“The Atlantic County Veterans Museum is intended to serve as a lasting tribute to our veterans and their families.
Through the collection of military artifacts and personal memorabilia we will share the contributions of Atlantic County
residents to our nation's history. We welcome those from near and far to take advantage of this historic
and educational resource.”
The county has offered the use of the historic Estell Manor House to house the museum. It is the former home of Rebecca Estell Bourgeois Winston, the first mayor of Estell Manor and the first female mayor in New Jersey. The house was built in 1832 by Winston's grandfather and remodeled to its present Colonial Revival style by Winston in the 1920s. The house was purchased by the county in 1993 but has remained unoccupied while structural repairs were being made.
County Executive Levinson appointed former County Executive Richard E. Squires to serve as chairman of the Veterans Museum Committee that includes veterans, historians and community members to assist with gathering, researching and accessioning artifacts and materials that will become part of the collection of the new museum. The museum is scheduled to open later this year.
Atlantic County Veterans Museum Committee is seeking artifacts for its collection.
We are always looking for artifacts with a good story and a local connection!
We are seeking items attributed to the military service of citizens of Atlantic County through all conflicts and branches of service. This includes items of unique historical significance or those tied to important historical event or battles. Artifacts with direct provenance from area veterans including photographs, supporting service documentation, and/or a personal account of any length are particularly desired. If the museum acquires multiple artifacts of a similar type, the museum's holdings will be judged based on the quality of the item and quality of its provenance. All items offered for donation are reviewed by a collections committee.
US MILITARY ARMS FROM ALL CONFLICTS: Firearms and weapons captured in battle from our nation's foes are also desired as well as those from Allied nations. If you are in doubt of the type of firearm you have, send us a picture. There are regulations about mailing weapons and we are happy to assist you. All weaponry will be reviewed and approved via the Atlantic County Sheriff's Office.
UNIFORMS/FIELD EQUIPMENT: Uniforms and personal equipment worn in all eras by all services. We are particularly interested in uniforms that are as complete as possible -- i.e. retaining most if not all of its original insignia -- and those worn while in performance of your veteran's service. We are also interested in captured uniforms from foreign wars or representative examples from Allied powers.
KNIVES AND SWORDS: Military knives and swords worn in all eras by all services. Captured examples from foreign wars -- for example, Japanese samurai swords from WWII, are also of interest.
MEDALS AND INSIGNIA: US military decorations worn in all eras by all branches including National Guard service. We also seek captured foreign decorations from foreign wars. Medals and insignia can be utilized for various purposes. If you submit them in a shadow box, we may disassemble the box to make better use of the individual medals.
FLAGS: US service and unit flags of all eras, captured examples from foreign wars and those of our nation's allies.
FOOTLOCKERS: We are not accepting empty footlockers without a personal story. We would like a list of items and/or representative photo before accepting footlocker contents.
LARGE PIECES OF MILITARY EQUIPMENT: We are constrained by space on the interior of the historic Daniel Estell House for the contents of the museum and currently seek items that can be displayed in the interior of the building. At this time, we cannot accept large size military items (tanks, vehicles, field guns, airplanes, etc) for outside storage but are interested in receiving information and images about such objects for future consideration of exterior exhibits.
EPHEMERA: Wartime ephemera of all eras such as brochures, postcards, leaflets, programs, theater tickets and souvenirs will be placed in our archival collection and treated as artifacts.
BOOKS AND PERIODICALS: Books and periodicals of particular note to the veterans of the County and their service accounts are sought. Please send a list of the titles you wish to donate.
RATION BOOKS: Ration books and book covers manufactured by private companies such as banks and others in the local area. They usually contain patriotic messages about their part in the war effort. We are interested in materials that will help to educate about life at home (the Home Front) during past conflicts -- WWI and II in particular.
NEWSPAPERS: The Museum is collecting only a limited amount of Home Front newspapers and those of local interest are preferred. Most large newspapers are available on microfilm on-line if needed.
NEWS ARTICLES: Post-war features, Internet and other published articles not directly related to the family or veteran's wartime experiences are only accepted when accompanied by other original period wartime materials.
PHOTOGRAPHS, LETTERS AND JOURNALS: Please make the copies you need before sending us the originals. (Note: Photocopies, low-quality copies and Internet printouts are generally not suitable library or museum donations on their own. They can, however, be used to backup personal information and to establish provenance.)
REUNION MATERIALS: We will accept a small amount of materials to supplement original personal collections.
