National Archives Publishes New Guide to WWII Records
Press Release · Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Washington, DC…The National Archives announces publication of World War II: Guide to Records Relating to U.S. Military Participation compiled by retired staff archivist and subject specialist Timothy P. Mulligan. Dr. Mulligan has prepared eight previous guides and other finding aids to captured German and related records and is the author of three books, as well as more than 15 articles on World War II subjects.

Published in two volumes, this important new guide represents the most comprehensive and detailed finding aid to World War II source materials in the custody of the National Archives of the United States. These include records of:

  • Combined Allied staffs and organizations

  • U.S. Army and Navy administrative and operational headquarters, logistical and technical services, and field commands (including Army Air Forces headquarters and commands)

  • Some civilian agencies involved in war production, scientific research and development, and intelligence collection and evaluation

Descriptions of records extend to the series level, with examples given of specific documents. Although these materials emphasize the period December 1941 through September 1945, extensive documentation of the interwar and pre–Pearl Harbor period is also included. The guide also identifies, where such information is available, pertinent Federal records still in agency custody, and locations of other closely related materials—for example, personal papers of key figures.

Information is organized by subject in chapters reflecting aspects of the U.S. wartime effort. Topics include planning and strategy; administering the defense establishment; mobilization and training; armaments production and procurement; guarding the home base; support and services; contributions of science and technology; intelligence; the wars at sea and in the air; military operations in the European, Mediterranean, and Pacific/Asiatic Theaters; and prosecution of war crimes.

The book supplements the two-volume guide published by the National Archives in 1950, Federal Records of World War II, in particular volume II, Military Agencies, which is out of print. Where Federal Records of World War II emphasized the functions and activities of specific agencies and subordinate offices to describe records created during the war, the new guide focuses on the permanently valuable records that have been transferred to the National Archives.

The 1,088-page two-volume set is available in hardcover for $75 (plus shipping and handling) from the National Archives Trust Fund, eStore.

About the National Archives

The National Archives and Records Administration (, an independent Federal agency, is the nation's record keeper. Founded in 1934, its mission is unique —to serve American democracy by safeguarding and preserving the records of our Government, ensuring that the people can discover, use, and learn from this documentary heritage. We ensure continuing access to the essential documentation of the rights of American citizens and the actions of their government. We support democracy, promote civic education, and facilitate historical understanding of our national experience. The National Archives meets a wide range of information needs, among them helping people to trace their families' history, making it possible for veterans to prove their entitlement to medical and other benefits, and preserving original White House records. The National Archives carries out its mission through a nationwide network of archives, records centers, and Presidential Libraries and on the Internet at

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For media information, contact the National Archives Public Affairs Staff at 202-357-5300.


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