National Archives at San Francisco

Guide to Archival Holdings (RG 56-79)

General Records of the Department of the Treasury
(RG 56)

Administrative History

The Department of the Treasury was established by an act of Congress, approved September 2, 1789, to superintend and manage the national finances. The records in this record group are from the Office of the Secretary andfrom subdivisions performing service functions for the entire Department. Units of the Department for which separate record groups exist are the Bureaus of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, Engraving and Printing, and the Public Debt; the Offices of the Treasurer of the United States, the Comptroller of the Currency, and Thrift Supervision; the Internal Revenue, Customs, Financial Management, and Secret Services; and the Mint.

Records Description

Dates: 1942-45
Volume: less than 1 cubic foot

Records of the Special Treasury Destruction Committee, Honolulu. The Committee was established by a Treasury order signed March 3, 1942, which authorized currency destruction outside of regular channels due to the risk involved in shipping worn-out currency to the mainland for destruction during World War II. Chaired by a Customs official in Honolulu who served as a Special Treasury Representative, the Committee was composed of local bank officials and Federal civilian and military personnel. Special destruction committees were also created on the islands of Hawaii, Kauai, and Maui. The records relate to Committee membership, authorizations to sign destruction schedules, destruction of unfit currency, and plans for destruction of currency and securities in the event of an emergency. Included are correspondence, issuances, and reports.

Related Microfilm Publications

M87, Records of the Commissioners of Claims (Southern Claims Commission), 1871-1880;
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);
M176,Letters Sent by the Secretary of the Treasury to Collectors of Customs at Pacific Ports ("J" Series), 1850-1878;
M178, Correspondence of the Secretary of the Treasury With Collectors of Customs, 1789-1833;
M415, Letters Sent to the President by the Secretary of the Treasury ("A" Series), 1833-1878; T712, Treasury Department Papers Relating to the Louisiana Purchase.

Records of the U.S. Geological Survey RG 57)

Administrative History

The Geological Survey was established in the Department of the Interior by an act of March 3, 1879, providing for the "classification of the public lands and the examination of the geological structure, mineral resources, and products of the public domain." An act of September 5, 1962, expanded this authorization to examinations outside the public domain, while topographical mapping and chemical and physical research were authorized by an act of October 2, 1888. The Survey's chief functions are to survey, investigate, and conduct research on the Nation's topography, geology, and mineral and water resources; classify land according to mineral composition and water power resources; furnish engineering supervision for power permits and Federal Power Commission licenses; supervise naval petroleum reserves and mineral leasing operations on public and Indian lands; and disseminate data relating to these activities.

Records Description

Dates: 1915-72
Volume: 37 cubic feet

Records of the Topographic Division, Pacific Region, Sacramento, California, which served Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Washington, 1928-53. The records document mapping activities and administrative matters. They include correspondence, issuances, memorandums, and reports. Nontextual records consist of maps interfiled with textual records.

Records of the Geologic Division, Alaskan Geology Branch, Menlo Park, California, 1970-72. The records document the development of the environmental impact statement dealing with the proposed trans-Alaska pipeline. The records include clippings, drafts, memorandums, notes, outlines, printed materials, and reports.

Records of the Geologic Division, Branch of Igneous and Geothermal Processes, Menlo Park, California, 1960-71. The records relate to geothermal processes, oil deposits, and other geological matters in the Imperial Valley, Salton Sea, Steamboat Springs, Yellowstone, and other sites in the western U.S., as well as some foreign sites. Included are correspondence, memorandums, and scientific papers. Nontextual records consist of maps and photographs interfiled with the textual records.

Records of the Water Resources Division, California District Office, Menlo Park, 1970-71. The records document cooperative agreements for water resource investigations; meetings of local and regional planning agencies involved in flood control, hydrology, and water quality; and administrative and personnel matters. Included are cooperative agreements, correspondence, minutes of meetings, and reports.

Records of the Water Resources Division, Hawaii District Office, Honolulu, 1915-68. The records document cooperative agreements for water resources investigations with agencies in Guam, Hawaii, and Samoa; plans for investigations in the Ryukyu and Truk Islands; and assessments of surface and underground water resources, water use, and potential water development at Hawaiian sites. Included are cooperative agreements, correspondence, and memorandums.

Finding Aids

  • Draft inventory (1996).
  • Folder title lists for some series.

Related Microfilm Publications

M156, Letters Received by John Wesley Powell, Director of the Geographical and Geological Survey of the Rocky Mountain Region, 1869-1879;
M622, Records of the Geological Exploration of the Fortieth Parallel ("King Survey"), 1867-1881;
M623, Records of the Geological and Geographical Survey of the Territories ("Hayden Survey"), 1867-1879.

