Press Release nr97-52
Press Release · Friday, May 2, 1997

Washington, DC

Press Release
May 2, 1997
National Archives and Records Administration Launches Electronic Access Project

College Park, MD—The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) is making it easier than ever for people to find and use documents from its collections. The Electronic Access Project, funded through the support of Senator Bob Kerrey of Nebraska, will enable anyone, anywhere, with a computer connected to the Internet to search descriptions of NARA's nationwide holdings and view digital copies of its most popular documents.

The project, still in the developmental phase, will eventually result in a virtual card catalog of all NARA holdings nationwide, including those in the Presidential libraries and regional archives. In addition, copies of more than 100,000 of NARA's most popular and significant manuscripts, photographs, sound recordings, maps, drawings and other documents will be digitized and available for researchers to view online. Users will be able to search the descriptions in the system by title, subject, date, or other keywords.

Among the select items to be digitized this summer from NARA's collections are:

  • Presidential documents, including World War II-era correspondence between Franklin D. Roosevelt and Joseph Stalin; Dwight D. Eisenhower's speech to troops before the D-day invasion and his "In Case of Failure" message;

  • Historic Senate, House and Joint Committees of Congress documents, including the original manuscript of George Washington's first inaugural address; a private claim filed by Harriet Tubman; credentials of various senators; the text of Franklin D. Roosevelt's Day of Infamy Speech; the original manuscript of the U.S. Judiciary Act of 1789; the Articles of Amendment to the Constitution; Thomas Jefferson's September 2, 1803, message to the Senate regarding the Louisiana Purchase; the House and Senate copies of the Missouri Compromise bill and petitions from Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony and Lucy Stone regarding universal suffrage;

  • Maps of Civil War battles, Western exploration, and sale of the Public Domain;

  • Architectural drawings of Federal court houses, post offices and custom houses throughout the United States;

  • Exhibits and briefings from district court case files, including U.S. v. Julius and Ethel Rosenberg and U.S. v. Susan B. Anthony;

  • Panoramic photographs of national forests; examples of Lewis Hine's work for the National Child Labor Committee; John K. Hillers, Jr.'s images of American Indian delegations and villages; Mathew Brady's photographs of the Civil War personalities and scenes; Dorothea Lange's photographs of War Relocation Authority internees and Ansel Adams's photographs of National Parks and Monuments;

  • Artwork and sketches such as Charles Alston's drawings of famous African Americans;

  • Audio recordings of Booker T. Washington's 1906 Atlanta Exposition Address, "The American Negro"; William Jennings Bryan's 1896 "Cross of Gold" speech, and an interview with Amelia Earhart on aviation and women in the modern world.

    NARA recently selected DoxSys, Inc., of Bethesda, Maryland, as the contractor for digitizing the select images. The work will be done over the next two years by Micrographic Specialties, Inc., of Beltsville, Maryland, a subcontractor to DoxSys.

    Universal Hi-Tech Development, Inc., of Rockville Maryland, was selected as the contractor for the catalog. The subcontractors will be Progressive Technology Federal Systems, Inc., of Bethesda and the Virginia Tech Library System, Inc., of Blacksburg, Virginia.

    A prototype of the catalog can be accessed through NARA's home page on the Internet at Other research aids and general information about NARA can be accessed through the main home page at

    For additional PRESS information, please contact the National Archives Public Affairs staff at (301) 837-1700 or by e-mail at Visit the National Archives Home Page on the World Wide Web at


  • This page was last reviewed on August 15, 2016.
    Contact us with questions or comments.