The National Archives at Philadelphia

Guide to Archival Holdings at the National Archives at Philadelphia



Record Groups 202 through 293

Record Group 202
Records of the National War Labor Board (World War II)

Administrative History
The National War Labor Board (NWLB) was established in the Office for Emergency Management (OEM) by an Executive order of January 12, 1942. It was to act as final arbiter of wartime labor disputes and to pass on adjustments in certain wages and salaries. An Executive order of September 19, 1945, transferred the NWLB to the Department of Labor. The NWLB was terminated by the Executive order of December 31, 1945, that established the National Wage Stabilization Board (NWSB) with all powers, functions, and responsibilities of the NWLB relating to stabilization of wages and salaries as well as limited functions relating to the settlement of disputes. The NWSB was terminated by an Executive order of December 12, 1946.

While the initial functioning of the NWLB was solely in Washington, DC, on October 29, 1942, the NWLB announced establishment of 10 regional advisory offices. The authority of these first regional offices was quite limited, but on January 12, 1943, the NLRB created two new regions, and converted the (now 12) regional advisory offices to regional war labor boards, with considerable independent authority in resolving disputes. The NWLB also created several special tripartite industry commissions and panels to deal with particular industries nationally.

Records Description
Dates: 1942-1947
Volume: 250 cubic feet

Records of NWLB and NWSB Region III, Philadelphia, with jurisdiction over Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, southern New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. The records relate to disputes, enforcement activities, wage controls, and wage rate surveys, and include board minutes, case files, correspondence, historical and policy documentation files, minutes of meetings, press releases, survey schedules and related data.

Finding Aids
Draft inventory.
Entries 165 through 167, 173, 174, 177, 178, 193, 194, 196 through 200, 462, 463, and 483 through 485 in Estelle Rebec, comp., Preliminary Inventory of the Records of the National War Labor Board, World War II, PI 78 (1955).

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Record Group 211
Records of the War Manpower Commission

Administrative History
The War Manpower Commission (WMC) was established within the Office for Emergency Management by an Executive order of April 18, 1942. Operating through regional and State WMC offices and local offices of the U.S. Employment Service, it recruited labor for the war effort and essential civilian industries, trained labor for essential jobs, analyzed manpower utilization practices to increase labor efficiency, and accumulated national labor market information. It was terminated by an Executive order of September 19, 1945, and its functions were transferred to the U.S. Employment Service.

Records Description
Dates: 1942-1945
Volume: 53 cubic feet

Records of the Region III office, Philadelphia, which covered Delaware, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. The records document the economic condition of the area and its response to wartime programs and controls; employment stabilization programs; employment programs for women, minorities, and prisoners of war; successful manpower utilization programs; and discriminatory hiring practices. Included are appeals case files, correspondence, minutes of board and committee meetings, news clippings, and narrative and statistical reports.

Finding Aids
Entries 268, 269, 271, 273, 275, 277, and 278 in Kenneth Bartlett, comp., Preliminary Inventory of the Records of the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, PI 6 (1948).

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Record Group 228
Records of the Committee on Fair Employment Practice

Administrative History
The first Committee on Fair Employment Practice was established in the Office of Production Management (OPM) by Executive Order 8802 of June 25, 1941, and then assigned to the War Manpower Commission in 1942. That committee was abolished by Executive Order 9346 of May 27, 1943, which created a new Committee on Fair Employment Practice in the Office for Emergency Management. The new Committee formulated and interpreted policies to combat racial and religious discrimination in employment; received, investigated, and adjusted complaints of such discrimination; and assisted Government agencies, employers, and labor unions with problems of discrimination.

The Committee terminated its activities on June 28, 1946. The first FEPC utilized six field investigators and a few field clerical employees, and held public hearings in several major cities across the country. The second FEPC initially established nine regional offices and two suboffices, continuing and expanding the network of the first FEPC's field investigators; additional offices and suboffices were added later.

Records Description
Dates: 1941-1946
Volume: 25 cubic feet

Records of Region III (Delaware, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania) and Region IV (District of Columbia, Maryland, North Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia). The records relate to complaints of discrimination, regional committee hearings, employment practices, and routine office administration. They consist primarily of case files and correspondence.

Finding Aids
Entries 68 through 72, 74, 77, and 78 in Charles Zaid, comp., Preliminary Inventory of the Records of the Committee on Fair Employment Practice, PI 147 (1962).

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Record Group 237
Records of the Federal Aviation Administration

Administrative History
The Civil Aeronautics Act of June 23, 1938, established an independent Civil Aeronautics Authority "to promote the development and safety and to provide for the regulation of civil aeronautics." In 1940, the authority was divided into a Civil Aeronautics Board with safety regulatory authority and a Civil Aeronautics Administration to enforce civil air regulations; aid the development of a national airport system; and plan, construct, and operate the Federal Airways System. Both organizations were part of the Department of Commerce until the establishment of the Federal Aviation Agency (FAA) in 1958 which assumed all of their functions. The FAA became a part of the Department of Transportation by an act of October 15, 1966, and was redesignated the Federal Aviation Administration.

