Guide to Federal Records

Records of the National Science Foundation [NSF]


(Record Group 307)
1907-87 (bulk 1948-87)

Overview of Records Locations

Table of Contents

  • 307.1 Administrative History
  • 307.2 General Records 1949-87
  • 307.3 Records of the Division of Science Resources Studies, Office of the Assistant Director for Scientific Personnel and Education 1954-70
  • 307.4 Records of the Office of the Director, Government and Public Programs 1953-81
    • 307.4.1 General records
    • 307.4.2 Records of the Office of the Assistant Director for Science Education relating to the Public Understanding of Science (PUS) Program
  • 307.5 Records of the Division of Polar Programs and its Predecessors 1907-87 (bulk 1955-87)
    • 307.5.1 Records of the Office of the International Geophysical Year and the Office of Special International Programs
    • 307.5.2 Records of the Office of Antarctic Programs, Office of Polar Programs, and Division of Polar Programs
  • 307.6 Records of the Office of the Assistant Director for Biological, Behavioral, and Social Sciences 1976-81
  • 307.7 Records of the Office of the Assistant Director for Scientific, Technological, and International Affairs 1974-83
  • 307.8 Records of Committees, Commissions, and Boards 1956-75
    • 307.8.1 Records of the President's Committee on Scientists and Engineers
    • 307.8.2 Records of the Advisory Committee for Planning and Institutional Affairs
    • 307.8.3 Records of the U.S.-U.S.S.R. Joint Commission on Scientific and Technical Cooperation
  • 307.9 Records Relating to Project Mohole 1962-68
  • 307.10 Textual Records (General) 1952-55
  • 307.11 Cartographic Records (General)
  • 307.12 Motion Pictures (General)
  • 307.13 Video Recordings (General)
  • 307.14 Sound Recordings (General)
  • 307.15 Machine-Readable Records (General)
  • 307.16 Still Pictures (General)

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307.1 Administrative History

Established: As an independent agency by the National Science Foundation Act of 1950 (64 Stat. 149), May 10, 1950, as amended.

Functions: Funds research projects and educational programs in science and engineering. Promotes international exchange of scientific and engineering information.

Finding Aids: Partial inventory in National Archives microfiche edition of preliminary inventories.

Related Records:
Record copies of publications of the National Science Foundation in RG 287, Publications of the U.S. Government.
Records of the Office of Scientific Research and Development, RG 227.
Records of the Office of Naval Research, RG 298.
Records of the Office of Science and Technology, RG 359.

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307.2 General Records
1949-87

History: NSF responsibility under NSF Act of 1950 for development of a national science policy and coordination of federal government scientific research transferred to newly established Office of Science and Technology (OST) by Reorganization Plan No. 2 of 1962, effective June 8, 1962. OST abolished, with functions of Science Advisor to the President transferred from OST Director to NSF Director, by Reorganization Plan No. 1 of 1973, effective July 1, 1973. Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) established, and functions of Science Advisor to the President transferred from NSF Director to OSTP Director, by the Presidential Science and Technology Advisory Organization Act of 1976 (90 Stat. 459), May 11, 1976.

Textual Records: Central correspondence, 1949-63. Subject correspondence of the NSF Director, H. Guyford Stever, in his capacity as Science Advisor to the President, 1973-76. Subject correspondence of the Associate Director for Educational and International Activities, Harry C. Kelly, including correspondence created when he was Assistant Director for Scientific Personnel and Education (1951-59), 1951-62. Legislative files of the general counsel, 1956-70. Contract case files, 1966-87.

Related Records: Records of the Office of the Special Assistant to the President for Science and Technology, in RG 359, Records of the Office of Science and Technology. Oral history interview of Wilson Harwood, NSF Assistant Director (1951-57), in Eisenhower Library.

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307.3 Records of the Division of Science Resources Studies, Office of the Assistant Director for Scientific Personnel and Education
1954-70

Machine-Readable Records: National Register of Scientific and Technical Personnel, 1954-70 (8 data sets), with supporting documentation. Science and Engineers Employment Surveys, 1971 (1 data set), with supporting documentation. National Engineers Register, 1964-69 (3 data sets), with supporting documentation. See also 307.14.

