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The National Archives What and Where? Archival Research Basics with the National Archives Lesson # 4 The National Archives and Records Administration Pacific.

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Presentation on theme: "The National Archives What and Where? Archival Research Basics with the National Archives Lesson # 4 The National Archives and Records Administration Pacific."— Presentation transcript:

1 The National Archives What and Where? Archival Research Basics with the National Archives Lesson # 4 The National Archives and Records Administration Pacific Alaska Region Seattle, Washington & Anchorage, Alaska 9/1/2009

2 The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) is the nation's record keeper. Of all documents and materials created in the course of business conducted by the United States Federal government, only 1%-3% are so important for legal or historical reasons that they are kept by us forever. Eli Whitney's Cotton Gin Patent Drawing: 03/14/1794, ARC Identifier (www.archives.gov/arc)

3 Many people know the National Archives as the keeper of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. But we also hold in trust for the public the records of ordinary citizens—for example, military records of the brave men and women who have fought for our country, naturalization records of the immigrants whose dreams have shaped our nation, records that chronicle the development of civil rights, and even the canceled check from the purchase of Alaska.Declaration of IndependenceConstitutionBill of Rights A [US] soldier [of Japanese ancestry] and his mother. … 05/11/1942 ARC Identifier ( )www.archives.gov/arc/ Treasury Warrant in the Amount of $7.2 Million for the Purchase of Alaska, 08/01/1868 ARC Identifier ( )www.archives.gov/arc/

4 In a democracy, the government’s records belong to the people, and for more than seven decades, NARA has preserved and provided access to the permanent records of the United States of America. Records help us claim our rights and entitlements, hold our elected officials accountable for their actions, and document our history as a nation. In short, NARA ensures continuing access to the essential documentation of the rights of American citizens and the actions of their Government.

5 The National Archives administers a nationwide network of facilities, serving both the public and federal agencies.

6 Historically Speaking By the 1930’s the condition of permanent and historically valuable Federal records, like these War Department records stored in the White House garage, illustrated the need for a National Archives. From the NARA 75 th Anniversary online exhibit at

7 President Hoover laid the cornerstone of the first National Archives building on February 10, 1933, just prior to his leaving office. Virginia Purdy, “A Temple To Clio: The National Archives Building,” Guardian of Heritage (1985), p.22

8 Signed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on June 19, 1934, the National Archives Act established the National Archives to centralize federal record keeping, with the Archivist of the United States as its chief administrator. Act of June 19, 1934 ("National Archives Act") ARC Identifier (www.archives.gov/arc/ )www.archives.gov/arc/

9 The newly completed National Archives building on Constitution Avenue in Washington DC 1935 From National Archives 75 th Anniversary online exhibit at

10 Documents, photos, maps, moving pictures, and audio recordings went from what were sometimes open boxes or crates to what was then a state of the art holding facility From National Archives 75 th Anniversary online exhibit at

11 Eventually, after several expansions, other facilities were built in order to hold the ever increasing volume of documents from the Federal government. Laying the cornerstone of the Roosevelt Library in Hyde Park, New York, November For more photographs about the history of the National Archives see

12 2 Washington DC facilities 14 Regional Archives 12 Presidential Libraries Online at

13 Each facility holds unique, original records from U.S. Federal agencies located in a particular area of the United States. See listing of all facilities accompanying this lesson for more complete information.

14 The National Archives at Anchorage These original records may NOT exist anywhere else! Holds original records from about 60 federal agencies whose offices are (or have been) located in Alaska

15 The National Archives at Seattle Holds original records from about 95 federal agencies whose offices are or have been located in Washington, Oregon, or Idaho These original records may NOT exist anywhere else!

16 Who uses the National Archives and why? Every year, hundreds of thousands of people contact us or come to our research facilities and Presidential libraries, and millions use our web site. Their purposes are many and varied. Here are a few examples: Historical Research for: – Lesson Plans – Genealogies – Articles – Books – Documentaries – Legal Cases – Academic Investigations – Hobbies (such as model building) – History Day projects Using records like: – Census records – Financial records – Government correspondence – Architectural drawings – Maps – Photographs – Moving Pictures – Court records – Political Cartoons – Posters

17 A few examples of our documents Architectural, Ship, & Patent Drawings

18 Records of the Public Buildings Service, 1801 – 1976 (Record Group 121) Elevation drawing for the plan for the US Treasury Building on Saint Paul Island, Alaska: ca 1880 ARC Identifier (www.archives.gov/arc/ )

19 Records of Records of the U.S. Senate, (Record Group 46) Part of the plans for the improvement of the US Capitol, 1846 (Includes three galleries, a gentlemen’s gallery, a ladies gallery, and the reporter’s gallery) ARC Identifier (www.archives.gov/arc/ )www.archives.gov/arc/

