Museum Program - Frequently Asked Questions
About the Collection
Who owns the museum collection?
The collection is owned by all U.S. citizens, but is maintained and managed by the National Park Service in conjunction with the Organic Act of 1916 (16 USC §1-4). The Golden Gate National Recreation Area's Museum Branch strives to ensure that collections are in the best environmental conditions the location is possible of and stored properly. Items from the collection are used in exhibits at various areas around the park and most are available for research provided they are in stable condition.
Where are the materials from?
A majority of the collection was transferred to the National Park Service from the U.S. Army when the Army left its installations in the Bay Area. Materials in the collection include historic objects, maps, plans and drawings, and Army Records. The collection is also built from privately donated materials, items found on park lands, Golden Gate NRA study collections (materials copied from many institutions), and Golden Gate NRA Records.
How are the Archival materials arranged?
The collections at the Park Archives and Records Center are arranged by the source and ownership of the materials, or provenance. Each individual collection has its own arrangement and order, dependent upon the original organization of the collection when it was received. Collections may be arranged chronologically, alphabetically, by topic or in other ways. Typically, the finding aid for the collection will describe the arrangement. Do not rearrange any materials yourself, if you believe materials to be out of order please bring it to the attention of a staff member.
I am interested in an individual who was stationed at an area that is now in the Golden Gate NRA, do you have any information?
If you are seeking official military records please visit the National Archives website for more information.
Can materials be checked out for research?
The Park Archives does not allow materials to leave the premises.
How can I get copies of the materials?
For preservation concerns, we do not offer a self-service copying option for original records; archives staff members will provide copies for you. A staff member will instruct you on how to request materials for copying when research is being conducted. Some materials may be unavailable to copy due to their fragile and/or delicate condition.
Our prices are as follows:
I'm unable to visit the Archives. Do you offer research services?
Limited research services are available, but additional time may be available for a fee. Outside reference requests should be as specific as possible, staff at the Park Archives have very limited time to answer broad, general inquires (i.e. Please send me information about Alcatraz). The Park Archives always encourages you to visit our holdings, as you are your best researcher and know exactly what is needed for your project.
I have items that I would like to donate to the Golden Gate NRA Museum Collection (this includes PARC) how do I go about this?
The Golden Gate NRA Museum Collection welcomes donations of a variety of historic materials that meet the criteria in the Scope of Collections Statement and do not duplicate existing holdings. All potential donations are reviewed by the Museum Advisory Committee prior to accessioning the items into the permanent museum collection. Collections are maintained primarily for research use; there is no guarantee that items will be exhibited. If you own materials that may be relevant to the themes of GGNRA and would like to deposit them in the PARC, please consult with a staff member. The Golden Gate National Recreation Area does not add to the collection through purchase.
Do you give appraisals or monetary evaluations of material?
The National Park Service does not give appraisals. See the American Society of Appraisers or the Appraisers Association of America for an appraiser in your area.
Did You Know?
Alcatraz Island is the site of a large colony of Western Gulls (Larus occidentalis), the gull species that inhabits the Oregon and California coast. Individuals mate for life and come together each year on Alcatraz to defend their historic territory and raise three chicks.