About the National Archives

Oral History at the National Archives

National Archives Oral History Project

The National Archives Oral History Project collects the historical experiences, insights, and perspectives of staff and former staff. The interviews help us understand the agency’s culture, work practices, decision-making processes, historical actions, and events, and they also help preserve the institutional memory of the National Archives. We will continue to add transcripts to this web page.

If you are interested in participating in the project as an interviewer or interviewee, or have suggestions on possible interviewees, contact the National Archives History Office: archives.historian@nara.gov

In 2017, Erik Moshe, an intern with the National Archives History Office—and veteran—conducted a series of oral history interviews with veteran National Archives employees which are available on the National Archives Veterans Oral Histories webpage

For oral history interviews related to the 1973 National Personnel Records Center fire, visit our NPRC fire anniversary page

We also collect and make available historical interviews conducted by staff such as ones by Philip C. Brooks, Sr. (1970s), Rod Ross (1980s), and the National Archives Assembly's Legacy Committee (2000s). 

Disclaimer: The views presented in these oral history interviews are those of the participants and not of the National Archives or the U.S. Government. 

National Archives History Office Interviews

Peggy Adams

Margaret "Peggy" Adams worked at the National Archives from 1987-2013. In her oral history, Ms. Adams talks about her time at the National Archives working with electronic records.

Sam Anthony

Sam Anthony began his career at the National Archives in 1991 in the Research Room of the National Archives Building in Washington, DC. In 1994 he moved to the National Archives library, then worked in public programs hosting the author lecture series and genealogy workshops from 1998 until 2005. In 2005 he became Special Assistant to the Archivist, working for Archivist Allen Weinstein, Acting Archivist Adrienne Thomas, and Archivist David S. Ferriero. Sam passed away in 2021.

Eugene L. Bialek

Eugene L. Bialek served as a volunteer staff aide for the National Archives Navy Maritime Unit at the National Archives in Washington, DC. Previously, Mr. Bialek worked as an oceanographer for the Navel Oceanographic Office at the Washington Navy Yard for 25 years. 

Rick Blondo

Rick Blondo’s National Archives career spanned nearly thirty years, from 1990 to 2019. His positions included appraisal archivist, education specialist, National Archives Building Renovation Management Team member, and Federal Records Storage Facility Standards compliance manager, among others. In his interview, Rick describes how earlier experiences and key mentors ultimately—and unwittingly—guided him to the National Archives, and how his skills and experience were used in sometimes unexpected ways. The interview focuses especially on the renovation of the National Archives Building in Washington, DC. 

Philip C. Brooks, Jr.

Philip C. Brooks, Jr. transferred to the National Archives in 1971 from the Smithsonian Institution where he began his career in archival and museum administration. Among his positions were Assistant to the Executive Director and Labor Relations Officer, Assistant to the Assistant Archivist for Public Programs, and Director of the Education Division. From 1983 until his retirement in 1996, Brooks served as a Senior Archives Specialist with the Office of Federal Records Centers. Brooks also served as an historian-archivist for the Presidential Inaugural Committee on three occasions.

Arlene Brown

After retiring from the federal government in 1988, Arlene Brown volunteered for the National Archives for nearly three decades. In her interview Brown discusses her work as a docent at the National Archives Museum in Washington, DC. 

Joyce Burner

Joyce Burner came to the National Archives in 2010 as an archivist after having worked as an intern, volunteer, contractor, and briefly as a student hire for the agency. In her interview Burner discusses her internships at the National Archives Central Plains Regional Archives and the Harry S. Truman Presidential Library; the move from the Bannister Road facility to Union Station; and her work at the National Archives at Kansas City. Burner retired from the National Archives in 2019.

Bruce Bustard

Bruce Bustard was a senior curator with the National Archives Exhibits staff in Washington, DC. He worked for the agency for over 30 years, starting as an archivist on April 1, 1985—the day the National Archives became an independent agency.  

