Guide to Federal Records

Records of the National Archives and Records Administration


(Record Group 64)
1932-98

Overview of Records Locations

Table of Contents

  • 64.1 Administrative History
  • 64.2 Records of the Office of the Archivist of the United States 1934-92
    • 64.2.1 Correspondence and memorandums
    • 64.2.2 Reports and case files
    • 64.2.3 Records of the Executive Staff
    • 64.2.4 Other records
  • 64.3 Records of Administrative Activities 1934-84
  • 64.4 Records of the Office of Federal Records Centers and Predecessor Programs 1950-80
  • 64.5 Records of the Office of the Federal Register 1934-91
  • 64.6 Records of the Office of the National Archives and Predecessor Programs 1932-89
  • 64.7 Records of the Office of Presidential Libraries 1972-73
  • 64.8 Records of the Office of Public Programs 1935-98
  • 64.9 Records of the Office of Records Administration and Predecessor Programs 1935-96
  • 64.10 Records of the Regional Archives System 1989
  • 64.11 Records of the National Historical Publications and Records Commission 1936-82
  • 64.12 Records of Committees, Task Forces, and Associations 1934-93
  • 64.13 Cartographic Records (General) 1937-54
  • 64.14 Motion Pictures (General) 1936-77
  • 64.15 Video Recordings (General) 1972-95
  • 64.16 Sound Recordings (General) 1949-89
  • 64.17 Still Pictures (General) 1967-93

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64.1 Administrative History

Established: As an independent agency, effective April 1, 1985, by the National Archives and Records Administration Act (98 Stat. 2280), October 19, 1984.

Predecessor Agencies:

  • National Archives Establishment (1934-49)
  • National Archives and Records Service, General Services Administration (1949-85)

Functions: Performs archival services for agencies of the U.S. Government, including selecting, preserving, arranging, and describing noncurrent government records that have enduring value and making such records available to both government and private researchers. Administers federal records centers and Presidential libraries. Publishes the Federal Register and other government publications. Assists the National Historical Publications and Records Commission in its grant program for state and local records and edited publications of the papers of prominent Americans.

Related Records:
Record copies of publications of the National Archives and Records Administration in RG 287, Publications of the U.S. Government.
General Records of the General Services Administration, RG 269.

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64.2 Records of the Office of the Archivist of the United States
1934-92

History: National Archives Establishment (NAE) created as an Executive branch agency by an act of June 19, 1934 (48 Stat. 1122). Robert D.W. Connor appointed first Archivist of the United States by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, October 10, 1934, with Senate confirmation, March 20, 1935. Archivist, in turn, appointed an Executive Director. Office of the Archivist established, January 1, 1942. Turnover in experienced personnel during World War II led to abolishment of position of Executive Director, March 15, 1943, with functions transferred to Office of the Archivist. Office reorganized, 1944, to include Management Officer, Budget Officer, Administrative Secretary, and Program Adviser. In accordance with a recommendation of the Commission on Organization of the Executive Branch of the Government (first Hoover Commission), Congress enacted the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act (63 Stat. 377), June 30, 1949, establishing the General Services Administration (GSA); and transferring NAE to GSA, with the Archivist thenceforth to be appointed by the Administrator of General Services. NAE redesignated National Archives and Records Service (NARS) by the Administrator of General Services, December 1, 1949. NARS abolished, 1985, and superseded by independent National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), with Archivist thenceforth to be appointed by the President, with Senate confirmation. SEE 64.1.

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64.2.1 Correspondence and memorandums

Textual Records: Correspondence and other records accumulated by Archivists Robert D.W. Connor (1934-41) and Solon J. Buck (1941- 48) relating to the appointment of the first Archivist of the United States and other early appointments of staff members, 1933-35. Letters sent to government agencies, 1934-52; and to private organizations, 1934-52. Memorandums to and from the Archivist relating to the work of offices and divisions, 1935-50. Functional classified files, 1942-59. Circular letters concerning disposition of noncurrent records, 1943-49. Archivist's Memorandums and Official Circulars, 1935-59. Letters to all employees, 1938-58. Reading files, program files, day files, and calendars of Archivists Solon J. Buck, Wayne C. Grover (1948-65), Robert H. Bahmer (1965-68), James B. Rhoads (1968-79), and Robert M. Warner (1980-85), 1935-86.

