Order copies of WWI Draft Registration Cards online.
Descriptions in ARC from our Southeast Region's Firsthand History exhibit
Draft Registration (1917-1918)
With World War I (1917-1919) raging in Europe, President Woodrow Wilson and the Congress focused on American preparedness. They ensured the government's ability to raise an army by establishing a nationwide draft registration system. Of the 24 million men who registered, two million were drafted. The draft registration cards completed by all registrants are now among the records at NARA's Southeast Region. To see the descriptions of draft registrations of notable people in ARC, click the yellow Search button in the upper left corner of this page to go to the Basic Search screen, copy and paste siWorld War I Draft Registration.
Atlanta Federal Penitentiary
The first residents of the Atlanta Federal Penitentiary arrived in 1902. They were the beneficiaries of the Three Prisons Act of 1891, which established penitentiaries in Leavenworth, Kansas; Atlanta, Georgia; and McNeil Island, Washington. All three facilities remain open today. The Atlanta site is the largest Federal prison, with a capacity of 3,000 inmates. Inmate case files present mini-biographies of men confined in the penitentiary. Prison officials recorded every detail of their lives - their medical treatments, their visitors, their letters to and from the outside world, even the width of their foreheads. Through these files, we become secret outside observers, looking at the prisoners' every move with the same diligence as the prison guards who watched them. To see the descriptions of inmate case files in ARC, click the yellow Search button in the upper left corner of this page to go to the Basic Search screen, copy and paste siAtlanta Federal Penitentiary.
Federal Courts and Civil Rights
The Civil Rights Movement to guarantee African Americans their rights under the Constitution had no one beginning. Its origin was in countless acts of protest throughout the country. The battlefields were not only Birmingham, Selma, Charlotte, and Little Rock, but also Boston, Topeka, and Los Angeles. The courtrooms of the United States District Courts were a major battlefield of the civil rights movement, and it was the federal courts that defined these issues into law. The march to equality was slow, but those fighting for justice held firm in their belief that the law of the land was on their side. One case at a time, the courts agreed - in ruling after ruling. Their decisions strengthened the foundation for an America where we celebrate the contributions of every person. To see the descriptions of court records relating to Civil Rights in ARC, click the yellow Search button in the upper left corner of this page to go to the Basic Search screen, copy and paste siFederal Courts and Civil Rights.
Earliest Archival Records
The earliest records in the holdings of the Southeast Region are replete with evidence of pirates and preachers, presidents and prisoners, the powerful and the poor. They represent the interaction of the Federal government with the lives of a diverse cross section of Americans. What emerges are glimpses of Southern life, part of the collective American experience. To see the descriptions of some of the earliest records held by NARA's Southeast Region in ARC, click the yellow Search button in the upper left corner of this page to go to the Basic Search screen, copy and paste siEarliest Archival Records.
Tennessee Valley Authority
The Great Depression of the 1930s spread extreme economic hardship across America. The Tennessee Valley was especially hard hit. Much of the land had been farmed too hard for too long. The soil was depleted and unsuitable for farming. Timber resources had been exhausted. Devastating floods were frequent. To address these regional hardships, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) Act, a major piece of his New Deal program. TVA was unique among federal agencies. Its employees constructed dams and hydroelectric plants, dug channels to enhance the navigability of the rivers in the Tennessee Valley, brought electric power to homes, helped replant forests and fought malaria. Eventually TVA's wide ranging authority to manage local economic resources touched the lives of most people in the area. The agency's work resulted in a vastly improved standard of living in the region. The records and photographs of the Tennessee Valley Authority chronicle the work of this ground-breaking agency in extensive detail. From these documents and photographs we see not only the work of the agency, but we also have a window into the lives of the people of the area. To see the descriptions of documents and photographs about the Tennessee Valley Authority in ARC, click the yellow Search button in the upper left corner of this page to go to the Basic Search screen, copy and paste siTennessee Valley Authority.
The Tuskegee Study (1930s-1972)
In the 1930s the U.S. Public Health Service began studying the effects of syphilis on African American men. Most of the work took place in Macon County, Alabama, in and around the county seat of Tuskegee. The men were given periodic medical examinations but were not treated. Medical and professional journals published findings periodically throughout the study. It was not kept secret. The costs of the study in the lives, and deaths, of participants, and the effects on their families and communities are incalculable. And the study left a legacy among African Americans of mistrust for the government. Throughout the study, the Public Health Service took photographs for its files. The images survive uncaptioned. Nurse Rivers, who was held in high regard by the participants, is the only person identified in the photographs. To see the descriptions of records about the Tuskegee Study in ARC, click the yellow Search button in the upper left corner of this page to go to the Basic Search screen, copy and paste siThe Tuskegee Study.
Southeast Region Family Album
The South is a land of coastal swamps, red clay hills, pine trees, tobacco fields, and urban skylines. Its greatest resource is the people who came to live here - scoundrels, schemers, dreamers, and doers. This family album contains their stories, told in the seemingly impersonal records of the Federal government. To see the descriptions of records about the people of the South in ARC, click the yellow Search button in the upper left corner of this page to go to the Basic Search screen, copy and paste siSoutheast Region Family Album.
Our Favorite Records
Although the archivists of NARA's Southeast Region work with documents every day, they still get excited about the discoveries they make and the stories the records tell. The staff of the Southeast Region selected their favorite records from millions of individual records in their holdings. Though they may look ordinary, the documents are the unedited record of American history, revealing the lives of the famous, the infamous, and everyone in between. To see the descriptions of the favorite records of the Southeast Region's staff in ARC, click the yellow Search button in the upper left corner of this page to go to the Basic Search screen, copy and paste siOur Favorite Records.