Susan Cummings

Susan Cummings started her NARA career in 1994 at the Washington National Records Center in Suitland. During her time at the Archives she worked in various offices including the Policy and Planning staff, the Office of Regional Records Services, the Office of Records Services, Research Services, and Agency Services.

Alex “AJ” Daverede

After a career in the U.S. Navy, Alex Daverede came to the National Archives in 1996 as an archives technician in the Initial Processing and Declassification Division. After working with military records for many years and participating in the Career Intern Development System (CIDS), he became a supervisory archivist with the newly established National Declassification Center (NDC). Daverede retired in 2019 as NDC’s senior archivist.

William "Bill" Davis

Bill Davis started his 32 year career at the National Archives in the Legislative Diplomatic Branch working with State Department Records. After working in the Library and Printed Archives Branch and on the Archival Publication Staff he came to Legislative Archives in 1988 where he worked until his retirement in 2016. 

Michelle Dozier

Michelle Dozier came to the National Archives in 2001 as the Archives.gov team leader on the Web Program staff, and later became the Web Program Manager. She ended her NARA career in 2022 as the Chief of Staff in the Office of Innovation.

Nancy Fortna

Nancy Fortna started her career at the National Archives in 1987 as a Microfilm Operator in the Office of Federal Record Centers on K Street in Washington, DC. During her 27-years at the National Archives she held numerous positions including in the Professional Development and Training Office, and the Life Cycle Management Office. Nancy ended her NARA career in the Customer Services Section at Archives I where she helped develop the “Know Your Records” education program and the annual National Archives’ Genealogy Fair.

Benjamin Guterman

Benjamin "Ben" Guterman worked for the National Archives for 24 years. After starting as an intermittent student employee, Ben spent most of his career as a writer-editor working on various publications including Prologue magazine.

Doris Hamburg

Doris Hamburg was Director of Preservation Programs from 2001 until her retirement from the National Archives in 2016. In her oral history she discusses Preservation Programs at the National Archives and interesting projects she was involved with during her tenure.  

Michael L. Jackson

Michael L. Jackson was an Exhibit Designer at the National Archives from 1994-2014. In his oral history he explains his duties and responsibilities as an Exhibit Designer, as well as the major projects he was involved with during his time at the National Archives.

Marvin Kabakoff

Marvin Kabakoff left part-time teaching to start his career at the National Archives in 1977 at the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis. During his interview, Kabakoff discusses training, record centers, and decisions about permanent records, as well as the positives and negatives of sampling records.

David Kepley

David Kepley worked for the National Archives for 36 years and was chief of four different branches. In his interview, Kepley discusses the Archival Research Catalog (ARC), traces the origins and development of NARA’s Electronic Records Archives (ERA), and talks about NARA’s independence from GSA.

Daria Labinsky

Daria Labinsky was an archivist with the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and had previously worked as an archivist at the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis. In her interview, Daria discusses the National Archives Assembly, judging National History Day, and her archival projects at the Carter Library. She also reflects on the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on archival work.

Barbara Larsen 

Barbara Larsen devoted 10 years to NARA as a volunteer eventually working full time for 14 years at the National Archives at Kansas City. 

Alan Lowe

Alan Lowe began his career at the National Archives in 1989 at the Reagan Library. In his oral history Lowe discusses his career at the National Archives with Presidential Libraries, especially related to the Ronald Reagan, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and George W. Bush libraries. Lowe left the National Archives in 2016 for the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum.

Howard Lowell

Howard Lowell was the state archivist for Delaware and Oklahoma before coming to the National Archives in 2000 to be the Deputy Assistant Archivist for Records Services - Washington, DC. From 2007-2010, Lowell served as the agency's External Coordinator for Disaster Preparedness and Response. In his oral history, he discusses his time before coming to the National Archives, the agency’s records management program, and NARA’s disaster preparedness efforts.

Nancy Malan

Nancy Malan started her career at NARA in Still Pictures in 1968. She retired in 2006 after 38 years having worked in Public Programs, Central Reference, and the Regional Archives.