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64.2.2 Reports and case files

Textual Records: Annual, 1936-58, quarterly, 1937-58, and monthly, 1935-36, reports to the Archivist. Statistical issuances, 1938-55. Closed planning and control case files, 1943- 68, with index. Trust fund case files, 1935-59. Archivist's controlled project files, 1961-66.

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64.2.3 Records of the Executive Staff

Textual Records: General records, 1934-51, and daily diary, 1935- 42, of the Executive Officer. Records of the Director of Archival Service, including daily work reports, 1935-41, and records documenting a special study of disposal authorizations, 1935-37. Correspondence and reference files of the Administrative Secretary, 1935-56. Administrative Secretary's notes on meetings of the Advisory Council, 1935-37, and record of reference service to government officials, 1946-52. Reading files of the Director of Operations, 1942-47. Records of the Program Adviser, including state and local correspondence, 1942-49, and letters sent, 1944- 48. Records of assistants to the Archivist relating to international archival affairs and academic liaison, 1965-74.

Posters (1 image): Agency standards of conduct, issued by the Legal Services Staff, 1986 (GEP). See Also 64.17.

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64.2.4 Other records

Textual Records: Articles and addresses by NARS staff members, 1935-50. Information and public relations subject files, 1935-69. Registers for controlling work assignments, 1943-81. Press releases, 1946-64. Records of the NARS oral history project, consisting of typed copies of tape-recorded interviews with former National Archives employees conducted by Philip C. Brooks, 1972-75. Speeches given by the Archivist, 1975-89. Record set of publications, including annual reports of the Archivist, 1936-48, 1985-92; NARS Newsletter, 1973-77; Calendar of Events, 1978-85; and News from the Archives, 1981-85.

Microfilm Publication: M248.

Photographic Prints (7 images): Portraits of Archivists Robert D.W. Connor, Solon J. Buck, Wayne C. Grover, Robert H. Bahmer, and Don W. Wilson (1987-93), 1934-89 (AA, 6 images). Photograph taken at a banquet attended by Archivist Connor and staff members Robert Bahmer and Theodore R. Schellenberg, 1937 (B, 1 image). See Also 64.17.

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64.3 Records of Administrative Activities
1934-84

Textual Records: Organization charts, 1934-46, 1973-83. Budget estimates, 1935-51. General files of the Division of Building Management and Service, 1934-44. Employee suggestion case files, 1944-49. Personnel lists and telephone directories, 1935-49. Files of the Records Officer, relating primarily to central files operations, 1941-50. Forms case files, issuance case files, program briefings, and automated data processing system files, 1957-68. Subject files of the Office of Management and Administration, 1950-79. Management studies of the Program Policy and Evaluation Division and its predecessor organizations, 1968- 84.

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64.4 Records of the Office of Federal Records Centers and
Predecessor Programs
1950-80

Textual Records: Records of the Office of Records Management, including policy correspondence and general administrative files for records center operations, 1950-64; correspondence with departments and agencies, 1957-64; reference material and survey files relating to technical assistance given federal agencies, 1950-60; and a record set of numbered memorandums sent to directors of National Archives regions, 1951-64. Microfilm copy of annual reports submitted by federal advisory committees for use in compilation of Federal Advisory Committees: Annual Report of the President, 1973-80 (28 rolls).

