The Foreign Service Journal, February 2011

F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 1 / F O R E I G N S E R V I C E J O U R N A L 71 A F S A N E W S AFSA NEWS BRIEFS Donate your Diplomatic Memorabilia to the U.S. Diplomacy Center BY GREG NAARDEN I ’m sure you have often thought about the historical effect of the work that we do at home and abroad. State has plans to construct a U.S. Diplomacy Center, which will be a museum of diplomatic history and visitor’s center. The USDC will be lo- cated at Main State (in the form of an addition to the 21st Street entrance), and there are plans for Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton to dedicate the site in 2012. You can find more informa- tion on the USDC at its Web site: The Friends of the USDC, a group of current and former For- eign and Civil Service employees, is helping the USDC staff col- lect items for the museum and special exhibits. While the USDC’s holdings are extraordinary, staff members have told us that they lack a strong collection of objects from the rank-and- file that illustrate what diplomats do, where diplomats work, how diplomacy works and why diplomacy is important. The collec- tion contains plenty of gifts that have been given to the Secretary of State, but very little representing the things that we use on a daily basis. Please consider donating something that you may have accu- mulated during your work. Whether you are Foreign Service, Civil Service, currently em- ployed at State or retired, you have something that the USDC wants. This is an opportunity for us to help preserve the work we have done for posterity and to tell future generations about our role in American diplomatic history. An artifact may not be eye-catching on its own, but the people, places, stories and events attached to it will bring it to life for museum visitors. The USDC is looking for objects of any size, shape or material. What makes an artifact unique is that it contains characteristics worthy of preservation — there is something about the object that tells part of a larger story, project, person, place or event in history. The USDC is looking for the mundane, the controver- sial, and everything in between: • Consular services equipment like an old visa printing ma- chine, handheld stamps, old or canceled passports or visas, traveler’s advisory or warning statements • Anything related to elections or election monitoring • Flags; summit/meeting ID badges; event brochures, posters, flyers • Items linked to transportation and diplomacy, including bicycles, skis and even diving equipment • Items associated with diplomatic protocol or ceremonies (especially hats worn for presenting credentials) or with diplomatic security and embassy Marine guards • Items associated with cultural/sports/educational exchange, such as hats, T-shirts, school binders, communications • Articles of clothing and/or accessories associated with a significant person or event, such as presenting credentials, special receptions, an evacuation or rescuing a U.S. citizen abroad • Photographs of embassy activities, day-to-day or special events (all photographs must have labels) • Anything related to foreign/humanitarian assistance, including USAID food containers, health supplies, tools and equipment • Artifacts linked to family life while at post Get in touch with the USDC Send an e-mail to Katie Speckart at, and Priscilla Linn at, wi th the following information: • Digital photograph of the artifact where possible • Specifics about the artifact(s), such as the basic who, what, when, etc., information • Your name, post and contact information USDC will review the image and information, and may follow up with additional questions. Once the artifacts are approved for acquisition, USDC will contact you to arrange shipment to Washington, D.C. Help us tell our story to future generations Donating your diplomatic artifacts to the USDC is a great way to contribute to the cause of bringing diplomacy to life for future museum visitors, generations of Civil and Foreign Service offi- cers, and members of Congress. If you’re interested in joining the Friends of the USDC, send an e-mail to Greg Naarden at Greg Naarden is a Foreign Service officer who has watched his share of “Antiques Roadshow” episodes. He has spent a lot of his free time while posted in Frankfurt, Dushanbe and Kabul pointing at things around him and saying, “That belongs in a museum.” He is married to another Foreign Service officer who has patiently put up with all of this.