Edward “Ed” McCarter

Ed McCarter began his nearly 40-year career at the National Archives in 1975 as a student temp in the General Archives Division in Suitland, Maryland. From 1977 to 1980 he was an Archivist for the Office of Military Government, United States (OMGUS) Project in the General Archives Division. In 1980, he became an Archivist in the Still Pictures unit where he spent the remainder of his career. He retired in 2014 as the Chief of the Still Pictures Branch.

Richard McCulley

Richard McCulley was the first, and to date only, Historian at the Center for Legislative Archives at the National Archives in Washington, DC. In his oral history, Richard details his time as Center Historian and the evolution of the Center for Legislative Archives, from when he was hired in 1993 until just before his retirement in 2016. 

David McMillen

David McMillen was External Affairs Liaison at the National Archives from 2006-2013, and Special Assistant for the National Archives from 2013 until his retirement in 2017. Previous to coming to the National Archives David worked at the Census Bureau and on the Hill. 

Mary Ann McSweeney

Mary Ann McSweeney came to the National Archives in the early 1980s as a part-time, intermittent employee at the Southeast Regional Archives in Atlanta. In the mid-1980s she became a permanent staff member at the regional archives, and in 1999 she moved to the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library. In her oral history she talks about working at the regional archives, the Carter Library, and early digitization at the National Archives. McSweeney retired in 2021 with 35 years of federal service. 

Jennifer Nelson

Jennifer Nelson held numerous positions at the National Archives including Deputy Chief Operating Officer, Special Assistant to the Chief Operating Officer,  Acting Executive for Research Services, Director of Archival Programs in the Office of Regional Records Services, and Web Program Director in Policy and Communications, among others. 

Chuck Piercy

Chuck Piercy was at the National Archives for seven years (2008-2015) holding the positions of Deputy Chief Information Officer, Acting Chief Information Officer, and Executive for Business Support Services. In his interview he talks about his time at the National Archives with particular attention to electronic records. 

Marvin Pinkert

Marvin Pinkert was the Director of Museum Programs for 11 years starting in December 2000 to oversee the re-encasement of the Charters of Freedom and manage the creation of the National Archives Experience, which culminated with the creation of the permanent exhibit The Public Vaults and the opening of the McGowan Theater.

Mary Lynn Ritzenthaler

Mary Lynn Ritzenthaler began working as a senior conservator in the National Archives conservation lab in 1985, and retired as its chief in 2016. Her interview covers her role in caring for the Declaration, Constitution, and Bill of Rights (collectively known as the Charters of Freedom) including the Charters re-casement project; the Iraqi Jewish Archives; and changes in the conservation lab over the course of her 30-year career.

Rod Ross

Rod Ross came to the National Archives in 1977 as an archives technician for the Office of Presidential Libraries. He was an archivist for the Nixon Presidential Materials Project from 1978-83, the White House Liaison Office from 1983-84, and the Washington National Records Center in Suitland from 1984-86. While in Suitland, Ross led the National Archives Oral History Project from 1985-86. After two years as a supervisory archivist in the Library and Printed Archives Branch, Ross moved to the Center for Legislative Archives where he worked as an archivist until his retirement in 2017.

John Scroggins

John Scroggins began his 36-year career with the National Archives in 1962 as a student trainee at the Military Personnel Records Center in St. Louis. Over the years he held numerous positions in Washington, DC, and in the field. When he retired in 1998, he was Special Assistant to the Assistant Archivist for Human Resources and Information Services.

William “Bill” Seibert

William “Bill” Seibert was a Senior Archivist and Chief of Archival Operations at the National Archives at St. Louis when he retired in 2017. Seibert began working for the National Personnel Records Center in 1978, after serving in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War. After completing Career in Development Status (CIDS) training, he became Chief of a Correspondence Section in the Records Reconstruction Branch, which handles records damaged in the NPRC’s 1973 fire. He held several other positions in the NPRC. When NARA established a preservation program in St. Louis, in 2000, Seibert was named Preservation Officer and tasked with setting up that unit, staffing it and developing the preservation labs. When the National Archives of St. Louis was established, in 2004, he became the Chief of Archival Operations. In addition to describing notable events in his career, this oral history discusses Seibert’s involvement in NARA’s momentous decision to make late 19th and 20th century Official Military and Civilian Personnel Files permanent records, which vastly increased the agency’s holdings.