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64.5 Records of the Office of the Federal Register
1934-91

Textual Records: Forms used by the Federal Register Division and minutes of the Administrative Committee of the Federal Register, 1935-41. Files relating to Federal Register activities, 1935-61. Terminated agencies file, 1942-60. Interstate compacts, 1953-63. Microfilm copies of laws, administrative regulations, and related documents (with indexes) published daily in the Federal Register, 1936-70 (189 rolls). Record set of Office of Federal Register publications, including The United States Government Manual, 1934-91, United States Statutes at Large, 1970-90, Federal Register, 1982-91, and Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents, 1978-91.

Microfilm Publications: M190, M839.

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64.6 Records of the Office of the National Archives and
Predecessor Programs
1932-89

Textual Records: Records, 1935-38, of the Division of Accessions, consisting of memorandums and reports and a subject file. Registers and lists of accessions, 1936-52. Correspondence, 1935- 41, and survey and inspection reports, 1936-40, of the Cataloging Division. General file, 1935-45, of the Division of Classification. Records of the Division of Research, consisting primarily of working papers and a manuscript copy of "The Archives of the United States: A Documentary History, 1774-1934," compiled in 1938. Records, 1934-44, of the Office of Records Accessioning and Preservation, consisting of reports prepared by deputy examiners, 1935-36, and copies of state archival legislation and other records accumulated by the Works Progress Administration survey of federal archives, 1935-43. Files of the Director of Research and Records Description, 1936-48, including records relating to preparation of the handbook of World War I agencies, 1941-43; the Advisory Committee on Finding Mediums, 1940-43; and publications, and printing and processing committees, 1936-41. Records of the Records Control Office, 1936- 52, including working papers relating to the World War II records project, 1946-50. Records of the Director and Deputy Director of Archival Management, including case files, 1950-64, and files relating to a 1961 inter-American archival seminar, 1959-61. Subject file, 1955-66, and policy and planning case files, 1962- 65, of the Office of Military Archives. Subject file, 1960-66, of the Office of Civil Archives and files documenting a survey of field records, 1963-64. General records, 1936-47, and reports, 1938-48, of the Division of Agriculture Department Archives. Reports and memorandums of the Division of Interior Department Archives, 1935-62. Miscellaneous records of the Treasury Department Archives, 1935-51. General records of the Legislative Archives Division, 1935-57. Subject files of the General Archives Division, 1937-60. Reports of the Natural Resources Division, 1947-59. Records of the Division of Motion Pictures and Sound Recordings, 1934-60, including an administrative and general file, 1942-60; a reference file, 1935-46; and case files, 1947- 51. Subject files of the Division of Photographic Archives and Research, 1935-47. Administrative records of the Technical Services Division, 1960-61, including memorandums and reports relating to the stability of nitrate film. Files of the Special Projects Staff, 1950-66, relating to international archival affairs and to the finding aid program. Subject files of the Office of the National Archives, 1968-77.

Microfilm Publications: T1167.

Photographs (12,691 images): Pictures of Presidents of the United States, Civil War views, public buildings, and historical events, copied for administrative, reference, and exhibit purposes, 1934- 63 (M, 301 images). Construction of the National Archives Building, 1932-42 (NAC, CP; 1,013 images). Administrative activities, including visits by prominent individuals to special exhibits and commemoration ceremonies, interior and exterior views of the National Archives Building, and pictures of other agency buildings, 1935-69 (NA, 3,800 images). Photographs documenting storage conditions for federal records in the Washington, DC, area and showing some state and foreign archives, 1936-45 (NAD, 299 images). Photographs of microfilming activities and experiments, 1936-47 (NAX, 562 images). Views of foreign archives buildings, 1937 (FA, 28 images). Reproductions of accessioned records created for research and administrative purposes, and for exhibition, ca. 1944-59 (CN, 6,300 images). Pictures of President Franklin D. Roosevelt and his family, and views of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library copied from the collection of the library, ca. 1947 (FDRL, 217 images). Photographs of a ceremony in honor of the inventor of the Dagron microfilm camera, Rene Prudent Patrice Dagron, 1959 (RD, 17 images). Views of the Dwight D. Eisenhower Library and the Harry S. Truman Library copied from the collections of the libraries, 1964-65 (DDEL, HSTL, 74 images). Photographs of public buildings in Washington, DC, copied from historical images in the collection of the Office of the Architect of the Capitol, 1963 (AC, 20 images). Pictures of Abraham Lincoln copied from the 1933 edition of Engraved and Lithographed Portraits of Abraham Lincoln, 1970 (CT, 60 images). See Also 64.17.

