Guide to Federal Records

Records of the National Resources Planning Board [NRPB]


(Record Group 187)
1931-1943

OVERVIEW OF RECORDS LOCATIONS

Table of Contents

  • 187.1 ADMINISTRATIVE HISTORY
  • 187.2 RECORDS OF THE FEDERAL EMPLOYMENT STABILIZATION BOARD AND THE FEDERAL EMPLOYMENT STABILIZATION OFFICE (COMMERCE) 1931-39
  • 187.3 RECORDS OF THE CENTRAL OFFICE OF THE NRPB AND ITS PREDECESSORS 1931-43
  • 187.3.1 General records
  • 187.3.2 Records of Chairman Frederic A. Delano
  • 187.3.3 Records of the Office of the Director
  • 187.3.4 Records documenting the NRPB's participation in joint investigations and on joint committees
  • 187.3.5 Records unrelated to NRPB activities
  • 187.4 RECORDS OF NRPB DIVISIONS 1934-43 (bulk 1939-43)
  • 187.4.1 Records of Division A
  • 187.4.2 Records of Division B
  • 187.4.3 Records of Division C
  • 187.5 RECORDS OF NRPB REGIONAL OFFICES 1933-43
  • 187.5.1 Records of NRPB Region 1 (New England)
  • 187.5.2 Records of NRPB Region 2 (Middle Atlantic)
  • 187.5.3 Records of NRPB Region 3 (Southeastern)
  • 187.5.4 Records of NRPB Region 4 (Ohio-Great Lakes)
  • 187.5.5 Records of NRPB Region 5 (South Central)
  • 187.5.6 Records of NRPB Region 6 (Missouri Valley)
  • 187.5.7 Records of NRPB Region 7 (Intermountain-Great Plains)
  • 187.5.8 Records of NRPB Region 8 (Pacific Southwest)
  • 187.5.9 Records of NRPB Region 9 (Pacific Northwest)
  • 187.5.10 Records of NRPB Region 10 (Alaska)
  • 187.5.11 Records of NRPB Region 11 (Caribbean)
  • 187.6 RECORDS INHERITED BY THE BUREAU OF THE BUDGET (BOB)
    1934-43
  • 187.7 CARTOGRAPHIC RECORDS (GENERAL)

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187.1 ADMINISTRATIVE HISTORY

Established: In the Executive Office of the President by Reorganization Plan No. I of 1939, effective July 1, 1939, consolidating the National Resources Committee and functions formerly vested in the Federal Employment Stabilization Office (Department of Commerce).

Predecessor Agencies:

  • National Planning Board, Federal Emergency Administration of
  • Public Works (FEAPW, 1933-34)
  • National Resources Board (1934-35)
  • National Resources Committee (1935-39)
  • Federal Employment Stabilization Board (1931-34)
  • Federal Employment Stabilization Office (FESO), Department of Commerce (1934-35)
Functions: Planned public works. Coordinated federal planning related to conservation and use of national resources. Conducted long-range research studies. Stimulated local, state, and regional planning. After 1939 performed special duties related to the national defense.

Abolished: Effective August 31, 1943, by the Independent Offices Appropriation Act of 1944 (57 Stat. 169), June 26, 1943, with liquidation completed by January 1, 1944.

Related Records: Record copies of publications of the National Resources Planning Board and its predecessors in RG 287, Publications of the U.S.Government.

Subject Access Terms: New Deal agency.

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187.2 RECORDS OF THE FEDERAL EMPLOYMENT STABILIZATION BOARD AND THE FEDERAL EMPLOYMENT STABILIZATION OFFICE (COMMERCE)
1931-39

History: Federal Employment Stabilization Board established by the Employment Stabilization Act (46 Stat. 1085), February 10, 1931, to collect data and prepare reports on employment and business trends, and to provide assistance to other agencies in planning public works. Abolished by EO 6166, June 10, 1933. Abolishment deferred by EO 6221, July 26, 1933. Superseded by FESO (Commerce), pursuant to EO 6623, March 1, 1934. FESO discontinued for lack of funds, June 30, 1935, and functions decentralized. Functions recentralized in NRPB, 1939. SEE 187.1.