Keith Shuler

Keith Shuler joined the National Archives in November 1985 as an “intermittent employee” at the work-in-progress Jimmy Carter Presidential Library, while finishing up a masters’ degree in history at Georgia State University. He became a full-time archives technician in 1987 and an archivist in 1989. Before joining NARA he served in the U.S. Army, 101st Airborne Division, at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, mustering out as a second lieutenant. Shuler discusses his military career, the early days of the Carter Library, various facets of his tenure as an archivist, and how the COVID-19 pandemic affected his work. He still worked for the library at the time of the interview in 2021.

Joseph “Joe” Suster

Joseph “Joe” Suster began working as a GS-2 archives aid at the Chicago Federal Records Center in 1978. After passing the civil service exam, he was hired full time as an archives technician, then was chosen for the Career Intern Development System (CIDS) program in 1979. Upon completion, he worked as a quality control auditor at the Washington National Records Center. In August 1983 he returned to the Chicago FRC and served as a service branch chief, then as appraisal and disposition branch chief. In September 1999 he became the Director of the Great Lakes Region’s Records Management Program. From January 2002 to August 2003, he served a detail as the Assistant Regional Administrator for the Great Lakes Region. When the detail ended, he returned to his director’s position, remaining there until 2011, when a NARA reorganization led to his becoming a senior records analyst, focused on training and on creating instructional materials. Suster retired in September 2019. This interview discusses the different jobs he held, and how the records management program at NARA has changed over the years

Tasha Thain

Tasha Thain was the Director of NARA's Corporate Records Management for two years, from June 2014 - June 2016. She worked in records management for 18 years prior to coming to NARA.

Ken Thibodeau

Ken Thibodeau worked for the National Archives for 22 years. He began his career in 1975 working in the Machine-Readable Archives Division and, later, he was Director of the Electronic Records Archives (ERA) program from its inception in 1998. He also led the effort to implement the George W. Bush Presidential Library's electronic record system. 

Stanley "Stan" Tozeski

Stanley "Stan" Tozeski worked for the National Archives at Boston for 24 years. He worked as an archivist and especially enjoyed working on the military and court records and was later general assistant to Jim Owens. 

Don Wilson

Don Wilson started his National Archives career at the Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library and in 1981 became the first Director of the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library. In 1987 President Ronald Reagan nominated and the U.S. Senate confirmed Wilson to be the first Archivist of the United States after the National Archives regained its independent agency status in 1985.

James “Jim” Zeender

Jim Zeender first came to the National Archives in 1979, and after leaving for three years returned to the Office of Presidential Libraries. He became an exhibit registrar in 1985, a position he held until his retirement in 2020. In his oral history he talks about his 35 years working on National Archives exhibits and document loans.

Rod Ross Interviews

Rod RossIn November 1984, Archivist of the United States Robert Warner appointed archivist Rod Ross to conduct oral histories to document the agency's General Services Administration (GSA) years, 1949–1985.

Ross completed 22 interviews with former National Archives and Records Service (NARS) employees as well as individuals outside the agency who had been instrumental in securing independence from GSA. In addition, Ross "grandmothered" into the collection a 1982 interview with longtime and beloved employee Sara Jackson

Transcripts were not made for most of the interviews but instead we have summaries (with the exception of the interviews for James Rhoads and Harold T. Pinkett which we have fully transcribed). As we scan the summaries they will be available on this web page. The original audio recordings are in RG 64 (Records of the National Archives) with the Motion Picture, Sound, and Video unit.

Robert H. Bahmer

Robert H. Bahmer was the fourth Archivist of the United States. Ross interviewed Bahmer on November 6, 1985, at the National Archives Building in Washington, DC. 

