Finding Aids: Reference Information Paper 90 Preface

Reference Information Paper 90

A Finding Aid to Records Relating to American Prisoners of War and Missing in Action from the Vietnam War Era, 1960-1994

Table of Contents


This reference information paper covering Records Relating to Prisoners of War and Missing in Action from the Vietnam War is the latest in a series that was begun by the National Archives more than fifty years ago. 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. 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 the context of Federal recordkeeping, followed by sections that describe and discuss specific pertinent records.

The descriptive program of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) 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: Records Relating to Personal Participation in World War II: American Prisoners War and Civilian Internees (Reference Information Paper 80, 1992); Guide to Records of the United States House of Representatives at the National Archives, 1789-1989 (1989); and Guide to Records of the United States Senate at the National Archives, 1789-1989 (1989). 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. The text of thisguide can be browsed electronically by accessing NARA's Web site at

NARA's mission is to ensure ready access to the 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
Note: Compiled by Charles E. Schamel. Published by the National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, DC, 1996.

Web version prepared 1999. Additions and changes incorporated in the Web version are between brackets [ ] and in italics.