Photographic Prints (259 images): Prints copied in 1970 from the United States Military Railroad Photographic Album showing a variety of Civil War subjects, including railroads, bridges, fortifications, battle sites, artillery, and ruins in Virginia and buildings in Washington, DC (CV, 90 images). Operations of the Departmental Records Branch, the Adjutant General's Office, Department of the Army, 1957 (D, 83 images). Images of Civil-War- era Washington, DC, copied in 1970 from publications in the custody of the Historical Society of Washington (CC, 63 images). Pictures taken during the National Archives' celebration of the American Revolution Bicentennial, 1976 (BTC, 23 images). See Also 64.17.

Photographic Negatives(69 images): Visit of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth of England to the United States, 1939 (KE). SEE ALSO 64.17.

Slides (134 images): "Materials at Risk: the Preservation Challenge," 1989 (MR). See Also 64.17.

Lantern Slides (93 images): Tests conducted by the National Bureau of Standards on the combustibility of a structure designed to house cellulose nitrate negatives, 1948 (NT). See Also 64.17.

Related Records:
Posters of Presidential libraries' exhibits Under 64.7.
Records relating to the National Archives 76-hour Vigil for the Bicentennial of the Declaration of Independence Under 64.8.
Soundtrack accompanying slide presentation, "Materials at Risk," Under 64.16.

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64.7 Records of the Office of Presidential Libraries
1972-73

Textual Records: Records (in Truman Library) concerning the final illness and death of President Harry S. Truman, 1972-73.

Posters (28 images): Exhibits at Dwight D. Eisenhower Library relating to Eisenhower the artist, the White House, the Eisenhower centennial, and Presidential inaugurals, 1990-91 (ELP, 4 images). Exhibits at the Harry S. Truman Library relating to the Korean War and the Truman centennial, 1984-91 (TP, 2 images). World War II series issued by the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library, 1992 (RP, 1 image). Exhibit of Burton Berinsky photographs at the John F. Kennedy Library, 1978 (KP, 1 image). Exhibits at the Lyndon B. Johnson Library relating to Texas, political cartoons, the New Deal, the Great Society, World War II, the Korean War, foreign affairs, and the Harlem Renaissance, 1979-91 (JP, 17 images). Announcement of the opening of the Gerald R. Ford Museum, 1981 (FMP, 3 images). See Also 64.17.

Related Records: Photographs of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, and of the Roosevelt, Truman, and Eisenhower Libraries, Under 64.6.

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64.8 Records of the Office of Public Programs
1935-98

Textual Records: General records of conferences, councils, and other National Archives meetings, 1935-51. Files concerning National Archives conference series, 1967-73. Files relating to foreign archivist trainees, 1965-72. Records relating to the Freedom Train, 1946-53. Press clippings, 1937-63. Fan mail, 1942- 70. A planning and control case file relating to the American Revolution Bicentennial Commission, 1967-73. Americana project files, 1971-76. Visitors sign-in sheets, National Archives 76- hour Vigil for the Bicentennial of the Declaration of Independence, 1976. Visitors sign-in sheets, National Archives 87-hour Vigil for the Constitution Bicentennial, 1987. Exhibit loan files, 1945-80.

Microfilm Publications: T1195.

Photographic Prints (166 images): Pictures of documents exhibited nationally in the Freedom Train traveling exhibit, ca. 1950 (FT, 102 images). Color and black-and-white pictures taken at the opening of the National Archives exhibit, "The Art of Diplomacy," 1971 (AD, 64 images). See Also 64.17.