Charlene Bickford

Charlene Bickford started at the National Archives in 1967 and moved to the First Federal Congress Project five years later. In the interview, Bickford discusses NARA’s independence from General Services Administration (GSA), the Emergency Committee to Preserve the National Archives, the Coalition to Save our Documentary Heritage, and the First Federal Congress Project.

John Porter Bloom

From 1962 until December 1, 1980, John Porter Bloom served as head of the Territorial Papers project at the National Archives. After Bloom left the National Archives he became a freelance historian. The interview concentrates mostly on Bloom’s work with the Territorial Papers project.

Mary Ann Chaffee

At the time of the interview, Mary Ann Chaffee was an examiner with the Division of Economics and Government of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). In her interview, she discusses OMB’s involvement in the split between the General Services Administration (GSA) and the National Archives.

Stephen M. Daniels

Stephen Daniels was on the Republican staff of the House Government Operations Committee. In his interview, Daniels discusses the legislation in the House and Senate regarding the independence of the National Archives as well as the oppositions from the Internal Revenue Service and the Justice Department.

Stanley Falk

Stanley Falk was a federal historian. Falk discusses his involvement with Page Putnam Miller in regards to the Archives independence bill. Also discussed is Falk’s career as an Air Force Chief Historian.

James L. Gear

James L. Gear was a chemist in the National Archives Document Preservation Branch. Ross interviewed Gear on April 16, 1985, at Gear's home in Annandale, Virginia. 

Dorothy Hill Gersack

Dorothy Hill Gersack began her National Archives career in 1936 in the Division of Cataloging. She worked in numerous units until she retired in 1975 while working in the Records Disposition Division of the Office of Federal Records Centers. Note: Her oral history was conducted by Kathryn Murphy in 1982 and transcribed by Rod Ross.

Edward Gleiman

Edward Gleiman was a counsel for the Subcommittee on Government Information, Agriculture and Justice of the Government Operations Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives. In his oral history he discusses the Presidential Records Act of 1978 and the independence of the National Archives from GSA.

Gerald Haines 

Gerald Haines was an archivist from 1974 to 1984 in the Diplomatic Branch of the National Archives. He later worked for the National Security Agency as a historian. Haines discusses the Emergency Committee to Save the National Archives in response to Admiral Freeman’s efforts of decentralization. He also discusses the differences of attitudes between archivists and senior management, journeyman archivists versus subject specialists, as well as the role of the National Archives Assembly.

Leroy Harvey

Leroy Harvey worked from many years at the Records Center in Alexandria, Virginia, and later at the Washington National Records Center in Suitland, Maryland. Ross interviewed Harvey at Harvey's home in Silver Spring, Maryland. 

Sara Jackson

Sara Jackson was a longtime National Archives employee who worked in various capacities including for the Military Archives Division and the National Historical Publications & Records Commission. Ross interviewed Jackson on July 5, 1982, at her home in Washington, DC. 

Robert McConnell

Robert McConnell served as Assistant Attorney General for Legislative Affairs. McConnell discusses the independence of the National Archives from GSA, particularly the Justice Department’s opposition.

Page Putnam Miller

Page Putnam Miller was the director of the National Coordinating Committee for the Promotion of History (NCC). Miller was very involved in the independence movement of the National Archives and discusses this along with other individuals involved in the movement.

Marion Morris

Marion Morris was the staff assistant for Senator Charles McCurdy Mathias on the Subcommittee on Governmental Efficiency and the District of Columbia, which is a subcommittee of the Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs. Morris discusses Senators Mathias, Mark Hatfield, and Thomas Eagleton’s collective role in the National Archives independence movement and the atmosphere on the night of passage of S. 905, the National Archives and Records Administration Act.

John Parisi

John Parisi served as minority counsel on the Subcommittee on Government Information, Justice and Agriculture of the House Government Operations Committee. In his interview, Parisi discusses the issue of the National Archives’ independence in relation to Representative Thomas Kindness and Representative Frank Horton.