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307.4 Records of the Office of the Director, Government and Public Programs
1953-81

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307.4.1 General records

Textual Records: Selected subject files, 1953-75.

Motion Pictures: On the Ice, concerning Antarctic research, 1969 (1 reel). That Very Special Ship, about the research ship Glomar Challenger, 1973 (1 reel). TV Testing for the Future, documenting the communications uses of television, 1979 (1 reel). See also 307.11.

Video Recordings: Science in the Seventies, dealing with scientific research in the 1970's, 1974 (1 item). See also 307.12.

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307.4.2 Records of the Office of the Assistant Director for
Science Education relating to the Public Understanding of Science
(PUS) Program

Motion Pictures: Produced under the PUS Program, and consisting of Well of Life, documenting oceanic exploration, 1976 (1 reel); Exploding Universe, explaining universe expansion theory, 1977 (1 reel); Earth Space, covering the magnetosphere and the Van Allen radiation belts, 1977 (1 reel); and When Rivers Run Dry, dealing with water allocation in the southwestern United States, 1978 (1 reel). See also 307.11.

Video Recordings: Produced under the PUS Program for broadcast on commercial and public television, dealing with a variety of scientific and technological topics, 1976-81 (17 items). See also 307.12.

Sound Recordings: Produced under the PUS Program for broadcast on commercial and public radio, dealing with a variety of scientific and technological topics, 1977-81 (17 items). See also 307.13.

Color Slides: "The Universe of Dr. Einstein," a slide presentation produced under the PUS Program, 1979 (199 items).

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307.5 Records of the Division of Polar Programs and its Predecessors
1907-87 (bulk 1955-87)

History: Office of the International Geophysical Year (IGY), responsible for funding U.S. participation in international exploration of Antarctic during IGY (July 1, 1956-December 31, 1957), established in Office of NSF Director, April 1955. Transferred to Office of Associate Director for Research, 1957. Redesignated Office of Special International Programs, and made responsible for U.S. Antarctic Research Program (USARP), August 4, 1958. USARP functions transferred to newly established Office of Antarctic Programs (OAP), May 26, 1961. OAP transferred to newly established Office of Associate Director (International Activities), November 1, 1962. Transferred to Office of Associate Director (Research), effective September 1, 1963, by Staff Memorandum O/D 9, August 16, 1963. Transferred to newly established Division of Environmental Sciences in Office of Associate Director (Research) by Staff Memorandum O/D 65-23, November 19, 1965. Transferred to newly established Office of Assistant Director for National and International Programs, effective October 27, 1969, by Staff Memorandum O/D 69-26, October 24, 1969. Redesignated Office of Polar Programs (OPP), and made responsible for direction of both arctic and antarctic research programs, December 19, 1969. Transferred to newly established Directorate for Astronomical, Atmospheric, Earth, and Ocean Sciences (AAEOS), effective September 30, 1975, by Staff Memorandum O/D 75-37, August 25, 1975. Redesignated Division of Polar Programs (DPP) by Staff Memorandum O/D 76-22, April 19, 1976. Directorate for AAEOS redesignated Directorate for Geosciences, May 1, 1986.

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307.5.1 Records of the Office of the International Geophysical
Year and the Office of Special International Programs

Textual Records: Distribution copies of minutes, program plans, budget estimates, and other records of the U.S. National Committee for the International Geophysical Year, 1955-59. Logs, memorandums, and other records of Little America Station, Antarctica, 1957-58. Numbered antarctic status reports issued by Office of USARP, 1959-61.

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307.5.2 Records of the Office of Antarctic Programs, Office of
Polar Programs, and Division of Polar Programs

Textual Records: Central decimal and alphanumeric correspondence, 1957-87. Messages, mainly between Washington, DC, headquarters and antarctic field stations, 1961-87. Grant and contract case files, 1959-87. Antarctic field station reports, 1961-69. Records relating to the antarctic research vessel, USNS Eltanin, 1962-73. Correspondence, program files, and project files of individual staff members and subordinate offices, 1961-83. Records retained by the central office representative ("USARP Representative") in Antarctica, 1966-70; in New Zealand, 1976-79; and on board USNS Eltanin, 1962-72. NSF-published translations of Soviet polar studies, 1955-70.

