New Artifact Acquisitions

Artifacts are powerful storytelling tools that will shed light on the work and history of our nation’s diplomats that may otherwise go unnoticed by the general public. At over 8,000 items, the collection reflects a wide range of people, places, and issues that make up our nation’s rich diplomatic history. Here is a spotlight on a few of the stories the items in our collection tell.

Joseph Nye Credentials
Credentials of the First Chief Special Agent of the State Department, Joseph M. Nye
Credentials of the First Chief Special Agent of the State Department, Joseph M. Nye 811 1024

Each month, the National Museum of American Diplomacy highlights special artifacts from the U.S. Department of State’s Diplomatic Security Service. This month, we are showcasing an old and special artifact in our collection: the credentials of the first-ever Chief Special Agent of the State Department, Joseph M. “Bill” Nye.

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1909 Consular Class Photo Artifact Highlight
Artifact Collection Highlights: Early 2021 Acquisitions
Artifact Collection Highlights: Early 2021 Acquisitions 1024 792

Our artifact donors’ generosity has resulted in an active start to our collecting in 2021. Highlights from these recent acquisitions include a photograph of new consular officers from 1909 (the oldest officer class photo the museum has), a unique collection of diplomatic security tokens, and a 19th-century passport. A 1909 Consular Officer Class Photo 1909…

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From Holocaust Survivor to Ambassador: The Story of Robert G. Neumann
From Holocaust Survivor to Ambassador: The Story of Robert G. Neumann 1024 768

January 27th is International Holocaust Remembrance Day, a day to honor the six million Jewish victims of the Holocaust and millions of other lives lost. Today we pause to honor Ambassador Robert G. Neumann, sharing his story from a personal object of his in our collection.

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Welcome Group with Yellow Ribbons
“Tie a Yellow Ribbon:” The Origin of the National Response to the Iran Hostage Crisis
“Tie a Yellow Ribbon:” The Origin of the National Response to the Iran Hostage Crisis 1024 827

In November 1979, 52 Americans in the U.S. Embassy in Tehran were taken hostage by Iranian students. Everyone, from the most junior staff members to the person in charge of the embassy, were taken and held in captivity for 444 days. Closely following the crisis for over a year, the public wanted to show their…

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2020 Artifact Highlights National Museum of American Diplomacy
Our Favorite Artifact Acquisitions of 2020
Our Favorite Artifact Acquisitions of 2020 1024 493

For the National Museum of American Diplomacy, building our artifact collection has always involved a focus on both the past and the present. Collecting has focused on not only documenting historical events and individuals, but also the work being done by diplomats today. For 2020, as historic events shook the world, “collecting the present” took…

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Diplomatic Courier Items
Artifact Collection Highlights: Ambassador Dudley’s Passport and Items From a Diplomatic Courier
Artifact Collection Highlights: Ambassador Dudley’s Passport and Items From a Diplomatic Courier 1024 768

The National Museum of American Diplomacy has collected some significant items in recent weeks. These include a diplomatic passport issued to Ambassador Edward R. Dudley, the first African American to hold the rank of ambassador. The passport joins a number of documents, letters, and photographs from Dudley’s trailblazing service collected in 2019. Also collected were…

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Meeting with Algerian diplomats - Christmas 1980-crop
John Limbert: Bringing Meaning to a “Bunch of Old Clothes”
John Limbert: Bringing Meaning to a “Bunch of Old Clothes” 1024 710

Think of an historic event you personally witnessed or experienced first hand. Do you remember what you wore? NMAD  has several articles of clothing in its collection belonging to diplomats who served on the front lines. The museum intends to interpret several of these items in its permanent exhibit, “The Challenging and Dangerous Work of…

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Certificate to Hans Tuch from Richard Nixon
In Memoriam of Hans Tuch
In Memoriam of Hans Tuch 998 857