Records Description
Dates: 1958-1979
Volume: 93 cubic feet

Records of the National Aviation Facilities Experiment Center (NAFEC), Atlantic City, New Jersey. The records document technical research regarding aviation facilities and administration and include correspondence, planning and directives files, project files, press releases, and technical reports.

Finding Aids
Draft inventory.

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Record Group 245
Records of the Solid Fuels Administration for War

Administrative History
The Bituminous Coal Conservation Act of 1935 created the first Bituminous Coal Commission. A Commission order of October 9, 1935, established 23 producer districts throughout the country. The first Commission was succeeded by the second Bituminous Coal Commission in 1937, when the 1935 act was modified to take into account constitutional objections to the initial act. Both Commissions were independent Federal agencies. On April 3, 1939, the Commission's functions were transferred to the Department of the Interior, and in July, the Bituminous Coal Division was established within the department. Authorization of the Division lapsed on August 24, 1943, and many of its functions, as well as its district offices, were transferred to the Solid Fuels Administration for War.

The two Bituminous Coal Commissions and the Bituminous Coal Division determined production costs, regulated prices and wages, and regulated marketing procedures for the bituminous coal industry. To this end, they established producer districts, gathered statistics, undertook research, and compiled the Bituminous Coal Code.

On November 5, 1941, a letter from the President to the Secretary of the Interior established the Office of Solid Fuels Coordinator for National Defense within the Department of the Interior. The name of the office was changed to the Office of Solid Fuels Coordinator for War on May 25, 1942. Under both names, the office was essentially a planning and advisory agency. Executive Order 9332 of April 19 transformed the Office into the Solid Fuels Administration for War (SFAW). The SFAW had the legal authority, lacking in its predecessor, to implement an emergency distribution and controls program.

With the lapsing of authorization for the Bituminous Coal Division on August 24, 1943, the SFAW inherited its district office structure, staff, and records, renaming the district offices area distribution offices. As had been the case with the district offices of the Bituminous Coal Commissions and the Bituminous Coal Division, SFAW area offices were responsible for entire States or, for certain counties within one or more States. The SFAW area offices were responsible for regulating distribution and sale, as well as production, of all varieties of coal. All field offices were closed on April 30, 1947. The SFAW itself ceased to exist on June 30 of that year under an Executive order of May 6, 1947.

Records Description
Dates: 1943-1947
Volume: 245 cubic feet

Records of the following field offices:
  • Altoona, Pennsylvania
  • Baltimore, Maryland
  • Bluefield, West Virginia
  • Fairmont, West Virginia
  • Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Pottsville, Pennsylvania
  • Richmond, Virginia
  • Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania
The records relate to the distribution and sale of coal, compliance with regulations, and consumer complaints, and the work of advisory councils, community committees, producers, retailers, and consumers. They consist of correspondence, reports, and surveys.

Finding Aids
Entries 1 through 11, 29 through 32, 57 through 62, 119 through 129, 178 through 188, 192 through 194, 196 through 199, and 220 through 222 in Forrest R. Holdcamper, comp., Preliminary Inventory of the Records of the Solid Fuels Administration for War, NC 145 (1966).

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Record Group 252
Records of the Office of the Housing Expediter

Administrative History
A Housing Expediter was appointed in the Office of War Mobilization and Reconversion by the President on December 12, 1945, to plan, coordinate, and expedite postwar housing programs. The Expediter was authorized by an Executive order in January 1946 to plan and coordinate a veterans' housing program. The Office of the Housing Expediter, which had been authorized by an act of Congress of May 22, 1946, was terminated by an Executive order of July 31, 1951, and its functions were transferred to the Economic Stabilization Agency and the Housing and Home Finance Agency.

Records Description
Dates: 1942-1953
Volume: 113 cubic feet

Records of the Philadelphia regional office, which administered activities in Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia. The records relate primarily to rent control and include a sample of rent enforcement cases and decontrol surveys. Included are advisory board minutes, audit reports, correspondence, and narrative and statistical reports.

Finding Aids
Draft inventory.

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Record Group 253
Records of the Petroleum Administration for War

Administrative History
An Office of Petroleum Coordinator for National Defense was established in the Department of the Interior on May 28, 1941. It was abolished by Executive Order 9276, of December 2, 1942, which created the Petroleum Administration for War (PAW) under the Secretary of Interior. The Petroleum Coordinator and the PAW were responsible for wartime conservation, use, marketing, and development of oil and other petroleum products. The PAW was terminated on May 8, 1946, by Executive Order 9718.

