Research at the National Archives

Other Record Groups

IV. Other Record Groups

The fourth category, Other Record Groups, is for bodies of State Department or related-agency records that are large enough, important enough, or specific enough to have their own record group. For a complete listing of the records in each record group, see the Guide to Federal Records in the National Archives of the United States.

RG 43, International Conferences, Commissions, and Expositions

This record group is divided into several subgroups of State Department records: (1) Records of International Conferences, including records of World War II and postwar conferences of heads of state and meetings of foreign ministers; (2) Records relating to International Commissions, Committees, and Councils; (3) Records of participation in international expositions and exhibitions held outside the United States; (4) Records of participation in international exhibitions and expositions held in the United States; and (5) Other records and undescribed records.

RG 56, Department of the Treasury

Besides its domestic duties, the Department of the Treasury helps to determine America's role in international financial and economic affairs. Treasury records include records of the National Advisory Council on International Monetary and Financial Policies (NAC), 1945-1970, records of the Assistant Secretary for International Affairs (OASIA), 1934-1970, and desk files of several high-ranking officials.

RG 76, Boundary and Claims Commissions and Arbitrations

This record group is for three distinct kinds of records. Records relating to the United States northern boundaries with Canada and southern boundaries with Mexico are described in Daniel T. Goggin, comp., Preliminary Inventory of the Records Relating to International Boundaries, PI 170 (1968).

There are several finding aids for claim commission records, generally arranged by country and thereunder by claim commission. Most of the records are described in George S. Ulibarri, comp., Preliminary Inventory of Records Relating to International Claims, PI 177 (1974). There are three other finding aids for records not included in PI 177. They are (1) George S. Ulibarri, comp., Preliminary Inventory of the Records of United States and Mexican Claims Commissions, PI 136 (1962); (2) George S. Ulibarri and Daniel T. Goggin, comps., Preliminary Inventory of Records Relating to Civil War Claims, United States and Great Britain, PI 135 (1962); and (3) George S. Ulibarri and Francis J. Heppner, comps., Preliminary Inventory of Records Relating to United States Claims Against the Central Powers, PI 143 (1962).

Arbitration records are described in Herbert Horwitz, comp., "Preliminary Inventory of Records Relating to International Arbitrations," NC 155 (1969).

RG 166, Foreign Agricultural Service

Records of this agency and its predecessors and successors reflect information gathered in foreign countries by agricultural attaches and agricultural marketing specialists about the world agricultural production, foreign agrarian policies, consumption, and prices of foreign farm products.

RG 208, Office of War Information


This agency was a World War II temporary agency which formulated and executed 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. Most of the records date from 1942 to 1945.

RG 229, Office of Inter-American Affairs

This agency was a World War II temporary agency created to promote increased hemispheric solidarity and inter-American cooperation, especially in commercial and economic areas. The records are described in Edwin D. Anthony, comp., Inventory of the Records of the Office of Inter-American Affairs, Inv. 7 (1973).

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

This agency was a World War II temporary agency, created by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1943, under the chairmanship of Associate Justice Owen J. Roberts; 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. It was abolished in 1946. All of the records are on microfilm (M-1944). There is a separate publication (M-1782 PDF format, 1 roll) for Art Looting Investigative Unit Reports, 1945-46.

RG 256, American Commission to Negotiate Peace

President Woodrow Wilson established this commission, following the signing of the Armistice ending World War I (Nov. 11, 1918), to negotiate the formal treaties ending the war and also to draft the Covenant of the League of Nations. Included are the records of the Inquiry and records relating to the Conference of Ambassadors in the postwar period. The records are described in Sandra K. Rangel, comp., Records of the American Commission to Negotiate Peace, Inv. 9 (1974). Almost all of the records are on microfilm ( M-820 PDF format, 563 rolls, General Records of the American Commission to Negotiate Peace, 1918-1931, and M-1107 PDF format, 47 rolls, "Inquiry Documents" (Special Reports and Studies), 1917-1919).

RG 260, U.S. Occupation Headquarters, World War II

This record group includes the records of the Office of the Military Government for Germany (OMGUS), which was the military predecessor for the Office of the High Commissioner for Germany (HICOG), after 1949 an agency within the Department of State (RG 466).