NMAD mourns the passing of American diplomat Hans Tuch. In 1959, as the U.S. Embassy Moscow Public Affairs Officer Hans “Tom” Tuch accompanied U.S. Vice President Richard Nixon and Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev to the American National Exhibition in Moscow, pausing at the display of a modern kitchen. Nixon and Khrushchev famously debated the merits…

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Katie Speckart discussing artifacts
Farewell to Associate Curator Katie Speckart
Farewell to Associate Curator Katie Speckart 1024 683

Katie Speckart joined the museum in 2004. At that time, the collection consisted of 1,500 artifacts without an exhibition space of its own. Over the ensuing years, Katie played a key role in growing the collection to over 9,000 objects and was an integral team member during the construction of the 20,000 square foot glass…

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Sign from Black Lives Matter protest
Recent Artifact Acquisition: Jamaican Black Lives Matter Protest Sign
Recent Artifact Acquisition: Jamaican Black Lives Matter Protest Sign 1024 693

NMAD curatorial staff worked with U.S. Embassy Kingston, Jamaica to collect a sign from a recent Black Lives Matter protest in Kingston which took place outside the embassy building. As an artifact, this sign represents the current spirit of protest reaching around the world and also serves as an example of U.S. embassies’ role as…

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Top front of passport
Passport Travels: Meyer Franklin Kline, globetrotting guidebook editor
Passport Travels: Meyer Franklin Kline, globetrotting guidebook editor 1024 480

Have a case of wanderlust? As you take a look at this passport from the museum’s collection, join Meyer Franklin Kline and his wife Mildred Kline as they travelled the world in 1915 and 1916. The Klines, originally from California, planned to travel to Russia, China, Japan, India, the Straits Settlements, and Great Britain, “representing…

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Photo of Lucys Briggs Passport
Passport Travels: Lucy Barnard Briggs, diplomatic spouse
Passport Travels: Lucy Barnard Briggs, diplomatic spouse 1024 785

The pages in the passport that include appended photos of Ellis and Lucy’s son (left) and daughter (right). Lucy Barnard Briggs used this passport in our collection for more than 12 years to travel the world. Shortly after her marriage to American diplomat Ellis O. Briggs in May 1928, Lucy received this diplomatic passport and…

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Patti Morton Meritorius Honor Award
Patti Morton: The First Female Diplomatic Security Special Agent
Patti Morton: The First Female Diplomatic Security Special Agent 1024 785

May 30, 1935 – October 16, 2019 (age 84) As the first female Diplomatic Security special agent, Patricia Anne (Patti) Morton was very aware of the legacy she would leave for women.  Originally from Washington State, Patti joined the State Department as a Foreign Service staff officer in 1965 and during nearly 30-year career served…

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Freed hostage Bruce Laingen makes ?V? signs as he steps from the first of four planes carrying the freed hostages from West Point, N.Y., to their official welcome in Washington on Tuesday, Jan. 27, 1981 at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland. Laingen was the charge d?affaires of the U.S. Embassy in Iran.
Veterans in Diplomatic Service: L. Bruce Laingen, 1922-2019
Veterans in Diplomatic Service: L. Bruce Laingen, 1922-2019 1024 676

We salute our nation’s veterans! An estimated 7,100 military veterans serve our nation in diplomatic capacities at the Department of State. Throughout our nation’s history, the branches of the military and the Department of State have worked closely together to promote our national security and protect Americans at home and abroad. Building upon this partnership,…

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Items from the Secretary's office donated to National museum of american diplomacy
Madam Secretary Artifacts in the National Museum of American Diplomacy Collection
Madam Secretary Artifacts in the National Museum of American Diplomacy Collection 1000 668

Madam Secretary Artifacts in the National Museum of American Diplomacy Collection In 2019, the National Museum of American Diplomacy (NMAD) was pleased to receive a donation of set and prop items from the beloved CBS television show Madam Secretary. CBS Television Studios, Revelations Entertainment, and the show’s creators Barbara Hall, Lori McCreary, and Morgan Freeman…

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