Records of the Internal Revenue Service (RG 58)

Administrative History

The Office of the Commissioner of Internal Revenue was established in the Department of the Treasury by an act of July 1, 1862, to help finance the Civil War. Within the Office the agency that collected funds was known as the Bureau of Internal Revenue until 1953 when it was designated the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The taxes levied during the Civil War were gradually abolished until only taxes on liquor and tobacco remained in 1883. In addition to the taxes on these commodities, the Bureau began collecting a corporation income tax after 1909. With the adoption of the 16th amendment in 1913, the collection of income taxes became one of the Bureau's principal functions. It is now responsible for the administration, assessment, and collection of all internal revenue taxes.

Records Description

Dates: 1865-1973
Volume: 61 cubic feet

Records of the following collection districts:

  • 1st California District, San Francisco, 1865-1923;
  • 2nd California District, San Jose, 1869;
  • 3rd California District, Stockton, 1869;
  • 4th California District, Sacramento, 1866-1912;
  • 5th California District, Napa City/Santa Rosa, 1866-1872;
  • Nevada District, Carson City, 1867-1873.
The records relate to taxation of individuals and corporations. They are primarily tax assessment lists.

Records of the Office of the Regional Commissioner, Western Region, San Francisco, 1961-73. The Western Region served Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Washington in 1973. The records relate to creation, organization, reorganization, and staffing of field offices and other units. Included are memorandums, notices, and organizational charts.

Finding Aids

Series title list.

Related Microfilm Publications

M756, Internal Revenue Assessment Lists for California, 1862-1866.

Records of the U.S. Fuel Administration (RG 67)

Administrative History

The U.S. Fuel Administration was established as an emergency agency by an Executive order of August 23, 1917, as authorized by the Food and Fuel Control Act of August 10, 1917. The agency had authority to regulate the production, distribution, and consumption of coal, coke, natural gas, and fuel products of petroleum. Regulation included the powers to grant licenses, determine and fix reasonable prices, prescribe rules for the conduct of business, and take over and operate fuel plants and businesses. Although the agency was formally discontinued on June 30, 1919, the act under which it functioned was not repealed. A threatened coal famine during the bituminous coal strike of 1919 resulted in a brief revival of the agency from October 26 to December 13, 1919, when the Fuel Administrator resigned. The regional structure of the agency included district representatives and Federal Fuel Administrators for each State.

Records Description

Dates: 1918
Volume: 8 cubic feet

Records of the Federal Oil Director for the Pacific Coast, San Francisco. The records relate to oil production, distribution, and consumption; consumer priority classifications; and administrative matters. Included are correspondence, memorandums, oil company statements, and oil supply tabulations. Nontextual records consist of a map of southern California oil fields, pipelines, and refineries interfiled with textual records.

Finding Aids

  • Folder title list.
  • Entry 26 in Harold W. Ryan and Thomas J. Stallans, comps., Preliminary Inventory of the Records of the United States Fuel Administration, NC 83 (1964).

Records of the Work Projects Administration (RG 69)

Administrative History

The Work Projects Administration (known as the Works Progress Administration until July 1, 1939) was established May 6, 1935, with responsibility for the Government's work-relief program. It succeeded the Federal Emergency Relief Administration (FERA) and the Civil Works Administration (CWA), both established in 1933. On July 1, 1939, the WPA was made a part of the Federal Works Agency. When the WPA was officially abolished June 30, 1943, the Division for Liquidation of the Work Projects Administration was set up in the Federal Works Agency and functioned until June 30, 1944.

The WPA operated at four organizational levels--the central administration in Washington, DC, regional offices, State administrations, and district offices. Except for certain Federally sponsored projects, State and local governments helped finance and supervise WPA work projects.

Records Description

Dates: 1936-42
Volume: 19 cubic feet

Records of the Division of Professional and Service Projects, Northern California office, San Francisco, 1939-42. The records relate to programs, activities, and achievements. Included are records concerning the Golden Gate International Exposition (Treasure Island, 1939), "This Work Pays Your Community" Week, and the District Commissioner of the Immigration and Naturalization Service. The records include correspondence, scrapbooks, and speeches. Nontextual records consist of photographs interfiled with textual records.

Records of the Survey of Federal Archives, 1936-41. The records are an inventory of records held by Federal agencies in California, with related historical information about the agencies. Included is an index of ships registered in the port of San Francisco, and shipwreck reports, ca. 1848-1910,(microfilm I6). The records consist of inventories, notes, and survey sheets.

Finding Aids

Series descriptions and folder title lists for some series.

Related Microfilm Publications

T935, Index to Reference Cards for Work Projects Administration Project Files, 1935-37(selected rolls);
T936, Index to Reference Cards for Work Projects Administration ProjectFiles, 1938 (selected rolls);
T937, Index to Reference Cards for Work Projects AdministrationProject Files, 1939-42 (selected rolls).