Maps: British Antarctic Expedition, 1907-9 (3 items). Australasian Antarctic Expedition, 1911-14 (3 items). Antarctic Traverse II, Plateau Station to Queen Maud's Land, 1964 (2 items). Beardmore Glacier traverse, n.d. (1 item). Antarctic International Communications Network, n.d. (1 item). Antarctic air navigation charts, 1958-63 (5 items). USARP activities, 1960- 61 (2 items). Antarctica, produced by the American Geographic Society, in conjunction with the IGY, 1957-58 (5 items), and for the USARP, 1962 (1 item) and 1970 (3 items). See also 307.10.

Aerial Photographs: Satellite views of antarctic region, 1970-73 (1,459 items). USARP aerial reconnaissance of Beardmore Glacier, December 29, 1958 (141 items). Aerial reconnaissances, Antarctica, December 24, 1958 (63 items), and January 8, 1968 (12 items). Aerial reconnaissance, Bush Mountains, Antarctica, 1959 (17 items). Aerial views, nuclear reactor site, McMurdo Sound, Antarctica, December 1, 1968 (8 items). See also 307.10.

Motion Pictures: Films collected or maintained by the Polar Information Service documenting the escort of Thomas B. Owens, NSF Assistant Director for National and International Programs, January 1971 (1 reel); an equipment test, September 25, 1971 (1 reel); and AIDJEX (Arctic Ice Dynamics Joint Experiment) Project, 1972 (1 reel). Office of Antarctic Programs films relating to activities of USNS Eltanin, 1963 (4 reels). OAP International Cooperation and Information Program films Power for Continent Seven, n.d. (1 reel); NBC News Presents: Chet Huntley-- Through Drake Passage with USNS Eltanin, n.d. (1 reel); On the Ice, n.d. (1 reel); Soviet Drift Station, 1968 (1 reel); and documenting tests of an under-ice observation chamber, n.d. (1 reel). Polar research activities, 1961-68 (10 reels), 1971-72. See also 307.11.

Video Recordings: The Antarctic, n.d.(2 items).

Sound Recordings: Ceremonies at South Pole Station honoring the fiftieth anniversary of the Scott-Amundsen Expeditions, October 30, 1961 (2 reels). OAP International Cooperation and Information Program recordings, consisting of Stanford University VLF (Very Low Frequency) demonstration tape of nose whistlers, swishy whistlers, and similar VLF phenomena, 1958-63 (1 reel); interviews conducted by U.S. Navy journalist Craig Duncan at McMurdo Sound Station, Antarctica, of Russian exchange scientists Peter Astakov (upper atmosphere physicist) and B.G. Lupatin (geologist), November-December 1967 (1 reel); Operation Deep Freeze 66 postseason interview of USARP Director Tom O. Jones, 1965-66 (1 reel); lectures by Louis Quam, OAP chief scientist, December 27, 1968 (2 reels); and interview of William A. Briesmeister, cartographer with the American Geographical Society, relating the society's globe and Antarctic map projects, n.d. (1 reel). Polar Information Service recording of a lecture at McMurdo Sound Station, Antarctica, by Laurence M. Gould, chief scientist with the First Byrd Antarctic Expedition (1928-30), chairman of the Committee on Polar Research (National Academy of Sciences), and member (1952-62) of the NSF, January 10, 1977 (2 reels, 1 cassette). Bicentennial from Antarctica, 1976 (1 reel). Polar research activities, 1958-68 (6 reels) . See also 307.13.

Photographs: USARP activities, equipment, and facilities, 1957-70 (996 images). See also 307.15.

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307.6 Records of the Office of the Assistant Director for Biological, Behavioral, and Social Sciences
1976-81

Machine-Readable Records: Public use sample of demographic information from the 1900 U.S. Census, produced by University of Washington Center for Studies in Demography and Ecology on an NSF grant, 1976-81, with supporting documentation (2 data sets). See also 307.14.

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307.7 Records of the Office of the Assistant Director for Scientific, Technological, and International Affairs
1974-83

Textual Records: Records of the Women in Science Program, consisting of administrative records, 1974-82; computer printouts of grant awards, 1976-83; project reports, 1976-82; papers resulting from NSF grants, 1974-82; NSF-funded studies on women and the sciences in the 1970's, 1974-82; and reference materials, 1974-82.

