Rock Island Arsenal Museum

Tuesday - Saturday   Noon - 4:00pm

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FAQ

Q. I am a Foreign National and would like to visit the Rock Island Arsenal Museum, can I?

A. No

The Rock Island Arsenal is an active military installation. Foreign Nationals will be denied access unless on official business.

Q. Is there an admission charge to visit the Rock Island Arsenal Museum?

A. No

The museum does not charge for admission.

Q. Does the Rock Island Arsenal Museum accept artifact donations?

A. On a limited basis

The Rock Island Arsenal Museum collects and interprets artifacts related to the operations of the Rock Island Arsenal. However, with such a focused scope of collections, the museum has a robust collection of items made at the Arsenal. The museum is very selective about what it accepts into the collection.

Q. I have relatives that worked at Rock Island Arsenal. Does the museum have any civilian employment records?

A. No

Records do exist to document the employment history of individual civilian employees. The National Personnel Records Center's (NPRC) Federal Records Center Program maintains the Official Personnel Folders (OPF) of former Federal civilian employees from 1850 to the present.

For additional information on how to request information, visit http://www.archives.gov/st-louis/ or contact:

National Personnel Records Center
1 Archives Drive
St. Louis, Missouri 63138 (Google Map)

Telephone: 314-801-0800
Fax: 314-801-9195
Email: MPR.center@nara.gov

Q. I have an ancestor that was imprisoned at the Rock Island Barracks during the Civil War. Does the museum have any records for those prisoners?

A. Maybe

The original surviving records of the Rock Island Barracks are located at the National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, D.C. The museum has copies of these surviving records on microfilm.

When a Confederate soldier was imprisoned at the Rock Island Barracks an individual entry was made in the general ledger. Eventually, this became a two-volume set. The first volume is missing.

When legible, the general ledger entry provides the following information: name of prisoner; rank; regiment; company; where captured; date of capture; date of arrival at Rock Island Prison Barracks; and date of death (if applicable). There are no entries for last names beginning with the letters I, L, N, Q, U, V, X, Y, or Z within the general ledger but may appear in the exchange or death registry when applicable.

For those Confederate soldiers who died while imprisoned, a death register was maintained. This register survives. It includes name of prisoner; rank; regiment; company; where captured; date of capture; date of arrival at Rock Island Prison Barracks; date of death; cause of death; and grave number. Most of the entries in this register are legible.

For those Confederate soldiers who were exchanged, pledged allegiance to the Union, or were released, an exchange register was maintained. This register survives. It includes name of prisoner; rank; regiment; company; where captured; date of capture; date of exchange, oath, or release; and remarks.

Q. I have a serial numbered firearm. Can the museum tell me specific information for this serial number?

A. No

The museum does not have records for specific information on serial numbered firearms or edged weapons.

Q. Can you tell me how much something is worth?

A. No

The Rock Island Arsenal Museum staff cannot provide appraisals of monetary value for objects. The reason is two-fold. The Internal Revenue Service considers museums to be “interested parties”, disqualified from offering valuation of objects. The second reason is it is stated in Army Regulation 870-20 11 January 1999, 2-5 section p “Appraisals of historical artifacts and works of art accepted into the Army Historical Collection will not be made by museum personnel. Appraisals for tax purposes are the responsibility of the donor in accordance with Internal Revenue Service guidelines.”