Foreign Affairs

Records of the Office of War Information (RG 208)

This agency was established in June 1942.  It was responsible for formulating and implementing information programs to promote, in the United States and abroad, understanding of the status and progress of the war effort and of war policies, activities, and aims of the U.S. government.  Propaganda aimed at Latin America remained with the Office of the Coordinator of Inter-American Affairs.  Most of the records date from 1942 to 1945, although there are some files from predecessor organizations such as the Office of Facts and Figures (Advertising and Intelligence Division and Radio Division), the Office of Emergency Management (Division of Information), and the Coordinator of Information.  OWI was abolished in September 1945.

National Archives Preliminary Inventory NC-148: Records of the Office of War Information, prepared in 1967 and updated in 2018, describes the records of the OWI and predecessor organizations in more detail.

You can search the National Archives Catalog for entries from RG 208 or see a description in the Guide to Federal Records.

Other records of OWI are found in RG 44: Records of the Office of Government Reports.  When OWI was terminated at the end of World War II, some of its functions and records were transferred to the Bureau of the Budget where they became the United States Information Service under a reestablished Office of Government Reports.  Subsequently, those records came to the National Archives with the records of OGR and were incorporated into that record group.