Press Release
Press Release · Friday, October 17, 1997

Press Release
October 17, 1997
National Archives Digitized Images Available on Internet

College Park, MD. . . Archivist of the United States John W. Carlin announced today that the first group of digitized images of some of the National Archives and Records Administration’s (NARA’s) most significant documents are now available to the public through the Internet. As part of NARA’s Electronic Access Project, these 5,300 documents are the first of approximately 120,000 items that will be digitized and available electronically over the next year. In making the announcement, the Archivist said, "The Electronic Access Project 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 is funded by the U.S. Congress with the support of Senator Bob Kerrey of Nebraska who said, "This is an exciting technological advancement that will bring the valuable resources of the National Archives into homes and schools across the nation."

The digitized materials including photographs, drawings, maps, charts and textual documents, can be accessed on the World Wide Web through the NARA ARCHIVAL INFORMATION LOCATOR (NAIL). Additional documents will be added to NAIL monthly through April 1999.

Highlights of the newly digitized materials include:

  • Watercolor sketches by John J. Young from a 1859 exploration of the Utah territory
  • Civil War maps, plans, engineering drawings, diagrams, blueprints and sketches of forts
  • Civil War photographs by Mathew Brady, Alexander Gardner and George N. Barnard
  • Photographs of civil works projects in northwestern states, 1900-52;
  • Groundbreaking photographs by Lewis Hine documenting child labor abuses for the National Child Labor Committee, 1908-12;
  • Photographs and documents from a 1921 survey of Blackfeet Indians;
  • Original sketches drawn by artist Charles Alston to highlight the participation of African Americans during World War II;
  • Photographs of the Kennedy White House;
  • Environmental Protection Agency photographs of environmental issues of the 1970's;
  • United States Information Agency reports on U.S. involvement in the war in Vietnam and on the impact of race relations in the U.S. on American foreign policy.

    The documents are from NARA units across the country: the Cartographic and Architectural Branch, Textual Reference Branch, and Still Picture Branch in College Park, MD; the Rocky Mountain Region in Denver, CO; the Pacific Alaska Region in Seattle, WA; and the John Fitzgerald Kennedy Library in Boston, MA. Documents from other units will be included as other groups of materials are digitized.

    DoxSys, Inc., of Bethesda, Maryland, is the contractor for digitizing the documents. The work is being done by Micrographic Specialties, Inc., of Beltsville, Maryland, a subcontractor to DoxSys.

    For additional PRESS information, please contact the National Archives Public Affairs staff at (301) 837-1700 or e-mail


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