Textual Records: Reports, correspondence, and other records, 1931-39.

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187.3 RECORDS OF THE CENTRAL OFFICE OF THE NRPB AND ITS
PREDECESSORS
1931-43

History: National Planning Board established in the FEAPW, July 20, 1933, under authority of the National Industrial Recovery Act (48 Stat. 195), June 16, 1933. Superseded by the National Resources Board pursuant to EO 6777, June 30, 1934. National Resources Board abolished and replaced by the National Resources Committee under authority of EO 7065, June 7, 1935. Functions of National Resources Committee and FESO consolidated in NRPB, 1939. SEE 187.1.

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187.3.1 General records

Textual Records: Correspondence, minutes, reports, memorandums, and other records, 1931-43 (724 ft.), with card indexes, 1933-43.

Maps (1,791 items): General (1,259 items) and regional (532 items) maps of the United States, prepared by the NRPB and its predecessors, 1934-43, showing major drainage basins, population, mineral and water resources, land use, transportation routes and facilities, recreation areas, national defense, war industries, crop production, and military, industrial, and resource locations; illustrating progress reports and status of mapping and aerial photography; and showing urban areas and transportation routes from 1800 to 1930. SEE ALSO 187.7.

Finding Aids: Virgil E. Baugh, comp., Preliminary Inventory of Central Office Records of the National Resources Planning Board, PI 50 (1953).

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187.3.2 Records of Chairman Frederic A. Delano

History: Frederick A. Delano served on the NRPB and its predecessors, July 1933-August 1943, and as Chairman, National Planning Board, 1933-34, and NRPB, 1939-44.

Textual Records: General reference file, 1934-38. Correspondence and other records relating to Alaska, 1940-43.

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187.3.3 Records of the Office of the Director

Textual Records: Office file of the executive officer, 1933-43. Records of the Post-War Agenda Section, 1941-43. Records of the Urban Section, 1941-43. Records of the Field Service Section, 1934-43.

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187.3.4 Records documenting the NRPB's participation in joint investigations and on joint committees

Textual Records: Records of the Office of the Coordinator, Southeastern Florida Joint Investigation, 1939-41. Records relating to NRPB cooperation with the Committee for Congested Production Areas, 1940-43. Records, 1941-43, of the Committee on Conservation of Cultural Resources, established by the NRPB on March 6, 1941, to study wartime protection of cultural resources, survey cultural materials possessed by the federal government, and sponsor establishment of state committees for conservation of cultural resources; and of a space survey conducted on its behalf by the Historical Records Survey, 1942.

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187.3.5 Records unrelated to NRPB activities

Textual Records: Office files of Thomas C. Blaisdell, 1933-43, a member of the Industrial Committee and an assistant director in charge of Division A; and of Lewis Lorwin, 1931-34, a member of the NRPB panel of consultants and economic adviser for Division A. These consist primarily of personal files accumulated by them while they were employed by other agencies.

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187.4 RECORDS OF NRPB DIVISIONS
1934-43 (bulk 1939-43)

History: NRPB established three functional divisions (A, B, C), June 1940. Division A reported on current business and employment trends; made special studies on relief, technology, unemployment, and youth; conducted industrial research through the Science Committee, including compilation of the National Roster of Scientific and Specialized Personnel (established by NRPB, July 1940, in cooperation with the U.S. Civil Service Commission); and made studies in economics, finance, and fiscal policy. Division B made technical studies on transportation, location of industry, and resources. Division C conducted a federal public works program; studied federal financial relief programs; encouraged state and local public works programs; conducted water resource planning; and assisted railroads, public utilities, and industry in planning large, long-range capital budget expenditures.

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187.4.1 Records of Division A

Textual Records: General and technical reports and correspondence, 1942-43. Records of the Trends and Stabilization Section, 1938-43, including the Full Employment Stabilization Unit, 1936-43. Records of the Youth and Education Unit, 1939-42.

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187.4.2 Records of Division B

Textual Records: General records, 1939-43. Records of the Industrial Location Section, 1940-43. Records of the Lands Section, 1934-38.