Thomas Persky

Thomas Persky worked for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) as the Commissioner’s Assistant for Legislative Liaison. In his interview, Persky discusses the independence of the National Archives specifically regarding the concerns of the IRS.

Harold Pinkett

Harold T. Pinkett was hired in 1942 as the first African American archivist at the National Archives. In his oral history interview, Pinkett discusses his long career at the National Archives and affiliations with several historical and archival organizations. After serving in World War II, he returned to the National Archives to work in records description, particularly with Department of Agriculture records. Among the records in that department were the Forest Service records, which included records on Gifford Pinchot, the first chief of the U.S. Forest Service. Pinkett wrote his doctoral dissertation on Pinchot, earning his PhD in 1953. During the latter part of his archival career, Pinkett was editor of the American Archivist from 1968-1971 and chief of the Legislative and Natural Resources Branch. Pinkett retired from the National Archives in 1979, and passed away in 2001.

James "Bert" Rhoads

James Berton "Bert" Rhoads was the fifth Archivist of the United States. Ross interviewed Rhoads on December 29, 1984, in Chicago at the Hyatt Regency in Illinois Center at the 99th annual meeting of the American Historical Association.

Ira Shapiro

At the time of the interview, Ira Shapiro was an administrative assistant to Senator Jay Rockefeller, but previously was an assistant for Senators Gaylord Nelson and Thomas Eagleton. In his interview, Shapiro discusses his work for Senator Eagleton on Archives independence. Also discussed are the Presidential Records Act of 1978 and the National Archives and Records Administration Act of 1984.

James "Jimmy" Dent Walker

James “Jimmy” Dent Walker was a well-known genealogical consultant at the National Archives. He was particularly noted for his knowledge of military and pension records, and his ability to uncover sources important to African American genealogy. Ross interviewed Walker on March 27, 1985, at the DAR Building in Washington, DC. 

Gordon Wheeler

Gordon Wheeler worked for the Legislative Affairs Office within the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). He provided perspective on the Archives independence from OMB and his experience working in OMB’s Legislative Reference Division.

National Archives Assembly's Legacy Project

From 2005-2014 the National Archives Assembly (NAA)—a professional organization of past and present Archives employees—undertook the Legacy Project. The project collected oral history interviews of nearly 40 NARA staff and donated them to the National Archives. Please note these transcripts were made by NAA volunteers and may contain minor spelling and editorial errors. 

Barbara O'Neil Brett

Barbara O'Neil Brett started with the National Archives in February of 1975 as an Archives Technician in the Declassification Division. During the interview, O’Neil Brett discusses her career with other agencies in the Federal Government and her return to NARA. Also discussed are her experience working in the federal government as a woman, her work in Declassification Division, Machine-Readable Archives Division and in Customer Service.

Thomas Elton Brown

Thomas Elton Brown discusses his career that started in 1976 with the Machine-Readable Branch and his time in administrative staff. As part of his work, he describes the changes to the CIDS program as well as training and qualifications for archivists. Also discussed is the Electronic and Special Media Records Services Division.

Anne Eales 

Anne Eales originally came to the National Archives as a part-time employee in the Still Pictures Branch. She soon moved to the Archival Publications staff as a publications specialist where she worked on a number of projects including the Guide to Genealogical Research in the National Archives and the Guide to Federal Records in the National Archives. She also worked on a major description project for RG 64, Records of the National Archives. Eales retired from the National Archives in 2006 after 14 years of service.

Fynnette Eaton

Fynnette Eaton was the Change Management Officer for the Electronic Records Archives Program (ERA) at the National Archives. She was interviewed in 2008.

Frank Evans

Frank Evans first came to the National Archives in 1963. He held numerous positions within the National Archives, in addition to working eight years for UNESCO (1976-1984). Evans returned to the National Archives in 1984 and retired in 1995 as Deputy Assistant Archivist for Records Administration. He was interviewed in 2006.  

Meyer Fishbein

Meyer Fishbein worked at the National Archives for nearly 40 years, from 1940-1980 with a break when he served in World War II. Fishbein is most notable for recognizing the value of machine-readable records (now known as electronic records). 

