Foreign Affairs

American Commission for the Protection and Salvage of Artistic and Historic Monuments in War Areas (RG 239)

President Franklin D. Roosevelt established this commission in June 1943. Associate Supreme Court Justice Owen J. Roberts chaired the commission and it is often called the Roberts Commission. Its officers cooperated with the U.S. Army in protecting cultural treasures, gathered information about war damage to such treasures, compiled data on cultural property appropriated by the Axis Powers, and encouraged its restitution. The commission also prepared and distributed lists and handbooks to the military's Monuments, Fine Arts and Archives (MFA&A) officers in the field to assist them with preparation of official lists of sites and monuments to protect. The commission was abolished in June 1946.  

Where to Find These Records

With two exceptions, all of the records are on microfilm: National Archives Microfilm Publication M–1944: Records of the American Commission for the Protection and Salvage of Artistic and Historic Monuments in War Areas [The Roberts Commission], 1943-1946.

The records can also be found online, through our partner Fold3. 

The two exceptions consist of records accessioned in microfilm format:

  • National Archives Microfilm Publication A3383: Card File of Japanese Works, Collections, Sites, and Installations Requiring Protection, 1946, and
  • National Archives Microfilm Publication A3380: Microfilm Copies of Reports from the Mediterranean and European Theaters of Operations Received from the Allied Military Government, 1943–1946.

See the Holocaust-Era Assets web pages for a better understanding of the record holdings of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) related to the looting, locating, recovering, and restituting Holocaust-Era assets.

Search the National Archives Catalog for entries from RG 239 or see a description in the Guide to Federal Records.

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