RG 261, Former Russian Agencies

This record group is for the records of the Russian-American Company, 1802, 1817-67, and records of the Russian Supply Committee, 1914-22. It also includes microfilm copies of records of imperial Russian consulates in the United States and Canada, 1844-1929; the original records were returned to the Soviet Union in the 1980s. The microfilm publications are M-1486 PDF format, 180 rolls, and M-1742 PDF format, 83 rolls.

RG 268, Philippine War Damage Commission

Congress created this commission as an independent agency by the Philippine Rehabilitation Act in 1946 to receive, adjudicate, and pay private and public claims for World War II property damage in the Philippine Islands. It was abolished in 1951 when its work was completed.

RG 273, National Security Council [NSC]

This record group is for the records of the independent office within the White House, headed by the National Security Advisor, and staffed to assist the President in the development of national security policies and programs. Because of declassification problems, and because the records may include only the finished version of an NSC document, it is sometimes more advantageous for researchers to use records in a State Department lot file relating to the work of the NSC.

RG 278, Displaced Persons Commission

The commission was created by Congress in 1948 to administer the selection and resettlement in the United States of certain European displaced persons. Most of the records are administrative; they do not include lists of names of displaced persons.

See also our list of State Department records in electronic format for RG 286 and RG 306.

RG 286, Agency for International Development

This agency was established in 1961 to administer the nonmilitary U.S. foreign assistance programs. For records of predecessor agencies see RG 469.

RG 306, U.S. Information Agency


This agency functioned within the State Department until 1953 and as an independent agency from 1953 to 1999. Its functions related to international information and cultural affairs, and cultural exchanges. It hoped to influence public attitudes in foreign countries in support of U.S. foreign policy objectives. It analyzed the implications of foreign opinion for present and contemplated U.S. policies, programs, and official statements.

Filing Manuals

In the early 1960s, U.S. Information Agency (USIA) worked with the Department of State to slightly alter the Department of State's 1963 subject-numeric filing scheme to be used by both domestic offices and overseas posts (U.S. Information Service). The Department of State-USIA Records Classification Handbook was issued jointly in 1965, which contained minor changes from the 1963 edition of the Department of State Records Classification Handbook.

In 1967, USIA decided to expand the "Administration" and the "Culture & Information" sections of the Department of State-USIA Records Classification Handbook to better match their domestic records, and issued them under "Excerpts from Records Classification Handbook." USIA required the majority of the domestic staff to use only these two subject categories. The domestic offices that required broader subject coverage could use the other five categories from the 1965 Department of State-USIA Records Classification Handbook. This classification was for use of subject files only. These sections were updated in 1979 and 1986.

RG 353, Interdepartmental and Intradepartmental Committees (State Department)

This record group is for records of State Department committees. It includes records of committees maintained by the Executive Secretariat, 1933-1977, and records of several interdepartmental committees where the State Department served as the secretariat: Foreign Service Buildings Commission, 1926-47; Advisory Council on Technological Cooperation, 1938-53; Committee on the Proclaimed List, 1917-19, 1941-48; the State-War-Navy Coordinating Committee, 1944-49; National Intelligence Survey Committees, 1948-65; Policy Committee on Arms and Armaments, 19945-49; Interdepartmental Patent Interchange Committee, 1941- ?; and the Joint USA-USSR Documentary Project on Russian-American relations, 1765-1815, 1975-81; and other committees.

RG 383, U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency

This agency was created in 1961 to conduct, support and coordinate research for arms control and disarmament policy formulation. It prepares for and manages U.S. participation in international arms control and disarmament negotations.

RG 466, U.S. High Commissioner for Germany

This agency (commonly referred to as "HICOG") was established in the Department of State in 1949, and continued to function until 1955. It represented the U.S. Government on the Allied High Commission for Germany.

RG 469, U.S. Foreign Assistance Agencies, 1948-1961

This record group is for the records of the variety of agencies that existed before the creation of the Agency for International Development (AID) in 1961. It includes records of the Economic Cooperation Administration, the Mutual Security Agency, the Technical Cooperation Administration, the Foreign Operations Administration, and the International Cooperation Administration.

RG 490, Peace Corps

This record group is for the general records of the Peace Corps, an agency created in 1961, and incorporated into Action, an agency for both domestic and foreign functions in 1971. In 1981 the Peace Corps regained its independent status.