20 Records of the Bureau of ships, (Record Group 19) Drawing of the Hulls for the USS Constellation and the USS Congress, 1795 ARC Identifier (www.archives.gov/arc/ )www.archives.gov/arc/

21 Records of the Patent and Trademark Office, (Record Group 241) Drawing for the patent for a life-preserving coffin, 1843 ARC Identifier (www.archives.gov/arc/ )www.archives.gov/arc/

22 A few examples of our documents Maps

23 “Franklin Sheet” from 4th Edition of the Map of the British Colonies in North America 1775 ARC Identifier (www.archives.gov/arc/ )www.archives.gov/arc/ Records of Boundary and Claims Commissions and Arbitrations, (Record Group 76)

24 Sketch map of a California land claim …1852 ARC Identifier (www.archives.gov/arc/ )www.archives.gov/arc/ Records of the Bureau of Land Management, (Record Group 49)

25 Map of rebel lines at Raleigh NC as General Sherman approached 1865 ARC Identifier (www.archives.gov/arc/ )www.archives.gov/arc/ Records of the Office of the Chief of Engineers, (Record Group 77)

26 Records of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, 1793 – 1989 (Record Group 75) Allotment Map of Township 2 North of Range 16 East of the Indian Meridian in Indian Territory, ca ARC Identifier (www.archives.gov/arc/ )www.archives.gov/arc/

27 A few examples of our documents Photographs and Other Graphic Materials

28 The Surrender of General Burgoyne at Saratoga. October Copy of painting by John Trumbull, , ARC Identifier (www.archives.gov/arc/ )www.archives.gov/arc/ Records of the Commission of Fine Arts, 1893 – 1981 (Record Group 66

29 Records of the War Department General and Special Staffs, (Record Group 165) Virginia, Fredericksburg, Pontoon Bridge across the Rappahannock river., 05/1863 ARC Identifier (www.archives.gov/arc/ )www.archives.gov/arc/

30 Doctor Mary Walker, ca ca ARC Identifier (www.archives.gov/arc/ )www.archives.gov/arc/ Records of the Office of the Chief Signal Officer, (Record Group 111)

31 A Japanese fighting plane shot down during the attack on Dutch Harbor, Alaska in early June, before shipment to the United States, 08/08/1942 ARC Identifier (www.archives.gov/arc/ )www.archives.gov/arc/ Franklin D. Roosevelt Library Public Domain Photographs,

32 General Records of the Department of the Navy, 1804 – 1958 (Record Group 80) Japanese attack on Dutch Harbor, June 3, 1942 ARC Identifier (www.archives.gov/arc/ )www.archives.gov/arc/

33 A few examples of our documents Letters

34 Harry S. Truman Papers Pertaining to Family, Business and Personal Affairs, Letter from Harry S. Truman to Bess Wallace, 05/17/1911 ARC Identifier (www.archives. gov/arc/ )www.archives. gov/arc/

35 Harry S. Truman Papers Pertaining to Family, Business and Personal Affairs, Letter from Harry S. Truman to Bess Wallace, 05/17/1911 ARC Identifier (www.archives. gov/arc/ )www.archives. gov/arc/

36 Harry S. Truman Papers Pertaining to Family, Business and Personal Affairs, Letter from Harry S. Truman to Bess Wallace, 05/17/1911 ARC Identifier (www.archives. gov/arc/ )www.archives. gov/arc/

37 Harry S. Truman Papers Pertaining to Family, Business and Personal Affairs, Letter from Harry S. Truman to Bess Wallace, 05/17/1911 ARC Identifier (www.archives. gov/arc/ )www.archives. gov/arc/

38 Harry S. Truman Papers Pertaining to Family, Business and Personal Affairs, Letter from Harry S. Truman to Bess Wallace, 05/17/1911 ARC Identifier (www.archives. gov/arc/ )www.archives. gov/arc/

39 Harry S. Truman Papers Pertaining to Family, Business and Personal Affairs, Letter from Harry S. Truman to Bess Wallace, 05/17/1911 ARC Identifier (www.archives. gov/arc/ )www.archives. gov/arc/

40 Truman wrote this letter while recuperating from a broken leg suffered in a farm accident. In a semi-humorous vein, he complains about having to endure his plaster cast and crutches. Referring to the eagerness of Bess's brother, Frank Wallace, to go to Mexico while it was still in the throes of the 1910 revolution, Truman passes on his advice to stay home and out of harm's way. He discusses his own experiences in the field artillery of the Missouri National Guard, and mentions that the Trumans are presently being visited by his mother's cousin Will, who fought in the Civil War under Confederate General Sterling Price and participated in the battles of Vicksburg, Corinth, and Westport. He speculates about the violent conditions in Missouri during that period, and relates how his grandmother once frightened off a group of hostile Indians on the frontier. Truman concludes by promising that if he should "land that machine" (an automobile), he will be sure to use it properly.