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187.4.3 Records of Division C

Textual Records: Reports and general and technical correspondence, 1939-43. Records of the State and Local Program Section, 1939-43. Records of the Water Resources Section, 1934- 43.

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187.5 RECORDS OF NRPB REGIONAL OFFICES
1933-43

History: National Planning Board established 12 Planning Districts (regional field offices to stimulate state and municipal planning) beginning March 1, 1934, to replace the discontinued regional advisers and State Advisory Boards of the Public Works Administration, whose services had been previously utilized by the board. Jurisdictions defined by Circular Letter 10, National Planning Board, May 3, 1934, as follows:

Planning District Jurisdiction
I CT, ME, MA, NH, RI, VT
II DE, NJ, NY, PA
III MD, NC, VA
IV AL, FL, GA, SC
V IN (except NW corner), KY, OH, TN, WV
VI AR, LA, MS, OK
VII IL, IN (NW corner only), IA, MI, MN, WI
VIII MT, ND, SD
IX CO, KS, MO, NE, WY
X NM, TX
XI ID, OR, WA
XII AZ, CA, NV, UT

Planning Districts continued by successor National Resources Board, with certain consolidations and jurisdictional realignments:

Planning District Jurisdiction
1 CT, ME, MA, NH, RI, VT
2 DE, NJ, NY, PA
3 MD, NC, VA
4 AL, FL, GA, SC
5 IN (except NW corner), KY, OH, TN, WV
6 AR, LA, MS, OK, TX
7 IL, IN (NW corner only), IA, MI, MN, MO, WI
8 MT, ND, SD
9 CO, KS, NE, WY
10 AZ, CA, NV, NM, UT
11 ID, OR, WA

Superseded by 9 Regions established by the National Resources Committee, July 1, 1937:

Reg. Name (Informal) Jurisdiction
1 New England CT, ME, MA, NH, RI, VT
2 Middle Atlantic DE, DC, MD, NJ, NY, NC, PA, VA
3 Southeastern AL, FL, GA, MS, SC, TN
4 Ohio-Great Lakes IL, IN, KY, MI, OH, WV, WI
5 South Central AR, LA, OK, TX
6 Missouri Valley IA, KS, MN, MO, NE, ND, SD
7 Intermountain-Great Plains CO, NM, WY
8 Pacific Southwest AZ, CA, HI*, NV, UT
9 Pacific Northwest ID, MT, OR, WA

* Added to Region 8, 1938

Regional structure continued by NRPB, 1939. Region 10 (Alaska), with jurisdiction over AK, established June 21, 1941. Region 11 (Caribbean), with jurisdiction over PR and VI, established December 15, 1941.

In August 1942, KY transferred to Region 3, WV to Region 2, and IA and MN to Region 4. Regions 1-10 abolished effective with abolishment of NRPB, August 31, 1943. Region 11 terminated effective December 31, 1943.

Finding Aids: Virgil E. Baugh, comp., Records of the Regional Offices of the National Resources Planning Board, PI 64 (1954); Laura E. Kelsay, comp., Cartographic Records of the National Resources Planning Board, SL 41 (1977).

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187.5.1 Records of NRPB Region 1 (New England)

History: Established as Planning District I, 1934. Redesignated Planning District 1, 1934. Redesignated Region 1, July 1, 1937. Abolished August 31, 1943. Headquarters originally in Boston, MA; subsequently, London, NH.

Textual Records (in Boston): General correspondence, 1934-43. Records of the New England Regional Planning Commission, consisting of correspondence, 1940; and administrative and planning reference materials, 1934-43.

Maps (115 items): General, 1934-37, 1942, and n.d. (26 items). Forestry, 1936-37, 1942, and n.d. (8 items). Industry and manufacturing, 1935, 1939-40, and n.d. (8 items). Soil groups and land use, 1934-35 (4 items). Population trends (1890-1930) and distribution (1930), 1935, and n.d. (12 items). Generating stations and power transmission lines, 1936 (2 items). Recreation maps, New England, 1936, 1939, and n.d. (4 items). Transportation, 1935, 1938, 1940-41, and n.d. (14 items). Water resources, 1935-39 (37 items). SEE ALSO 187.7.

