Guide to Archival Holdings (RG 15-49)
- Alphabetical List of Record Groups
- Numerical List of Record Groups
- Record Groups 15 through 49
- Record Groups 54 through 96
- Record Groups 111 through 188
- Record Groups 202 through 270
- Record Groups 310 through Donated Materials
Records of the Veterans Administration (RG 15)
The present Veterans Administration (VA) is the result of policies and programs that date back to the American Revolution. In 1789, the First Congress enacted legislation to continue paying pensions provided in acts of the Continental Congress. An act of August 9, 1921, created the Veterans' Bureau which became part of the Veterans Administration established by an Executive order of July 21, 1930. The VA became the Department of Veterans Affairs effective March 15, 1989.
In the field, the VA and its predecessors have operated a network of facilities intended to aid veterans, including hospitals and rehabilitation centers, as well as national homes for veterans. One of the predecessors of the VA, the Federal Board for Vocational Education, divided the country into 14 districts in 1918. These districts were combined with relevant Public Health Service offices in 1921 to form the district offices of the Veterans' Bureau. These were succeeded by 54 regional offices of the Bureau in 1924 and 1925.
Volume: 4 cubic feet
Records of the National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers, Pacific Branch, Sawtelle, California. The records document individuals and activities at the home. Included are a sample of members' case files, interment registers, post fund proceedings, and a scrapbook of newspaper clippings.
Records of the Rehabilitation Division, Phoenix, Arizona, 1925-1926. The records document training disabled veterans and include correspondence, reports, and rosters.
Preliminary Checklist of the General Administrative Files of the Rehabilitation Division, PC 15 (1944).
Records of the National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers
Related Microfilm Publications
M123, Schedules Enumerating Union Veterans and Widows of Union Veterans of the Civil War, 1890; M804, Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files.
Records of the Bureau of Animal Industry (RG 17)
The Bureau of Animal Industry was established in May 1884 to prevent the exportation of diseased cattle and to eradicate contagious diseases among domestic animals. It replaced the Veterinary Division created by the Commissioner of Agriculture in 1883. The Bureau conducted scientific investigations and administered statutes and regulations to protect the public from infected or diseased meat products, eradicate animal diseases, and improve the livestock of the country. In 1953, the Bureau was abolished, and its functions were divided among the branches of Animal Disease and Parasite Research, Animal and Poultry Husbandry Research, Animal Disease Eradication, Animal Inspection, and Quarantine and Meat Inspections of the Agricultural Research Service.
Volume: 1 cubic foot
Records of the U.S. Poultry Experiment Station, Glendale, Arizona. The records document the breeding and management of chickens, ostriches, and turkeys, and the potential for commercial raising of ostriches. The records are correspondence and notes.
Harold Pinkett, comp., Preliminary Inventory of the Records of the Bureau of Animal Husbandry, PI 106 (1956).
Records of the Army Air Forces (RG 18)
The Army Air Forces (AAF) originated August 1, 1907, as the Aeronautical Division in the Office of the Chief Signal Officer. After various reorganizations and name changes, the Army Air Forces was established on March 9, 1942, under the Secretary of War and the War Department General Staff. It served as the primary land-based air arm of the American armed forces until it was detached from the Army and became the U.S. Air Force in 1947.
Until the onset of World War II, most field installations of the Army Air Forces and its predecessors, such as airfields, schools, and administrative agencies, were located within the borders of the United States and its territories.
Volume: 57 cubic feet
- Coronado Depot (Rockwell Air Depot), San Diego;
- Lindbergh Field, San Diego;
- March Field, Riverside;
- Rockwell Field, Coronado;
- Ross Field (Balloon School), Arcadia.
Maizie H. Johnson, comp., Preliminary Inventory of the Textual Records of the Army Air Forces, NM 53 (1965).
Sarah D. Powell and Maizie H. Johnson, comps., Supplement to Preliminary Inventory NM 53, Textual Records of the Army Air Force, NM 90 (1967).