Engravings (5 images): Political cartoons by Thomas Nast (ca. 1869), purchased for display in the National Archives exhibition, "Draw," 1991-92 (ND). See Also 64.17.

Posters (151 images): National one-act playwriting competition, 1991 (PCP, 1 image). Facsimile exhibits covering Declaration of Independence, Constitution, Bill of Rights, World War II, and Holocaust, 1987-91 (DP, 76 images). Exhibit advertisements, 1979- 93 (EP, 5 images). Museum shop sale designs depicting the National Archives; Washington, DC; the Presidents and their wives; World War II; the Emancipation Proclamation; and family history, 1983-98 (MP, 58 images). Visitor orientation to the National Archives, 1991 (OP, 8 images). Customer service values and standards, 1994 (CSP, 3 images). See Also 64.17.

Related Records: Photographic prints of the National Archives celebration of the American Revolution Bicentennial Under 64.6.

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64.9 Records of the Office of Records Administration and
Predecessor Programs
1935-96

Textual Records: Reports to Congress regarding records proposed for disposal, 1946-56. Federal agency records disposition case files, 1935-83. Case files documenting disposition decisions affecting accessioned records and canceled accession offers, 1961-85. Special study case files, 1935-64. Card record of disposal transactions, 1937-40. Internal and external disposition registers, 1952-76. Registers of offers of records to the National Archives, 1962-76. Subject files, correspondence, and reports relating to appraisal of Department of Justice litigation case files, 1950-89.

Posters (8 images): Records management practices in the Federal Government, 1986-96 (NI). See Also 64.17.

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64.10 Records of the Regional Archives System
1989

Posters (14 images): Commemoration of establishment of the U.S. district court system, 1989 (DC, 12 images). Commemoration of the bicentennial of the Judiciary Act of 1789, 1989 (PJA, 2 images). See Also 64.17.

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64.11 Records of the National Historical Publications and Records
Commission
1936-82

Textual Records: Proposed project files, 1936-41. Records of commission meetings, project and subject files for the publications program, and project files for the records program, 1951-79. Correspondence with commission members, 1967-75. Correspondence relating to grants, 1964-79; and approved grant files, 1964-82.

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64.12 Records of Committees, Task Forces, and Associations
1934-93

Textual Records: National Archives Advisory Council files, 1935- 84. General records of National Archives committees, 1935-48. Records of the National Archives element of interagency organizations, 1934-51. Records relating to National Archives participation in the activities of nongovernment associations, 1935-51. Records of the National Archives Association, 1936-66. Records of the Committee on Classification Standards, 1951-53. Records of the Committee on the Disposition of Machine-Readable Records, 1965-70. Records of the Task Force to Review Certain Functions, 1974-77. Records of the NARS Federal Women's Program Committee, 1976-81. Minutes, correspondence, and reports of the FBI Appraisal Task Force, 1981-82. Records of the Appraisal and Disposition Task Force, 1982-83; Smithsonian Task Force, 1982-83; Task Force on NARA Responsibilities for Federal Records and Related Documentation, 1987-88; Committee on Authorities and Program Alternatives, 1988-89; Working Group on Personal Papers, 1990-92; and Working Group on Records Containing Personal Data, 1992-93. Final report and working papers resulting from a study of military records, 1985-86.

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64.13 Cartographic Records (General)
1937-54
125 items

Maps: Compiled or annotated in the Cartographic Branch to show federal mapping and exploration activities, and to index or illustrate information about National Archives holdings or projects, 1937-54.

