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United States Marshals Museum Collections. A quick peek.

Many Things, Many Considerations

A large part of collections care in museums - and one of the largest costs for museum operation - is environment. In order to tell the story, we have to take care of the "Stuff". Temperature, humidity, and lighting are a few of the variables we need to consider - on or off exhibit. Kept at a temperature of about 70° and a relative humidity of about 50%, the materials we hold on our trust are kept stable not just for now and 5 years from now, but for 50 and 100 years from now. Limiting light exposure prevents fading of documents, textiles, and other fragile objects.

Most items in a museum collection can happily exist in a cool, moderately dry space. We are fortunate to have such a space. Our current storage facility is a temporary solution - temporary only in that we are looking forward to permanently storing the collection in the United States Marshals Museum itself. In it, we store the nearly 1,000 objects, documents, and other media in our collection. Additionally, we store elements of the Smithsonian Institute exhibit, "America's Star," and the shipping crates used then and now.

What follows is a very small look into the scope of the collection held by the United States Marshals Museum.

Helmet worn by DUSM Al Butler at Old Miss riot, September 30, 1962. Gift of Al Butler. 2011.01.001.g.

Detail of proof marks on pocket watch attributed to Bass Reeves. Gift of William Lewis. 2015.01.012.f.

Book of mug shots related to enforcement of the Chinese Exclusionary Act of 1882. Contents record activities of US Marshal Hutson B. Saunders, District of Maine, 1901-1902. Loan from the U.S. Marshals Service. 2015.02.032.

Chicken costume worn by a Deputy US Marshal during prosecution of Operation Flagship, December 15, 1985. Loan from the U.S. Marshals Service. 2015.02.121.

Imitation pistol carved from soap bar and hidden in bible. Confiscated by Marshals. Loan from U.S. Marshals Service. 2015.02.133 (soap pistol) and 2015.02.134 (bible).

Presentation graphic related to events of Ruby Ridge stand-off. Loan from U.S. Marshals Service. L.2016.001.001.

Weapons confiscated by U.S. Marshals Service at Camp Liberty/Libertad (Marielito processing camp), Florida. Loan from U.S. Marshals Service. L.2016.001.002.D.

Declaration on hide. Made by members of the Indians of All Tribes (IOAT) Movement during their takeover of Alcatraz Island, May 31, 1970. Loan from the U.S. Marshals Service. L.2016.001.011.

Secure/scrambled telephone system in case. Loan from the U.S. Marshals Service. L.2016.001.023.

Credentials for DUSM Helen Gallagher (D/MN). Loan from the U.S. Marshals Service. L.2016.001.040.

Flagship International Sports Television hat worn by Marshals Service personnel during Operation Flagship, December 15, 1985. Loan from U.S. Marshals Service. L.2016.001.048.

"Jackrock" used by Union Activists to puncture vehicle tires. Confiscated by U.S. Marshals Service in West Virginia in 1989 while enforcing a judicial order. Loan from the U.S. Marshals Service. L.2016.001.056.

Roll of gag toilet paper mailed to U.S. District Court Judge James Gordon, protesting court-ordered school busing in Kentucky, 1975. Loan from U.S. Marshals Service. L.2016.001.058.

Credentials for DUSM Gladys Lucy (E/AR). Lucy was deputized in 1952. She was present during the integration of Little Rock Central High School in 1957. Loan from U.S. Marshals Service. L.2016.001.066.

Latigo by Stan Lynde, November 13, 1982. The last panel sums up what many see as the key element of service as a Marshal. DUSM Al Butler summed up the sentiment in the 1970s as "You put on the Badge. You do the job." Loan from U.S. Marshals Service. L.2016.001.069.

Guidon used by the U.S. Marshals during the siege at Wounded Knee, South Dakota, in 1973. Loan from the U.S. Marshals Service. L.2016.001.072.

Lapel pins used to identify Deputy U.S. Marshals during events in the 1960s. Loan from the U.S. Marshals. L.2016.001.107.

Created By
Dave Kennedy
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All Photography by US Marshals Museum

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