Records of District Courts of the United States (RG 21)
U.S. district and circuit courts were created by the Judiciary Act of September 24, 1789. The jurisdiction and powers of these Federal courts have varied with subsequent legislation, but district courts generally have had original jurisdiction in admiralty and bankruptcy cases, suits for penalties or seizures under Federal laws, noncapital criminal proceedings, and suits exceeding $100 in value in which the United States was the plaintiff. The circuit courts heard appeals from the district courts and had original jurisdiction over actions involving aliens or citizens of different States and law and equity suits where the matter in dispute exceeded $500. In 1891, the appellate jurisdiction of the circuit courts was transferred to the newly created circuit courts of appeals (see RG 276). The Judiciary Act of 1911 abolished the circuit courts and provided for the transfer of their records and remaining jurisdiction to the district courts.
Most States initially had one district and one circuit court with additional districts created as the business of the courts increased. Many of the districts were divided into divisions with the court holding session in various cities within the district. In 1812, circuit courts were authorized to appoint U.S. commissioners to assist in taking of bail and affidavits. The Commissioners' functions were expanded by subsequent legislation and court rules, and their powers have included authority to issue arrest warrants, examine persons charged with offenses against Federal laws, initiate actions in admiralty matters, and institute proceedings for violation of civil rights legislation.
Territorial district courts generally were established by the organic act that created the territory and had jurisdiction over Federal civil, criminal, and bankruptcy actions as well as civil and criminal jurisdiction similar to that of State courts. Records created by a territorial court acting in its capacity as a Federal court often became the property of the Federal district court upon statehood.
Volume: 12,837 cubic feet
- Arizona, District Court, Globe,1913-1968.
- Arizona, District Court, Phoenix, 1912-1968. Included is an equity case involving an infringement of the Coca-Cola trademark by the Koke Company of America, 1915-1916.
- Arizona, District Court, Prescott, 1913-1968. Included is a land grant case involving the Hualapai Indian reservation and the Santa Fe Railroad, 1937-1938.
- Arizona, District Court, Tuscon, 1912-1968. There are naturalizations and Chinese exclusion records.
- Arizona, Territorial District Court, 1864-1912. Among the records are transcripts of the criminal trial of Sidney de Long and others for participation in the Camp Grant Massacre, 1871; and the trial of the Wham Paymaster Robbery, 1889. Included are naturalization records, and cases relating to Chinese exclusion, fraud by Indian agents, polygamy, selling liquor to Indians, and disputes over land grant titles, railroad rights-of-way, and water rights.
- Arizona, Territorial Supreme Court, 1873-1903.
- California, Central District Court, Los Angeles, 1851-1976. Among the records are naturalizations, admiralty cases, and bankruptcy cases involving Hollywood celebrities.
- California, Circuit Court, Los Angeles, 1887-1911. Among the records are cases involving the Southern Pacific Railroad's right-of-way claims to Mexican land grants, and a case concerning the Pullman Strike of 1894, that contains telegrams from Eugene Debs to union leaders in southern California.
- California, Southern District Court, San Diego, 1925-1968.
- Nevada, District Court, Las Vegas, 1954-1968.
Records document Federal district and circuit courts, which have jurisdiction over naturalization, bankruptcy, civil (law, equity, and admiralty), and criminal cases. Among general topics covered are biography, civil rights, commerce and corporate history, demographics, genealogy, immigration and ethnic groups, the impact of Federal regulatory programs, judicial administration, labor relations and union activity, maritime history, and State and local political activity. Among specific topics covered are collection of debts, enforcement of contracts, claims for damages; counterfeiting, and smuggling or violations of customs regulations; European immigration and the exclusion and deportation of Chinese; evasion of import duties; the illegal sale or manufacturing of alcoholic beverages; infringement of patent or copyright; interstate transfer of stolen property; mutiny or murder on the high seas; prize condemnations; theft, assault, or murder on Federal property; violations of Federal election laws and civil rights legislation; international agreements, such as the Migratory Bird Act; Selective Service regulations; and slave importation laws.