Records Description
Dates: 1941-1945
Volume: 9 cubic feet

Records of the District 1 zone office, Pittsburgh, relating to production, marketing, and distribution of natural gas, oil, and other petroleum products. The records are correspondence, memorandums, reports, and statistical tables.

Finding Aids
Entries 925 through 933, 946, and 947 in Albert Whimpey and James R. Fuchs, comps., Preliminary Inventory of the Records of the Petroleum Administration for War, PI 31 (1951).

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Record Group 255
Records of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Administrative History
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) was preceded by the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA), created by an act of March 3, 1915. The principal activities of the Committee were the scientific study of flight and aeronautical research and experiment. The Committee was terminated by an act of July 29, 1958, that created NASA and transferred to it committee functions and records.

Records Description
Dates: 1918-1992
Volume: 350 cubic feet

Records of the Langley Research Center, Hampton, Virginia. The records document all aspects of flight evolution, including aeronautical research, aircraft and spacecraft development, flight testing, and manned and unmanned space programs. They are research and administrative correspondence, publications, and reports. Nontextual records include blueprints, charts, and photographs.

Finding Aids
Box contents list.

Restrictions
Access to some files or portions of documents may be restricted due to national security classification.

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Record Group 269
General Records of the General Services Administration

Administrative History
The General Services Administration (GSA) was established as an independent agency by the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act of June 30, 1949. The act consolidated and transferred to GSA certain real and personal property and related functions formerly assigned to various agencies. Its purpose is to provide an economical and efficient system for managing Government property and services, including such activities as constructing and operating buildings, procuring and distributing supplies, disposing of surplus property, managing traffic and communications, and stockpiling strategic and critical materials. See RG 270 for related records.

Records Description
Dates: 1955-58, 1964-75
Volume: 9 cubic feet

Records of Region 3, Philadelphia. The records relate to the preparation, review, clearance, and publication of regional issuances, 1964-1975; and a listing of real property owned and leased by the Federal government, 1955-1958. The records are issuance case files and listings.

Finding Aids
Draft inventory.

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Record Group 270
Records of the War Assets Administration

Administrative History
The War Assets Administration (WAA) was established in the Office for Emergency Management by Executive order on March 25, 1946. The chief WAA function was the disposal of surplus consumer, capital, and producer goods; industrial and maritime real property; and airports and aircraft located in the United States and its territories. The WAA was abolished by an act of June 30, 1949, and its functions were transferred to the newly created General Services Administration. See RG 269 for related records.

Records Description
Dates: 1943-1951
Volume: 97 cubic feet

Records of the Office of Real Property. The records are real property case files, which document the disposal by sale or donation of Federal property (such as airfields, military installations, bombing ranges, defense plants, housing projects, shipyards, Veterans Administration hospitals, and other wartime facilities) in Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia. The case files generally include appraisal reports, bids, correspondence, deeds, memorandums, news clippings, and reports of survey and title searches. Nontextual records include maps and photographs.

Finding Aids
Draft inventory includes a list by State of sites and locations.

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Record Group 276
Records of the U.S. Courts of Appeals

Administrative History
The courts of appeals are intermediate courts created by an act of March 3, 1891, to relieve the Supreme Court of considering appeals in cases originally decided by Federal courts. They are empowered to review final and certain interlocutory decisions of district courts (see RG 21) except where the law provides for direct review by the Supreme Court. They also review orders of Federal administrative bodies such as the Securities and Exchange Commission and the National Labor Relations Board. See RG 21 and RG 118 for related records.

Records Description
Dates: 1891-1983
Volume: 3,104 cubic feet

Records of the following U.S. Courts of Appeals:
  • Third Circuit, Philadelphia, which served Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and the Virgin Islands.
  • Fourth Circuit, Richmond, which served Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia.
The records document appeals of cases heard by lower Federal courts. They are case files (which often include appendices, briefs, opinions, and transcripts), correspondence, dockets, and minutes. There are also separate series of opinions, patent cases, and transcripts for the Fourth Circuit.

Finding Aids
Draft inventory.

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Record Group 293
Records of the Wage and Salary Stabilization Boards of the Economic Stabilization Agency

Administrative History
The Wage Stabilization Board was established by Executive Order 10161 of September 9, 1950, to control wages and salaries during the Korean War. In May 1951, a Salary Stabilization Board was created with authority over administrative, executive, and professional salaries. Wage controls were suspended February 6, 1953, and the boards were terminated April 30, 1953.

Records Description
Dates: 1951-1953
Volume: less than 1 cubic foot

Records of the Region 3 board, Philadelphia, and Region 4 board, Richmond. The records document activities and decisions of the boards and are minutes of meetings.

Finding Aids
Draft inventory.

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