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187.5.2 Records of NRPB Region 2 (Middle Atlantic)

History: Established July 1, 1937, consolidating Planning Districts 2 and 3, plus DC. Acquired jurisdiction over WV from Region 4, August 1942. Abolished August 31, 1943. Headquarters in Baltimore, MD.

Textual Records (in Philadelphia): Correspondence, 1937-43. Records of drainage basin committees, 1937-40. Administration and planning reference materials, 1936-42. Clippings file, 1940-42.

Maps (46 items): General, 1940-41 and n.d. (14 items). Defense areas, Baltimore, MD; Buffalo, NY; Philadelphia, PA; northern New Jersey; and New York, NY, 1941 (9 items). Commodity traffic and labor force distribution, Baltimore, MD, 1940 (4 items). Trends in manufacturing employment, Niagara frontier (1899-1942); housing, Buffalo, NY (1939); and housing, Buffalo-Niagara Metropolitan District (1940-42), 1939-42 (4 items). Coal, natural gas, and petroleum resources of PA, n.d. (4 items). Recreationally significant areas, Middle Atlantic Region, 1940 and n.d. (8 items). Upper Ohio-Beaver drainage basin, 1941 (1 item). Hampton Roads, VA, showing principal cities and sources of water, 1941 (1 item). Chesapeake Bay drainage basins, 1942 (1 item). SEE ALSO 187.7.

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187.5.3 Records of NRPB Region 3 (Southeastern)

History: Established July 1, 1937, from Planning District 4, plus TN and MS from Planning Districts 5 and 6. Acquired jurisdiction over KY from Region 4, August 1942. Abolished August 31, 1943. Headquarters in Atlanta, GA.

Textual Records (in Atlanta): Administrative correspondence, 1937-40. Administrative and technical correspondence, 1941-43. Records relating to regional development planning, 1939-40. Records of drainage basin committees, 1939-40. Records relating to revision of the National Drainage Basin Report, 1937-39. Records relating to the Southern Forest Resources Study, 1937-40.

Maps (313 items): General, 1942 and n.d. (10 items). Alabama- Coosa River Basin area, 1942 and n.d. (30 items). Cumberland River drainage basin, n.d. (6 items). Tennessee Valley, n.d. (8 items). Defense establishments, Southeastern Region, n.d. (1 item). Military bases served by or adjacent to the Seaboard Railway, n.d. (1 item). Gulf coast shipyard sites, n.d. (1 item). Defense establishments, war industries, and related subjects, for selected population centers, 1940-42 and n.d. (35 items). Southern Forest Resources Survey region, 1938 (2 items). Forest types, resources, economic value, and industry, Southern Forest Region and AL, AR, GA, and TX, 1934-40 and n.d. (48 items). Land use and classification, 1938-40 and n.d. (152 items). Urban populations and estimated changes (1940-42), 1939 (2 items). Highway map, AL, 1940 (1 item). Transportation maps, GA, 1938 and n.d. (2 items). Water resources, 1939 and n.d. (14 items). SEE ALSO 187.7.

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187.5.4 Records of NRPB Region 4 (Ohio-Great Lakes)

History: Established July 1, 1937, from parts of Planning Districts 5 and 7. Lost jurisdiction over KY to Region 3 and WV to Region 2, and acquired jurisdiction over IA and MN from Region 6, August 1942. Abolished August 31, 1943. Headquarters successively in Cincinnati, OH; Indianapolis, IN; and Chicago, IL.

Textual Records (in Chicago): Correspondence and related records, 1934-43. Records relating to community facilities planning, 1940- 42. Reference materials, 1935-38.

