About the National Archives

Prepared remarks of Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero in introducing a lecture, "Veterans and the Psychological Impact of War." National Archives Building, Washington, DC.

Who is the Archivist?

David S. Ferriero

David S. Ferriero The Archivist of the United States is the head of our agency, appointed by the President of the United States.

The AOTUS Blog
What's an Archivist?

November 19, 2010

Good afternoon. I am David Ferriero, Archivist of the United States. Welcome to the National Archives for today’s lecture by Dr. Stephen Goldman.

Before we begin, I’d like to mention two programs that will take place here in the William G. McGowan Theater in early December.

On December 2, a panel will discuss “Lincoln and Haiti: Colonization and Haitian Recognition During the Civil War,” touching on Lincoln’s interest in colonization and emancipation, and how the Haiti colonization project influenced the decision to extend U.S. diplomatic recognition to Haiti in 1862.

And on December 9, we welcome David Eisenhower and Julie Nixon Eisenhower to talk about their new book, Going Home to Glory: A Memoir of Life with Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1961–1969.

Both of these events begin at 7:00 p.m.

To learn more about these and all of our public programs and exhibits, consult our monthly Calendar of Events. There are copies in the lobby—along with a sign-up sheet so you can receive the Calendar by regular mail or e-mail. You’ll also find brochures about other National Archives programs and activities.

Another way to get more involved in the National Archives is to become a member of the Foundation for the National Archives. The Foundation supports the work of the agency, especially its education and outreach programs. Pick up your application for membership in the lobby.

And last—visit the Archives Shop one floor up or through Archives.gov. You’ll find an assortment of products and publications relating to the National Archives and its holdings.

Today’s subject is of personal interest to me. As a Navy hospital corpsman during the Vietnam War I was trained as a psychiatric technician, working with soldiers and sailors and Marines in three stateside Naval Hospitals, the first medical battalion of the First Marine Division in DaNang, and aboard the U.S.S. Sanctuary in the waters off Vietnam. 

As our current exhibit “Discovering the Civil War” shows us, the consequences of the war were transformative for Americans—particularly for those who saw the war firsthand as soldiers.

At a time when the entire population of the United States was just over 30 million people, more than 3 million served in the armed forces of the Union and the Confederacy. When the four years of bloody conflict was finally over, the veterans’ experiences were woven into their personal lives and into their communities.

Today’s author combines his professional expertise and experience with an abiding interest in the Civil War.

Dr. Stephen A. Goldman is an international consultant in medical product safety and has published extensively on such topics as medical ethics, psychiatric illness secondary to medical/neurological causation, drug-induced disease, medical education and risk communication.

He is an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, a Diplomate of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, Fellow of the Academy of Psychosomatic Medicine, and Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association.

That’s the professional side. He is also a two-time past president of the North Jersey Civil War Round Table, serves on the Abraham Lincoln Institute Board of Directors, and leads a monthly Civil War book group.

Dr. Goldman is currently at work on a book about Union soldiers, focusing on the impact of combat and military service on veterans’ lives. He has extensively used pension files here at the National Archives and collections at the Library of Congress to reconstruct the wartime and postwar lives of a group of Union soldiers, documenting how service—and combat service, in particular—shaped their own lives and the political life of the nation.

Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Stephen Goldman.