials that meet our requirements
We DO NOT collect these items:
Artifacts (uniforms, flags, medals, etc.)
Artwork and posters
Books and publications
Copies of orders, technical manuals
Commercial motion pictures
Cruise books, graduation books, and yearbooks
Medical or financial records
Newspapers and newspaper clippings
Photocopies or scans of original materials
Periodicals and magazines
Personnel records and certificates
Uniforms, clothing, and other textiles
Weapons and ordnance
Items in poor condition (water damage, insect or rodent infestation, or mold/mildew)
Any item that does not fulfill the mission of the Archives Branch
Materials that do not adhere to the criteria outlined above will be returned to the sender. Coordinate your shipment by sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or calling (703) 784-4685.
Donating Materials to the Archives Branch
We appreciate your interest in donating to the Archives Branch. The Archives welcomes donation offers of archival material pertaining to the history of the Marine Corps created and/or collected by individuals.
Each prospective donation is carefully evaluated to determine whether the Archives is the appropriate repository for the items being offered. Offers are reviewed on a case-by-case basis and referred with a recommendation to President of Marine Corps University for final decision. The process, from the donation offer to final acceptance, can take 10-12 months.
Not all of the items offered for donation are accepted by the Archives.
Please DO NOT send any original items without contacting the Archives via email or telephone. Any materials received without prior coordination will be returned to the sender.
When making a donation offer via email, please include your contact information and a thorough description of the materials being offered. For larger collections, an itemized list is preferred. Also include the full name and service dates of any individuals associated with the materials, if applicable.
After we have agreed to review the materials offered for donation, these can be mailed to the archives or delivered in person to our physical address:
If you are sending photographs, please ensure that they are labeled as accurately as possible. We do not accept photographs without accompanying descriptions.
Please email email@example.com with a description of the materials you wish to gift. A member of the Archives staff will contact you after reviewing the description to discuss the gifting process. We receive dozens of offers every year, so be advised that it can take several days for us to reply.
Criteria for Evaluation of Donation Offers
When reviewing donation offers, the Collections Committee uses the following criteria to make determinations on which offers should be recommended for acceptance:
Relevance to and consistency with the purpose and mission of the Archives Branch
Avoids inappropriate duplication
Authenticity (whether an item is an original or a copy)
Possible legal or ethical restrictions
Accuracy and quality as a historical document
unaltered, if original
accurately copied from original sources, if copy
Evidential or informational value
Relevance to resident collections
The acquisition is viewed with an eye toward permanency