Maps (176 items): General, 1938-39, 1943 (23 items). Ohio Valley, documenting population trends (1790-1930), flood damage (1936- 37), stream pollution, and flood control and navigation projects, n.d. (75 items). Defense, 1941-42 (19 items). Land, 1934 and n.d. (9 items). Water resources, general, 1934-36 and n.d. (6 items). Drainage basins, 1938, 1942 (23 items). Flood control, Upper Mississippi River Basin, Ohio River Basin, Monongahela National Forest, WV, and States of Kentucky and West Virginia, 1936-39 (8 items). Pollution, pollution abatement, and water supply, Ohio River drainage region, Rock-Illinois-Kaskaskia-Big Muddy drainage basin, Mahoning Valley, Des Moines-Skunk Basin, and State of Illinois, 1936-43 (13 items). SEE ALSO 187.7.

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187.5.5 Records of NRPB Region 5 (South Central)

History: Established July 1, 1937, from part of Planning District 6. Abolished August 31, 1943. Headquarters in Dallas, TX.

Textual Records (in Fort Worth): Correspondence, 1934-43.

Maps (128 items): General, 1939 and n.d. (8 items). Arkansas Valley Region, 1942 and n.d. (11 items). Defense, 1940-42 (17 items). Land, 1939-40 and n.d. (7 items). Population changes (1930-40), n.d. (3 items). Existing and proposed highways, 1940- 43 and n.d. (16 items). Urban planning, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston-Beaumont, and Corpus Christi, TX, 1939-43 (4 items). Water resources, general, 1938-43 (29 items). Drainage basins, Lower Mississippi, Southwest Mississippi, Pecos River, Western Gulf, and Lower Rio Grande River, n.d. (19 items); and Cimarron- Canadian Rivers, 1940 (4 items). Flood control and water projects, 1937-42 (8 items). Houston-Galveston, TX, water supply problem area, including San Jacinto River watershed, 1942 (2 items). SEE ALSO 187.7.

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187.5.6 Records of NRPB Region 6 (Missouri Valley)

History: Established July 1, 1937, from parts of Planning Districts 7, 8, and 9. Lost jurisdiction over IA and MN to Region 4, August 1942. Abolished August 31, 1943. Headquarters in Omaha, NE.

Textual Records (in Kansas City): General and special correspondence, 1937-43. Technical planning and administrative records, 1936-43.

Maps (75 items): General, 1941 and n.d. (22 items). Defense, 1941-42 and n.d. (17 items). Economic regions, flood control investigation areas, land classification, soil conservation districts, and related land use maps, 1940-41 and n.d. (18 items). Air transportation routes, n.d. (2 items). Drainage basins, Missouri Valley, n.d. (1 item), and Red River of the North, n.d. (2 items). Platte River gauges, n.d. (1 item). Water use, Missouri and Yellowstone River Basins, n.d. (12 items). SEE ALSO 187.7.

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187.5.7 Records of NRPB Region 7 (Intermountain-Great Plains)

History: Established July 1, 1937, from parts of Planning Districts 9 and 10. Abolished August 31, 1943. Headquarters in Denver, CO.

Textual Records (in Denver): General and special correspondence, 1939-43. Construction project card file, 1939-42.

Maps (227 items): General, 1939-42 and n.d. (5 items). Defense areas and schools, 1941-42 (6 items). Manufacturing, employment, and mineral production, 1939-42 (8 items). Drainage basins and major water developments, 1940-41 (2 items). Drainage basin and valley plans of Arkansas River Basin, Platte River Basin, Upper Rio Grande Basin, and Snake River Basin, 1938-42 (13 items). Rio Grand River and Pecos River joint river investigations, 1939-42 and n.d. (193 items). SEE ALSO 187.7.

Aerial Photographs (433 items): Aerial surveys of the Pecos River, NM-TX, produced by private firms under contract to the Soil Conservation Service, in connection with its work as a participating agency in the Pecos River Joint Investigation, 1938-41. SEE ALSO 187.7.

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187.5.8 Records of NRPB Region 8 (Pacific Southwest)

History: Established as Planning District XII, 1934. Formed, with NM from Planning District X, Planning District 10, 1934. Redesignated as Region 8, July 1, 1937, with boundaries of former Planning District XII. Acquired jurisdiction over HI, 1938. Abolished August 31, 1943. Headquarters in Berkeley, CA.

Textual Records (in San Francisco): General correspondence, 1936- 43. Letters sent, 1936-43.