41 Letter from Robert E. Lee to Simon Cameron, Secretary of War, in which Lee Resigned from the U.S. Army, 04/20/1861 ARC Identifier (www.archives.gov/arc/ )www.archives.gov/arc/ Records of the Adjutant General's Office, ca ca (Record Group 94)

42 Robert F. Kennedy Papers Robert F. Kennedy Letter Birmingham, Alabama September 26, 1963 ARC Identifier (www.archives.gov/arc/ )www.archives.gov/arc/

43 A few examples of our documents Court cases

44 Records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, (Record Group 85) Report on "Political Forces: Communist Activities, Seattle, Washington., 10/02/1934 ARC Identifier (www.archives.gov/a rc/www.archives.gov/a rc/

45 Records of District Courts of the United States, (Record Group 21) Diagram of the Bus Showing Where Rosa Parks Was Seated [December 1, 1955] ARC Identifier (www.archives.gov /arc/www.archives.gov /arc/

46 A few examples of our documents Immigrants

47 Applications for U.S. Citizenship often started with “first papers,” known as the Declaration of Intention Declaration of Intention for Greta Garbo, 09/09/1948 ARC Identifier (www.archives.gov/arc/www.archives.gov/arc/ Records of District Courts of the United States, (Record Group 21)

48 Applications for U.S. Citizenship often started with “first papers,” known as the Declaration of Intention Declaration of Intention for Albert Einstein ARC Identifier (www.archives.gov/arc/www.archives.gov/arc/ Records of District Courts of the United States, (Record Group 21)

49 Records of District Courts of the United States, 1685 – 2004 (Record Group 21) Petition for Naturalization for Alfred Joseph Hitchcock, 05/25/1939 ARC Identifier (www.archives.gov/a rc/www.archives.gov/a rc/ After a pre- determined waiting period, their “final papers” or “petition for naturalization” were usually filed and the applicant received a certificate of citizenship

50 Records of District Courts of the United States, 1685 – 2004 (Record Group 21) Petition for Naturalization for Alfred Joseph Hitchcock, 05/25/1939 ARC Identifier (www.archives.gov/a rc/www.archives.gov/a rc/ After a pre- determined waiting period, their “final papers” or “petition for naturalization” were usually filed and the applicant received a certificate of citizenship

51 Sometimes other documents are included with the petition. Records of District Courts of the United States, 1685 – 2004 (Record Group 21) Certificate of Arrival of Mikael Amerikian, 06/13/1931 ARC Identifier (www.archives.gov/arc/ )www.archives.gov/arc/

52 A few examples of our documents Ethnic Records

53 Following the Civil War, the Freedmen's Bureau was established in the War department by an act of March 3, 1865 [and] … it was terminated … June 10, 1872 Although the Bureau was part of the War Department, its work was primarily social and economic in nature. Bureau officials cooperated with benevolent societies in issuing supplies to destitute persons and in maintaining freedmen's schools. Bureau officials also supervised labor contracts between black employees and white employers; helped black soldiers and sailors collect bounty claims, pensions, and back pay; and attended to the disposition of confiscated or abandoned lands and other property. Records of the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, 1861 – 1879 (Record Group 105) Register of Marriages, 09/30/1865 ARC Identifier (www.archives.gov/arc/ )www.archives.gov/arc/

54 Records of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, 1793 – 1989 [Record Group 75] Index to the Final Rolls of Citizens and Freedmen of the Five Civilized Tribes in Indian Territory, 03/04/1907 ARC Identifier (www.archives.gov/arc/ )www.archives.gov/arc/

55 Flyers distributed by Silver Bow Trades and Labor Assembly and Butte Miners' Union in support of Chinese and Japanese boycott., ca. 08/1898 ARC Identifier (www.archives.gov/arc/ )www.archives.gov/arc/ Records of District Courts of the United States, 1685 – 2004 (Record Group 21)

56 AND… this only scratches the surface For More Information Contact: The National Archives and Records Administration Pacific Alaska Region The National Archives at SeattleThe National Archives at Anchorage The National Archives at SeattleThe National Archives at Anchorage 6125 Sand Point Way NE654 West Third Ave Sand Point Way NE654 West Third Ave. Seattle, WA 98115Anchorage, AK Seattle, WA 98115Anchorage, AK


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