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Civilian Federal Employees

Since the Federal government was organized in 1789, individuals have served the United States as employees of the Executive and Judicial branches, including Federal departments, agencies, and bureaus, as well as the Supreme Court and Federal district and circuit courts, and also as elected members of the Legislative branch (Congress). Occupations ranged from the heads of departments and agencies to entry-level caretakers, clerks, mechanics, and other types of manual labor. Until the 20th century, the Federal government kept information about appointments and personnel with the general headquarters records of the respective Executive departments. Other information about employees was often dispersed through correspondence files of the agencies for which they worked. After the National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) was established in St. Louis, Missouri, in May 1966, the administrative and physical control of all former Federal personnel records, both civilian and military, became centralized.

Reference Reports

Federal Employee Reference Reports describe research strategies for some of the most common topics and records relating to Federal employment, including appointments to the State Department, Interior Department, Post Office Department, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and various maritime agencies including the Revenue Cutter Service, Life-Saving Service, and Lighthouse Service; presidential nominations to the U.S. Senate; and the publication of Federal employees in the Official Register of the United States.

Click on the title to view a PDF version of the reference report.



Department of State

U.S. Senate

Postal Service

Interior Department

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