Records of the U.S. Bureau of Mines (RG 70)

Administrative History

The Bureau of Mines was established in the Department of the Interior by an act of May 16, 1910. In 1925, the Division of Mineral resources of the Geological Survey and the Coal Division of the Bureau of Foreign and Domestic Commerce were transferred to the Bureau of Mines, which became part of the Department of Commerce. The Bureau was returned to the Department of the Interior in 1934. Its functions include the inspecting mines, smelters and mills; testing fuels for Government use; issuing licenses that control production and use of nonmilitary explosives; collecting information regarding production and consumption of mineral resources, and employment and accidents in mines; conducting research on mining methods, production of minerals, and improvement of mining conditions; and operating experimental plants.

Records Description

Dates: 1915-67
Volume: 46 cubic feet

Records of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Division, San Francisco. The records document mining conditions and research on techniques for developing and using California's oil and natural gas reserves, including analysis of natural gas; development of shale oil reserves and Elk Hills Naval Reserve; drilling operations; production royalties from Native American lands; and structure of oil sands. Included are correspondence, issuances, notes, oil company production records, reports, and statistical tables. Nontextual records include graphs, maps, and photographs interfiled with textual records.

Records of the Reno, Nevada, Research Center, 1920-96. Established at Reno in 1920 as the Rare and Precious Metals Experiment Station, the center's early research focused on radioactive materials related to radio chemistry, and the chemistry and metallurgy of gold, silver, and other precious metals. It soon expanded into studies of the extractive metallurgy of other metals. During World War II research activities were curtailed in favor of analysis of rare metal supplies. After the war research resumed and broadened to include applied research in process metallurgy, chemistry, and physics. In 1995 Congress abolished the Bureau of Mines, and the center was closed in January 1996. The records relate to mineral technology research programs and results, and the history of the center. Included are some records relating to the Electrometallurgical Branch station in Boulder City, Nevada. The records consist of annual reports, bibliographies, clippings, minutes of staff meetings, progress reports, research summaries, technical reports, and work plans. Nontextual records include photographs of activities, building construction, equipment, facilities, and personnel.

Finding Aids

Series descriptions.

Records of the Bureau of Indian Affairs (RG 75)

Administrative History

An Office of Indian Affairs was established in 1824 within the War Department, which had exercised jurisdiction over relations with Indian tribes since the formation of the Federal Government. The Office operated informally within the War Department until Congress authorized the appointment of a Commissioner of Indian Affairs in 1832. The Office was transferred to the Department of the Interior in 1849. Although commonly called the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), it was not officially designated that until 1947.

The Bureau is responsible for most of the Federal Government's relations with the tribes of Indians that it recognizes. Some groups of Indians, particularly in the Eastern States, have never received official recognition, and other groups ceased to function as cohesive tribes before the establishment of the Federal Government in 1789. The Bureau has only exercised responsibility for Indians living on a recognized reservation or who maintained an affiliation with a recognized tribe. Many persons of Indian descent are not mentioned in any of the Bureau's records because they severed all connection with any tribe.

The Bureau's programs have had an impact on virtually every aspect of Indian life rincluding education, health, land ownership, financial affairs, employment, and legal rights. In 1931, the Bureau assumed jurisdiction over the Indians and Eskimos of Alaska from the Alaska Division of the Office of Education, which had been established in 1885 to administer education and health programs for the natives of Alaska. In 1955, most of the Bureau's health activities, including the operation of Indian Hospitals, were transferred to the Public Health Service.

When it was created in 1824, the Bureau inherited a well-established system of agencies, each of which was responsible for all relations with one or more tribes. Many of these agencies were subordinate to a superintendencywhich had general responsibility for Indian affairs in a territory or other geographical area.

Although there were numerous changes in agency designations and jurisdictions, this basic organizational structure remained unchanged until superintendencies were abolished in the 1870's and all agents began reporting directly to the Bureau headquarters in Washington, DC. In 1947, area offices were established to exercise supervisory control over agencies and other administrative units (such as schools or irrigation districts) within specific geographic regions.

In addition to the agents who were responsible for the day-to-day implementation of Indian policy, the Bureau often sent officials into the field for special purposes. These included treaty commissioners, inspectors, purchasing and disbursing agents, enrolling and allotting agents, and education specialists. Many of the schools that operated on Indian reservations were under the control of a superintendent who was often independent of the agent and sometimes exercised the functions of an agent. There were also a number of non-reservation schools, such as the Chilocco Indian School in Oklahoma, which accepted students from all over the country and were not under the control of any local agent.