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64.14 Motion Pictures (General)
1936-77
46 reels

Motion Pictures: First meeting of the National Archives Council, February 10, 1936. Tests conducted at the National Bureau of Standards on burning characteristics of nitrate motion picture film, 1936-38. Ceremonies at the National Archives Building opening exhibits of the German and Japanese surrender documents, 1945. Historical documents in the Library of Congress and the transfer of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution from the Library to the National Archives Building, 1952. Your National Archives, 1953. Luncheon meeting of the National Historical Publications Commission, June 17, 1958. Two versions of film, Conquering the Paper Mountain, made by Film Polski, Warsaw, and The Design Center, Inc., Washington, DC, 1975-77. Bicentennial films, Liberty 76, and 76 Hours, showing newsman David Brinkley in the National Archives and President Gerald R. Ford, Chief Justice Warren Burger, Vice President Nelson Rockefeller, Speaker of the House Carl Albert, and Archivist of the United States James B. Rhoads in the National Archives, 1976. Mirror of America, n.d. CBS News Special, "Vietnam, Why We Got In-Can We Get Out," n.d. Eisenhower news conference, n.d.

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64.15 Video Recordings (General)
1972-95
29 items

Video Recordings: National Archives Conference on the Use of Audiovisual Archives as Original Source Material, November 9-10, 1972. Nixon-David Frost interviews, 1977. "Research Opportunities: Resources for Historians," a presentation made at the Federal Archives and Records Center, Denver, CO, 1977. Address by Dr. Robert M. Warner to employees of the National Archives and Records Service, July 24, 1980. CBS and NBC evening news coverage of Dr. Warner's appearance before the Senate confirmation hearings on Alexander Haig, January 12, 1981. Swearing-in of Don W. Wilson, December 4, 1987. Groundbreaking ceremonies at the National Archives at College Park, October 17, 1989. Taming the Paper Jungle, 1991. Public hearing on self-service copying of audiovisual materials, July 27, 1992. Dedication ceremony of the National Archives Building at College Park, May 12, 1994. Ceremony for the opening of the Hartranft Affiliated Archives, Pennsylvania State Archives, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, June 13, 1995. Address by John W. Carlin, Archivist of the United States, to employees of the National Archives and Records Administration, August 24, 1995, and employee responses, September 19, 1995.

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64.16 Sound Recordings (General)
1949-89
827 items

Sound Recordings: Opening of the Freedom Train exhibit, 1949. Enshrinement of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution in the exhibition hall, 1952. Interview with Wayne C. Grover conducted by Linton Wells for the radio program "Report to the People," 1966. Proceedings of a National Historical Publications Commission luncheon meeting, June 17, 1958. Speeches and remarks by and interviews of the Archivist of the United States, 1968-70. Proceedings of the National Historical Publications Commission, 1973-74. Proceedings of National Archives conferences and symposia, 1967-73. Proceedings of the National Archives Advisory Council, 1968-73. Remarks made by guest speakers at National Archives film festivals, 1971-73. Presentation by David Brinkley at the opening of "And That's the Way It Was: TV News, 1947-68," January 13, 1976. Recordings of discussions following presentations of Films at the Archives series, "The Vietnam War on TV," 1978. Recording of a meeting of the National Archives Preservation Advisory Committee, June 19- 20, 1980. Soundtrack to "Materials at Risk: the Preservation Challenge," 1989.

Related Records: Slide presentation accompanying soundtrack, "Materials at Risk," Under 64.6.

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64.17 Still Pictures (General)
1967-93
36,409 images

Photographic Prints: Types of data processing machines in use between 1879 and 1959, collected by the Information Technology Division of the National Archives, 1967-69 (K, 409 images). Documenting National Archives program activities, ceremonies, and observances, 1979-93 (PF, 36,000 images).

See Photographs Under 64.6.
See Photographic Prints Under 64.2.4, 64.6, and 64.8.
See Photographic Negatives Under 64.6.
See Slides Under 64.6.
See Lantern Slides Under 64.6.
See Engravings Under 64.8.
See Posters Under 64.2.3, 64.7, 64.8, 64.9, and 64.10.


Bibliographic note: Web version based on Guide to Federal Records in the National Archives of the United States. Compiled by Robert B. Matchette et al. Washington, DC: National Archives and Records Administration, 1995.
3 volumes, 2428 pages.

Ordering information

This Web version is updated from time to time to include records processed since 1995.


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