The museum collects artifacts, documents and other items of historical importance and interest, which are accessible in person and on the Internet. Its purpose is to enable research and education in the history of the accomplishments of the United States of America in the construction, operation, maintenance and defense of the Panama Canal as a service to the World’s maritime and naval communities in the twentieth century. It also collects, documents, catalogs, preserves, stores, exhibits, interprets and enables research on a variety of items illustrative of the lives and work of the Panama Canal workforce and supporting communities. It is intended to be of particular interest to former residents of the Canal Zone and their descendants as well as students, scholars, genealogists, and others who have an interest in this unique achievement. The emphasis is on memorializing the contributions of individuals, families and organizations of the United States, as well as those of the French, West Indians, Panamanians and others who helped to create and operate the Panama Canal.