Records Description

Dates: 1859-1989
Volume: 2,814 cubic feet

Records of the following area offices, agencies, and schools:

  • California Agency, 1936-49. The agency was established in 1947 with a statewide jurisdiction, except for reservations along the Colorado River. In 1950, it was replaced by the Sacramento Area Office.
  • Carson Agency, Nevada, 1912-53. In 1925, the Reno Agency was consolidated with the Carson School to form the Carson Agency, which supervised the Pyramid Lake, Fort McDermitt, and Summit Lake Reservations and various other Indian groups in northern Nevada. In 1935, the Walker River Agency was merged with Carson, giving Carson jurisdiction over Inyo and Mono Counties in California and most of Nevada.
  • Carson/Stewart School, Nevada, 1890-1962. Established in 1890 as a nonreservation boarding school, it also had responsibility for the Walker River Reservation from 1897 to 1908. In 1925, it merged with the Reno Agency to form the Carson Agency. The school was successively supervised by the Carson and Western Nevada Agencies until it was abolished in 1982.
  • Central California Agency, 1885-1989. The agency was established in 1970.
  • Digger Agency, California, 1911-21. Established in 1907, the agency supervised the Digger and Tuolumne Reservations in California. In 1921, it became a subagency of the Reno Agency.
  • Fallon Subagency, Nevada, 1911-37. The Fallon School opened in 1909. The superintendent supervised the school and a colony of Paiutes. In 1925, Fallon was placed under control of the Walker River Agency and School.
  • Fort Bidwell School and Agency, California, 1898-1940. This agency had jurisdiction over Native Americans living in Modoc County. It was established in 1890 and became a subagency of the Sacramento Agency in 1931.
  • Fort McDermitt Subagency, Nevada, 1906-37. Established as a reservation in 1889, it became a subagency under the Reno Agency about 1920.
  • Greenville School and Agency, California, 1894-1925. Founded as an Indian school in 1890 under a Federal contract, it was purchased by the Government in 1897 and made an agency. It had jurisdiction over Native Americans in Butte, Plumas, Sierra, and Yuba Counties, California. In 1918, all but Plumas County were transferred to the Reno Agency. With the abolishment of the Roseburg Agency in 1918, Native Americans in the Umpqua Valley in southern Oregon, and those living near Susanville and Redding, California, were added to the Greenville jurisdiction. In 1923, Greenville became a subagency of the Sacramento Agency.
  • Hoopa Valley Agency, California, 1875-1962. Established in 1864 in Humboldt County, the agency was enlarged in 1891 to include land along the Klamath River connecting to the Klamath River Reservation. Jurisdiction over the Klamath River Reservation was given to the agency in 1893. Since the early 1900's, the agency has had control over all nonreservation Native Americans living in Humboldt and Del Norte Counties. In 1956, it was designated an area field office and was placed under the jurisdiction of the Sacramento Area Office.
  • Nevada Agency, Nevada, 1895-1975. In 1952, this agency was established as a statewide jurisdiction, reporting to the Phoenix Area Office
  • Northern California Agency, 1891-1980. The agency was established in 1970.
  • Pyramid Lake Subagency, Nevada, 1922-24. Land was reserved for this reservation in 1859. The resident farmer reported to the Special Agency of Nevada starting in 1870. It became a subagency of the Reno Agency in 1921, a subagency of the Carson Agency in 1925, an independent agency from 1930-33, and was then placed under Carson Agency again.
  • Reno Agency, Nevada, 1905-33. Established in 1912, the special agent of this agency had jurisdiction over all Native Americans in California and Nevada not under any other jurisdiction. In 1921, the Pyramid Lake and Digger Agencies were placed under the Reno Agency. In 1924, California Native Americans under the Reno Agency were transferred to the jurisdiction of the Sacramento Agency. It was consolidated with Carson Indian School in 1925 to form the Carson Agency.
  • Roseburg Agency, Oregon, 1890-1924. This agency supervised Native Americans in Shasta, Lassen, Siskiyou, Trinity, and Tehama Counties, California, and Native Americans in Oregon not under any other jurisdiction. Established in 1909 and abolished in 1918, its duties were divided among several other agencies including the Greenville Agency, California.
  • Round Valley Agency, California, 1859-1924. This agency was first established about 1856 as a farm of the Nome Lackee Reservation in Mendocino County, California. The jurisdiction was extended in 1912 to include all Native Americans living in Mendocino, Sonoma, and Lake Counties, California. It was abolished in 1924 and its duties transferred to the Sacramento Agency.
  • Sacramento Agency, California, 1906-47. Established in 1923, the agency assumed the responsibilities previously held by the Greenville and Tule River Agencies, and by the Reno Agency for the "scattered Indians of California." The jurisdictions of the Digger, Roseburg, Fort Bidwell, and Round Valley Agencies were later absorbed by the Sacramento Agency. By the mid-1930's, the agency had gained jurisdiction over 43 of California's 58 counties, stretching from the Tehachapi Mountains to Oregon, excluding the north coastal area under the Hoopa Valley Agency. It was abolished and absorbed into the larger jurisdiction of the California Agency in 1947.
  • Sacramento Area Office, California, 1890-1972. Established January 1, 1950, this office assumed control of the California Agency and the Sherman Institute. In 1952, the Sherman Institute was transferred to the jurisdiction of the Phoenix Area Office.
  • Special Agency of Nevada, 1869-1871. This special agency, in existence from about 1858-1921, had jurisdiction over the Paiute on the Walker River and Pyramid Lake Reservations. In 1897 the Walker River Reservation was placed under the Carson School.
  • Tule River Agency, California, 1897-1936. In 1856, a tract of land on the Tule River in California's San Joaquin Valley was informally established as a reservation. A new reservation was established in 1873. The agency was abolished in 1924 and its duties were transferred to the Sacramento Agency.
  • Upper Lake-Ukiah Agency, California, 1909-11. Established in 1909 to administer Indian affairs in Lake County, California, the agency's jurisdiction was expanded to include Sonoma and southern Mendocino Counties. In 1911, the agency was abolished and its duties were transferred to Round Valley Agency.
  • Walker River Agency/Subagency, Nevada, 1889-1948. The Walker River Reservation was established in 1859 and placed under the jurisdiction of the Special Agency of Nevada. In 1897, the reservation was transferred to the Carson School; in 1909, it attained independent status with the school superintendent as its head. It assumed responsibility for the discontinued Fallon and Bishop jurisdictions in the mid-1920's, supervising Native Americans in California and southern Nevada. Agency status was abolished in 1935 and its duties were transferred to the Carson Agency.
  • Western Shoshone Agency, Nevada, 1869-1952. An official was appointed for the Shoshones in Elko, Lander, Lincoln, Nye, and White Pine Counties in 1869. An agency was established in 1878, continuing through the early 1950's. By 1955, it was a subagency of the Nevada Agency.
Records from the above area offices, agencies, and schools pertain to all aspects of administration and operation of agencies and schools, such as agricultural extension projects, census and enrollment, Civilian Conservation Corps-Indian Division activities, construction of homes and roads, emergency relief programs conducted in the 1930's, home demonstration programs, health care programs, irrigation and land management activities, and law enforcement activities. Records on microfilm pertaining to the above locations include:
I3, Records of the Mission Indian Agency, Southern California, 1912-1955; I18, Letters Sent by the Special Indian Agent of Nevada, 1869-1871; I32, Applications to the 1928 California Indian Judgment Enrollment; I34, Carson Indian School Register of Pupils, 1890-1899; M1853,Indians of California Census Rolls Authorized Under the Act of May 18, 1928 as Amended, Approved May 16-17, 1933. Included are correspondence, ledgers, memorandums, reports, and other records. Nontextual records include several separate series of architectural drawings and maps and a small collection of photographs of two tuberculosis hospitals in California. Other student art, maps, and photographs are interfiled with textual records.

