Lego ship in the library

Lego model of the USCGC Gallatin at the Coast Guard Academy Library

Library school is keeping me super busy. After seven weeks, I finally feel like I’m in a groove and not struggling to play catch up all the time.

Last week I started my internship which is part of the course, Introduction to Archival Methods and Services. This is a 60-hour internship to give students experience in the field. With the pandemic still on, it was no doubt a challenge for the school to place students at institutions. Some students opted for an online project and the school only partners with institutions that follow safety guidelines. I’m grateful to have been vaccinated which made me feel more comfortable with an onsite internship.

Students fill out a survey to help the placement coordinator find a good institutional match. I’d asked if they ever place students at the Naval Submarine Base in New London or the Coast Guard Academy. Long story short, I’m super excited that my field experience is at the Coast Guard Academy Library Special Collections.

United States Revenue Cutter Service (source)

My first day was on Friday. I’ll be working on a late 19th-century log written by a cadet while he was on his training cruise. This was prior to the Coast Guard being what we know it today. The service’s origins grew from the Revenue-Marine established in 1790 upon the recommendation of Alexander Hamilton, then Secretary of the Treasury.

The newly minted United States government was in need of money and created tariffs to help generate revenue. The Revenue-Marine was established to enforce tariffs and combat piracy, which was rampant. The service was originally composed of ten small cutters (ships designed to be fast and agile). After the Slave Trade Act of 1794, the Revenue-Marine also patrolled for ships attempting to smuggle enslaved people into the country. In 1894 the Revenue-Marine was renamed the Revenue Cutter Service and in 1915 it merged with the U.S. Life-Saving Service to become the United States Coast Guard.

USCG Seal (source)

I will no doubt write more about this library and my project in the coming weeks, but today I wanted to share some photos of a model ship made of Legos.

Who doesn’t smile when they see a great big Lego model?

This is a model of the United States Coast Guard Cutter Gallatin. It is 10 feet long and built to scale with 20,000 Lego bricks.
The bow wave and wake are made with clear bricks. Such great detail.
The model was presented to the Coast Guard Academy by the Lego Company in 1978.

You can visit the Coast Guard Academy Library here:


  1. Fascinating Chris. Such an interesting library to do an internship. Until recently I didn’t realize your new goals in life. An Archivist, such an exciting career. Hope to hear more about your time at The Coast Guard.

  2. Sounds like a great internship! And how cool is that Lego ship model? I don’t have the patience but I always find them so impressive. Years ago I took my kids to Legoland in San Diego, and my favorite ride was a a boat touring Lego dioramas of famous buildings and monuments like a Lego Mount Rushmore, Lego Taj Mahal, etc. They were amazing and had so many tiny details!

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