Finding Aids: Reference Information Paper 78 preface
A Finding Aid to Records Relating to Personal Participation in World War II ("The American Soldier" Surveys)
Table of Contents
This revised version of Reference Information Paper 78, Records Relating to Personal Participation in World War II: "The American Soldier" Surveys, is one of a series begun by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) more than fifty years ago. The format and style of papers like this one have varied over the years, but they generally consist of an introduction that places the topic in context of Federal recordkeeping, followed by sections that describe and discuss specific pertinent records. The papers are part of a program that helps people inspect for themselves the record of what government has done and hold officials accountable for those actions.
NARA's descriptive program comprises a variety of information products. These include inventories, lists, guides, and reference information papers that, increasingly, are being made available to researchers in electronic as well as paper-based formats. Information products of particular interest to users of this reference information paper include: Audiovisual Records in the National Archives of the United States Relating to World War II (Reference Information Paper 70, 1992); World War II Records in the Cartographic and Architectural unit of the National Archives (Reference Information Paper 79, 1992); Records Relating to Personal Participation in World War II: American Prisoners of War and Civilian Internees (Reference Information Paper 80, 1992); Records Relating to Personal Participation in World War II: American Military Casualties and Burials (Reference Information Paper 82, 1993); Records Relating to American Prisoners of War and Missing in Action from the Vietnam Era, 1960-1994 (Reference Information Paper 90, 1995); Records Relating to American Prisoners of War and Missing-in-Action Personnel from the Korean War and During the Cold War Era (Reference Information Paper 102, 1997); Guide to Records Relating to U.S. Military Participation in World War II, Part I: Policy, Planning, Administration (1996); and American Women and the U.S. Armed Forces: A Guide to the Records of Military Agencies in the National Archives Relating to American Women (1992). A comprehensive source of information about the archival holdings of NARA is the Guide to Federal Records in the National Archives of the United States (1995). The text of that guide can be browsed electronically by accessing NARA's Web site at http://www.archives.gov. Other online resources available at this URL include NARA's Online Catalog, a database of descriptions of selected holdings. The database includes, in particular, citations to many audiovisual resources relating to World War II.
NARA's mission is to ensure ready access to essential evidence that documents the rights of American citizens, the actions of Federal officials, and the national experience. We hope that all of our information products will help citizens to more easily use the resources held in trust for them, and we welcome suggestions for ways to enhance our services.
John W. Carlin
Archivist of the United States
Web version prepared 1999. Additions and changes incorporated in the Web version are between brackets  and in italics.