The records are primarily case files - papers in a specific case filed by attorneys or issued by the court, such as affidavits, complaints, depositions, indictments, judgments or final decrees, motions, petitions, subpoenas, and writs. Bankruptcy case files also contain petitions of creditors and schedules of assets and liabilities. (Case files are arranged numerically by the docket number assigned when the case was filed. Documentary exhibits submitted as part of court proceedings are sometimes included but more usually were returned to the parties involved. Transcripts are seldom part of the file.)
There are also docket books - a summary of proceedings in each case, including a brief abstract of motions and orders, the fees collected, and the disposition of the case; minute books or journals - a daily chronological record of court proceedings, often including information about financial accounts and the collection of fees, lists of jury members, names of attorneys admitted to practice, text of orders appointing court officials, and sometimes the text of orders of the court; naturalization papers - declarations of intention, petitions for naturalization, depositions, and certificates of naturalization; order or judgment books - the text of each order or judgment and the amount of any monetary judgment; record of proceedings (only for U.S. commissioners) - a printed form that gives the name of the defendant, nature of the charge, a summary of actions taken, and the disposition of the case. Nontextual records include maps and photographs.
Draft inventories for each court.
Minute, docket, and order books often have indexes to the names of the parties involved in the proceedings. There is no cumulative index by subject, case name, or other access point. Records for a case can usually be located by case number and name of the court. The number can sometimes be determined from indexes in minute, docket or order books but these are not available for all courts. Additional information may be available from the clerk of the court involved.
Related Microfilm Publications
T1215, Index to Private Land Grant Cases, U.S. District Court, Southern District of California; T1216, Index by County to Private Land Grant Cases, U.S. District Court, Northern and Southern Districts of California; M1524, Naturalization Records of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California, Central Division (Los Angeles), 1887-1940; M1525, Naturalization Index Cards of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California, Central Division (Los Angeles), 1915-1976; M1606, Index Cards to Overseas Military Petitions of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California, Central Division (Los Angeles), 1943-1956; M1607, Index to Naturalization Records of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California, Central Division (Los Angeles), 1887-1937; M1615, Naturalization Records of the U.S. District Court for the Territory of Arizona, 1865-1915; M1616, Naturalization Records of the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona, 1870-1955; M1735, Index Cards to Civil Case Files of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California, Southern Division (San Diego), January 1955-June 1962; M1736, Index Cards to Criminal Case Files of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California, Southern Division (San Diego), January 1955-June 1962; M1737, Index Cards to Civil and Criminal Case Files of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California, Southern Division (San Diego), July 1962-August 1966; M1741, Index to Bankruptcy, Civil, and Criminal Case Files of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California, Southern Division (San Diego), 1953-54; T717, Records of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California and Predecessor Courts.
Records of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (RG 22)
The Fish and Wildlife Service was formed on June 30, 1940, by merging the Bureau of Fisheries (established in 1903) with the Bureau of Biological Survey (established in 1885). The service is responsible for administering Federal laws for the control and conservation of fish, game, birds, and other wildlife and administering national wildlife refuges.Records Description
Volume: 25 cubic feet
Records of Region 6, Bureau of Commercial Fisheries, Terminal
Island, California. The records relate to locating, assessing, and managing
fish resources; national and international market development through consumer
education; increased efficiency in harvesting and processing; and intra-agency
coordination. The records include policy and planning files, special studies,
and technical reports.
Records of the National Labor Relations Board (RG 25)
The present National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) was created by the National Labor Relations Act (the Wagner Act) of July 5, 1935. It was preceded by two earlier boards: the National Labor Board (NLB), established August 5, 1933, and a first NLRB, established on June 19, 1934. As the functions of the NLB and the first NLRB were closely tied to the mission of the National Recovery Administration (NRA), when the NRA was declared unconstitutional on May 27, 1935, the first NLRB virtually ceased to function.