Color Slides: "Opportunities in Science and Engineering," produced on an NSF grant by Scientific Manpower Commission; with supporting sound track and pamphlet, 1980 (80 images). See also 307.15.

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307.8 Records of Committees, Commissions, and Boards
1956-75

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307.8.1 Records of the President's Committee on Scientists and
Engineers

History: Established as the National Committee for the Development of Scientists and Engineers, to encourage private sector efforts to increase quality and quantity of scientists and engineers, by announcement of President Dwight D. Eisenhower, April 3, 1956. Funded and given administrative assistance by NSF. Redesignated President's Committee on Scientists and Engineers by a memorandum from Assistant to the President Sherman Adams to Committee Chairman Howard L. Bevis, May 7, 1957. Terminated December 31, 1958, with operational functions transferred to Office of Civil and Defense Mobilization, and research and publicity functions transferred to NSF.

Textual Records: Summaries of meetings, 1956-57. Interim reports and final report, 1956-58. Press releases, 1956-58. Pamphlets on training and use of scientific personnel, 1956-58.

Finding Aids: Forrest R. Holdcamper, comp., "Preliminary Inventory of the Records of the National Science Foundation: Records of the President's Committee on Scientists and Engineers," NC 39 (1963).

Related Records: Committee operating records in Eisenhower Library.

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307.8.2 Records of the Advisory Committee for Planning and
Institutional Affairs

History: Established by charter, November 30, 1972, pursuant to the Federal Advisory Committee Act (86 Stat. 770), October 6, 1972. Terminated November 30, 1974.

Textual Records: Minutes, reports, correspondence, and other records of the committee and of its predecessors, the Advisory Committee for Planning and the Advisory Committee for Institutional Relations, 1968-75.

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307.8.3 Records of the U.S.-U.S.S.R. Joint Commission on
Scientific and Technical Cooperation

History: Established by Article 7 of the Agreement between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics on Cooperation in the Fields of Science and Technology, effective May 24, 1972, and continuing for five years. Continued as part of extension of Agreement on an interim basis by exchange of notes between U.S. Secretary of State and U.S.S.R. Charge d'Affaires, May 24, 1977. Continued as part of Agreement renewal for another five years, effective July 8, 1977. Dissolved upon termination of Agreement according to its own terms, July 8, 1982.

Textual Records: Records accumulated by NSF Director H. Guyford Stever while serving as chairman of the U.S. representatives on the Joint Commission (1973-75), consisting of correspondence, minutes, and records of working groups, 1972-75.

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307.9 Records Relating to Project Mohole
1962-68

History: Initiated 1958, on an NSF grant, by American Miscellaneous Society, a committee of the National Academy of Sciences-National Research Council, with the aim of drilling through Earth's crust to obtain a sample of its mantle. C. Don Woodward named as Project Coordinator, and Mohole Committee established, by NSF Director Alan T. Waterman, May 4, 1962. Project terminated October 1, 1966, by failure of appropriation. Project operations brought to conclusion, 1966-68, through regular NSF annual appropriation.

Textual Records: Administrative records, including correspondence, project reports, and summaries of meetings, 1962- 68. Records relating to project subcontractors, 1963-67. Public relations records, 1962-66.

Photographs: Project Mohole drill site selection; drilling equipment, platform design, development, and erection; and deep drilling technology, 1962-66 (230 images). See also 307.15.

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307.10 Textual Records (General)
1952-55

Minutes and related records of the National Science Board, 1952-55.

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307.11 Cartographic Records (General)

See Maps under 307.5.2.

See Aerial Photographs under 307.5.2.

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307.12 Motion Pictures (General)

See under 307.4.1, 307.4.2, and 307.5.2.

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307.13 Video Recordings (General)

See under 307.4.1 and 307.4.2.

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307.14 Sound Recordings (General)

See under 307.4.2 and 307.5.2.

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307.15 Machine-Readable Records (General)

See under 307.3 and 307.6.

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307.16 Still Pictures (General)

See Photographs under 307.5.2 and 307.9.

See Color Slides under 307.7.


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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