National Archives News

Virtual Programs Newsletter

Issue #5, May 19, 2020

A Message from the Archivist of the United States

refer to caption

David S. Ferriero

This week's edition of our newsletter offers more fascinating glimpses into our country's history, allowing you to connect directly with records from our past.

As we approach Memorial Day, you can look through military casualty files for information about family members or friends who made the ultimate sacrifice for our nation. You can also gain perspective on current events by visiting our online exhibit on the 1918 flu pandemic.

If you're interested in finding out who lived in your house before you did, the History Hub can help. You can also watch the late historian Ira Berlin speak in a 2016 public program about the demise of slavery.

We hope you find this edition informative and entertaining as we continue to take measures to stay safe and combat the coronavirus.

Reindeer Records, Teacher Training, and Ike

Even though our research rooms, museums, and Presidential Libraries are closed due to the health crisis, many of our resources are available online. Our staff put together a new selection of activities accessible from home.

Citizen Archivist Missions

Dept of Agriculture letterHunting and Fishing Correspondence, 1934–53
Join us for our latest Citizen Archivist mission and help us transcribe Alaska Reindeer Service correspondence relating to hunting and fishing; letters regarding open and closed seasons for various fur-bearing animals and fishing areas; fish trap licenses; and other regulatory and legal matters.

Register and Get Started and find other missions on our Citizen Archivist Dashboard.

Research Family History

US Soldiers in VietnamThe Defense Casualty Analysis System (DCAS) Files document military casualties from June 28, 1950, to December 31, 2006. Search these files by service member name, birth date, or home of record to locate individuals and document illness or injury. If researching broader statistics, search by conflict or casualty category. Results are retrievable immediately online.


From the Catalog

Criminal docket book coverU.S. District Court for the Eastern (Chicago) Division of the Northern District of Illinois. Criminal Dockets, 1880–1980

Records newly added to the Catalog from the National Archives at Chicago include these Criminal Dockets from Record Group 21: Records for the District Courts of the United States. The records consist of lists that summarize the proceedings in criminal prosecutions. The defendants were persons and, in some instances, companies that allegedly violated federal criminal laws in northeastern Illinois.


Question of the Week

History Hub"How do I find out the history of who lived in my house?"

See the answer to our Question of the Week on History Hub, our crowdsourced platform for history and genealogical research where anyone can ask questions and get answers from archivists and other community members.

Featured Exhibit

Police during 1918 flu pandemicWe often look to the past to understand the present. The current COVID-19 pandemic has been compared with past infectious disease outbreaks like the 1918 flu epidemic. Visit the online exhibit The Deadly Virus: The Influenza Epidemic of 1918 to explore documents and photographs from National Archives locations around the country.


Education Spotlight

Docs Teach graphicOur mini-webinars show educators and parents how to use—the online tool for teaching with documents from the National Archives—for online learning. Each 20-minute session highlights a different aspect, including locating documents and finding and creating online activities. Join us for our upcoming live programs or watch our recordings.


Public Programs

From February 10, 2016, here is the late historian, professor, and author Ira Berlin (1941–2018) speaking on his final book, The Long Emancipation: The Demise of Slavery in the United States.

Research Services

Post Office letterPost Office Reports of Site Locations, 1837–1950, are a great resource for researching community history, and are fully digitized and available in our Catalog. The content of each report varies, but most include basic information on the post office and surrounding area. You might also find information such as the exact location of the post office and nearest railroads and rivers. 

Image: From the Office of the Postmaster, in the National Archives Catalog, image 4)


Featured Presidential Library

Dwight Eisenhwer and Mamie EisenhowerVisit Ike & Mamie today with your virtual visit to the Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum.

Watch our newest video, A Window to the Past for a glimpse at life inside the Eisenhower boyhood home.

Stop by the education area for distance learning opportunities and some fun activities including puzzles and coloring pages.

Find us at @IkeLibrary on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube, or

MoPix Video Selection

Torpedo Squadron No. 8, made by John Ford, honors the men of VT-8 from the USS Hornet, which lost 29 of 30 members in the Battle of Midway. Assembled from footage shot of the men prior to the attack, it was made for the families of the lost squadron members. Read about this film and others by Ford in NARA’s Unwritten Record blog.

This past week was the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 13 mission. Featured from the National Archives’ YouTube Channel is "Apollo 13 Astronauts Lovell and Haise KC-135 Training." Thousands of films from the Apollo program can be searched in the National Archives Catalog. Also see the newly developed website Apollo 13 in Real Time, featuring recently digitized mission audio recordings from the National Archives.

Pop-up Displays Available

The National Archives, in partnership with the Women’s Suffrage Centennial Commission (WSCC), is sharing the story of women’s fight for their right to vote with Americans across the country. The National Archives is providing 2,500 free pop-up displays, titled Rightfully Hers, to cultural institutions nationwide in honor of the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment and women’s constitutional right to vote. Organizations or venues interested in ordering a popup display can sign up here or send questions to Read more on

Featured News Story

Archivist at Arlington Cemetery time capsuleDavid S. Ferriero, Archivist of the United States, views contents from the Memorial Amphitheater time capsule at Arlington National Cemetery. The box, placed in the Memorial Amphitheater cornerstone over a century ago, was opened April 9, 2020. Read more on National Archives News.
Credit: U.S. Army photo by Elizabeth Fraser / Arlington National Cemetery.

Visit the Online Store

Hamilton jacketThe National Archives Store has our cozy Hamilton hoodies.

Shop today and snap up some of our most popular items—they won't last!