The Wagner Act created the second (present) NLRB, which was to determine the unit of employees appropriate for collective bargaining, conduct elections for employee representatives, and force employers to end specified unfair labor practices in industries other than the railroads and, after 1936, the airlines. The functions of the NLRB have subsequently been modified by the War Labor Disputes Act of June 25, 1943, the Labor Management Relations Act of 1947 (the Taft-Hartley Act), and the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act of 1959 (the Landrum-Griffin Act).
All three boards utilized a system of regional boards to deal with labor controversies in the field.
Volume: 8 cubic feet
Records of the Los Angeles Regional Office and the 15th and 21st District Offices. The records document administration, relations with headquarters and other regional boards, and attempts to resolve labor disputes, some of which involved airline pilots, retail sales, and laundry, restaurant, and garment industry workers. Included are case files, correspondence, issuances, memorandums, reports, and statistical data.
National Labor Relations Board, Los Angeles Office Administrative Files in NARA's Pacific Region (Riverside, CA)
Records of the U.S. Coast Guard (RG 26)
The U.S. Coast Guard was established in the Department of the Treasury by an act of January 28, 1915, which consolidated that department's Revenue Cutter and Lifesaving Services. The Coast Guard took over the administration of lighthouses in 1939, and in 1942 assumed functions of the Bureau of Marine Inspection and Navigation (see RG 41) relating to navigation and inspection laws and to merchant marines. On April 1, 1967, the Coast Guard became a part of the Department of Transportation and assumed responsibility for functions transferred to it from the Bureau of Customs (see RG 36) pertaining to the admeasurement and documentation of U.S. vessels.
Volume: 202 cubic feet
Records of Coast Guard cutters and some air stations, light stations, supply depots, and support vessels. The records document daily activities and vessel inspections of ships of U.S. registry and include weather observations and watch officers' remarks. The records include unit logs for Coast Guard cutters, and official logbooks of merchant vessels.
Records of the 11th Coast Guard District field office, Los Angeles. The records document port patrol activities such as arrests, requests from captains for extra security, and investigations of suspicious activities in the Los Angeles harbor area, and include shipping articles (sailing agreements between captain and crew). Also included are Los Angeles Port Patrol daily logs and Coast Guard auxiliary scrapbooks for Long Beach, and shipping articles for Port Hueneme, and San Luis Obispo.
Related Microfilm Publications
M63, Lighthouse Letters, 1792-1809; M94, Lighthouse Deeds and Contracts, 1790-1853; M1373, Registers of Lighthouse Keepers, 1845-1912; I25 (nonNARA), Pacific Coast Lighthouse Construction and Maintenance Drawings, 1853-1957.
Records of the Bureau of Public Roads (RG 30)
The Bureau of Public Roads had its origins in an act of March 3, 1893, which authorized the creation of an Office of Road Inquiry in the Department of Agriculture. After a number of changes in title, the Office became the Bureau of Public Roads in 1918 and retained that designation until 1939 when it became the Public Roads Administration as part of the Federal Works Agency. On July 1, 1949, it was transferred to the General Services Administration and renamed the Bureau of Public Roads, which was then transferred to the Department of Commerce by Reorganization Plan No. 7 of 1949. An act of October 15, 1966, transferred the Bureau to the Department of Transportation where its functions were assigned to the Federal Highway Administration (see RG 406).
Under the Federal Aid Road Act of 1916, the Bureau has supervised Federal-State cooperative programs for road construction, reconstruction, and improvement. It also administers the highway beautification program and is responsible for developing and administering highway safety programs, constructing defense highways and roads in national parks and forests, expanding the interstate highway system, and providing assistance to foreign governments.
Volume: 68 cubic feet
Records of Federal aid projects in Arizona. The records relate to Indian reservations, national defense, national forests, and roads in national parks. They are primarily case files, including copies of agreements, narrative progress reports, plans and specifications, and vouchers. Nontextual records include right-of-way maps and photographs of construction activities.