Cynthia “Cindi” Fox

Cynthia “Cindi” Fox began her career at the National Archives in January 1979 as a cooperative education (COOP) intern and became a permanent employee in January 1980 as a Career Intern Development System (CIDS) archivist. She worked as a reference and projects archivist and appraiser in several departments, then held various management positions: Staff Development Officer for the Office of National Archives (1987-1989), Director of the Administrative staff for the office (1989-93), Director of Preservation for the agency (1993-95), and Chief of the Old Military and Civil Records Unit (later Archives I Textual Unit) (1995-2010). She retired in January 2010. In the interview, Fox discusses her career and how NARA changed during her tenure.

Rose Gabel

Rose Gabel started at the National Archives in 1970 doing secretarial work in the Public Affairs Office. Discussed are the changes in secretarial work and the differences between Archives I and Archives II. Gabel also discusses 9/11 and the riots in DC in 1968.

Judy Koucky

In her oral history Judy Koucky talks about her early career with the Society of American Archivists. She started at the National Archives in 1974. She discusses her work in Record Group administration including decisions about Record Groups and breaking Record Groups apart to form separate ones.

Michael Kurtz

Michael Kurtz started at the National Archives in 1974 in Records Declassification. Discussed is the formation of the National Declassification Center, work at Suitland, the move to Archives II, the independence of that National Archives from GSA, along with the differences in administration between the different Archivists of the United States.

Robert Kvasnicka

Robert Kvasnicka started at the National Archives in 1957. Kvasnicka discusses the creation of guides, preliminary inventories, and the Indian-White Relations Conference held at the National Archives. Also discussed is Kvasnicka’s experience describing records and providing reference services.

J. William Leonard

J. William Leonard was the Director of the Information Security Oversight Office (ISOO). Leonard discusses records withdrawn from the National Archives, and the protocols put in place for agencies to withdraw records. He also discusses his career at the Department of Defense (DoD) and classification of records, especially in relation to post 9/11 Commission records.

Michael “Mike” McReynolds

Mike McReynolds was at the National Archives for 32 years, working in reference and ending his career as the Deputy Director of the Center for Legislative Archives. McReynolds discusses training, FBI records, and the start of the Legislative Division.

Tim Mulligan

In his oral history Tim Mulligan discusses his 34-year career at the National Archives including his work on the Captured German Record materials.

Virginia Purdy

Virginia Purdy started at the National Archives as the Director of Popular Publications and Exhibitions in the Education Programs department. In her oral history Purdy discusses the Women’s History Conference, the National Archives Assembly, and the Society of American Archivists. 

John Taylor 

John Taylor was a long-time archivist who started his career at NARA in 1945 in the War Records Office becoming the de facto expert on World War II military intelligence records. He worked at NARA for 63 years until his death in 2008.

Adrienne C. Thomas

Adrienne C. Thomas began her career with the National Archives in 1970 as an archivist trainee in the Office of Presidential Libraries, after graduating from Iowa State University with a M.A. in American history. She worked for two-and-a-half years with the Office of Presidential Libraries, and for four years as an assistant to Deputy Archivist (later Acting Archivist) James O’Neill. Thomas subsequently served as the Director of Planning and Analysis, in which role she helped the National Archives become an independent agency in 1985 after its split from the General Services Administration. After 10 years, Thomas became the Deputy to the Assistant Archivist for Administration. From December 2007 to December 2008 she was Deputy Archivist of the United States, and from December 2008 to November 2009, Thomas served as Acting Archivist of the United States. After nearly 41 years of service, Thomas retired from the National Archives on April 1, 2011. To honor Thomas’s service to the National Archives, the Adrienne C. Thomas Auditorium at the National Archives in College Park was dedicated on March 21, 2011. Thomas passed away on March 29, 2021.

Richard Wood 

Richard Wood began working for the Washington National Records Center in Suitland, Maryland in 1977 for the General Archives Division. He focused on projects and records appraisal helping to establish and formalize accessioning procedures.