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Download The Basic Unit National Archives Original Documents Archival Research Basics with the National Archives Lesson # 5 The National Archives and Records Administration

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The Basic Unit National Archives Original Documents Archival Research Basics with the National Archives Lesson # 5 The National Archives and Records Administration Pacific Alaska Region Seattle, Washington & Anchorage, Alaska 9/1/2009 Slide 2 Thinking outside the box Neat Historical Topics Slide 3 Records in the National Archives are always organized by FEDERAL AGENCY or part of an agency NOT by topic. For instance: Slide 4 Topic: Robert E. Lee in the Civil War Photograph of Confederate General Robert E. Lee from the Records of the Office of the Chief Signal Officer, 1860 - 1982 All documents in this lesson may also be found at www.archives.gov/arcwww.archives.gov/arc Slide 5 Robert E. Lees Resignation from the US Army 1861 and his parole (with 6 staff officers). Both records are from The Adjutant Generals Office, ca. 1775 - ca. 1928 (but they are not together or even close to each other) Topic: Robert E. Lee in the Civil War Slide 6 Robert E Lees Amnesty Oath, from the General Records of the Department of State, 1789 - 2002 Topic: Robert E. Lee in the Civil War Slide 7 How many agencies were represented in the last example? Office of the Chief Signal Officer, 1860 1982 Records of the Adjutant Generals Office, ca. 1775-ca. 1928 General Records of the Department of State, 1789 - 2002 Slide 8 Now, where are the ORIGINAL records kept? Where would you have to go to look at the document in PERSON? Slide 9 Topic: Robert E. Lee in the Civil War Photograph of Confederate General Robert E. Lee Original held at the Still Pictures Section, The National Archives and Records Administration, College Park, MD Slide 10 Robert E. Lees Resignation from the US Army 1861 and his parole (with 6 staff officers). Both originals held at The National Archives Building, Washington DC (in separate locations in the building itself). Topic: Robert E. Lee in the Civil War Slide 11 Robert E Lees Amnesty Oath Original held at The National Archives, College Park, MD Topic: Robert E. Lee in the Civil War Slide 12 Where are the originals? 2 different geographic locations, right? So if you wanted to see the ORIGINAL records, where would you have to go? Are the locations close to each other or far away? Could you see them both if you went on vacation? What else could you see at the same time? Slide 13 But, isnt everything online? No, everything is not online, although more is being added daily. The National Archives holds over 9 billion documents. Only a small percentage of those have been scanned so far. However, the documents I just showed you ARE online. Online documents at the National Archives are represented by an ARC number. You will see ARC numbers in many of the citation pages accompanying these lessons. (There will be more about ARC numbers and finding documents online in a later lesson.) Slide 14 ANOTHER EXAMPLE of a topic found in many different Federal agency records Slide 15 World War I Poster to promote voluntary rationing. From the records of the US Food Administration World War I on the Homefront Slide 16 American Red Cross members taking food to the family all down with the flu at Charlotte, North Carolina From the Records of the War Department General and Special Staffs World War I on the Homefront Slide 17 World War I on the Pribilof Islands peace at last! From the records of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Slide 18 Other Agencies containing WWI home-front records War Labor Policies Board National War Labor Board (World War I) U.S. Housing Corporation U.S. Grain Corporation (Production and Rationing) U.S. Sugar Equalization Board, Inc. (Sugar Rationing) U.S. Railroad Administration Veterans Administration (Soldiers Homes and Rehabilitation) Army Air Forces (Spruce Production Division - lumber production for use in building aircraft). US Shipping Board US Customs Service War Industries Board Bureau of Marine Inspection Council of National Defense Committee on Public Information World War I on the Home-front Slide 19 AND U.S. Fuel Administration Bureau of Aeronautics Bureau of Indian Affairs (Increased timber production for aircraft). General Records of the Department of the Navy (Navy Coast Inspector) Allied Purchasing Commission War Finance Corporation Capital Issues Committee Selective Service System (World War I) Naval Districts and Shore Establishments War Trade Board Bureau of War Risk Litigation War Minerals Relief Commission US Army Coast Artillery Districts and Defenses (World War I) Slide 20 So you can see You might have to look in several different agency records for your topic. Slide 21 So how do you find your topic if the archives isnt organized that way? Slide 22 AND If the archives is organized by agency, how do you know which agency or agencies to look for? Slide 23 You could go to http://www.archives.gov/research/al ic/tools/record-group-clusters.html http://www.archives.gov/research/al