Records of the Special Agent at Large, Reno, 1913-1923. The records of Colonel L.A. Dorrington concern special investigations of Indian agencies and schools in the Western States. Cases involved inefficiency or scandalous conduct of personnel, poor administration, and trouble between Native Americans and agents and other whites. The records consist of clippings, correspondence, and reports.

Records of the Supervisor of Indian Education, Sacramento, 1928-34. The records concern administrative matters, Native American attendance at public schools, the phasing out of some boarding schools, school management and personnel, and other subjects involving Native American education in the western states. Among the records included are correspondence, narrative inspection reports, and school activity and attendance reports.

Records of Indian clinics and health centers in Alturas, Fresno, and Ukiah, California, 1928-37. The records concern eligibility for relief and supplies, health conditions, and medical treatments. They consist of circulars, letters, and reports.

Records of the Berkeley Outing Center, California, 1916-33. Established in 1916 as a field matronship under the Carson Agency, the outing matron placed Native American girls and women from outside the San Francisco area into domestic employee positions in the Bay Area. The records contain information about the individuals placed, and salary and account data. They consist of applications, employment contracts, letters, and service histories.

Records of the Field Employment Assistance Service, Oakland, San Francisco, and San Jose, 1954-75. The records concern relocation and financial and employment assistance and are primarily case files. There are a few administrative files.

Finding Aids

  • BIA file classification manuals (1951 and 1962) provide numerical and alphabetical listings for coded decimal file series.
  • Michael Graham, Guide to the Papers of Col. Lafayette A. Dorrington, Special Agent, Bureau of Indian Affairs, 1913-30, ca. 1986.
  • All BIA units: draft inventories.
  • Selected series: folder or box lists.
  • For the Sacramento Area Office and Central California Agency: list of rancherias for the tribal group files.