SCRAPBOOKS: As each scrapbook is unique, they are evaluated for acquisition individually, for the personal story they tell of those who experienced our nation's conflicts. We are not interested in scrapbooks full of clippings that do not directly relate to a veteran. We do accept newspaper clippings specifically related to a veteran. We might disassemble scrapbooks in a manner consistent with preservation methods; the original structure will be preserved through photocopies. (Note: Please do not assemble archival materials into a scrapbook before donating.)
SERVICE DOCUMENTS: We will accept copies or original discharge papers of county veterans in addition to other service documents, particularly those that accompany other donation materials. You will probably want to retain the original Separation Papers and/or Discharge Papers.
YEARBOOKS, UNIT HISTORIES AND NEWSLETTERS: Items printed during wartime periods will be placed in our archival collection and treated as artifacts. Please inquire before making or sending copies of unit histories and yearbooks, or before sending reunion newsletters or other reunion materials. (Note: Photocopies of published articles and printouts of internet pages are generally not suitable library donations on their own.)
MILITARY ARTWORK: Original artwork or high quality prints with signatures/autographs are acceptable. Those prints already framed and mounted are preferred.
DVDS: We will accept some commercial and non-commercial DVDs. Please send a list before mailing
DVDs, VHS MOVIES: We do not accept VHS copies of commercial movies. We will accept personal oral histories recorded on all media.
FILM: Send us titles and a photo of the canister. Efforts will be made to transfer the film to a stable digital format, which might result in the loss of the original film; nitrate film will be transferred if possible then discarded for the safety of the collection.
FAQs About Donating to the Veterans Museum
Is the Atlantic County Veterans Museum accepting items for donation?
Yes. The museum is interested in artifacts from all eras and all theaters of the war including the Home Front. The museum is particularly interested in items used by persons with direct link to Atlantic County either in combat or while working at their military jobs. Check this website to
find a general list of what the museum is seeking. As stated the list is general and the committee is aware that there may be many items unique to certain situations that might not be listed. You are encouraged to bring in any item for consideration.
When will my donation be on exhibit?
The museum does not guarantee artifacts will ever be exhibited. What visitors don't see on
display is just as important as what they do. In telling the story of Atlantic County's contribution
to our nation's military service we will depend on a large collection, of which only a small
percentage can ever be displayed due to space limitations. We cannot predict what specific uses
your items will have, but your generosity will instantly expand the amount of historical
information about Atlantic County citizens and their contributions to our nation.
Will I be notified if my donation goes on exhibit?
Yes. You will be notified by mail or email if you have made that information available in your
deed of gift papers in the event your donation is displayed.
How will my donation be credited if it is ever placed on exhibit?
The museum allows, within reason, the individual donors to include what they want the credit to
read. For example, "Gift of Mr. Bob Smith Jr." or "Donated in Memory of Bob Smith Sr."
What is done with artifacts donated to the Museum?
The Atlantic County Veterans Museum will use artifacts for exhibits organized and displayed in
the museum and for research by historians, authors, documentary film producers and students,
etc. The museum may also consider traveling exhibits to schools and short-term loans to other
museums. If the museum ends up with too many similar items, those in the best condition will
be retained and the others offered for trade to other museums or sale to collectors to help fund
the exhibits and programs, as well as conservation costs of maintaining the collection.
Where are the artifacts if they are not on exhibit?
Artifacts are housed in the storage and archive section of the museum on the upper floors of the
historic Daniel Estell house in Estell Manor. Donors will be welcomed (with an appointment) to
bring family members to view their donations if they are not on public display.
Will the Museum staff appraise artifacts for donors?
No. The Internal Revenue Service considers such activity by a 501c(3) a conflict of interest.
A professional appraisal is required if you wish to have a monetary value placed on the donated item, especially for tax purposes. The museum does not provide this service. The Internal Revenue Service considers such activity
by a 501c(3) a conflict of interest. If you plan to get an appraisal for artifacts, we encourage you to do so before sending them to the museum. If you desire to have them photographed, photocopied or scanned please have that
done before sending to the museum. The museum cannot provide these services.
The following agencies can offer assistance in finding professional appraisers:
This website is operated by the Foundation of the American Institute for Conservation and
contains links to preservation and conservation practices from many sources including the
Library of Congress, the Smithsonian and numerous museums throughout the world.
Veterans Museum Committee Chairman Dick Squires (right) accepts a donation of $2,000 from Barry Hackett of the South Jersey Field of Dreams, July 22, 2015.
Atlantic County Veterans Museum Committee, February 2014. Richard E. Squires, Chairperson, John Bettis,
Cindy Mason Purdie ,