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187.5.9 Records of NRPB Region 9 (Pacific Northwest)

History: Established July 1, 1937, from Planning District 11, plus MT from Planning District 8. Abolished August 31, 1943. Headquarters in Portland, OR.

Textual Records (in Seattle): General and technical correspondence, 1933-43. Correspondence of Marshall M. Dana, Public Works Administration Regional Advisor and Chairman of National Planning Board Planning District 11, 1933-34.

Maps (458 items): General, 1934-41 and n.d. (128 items). Willamette Valley Area Analysis, 1941 (3 items). Defense areas, 1942 (12 items). Forestry, 1934-41 (41 items). Agricultural production, manufacturing, and employment, 1935-42 (9 items). Land, 1934-42 (16 items). Mineral resources, 1940 and n.d. (7 items). General regional planning, n.d. (34 items). Columbia Basin Study, 1935 (34 items). Columbia Gorge Conservation Study, 1936-37 (21 items). Lower Columbia River Area Project, 1937 (1 item). Puget Sound Region Planning Project, 1942-43 (50 items). Population trends (1860-1930) and projections to 1970, 1934-42 (30 items). Electric power transmission systems, OR, and proposed for Grand Coulee and Bonneville power plants, n.d. (2 items). Powerlines, Great Falls-Butte, MT; Portland, OR; Seattle-Tacoma, WA; and Spokane, WA, n.d. (4 items). Taxation and state and local revenues, OR and WA, 1941 (9 items). Trade and commerce, 1934-42 (21 items). Transportation systems, 1934-41 (10 items). Drainage basins, dam sites, water resources, and water storage systems, 1936-40 and n.d. (26 items). SEE ALSO 187.7.

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187.5.10 Records of NRPB Region 10 (Alaska)

History: Established June 21, 1941. Abolished August 31, 1943. Headquarters in Juneau, AK, to August 1, 1942; thereafter in Portland, OR.

Textual Records (in Anchorage): General administrative and technical correspondence, 1937-43.

Maps (15 items): Forest regions and forest types, 1941 (1 item). United States-Alaska commerce (1931-40), 1941 (1 item). Salmon fishing seasons, 1941 (1 item). Mineral production trends (1890- 1940), 1941 (1 item). Population distribution, 1940 (1 item). Transportation networks, 1941-42 (10 items). SEE ALSO 187.7.

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187.5.11 Records of NRPB Region 11 (Caribbean)

History: Established December 15, 1941. Abolished December 31, 1943. Headquarters in San Juan, PR.

Textual Records (in New York): General and technical correspondence relating to planning in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, 1942-43.

Maps (90 items): Caribbean region, 1942 (3 items). Puerto Rico, including irrigation projects, rainfall distribution, soil groups, farm types, agricultural production, census data, population distribution, urban areas, and San Juan metropolitan area highways, 1942-43 (75 items). Virgin Islands, including population growth (1765-1940) and projections to 1960, rainfall, sugar production, and existing (1941) and proposed land use, 1942-43 (12 items). SEE ALSO 187.7.

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187.6 RECORDS INHERITED BY THE BUREAU OF THE BUDGET (BOB)
1934-43
107 lin. ft.

History: BOB assigned, by EO 9384, October 4, 1943, long-range planning and coordination of public works, a function executed jointly by BOB and NRPB (and predecessors) under the Federal Employment Stabilization Act of 1931, as implemented by EO 8455, June 26, 1940.

Textual Records: Records of the NRPB and its predecessors, including some material on the FESO and the Federal Works Agency, relating to coordinating and planning federal public works programs, 1934-43.

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187.7 CARTOGRAPHIC RECORDS (GENERAL)

SEE Maps UNDER 187.3.1, 187.5.1, 187.5.2, 187.5.3, 187.5.4, 187.5.5, 187.5.6, 187.5.7, 187.5.9, 187.5.10, and 187.5.11.

SEE Aerial Photographs UNDER 187.5.7.

Finding Aids: Laura E. Kelsay, comp., Cartographic Records of the National Resources Planning Board, SL 41 (1977).


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.

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


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