Related Microfilm Publications

M1, Records of the Michigan Superintendency of Indian Affairs, 1814-1851;
M2, Records of the Oregon Superintendency of Indian Affairs, 1848-1873;
M4, Letter Book of the Creek Trading House, 1795-1816;
M5, Records of the Washington Superintendency of Indian Affairs, 1853-1874;
M15, Letters Sent by the Secretary of War Relating to Indian Affairs, 1800-1824;
M16, Letters Sent by the Superintendent of Indian Trade, 1807-1823;
M18, Register of Letters Received by the Office of Indian Affairs, 1824-1880;
M21, Letters Sent by the Office of Indian Affairs, 1824-1881;
M74, Letters of Tench Coxe, Commissioner of the Revenue, Relating to the Procurement of Military, Naval, and Indian Supplies, 1794-1796;
M234, Letters Received by the Office of Indian Affairs, 1824-1881;
M271, Letters Received by the Office of the Secretary of War Relating to Indian Affairs, 1800-1823;
M348, Report Books of the Office of Indian Affairs, 1838-1885;
M574, Special Files of the Office of Indian Affairs, 1807-1904;
M595, Indian Census Rolls, 1884-1940 (selected rolls);
M685, Records Relating to Enrollment of Eastern Cherokee by Guion Miller, 1908-1910 (selected rolls);
M834, Records of the Utah Superintendency of Indian Affairs, 1853-1870;
M837, Records of the Nevada Superintendency of Indian Affairs, 1869-1870;
M1011, Superintendent's Annual Narrative and Statistical Reports from Field Jurisdictions of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, 1907-1938;
M1070, Reports of Inspections of the Field Jurisdictions of the Office of Indian Affairs, 1873-1900 (selected rolls);
M1186, Enrollment Cards for the Five Civilized Tribes, 1898-1914 (selected rolls);
M1650, Applications from the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Muskogee Area Office, Relating to Enrollment in the Five Civilized Tribes Under the Act of 1896;
T58, Letters Received by the Superintendent of Indian Trade, 1806-1824;
T275, Census of Creek Indians Taken by Parsons and Abbott in 1832;
T494, Documents Relating to the Negotiation of Ratified and Unratified Treaties With Various Indian Tribes, 1801-1869;
T496, Census Roll of the Cherokee Indians East of the Mississippi and Index to the Roll, 1835;
unnumbered, Index and Final Rolls to Citizens and Freedmen of the Five Civilized Tribes in the Indian Territory, ca. 1907.


Access to some files or portions of documents may be restricted due to privacy concerns.

Records of the Office of the Chief of Engineers (RG 77)

Administrative History

The Corps of Engineers, U.S. Army, with headquarters at Washington, DC, was a result of orders of April 3, 1818. The military responsibilities of the Office of the Chief of Engineers (OCE) have included producing and distributing Army maps, building roads, planning camps, and constructing and repairing fortifications and other installations. Its civil duties have included maintaining and improving inland waterways and harbors, formulating and executing plans for flood control, operating dams and locks, and approving plans for construction of bridges, wharves, piers, and other works over navigable waters. Expansion of the OCE's river and harbor improvement work after the Civil War necessitated the establishment of district offices throughout the United States. The engineer officer in charge of each district reported directly to the Chief of Engineers until 1888 when engineer divisions were created with administrative jurisdiction over the district offices.

Records Description

Dates: 1853-1994
Volume: 1,355 cubic feet

Records of the following divisions, districts, and subordinate offices:

  • Pacific Division, 1884-1919. Created in 1889 and based in San Francisco, the division supervised engineer districts in California, Oregon, and Washington, reporting directly to the Chief of Engineers. The Honolulu District was later added to the division's jurisdiction. In 1929, the Pacific Division was abolished and replaced by the North and South Pacific Divisions. The Pacific Division was briefly re-established from 1931 to 1934, and again from 1942 to 1946.
  • Pacific Ocean Division, 1948-89. This division, which had jurisdiction over the Honolulu, Okinawa, and Far East Districts, was based in Honolulu and reported directly to the Chief of Engineers. In 1970, the Far East and Okinawa Districts were consolidated as the West Pacific District, and the Honolulu District was made inactive. In 1970, the division's jurisdiction covered Hawaii, other Pacific Islands, and the Far East.
  • South Pacific Division, 1913-62. Established in 1929 as a successor to the Pacific Division, the South Pacific Division, based in San Francisco, included the Honolulu, Los Angeles, Sacramento, and San Francisco Districts. It reported directly to the Chief of Engineers. From 1931 to 1934, and again from 1942 to 1946, the division was consolidated with other divisions to form the Pacific Division, but it was repeatedly re-established as the South Pacific Division. In 1950, the responsibilities of the abolished Western Ocean Division were assigned to the South Pacific Division. The Honolulu District and other jurisdictions in the Far East were transferred to the Pacific Ocean Division in 1957.
  • Western Ocean Division, 1946-50. This short-lived division, created in 1946, had jurisdiction over districts in the Far East. It was based in Sausalito and reported directly to the Chief of Engineers. With the gradual abolishment or transfer of its subordinate jurisdictions, the division itself was abolished in 1950.
  • Honolulu District and Honolulu Area Office, 1913-59. Established in 1905 under the Pacific Division, this district comprised the Hawaiian Islands and, at various times, other Pacific islands. In 1919, it was temporarily withdrawn from the Pacific Division, and in 1923 the Hawaiian Division was created. The Hawaiian Division was abolished and the Honolulu District re-established in 1929, reporting to the Pacific Division and later the South Pacific Division. The district was downgraded to an area office in 1950, under supervision of the San Francisco District. In 1957, it was redesignated a district and placed under the jurisdiction of the newly created Pacific Ocean Division.
  • Sacramento District and California Debris Commission, 1906-78. Created out of the "Second San Francisco District" in 1929, the Sacramento District reports to the South Pacific Division. The district's civil works program involves Sacramento-San Joaquin Basin streams and the widely scattered rivers of the Great Basin. The extent of the military program has varied. Prior to the Korean conflict, the only military function of the district concerned the Underground Explosion Tests Program. In 1951, the San Francisco District's military projects in northern California were transferred to the Sacramento District. In the early 1970's, the district was responsible for Arizona, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Washington, although the Seattle District assumed jurisdiction over the northwestern States in 1978.
  • The California Debris Commission, created in 1893 and abolished in 1986, regulated hydraulic mining to prevent resulting debris from clogging navigable waters or otherwise causing damage. The Sacramento District Engineer was the secretary of the Commission.
  • San Francisco District, 1853-1995. In 1853, Captain Joseph Mansfield was stationed at San Francisco to erect fortifications at certain points in the area. In 1866, the San Francisco District was created, with responsibility for fortifications and river and harbor improvements for the entire Pacific Coast as well as Arizona, Idaho, and Nevada. With the opening of other engineer offices along the west coast, the district's jurisdiction diminished. In 1941, the San Francisco District assumed responsibility for all military construction activities in the San Francisco area, formerly charged to the Quartermaster Corps. The outbreak of the Korean conflict generated enormous expansion of the district's programs and boundaries, which were reflected in the district's many reorganizations. From 1950 to 1957, the district was responsible for the Honolulu Area Office and for the remaining operations of the abolished Western Ocean Division. Civil works project jurisdiction covers the Northern Coastal Basins, the San Francisco Bay Area (except for a small area east of Benicia, including Suisun Bay and Walnut Creek) and the northern three-fourths of the Central Coastal Basins.
The records document civilian and some military activities of the Office of the Chief of Engineers (OCE) in California, Hawaii, Nevada, parts of Arizona and Utah, and islands in the Pacific Ocean. Responsibilities of the OCE include construction of facilities on military bases, flood control, and maintenance and improvement of inland waterways and harbors. They provide geological, hydrological, and economic data about construction projects and their impact on the surrounding area. Included are records relating to hydraulic mining, Alcatraz and Treasure Islands, the Hoover-Young Commission on California Water Resources, and the Reber Plan to build barriers across San Francisco and San Pablo Bays. There are administrative records, engineering studies, planning studies, flood control and survey reports, construction project files, notebooks, structural permit files, and topographical and hydrological data files. Nontextual records consist of separate series of engineering drawings, including drawings of air force bases in California, and several series of photographs of San Francisco District projects. Other engineering drawings and photographs are interfiled with the textual records.

Records of Fort Point, 1853-1902, and Fort Winfield Scott, 1902-07, subordinate offices of the San Francisco District. The records concern daily operations and construction activities, and consist of letters, reports, time sheets, and vouchers.

Records of the Nuclear Cratering Group, Livermore, California, 1963-71. The records relate to research on civil construction uses for nuclear explosives. They are technical reports.

Finding Aids

  • War Department Decimal File System (Revised Edition), 1943.
  • Draft inventory (1996).
  • List of series.
Folder title lists for some series.

Related Microfilm Publications

M65, Letters Sent by the Office of the Chief of Engineers Relating to Internal Improvements, 1824-1830;
M66, Letters Sent by the Topographical Bureau of the War Department and by Successor Divisions in the Office of the Chief of Engineers, 1829-1870.

Records of the National Park Service (RG 79)

Administrative History

The National Park Service was established in the Department of the Interior by an act of August 25, 1916. It supervises national parks, monuments, historic parks, memorials, parkways, recreation areas, and seashores and is responsible for the promotion and regulation of their use. It establishes and enforces regulations for use, protects parks from fire, regulates concession operators, investigates and recommends proposed new areas, acquires land, and constructs and maintains roads, trails, and buildings. It also engages in research and educational work such as managing guided tours and lectures, marking nature trails, maintaining museums and libraries, and preparing publications and studies in history, archeology, natural history, and wildlife.