ic/tools/record-group-clusters.html for general topic-focused ideas Slide 24 You could check the record group (Federal agency) lists at: http://www.archives.gov/research/guide-fed- records/ (all agencies across the United States)http://www.archives.gov/research/guide-fed- records/ http://www.archives.gov/pacific- alaska/anchorage/finding-aids/record- groups.htmlhttp://www.archives.gov/pacific- alaska/anchorage/finding-aids/record- groups.html (agency records held at the Anchorage facility) http://www.archives.gov/pacific- alaska/seattle/holdings/index.htmlhttp://www.archives.gov/pacific- alaska/seattle/holdings/index.html (agency records held at the Seattle facility) Slide 25 OR You could .. Slide 26 ASK AN ARCHIVIST! Bruce Parham, Archives Director, The National Archives at Anchorage Susan Karren, Archives Director, The National Archives at Seattle Slide 27 Archivists are trained to help you locate the different Federal agencies that were involved with your topic, at the right place, during the right period of time Slide 28 Once your agencies are located The archivist will give you a FINDING AID for that particular agency. You will look through the Finding Aid to find a series (group of records) that may hold what you are looking for. Slide 29 Sample Finding Aid page 13TH NAVAL DISTRICT As originally constituted, the 13th Naval District had consisted of the states of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana and Wyoming and the territory of Alaska. In April 1944, the territory of Alaska, including the Aleutian Islands, became the 17th Naval District. Not all naval activity in this geographic area came under the direct administrative control of the 13th Naval District. For example, the Navy heavily used private shipyards to build ships during World Wars I and II. Although these shipyards were located in the geographic area controlled by the 13th Naval District, the work was done under the auspices of the Bureaus of Construction and Repair of Ships. Consequently, the administrative control exercised by the District was limited. OFFICE OF THE COMMANDANT The Office of the Commandant was located in downtown Seattle. Personnel directly subordinate to the Commandant included the Assistant Commandant, the Assistant Commandant (Logistics), the Chief of Staff, the Command Voting Supervisor and the Commandant's Representative in Portland, OR. 13ND-1: Correspondence Index Cards 1917-25 12 cubic feet DECLASSIFIED Arranged in multi-year or yearly groups thereunder alphabetically. Indexes correspondence created by several offices under the Commandant's Office, 13th Naval District. The correspondence for 1917-20 has not been located. Index also includes a name index for reserve officers 1921-25 and an index of ships. Entry DC 39 Box 1-21Location: 8/28/10 Creating Organizational Unit Name: Commandant's Office Slide 30 Sample Finding Aid page 13TH NAVAL DISTRICT As originally constituted, the 13th Naval District had consisted of the states of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana and Wyoming and the territory of Alaska. In April 1944, the territory of Alaska, including the Aleutian Islands, became the 17th Naval District. Not all naval activity in this geographic area came under the direct administrative control of the 13th Naval District. For example, the Navy heavily used private shipyards to build ships during World Wars I and II. Although these shipyards were located in the geographic area controlled by the 13th Naval District, the work was done under the auspices of the Bureaus of Construction and Repair of Ships. Consequently, the administrative control exercised by the District was limited. This is a sub-set of Records of Naval Districts and Shore Establishments, 1784 - 1981 (Record Group 181) Note: The 13 th Naval District is located on the coast of Washington and Oregon and the 17 th Naval District is located in Alaska. Slide 31 Sample Finding Aid page OFFICE OF THE COMMANDANT The Office of the Commandant was located in downtown Seattle. Personnel directly subordinate to the Commandant included the Assistant Commandant, the Assistant Commandant (Logistics), the Chief of Staff, the Command Voting Supervisor and the Commandant's Representative in Portland, OR. Another subdivision of the records Slide 32 Sample Finding Aid page 13ND-1: Correspondence Index Cards 1917-25 12 cubic feet DECLASSIFIED Arranged in multi-year or yearly groups thereunder alphabetically. Indexes correspondence created by several offices under the Commandant's Office, 13th Naval District. The correspondence for 1917-20 has not been located. Index also includes a name index for reserve officers 1921-25 and an index of ships. Entry DC 39 Box 1-21Location: 8/28/10 Creating Organizational Unit Name: Commandant's Office Correspondence Index Cards is a group of records, known as a SERIES Slide 33 Sample Finding Aid page 13ND-1: Correspondence Index Cards 1917-25 12 cubic feet DECLASSIFIED Arranged in multi-year or yearly groups thereunder alphabetically. Indexes correspondence created by several offices unde

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