Archivist Mark Mollan — Keeper of Lighthouse Records

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Archivist  Mark Mollan assists researchers doing maritime and navy research at the National Archives in downtown Washington, D.C. He’s made working with Record Group 26 a whole lot easier in recent years by creating box lists for some of the more extensive entries. You can access these lists, many in the volumes pictured below, in the finding aids room on the first floor of the National Archives. (The same place you fill out pull slips to retrieve the records.) He or someone else is always on duty to assist you with your search.

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Some of the finding aids for Record Group 26. RG 26 includes records of the Lighthouse Service, Lifesaving Service, Revenue Cutter Service, and the U.S. Coast Guard.

Mark has kindly shared many of these box lists with me in a digital format and I have included them in my finding aid for Record Group 26.

One of the most helpful is the box list for the USCG general correspondence in RG 26 Entry 82. This correspondence is organized into three time periods and a fourth segment devoted to site files for stations (primarily lifesaving/lifeboat stations).  The files are organized according to USCG file manual, for example, 600 designates “Operations”, 601 “Scope of Operations”, etc.  So before Mark’s list, one had to pull everything under a file number and hope you found what you needed. Now with the box list you can search for a specific topic, station, or vessel within the list. Here is one segment as a WORD document. Notice it is in two parts because it is a long list!

USCG General Correspondence 1936-41 Part 1

USCG General Correspondence 1936-41 Part 2

Mark has also identified all the WWII logbooks when the U.S. Coast Guard under the administration of the U.S. Navy. Those for 1942 and 1943 are available in my finding aid.

My sincere thanks to Mark for creating these useful research tools.  He has made my job a lot easier!

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