Truman R. Strobridge, comp., Preliminary Inventory of the Records of the Bureau of Public Roads, PI 134 (1962).
Records of the U.S. Customs Service (RG 36)
The Customs Service, created by an act of July 31, 1789, became part of the Department of the Treasury when that Department was established in September 1789. The Service has been responsible for the enforcement of numerous laws and regulations pertaining to the import and export of merchandise, collection of tonnage taxes, control of the entrance and clearance of vessels and aircraft, regulation of vessels involved in the coastwise and fishing trades, the protection of passengers. A Bureau of Customs was established on March 3, 1927, to supervise these activities, and in 1942, it assumed the responsibilities of the Bureau of Marine Inspection and Navigation (see RG 41) relating to the registering, enrolling, licensing, and admeasurement of merchant vessels. This responsibility was assigned to the Coast Guard in 1967 (see RG 26).
The act that established the Customs Service in 1789 also provided for the creation of collection districts in various coastal, river, Great Lakes, and inland ports. A collector of customs in each district was responsible for the enforcement of all rules and regulations, including the protection of American seamen and passengers and the forwarding of basic data on immigration, imports, and exports. Occasionally the collector acted as the depository for Federal funds and collected taxes for the Bureau of Internal Revenue. A naval officer in each district, coordinate in rank with the collector, was required to keep separate accounts and copies of all manifests and entries and to countersign certain of the collector's accounts. A surveyor, under the collector's supervision, kept a daily record of all vessel arrivals and clearances and was assisted by inspectors, weighers, and gaugers in the collection and payment of bounty allowances and fees and the admeasurement of foreign vessels for tonnage duties.
Volume: 277 cubic feet
Records of collectors of customs and other customs officials for the Los Angeles and San Diego collection districts including the following ports and customs offices:
- Calexico, California, 1902-1922;
- Campo, California, 1919-1957;
- Los Angeles, California, 1882-1966;
- Nogales, Arizona, 1948-1968;
- Port Hueneme, California, 1942-1949;
- Redondo Beach, California, 1893-1912;
- San Diego, California, 1885-1966;
- San Luis Obispo, California, 1906-1954;
- Tijuana, Mexico, 1894-1922.
Draft inventory.Related Microfilm Publications
M174, Letters Received by the Secretary of the Treasury From Collectors of Customs ("G", "H", "I" Series), 1833-1869; M175, Letters Sent by the Secretary of the Treasury to Collectors of Customs at All Ports, 1789-1847, and at Small Ports, 1847-1878 ("G" Series); M178, Correspondence of the Secretary of the Treasury With Collectors of Customs, 1789-1833; M261, Index to Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at New York, New York, 1820-1846; M265, Index to Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Boston, Massachusetts, 1848-1891; M326, Index to Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Baltimore, Maryland, 1833-1866; M334, Supplemental Index to Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Atlantic and Gulf Coast Ports (Exculding New York), 1820-1874; M360, Index to Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1800-1906; M1357, Index to Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston, Texas, 1896-1906; M1358, Index to Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston, Texas, 1906-1951; M1359, Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston, Texas, 1896-1951; M1389, Indexes to Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at San Francisco, California, 1893-1934; M1410, Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at San Francisco, 1893-1953; T527, Index to Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at New Orleans, Louisiana, 1853-1899.
Records of the Bureau of Marine Inspection and Navigation (RG) 41
Navigation laws were passed by the First Congress in 1789 and were enforced by customs officers under the supervision of the Department of the Treasury. In 1884, a Bureau of Navigation under the control of the Commissioner of Navigation was established within the Department of the Treasury to administer the navigation laws. In 1903, it was transferred to the Department of Commerce and Labor along with the Steamboat Inspection Service, which had been established in the Department of the Treasury in 1852 to formulate rules and regulations for steamboat inspections. The two bureaus were merged in 1932 to form the Bureau of Navigation and Steamboat Inspection, which was renamed the Bureau of Marine Inspection and Navigation (BMIN) in 1936. In 1942, its functions relating to merchant vessel documentation were transferred to the Bureau of Customs (see RG 36) while those pertaining to merchant vessel inspection, safety of life at sea, and merchant vessel personnel were transferred to the U.S. Coast Guard (see RG 26). The Bureau was abolished in 1946.