Records Description

Dates: 1910-69
Volume: 891 cubic feet

Records of the Office of the Regional Director, Region IV (Western Region), San Francisco, 1927-69. The region was established in 1937 to serve Alaska, Arizona, California, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada, the Northern Mariana Islands, Oregon, and Washington. In 1970, the Pacific Northwest Region was created, with jurisdiction over Idaho, Oregon, and Washington. More recently the Alaska region was established with jurisdiction over that State. Among the sites administered by Region IV since its inception are:

  • Crater Lake National Park (NP);
  • Hawaii NP;
  • Lassen NP;
  • Mt. McKinley NP;
  • Mt. Rainier NP;
  • Sequoia-Kings Canyon NP;
  • Yosemite NP;
  • Angel Island National Monument (NM);
  • Cabrillo NM;
  • Craters of the Moon NM;
  • Death Valley NM;
  • Fort Vancouver NM;
  • Glacier Bay NM;
  • Jackson Hole NM;
  • Joshua Tree NM;
  • Katmai NM;
  • Lava Beds NM;
  • Muir Woods NM;
  • Old Kassan NM;
  • Oregon Caves NM;
  • Pinnacles NM;
  • Sitka NM;
  • Whitman NM;
  • Boulder Dam Recreational Demonstration Area (RDA);
  • Mendocino Woodlands RDA;
  • Redwood Mountain RDA;
  • Lake Shasta RDA;
  • Silver Creek RDA.

The records relate to the administration of all sites within the region. Among the subjects covered are progress of Emergency Conservation Work (ECW), Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), and Works Progress Administration (WPA) projects; lumber industry efforts to expand into protected areas; the Mendocino Woodlands "model camp" project; observations of flora and fauna; and attempts by ranching interests to use park lands for grazing purposes. Records include bulletins, circulars, correspondence, narrative and statistical reports, publications, and registers. Nontextual records include maps and photographs interfiled with textual records.

Records of the Office of Land and Water Rights, San Francisco, 1936-63. The records concern land acquisition and boundary changes, and consist of letters, legislative and legal documents, and memorandums.

Records of the Regional Engineering Branch, San Francisco, 1913-66. The records relate to field surveys; road construction; and construction and operation of locks, reservoirs and dams. They consist of bulletins, correspondence, memorandums, notebooks, and reports. Nontextual records include engineering drawings and maps interfiled with textual records.

Records of the Regional Branch of Plans and Design, San Francisco, 1927-40. The records of the resident landscape architect document construction priorities, projected costs for ECW and CCC activities, and final results of road surveys. They consist of job completion reports, letters, memorandums, and status reports. Nontextual records include architectural drawings, photographs, and sketch maps interfiled with textual records.

Records of the Office of the Regional Wildlife Technician, San Francisco, 1929-41. The records document complaints from the public regarding wildlife policies; insect and animal damage to flora; proposed monuments, parks, and parkways; and surveys conducted in national and State parks by field naturalists and wildlife technicians. The records consist of bulletins, letters, memorandums, and statistical and special reports. Nontextual records include photographs interfiled with textual records.

Records of the Office of the Regional Naturalist, San Francisco, 1929-53. The records relate to activities of park naturalists; poaching on Federal land, protecting mountain lions in Washington; the 1935 reduction program for the Yellowstone elk herd; the reintroduction of species into former habitats; rodent control in Yosemite; and wildlife observations and surveys in national and State parks. Included are bulletins, census summary cards, letters, memorandums, and narrative reports. Nontextual records include photographs interfiled with textual records.

Records of the Office of the Regional Geologist, San Francisco, 1936-40. The records relate to the geology and paleontology of the following sites: Boulder Dam, Capitol Reef, Lehman Caves, Pinnacles, Olympic, Santa Catalina, Sequoia, and Zion. Included are letters and statistical reports. Nontextual records include maps interfiled with textual records.

Records of the Regional Division of Ranger Services, San Francisco, 1916-60. The records document forest pest control, and forest fire protection and suppression, and include letters, memorandums, and narrative reports.

Records of the Western Museum Laboratory, San Francisco, 1923-62. Among the subjects discussed are the 1936 California Exposition in San Diego, cooperation with State and local museums, and instruction to field units regarding proper procedures in the collection and display of exhibit material. Included are correspondence and reports. Nontextual records include photographs interfiled with textual records.

Records of the following sites:

  • Millerton Lake National Recreation Area, 1946-58;
  • Lassen Volcanic National Park, 1927-65;
  • Muir Woods National Monument, 1934-62;
  • Yosemite National Park, 1910-66.
The records relate to site administration and operations, and include correspondence, memorandums, and reports. Nontextual records include architectural drawings, maps, and photographs interfiled with textual records.

Finding Aids

  • Draft inventory.
  • Box and folder lists for some series.
  • Appendix II, "Select List of Decimal Classifications . . ." in Edward E. Hill, comp., Preliminary Inventory of the Records of the National Park Service, PI 166 (1966).
  • Appendix A, "The Park Service Filing System," in Files Management Handbook, National Park Service (1963).