Volume: 248 cubic feet
Records of collectors of customs, functioning as field agents for the BMIN, for the Los Angeles and San Diego collection districts at the following California ports:
- Long Beach, 1914-1942;
- Los Angeles, 1876-1953;
- San Diego, 1875-1949;
- San Luis Obispo, 1908-1953.
Records of the Office of the Secretary of the Interior (RG 48)
The Department of the Interior was created by an act of March 3, 1849. During the more than 130 years of its existence some functions have been added and others removed so that its role has changed from that of general housekeeper for the Federal Government to that of custodian of the nation's natural resources. The Secretary of the Interior, as the head of an executive department, reports directly to the President and is responsible for the direction and supervision of all activities of the Department.Records Description
Volume: 351 cubic feet
Records of the Office of the Solicitor, Los Angeles. The records relate to the following Bureau of Reclamation projects:
- All-American Canal
- Boulder Canyon
- Colorado River
- Davis Dam
- Gila River
- Parker Dam
- Salt River
- Fort Hall
- Owens Valley
- Pine River
- San Carlos
- United Pueblos
They concern condemnation proceedings, construction, land entries, and rights-of-way. The records are case files. Nontextual records include maps and photographs.
Related Microfilm Publications
M429, Interior Department Territorial Papers: Arizona, 1868-1911; M576, Interior Department Appointment Papers: Territory of Arizona, 1857-1907; M732, Interior Department Appointment Papers: California, 1849-1907.
Access to some files or portions of documents may be restricted because of privacy concerns.
Records of the Bureau of Land Management (RG 49)
The General Land Office (GLO) was established within the Department of the Treasury by an act of April 25, 1812, to administer all public land transactions except surveying and map work (which came under the supervision of the GLO in 1836). In 1849, the GLO was transferred to the Department of the Interior where it was merged with the Grazing Service in 1946 to form the Bureau of Land Management. The Bureau classifies, manages, and disposes of public lands and their resources and administers Federally-owned mineral resources on non-Federal land and on the Outer Continental Shelf.
Volume: 2,458 cubic feet
Records of the following land offices:Arizona Bureau of Land Management including:
- Arizona State Office, 1955-1961;
- Phoenix District Office, 1899-1970.
- Phoenix General Land Office, 1869-1958;
- Prescott General Land Office, 1871-1908;
- Surveying and Cadastral Engineering Districts, 1910-1942;
- Surveyor General, 1865-1950; Grazing Service Regional Grazier, 1935-1958.
- Bakersfield District Office, 1935-1973;
- Los Angeles District Office, 1908-1969;
- Riverside District Office, 1930-1971.
- Independence Land Office, 1903-1929;
- Los Angeles District Office, 1853-1939;
- Register and Receiver, 1878-1964;
- Visalia Land Office, 1925-1928.
Nevada Bureau of Land Management, Las Vegas District Office, 1936-1971. The records document the disposal, protection, and use of the public domain and natural resources. Among the records are registers, surveys, and tract books. Nontextual records include survey plat books from the Riverside Area office, and drawings and maps among serialized land entry case files for Arizona and southern California.
Harry P. Yoshpe and Philip P. Brower, comps., Preliminary Inventory of the Land-Entry Papers of the General Land Office, PI 22 (1949).
Related Microfilm Publications
M1627, Records of the Bureau of Land Management, Surveyor General of Arizona, 1891-1950; M1628, Records of the Bureau of Land Management, Phoenix General Land Office, 1873-1942; M1629, Records of the Bureau of Land Management, Prescott General Land Office, 1871-1908; M1630, Records of the Bureau of Land Management, Los Angeles District Land Office, 1859-1936; T910, California Private Land Claims Dockets.