Processing Records of the American Red Cross

By Jason Clingerman

In March we begin processing the collection of American Red Cross records donated to the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) in 2009. This was made possible due to the closing of the American Red Cross’ Hazel Braugh Records Center and Archives in Lorton, Virginia. These records will be incorporated into NARA’s already existing collection, Records of the American National Red Cross (ANRC).

Image of aid worker with American Red Cross outfit.
[Hurricane Gustav] Tyler, TX, September 3, 2008 — Red Cross workers look at evacuees gathering their belongings in preparation for their return to Beaumont, TX. The Red Cross is working with FEMA, DOD and the State of Texas to provide assistance to residents affected by Hurricane Gustav. Photo by Patsy Lynch/FEMA. NAID 5699730.

These records provide valuable insight into the role of the American Red Cross in numerous human conflicts and natural disasters from the Thumb Fire of 1881 to the tragedy of September 11th in 2001.

Some of the records included in the donation pre-date the 1881 establishment of the American Red Cross. Many of these records relate to Clara Barton and her followers’ humanitarian work in crises such as the Franco-Prussian War of 1871. Also included in the donation are the records of the U.S. Sanitary Commission, a government agency which promoted health and sanitation in Union Army camps during the American Civil War.

Many of the donated records consist of artifacts which will eventually be digitized as part of Strategy Three of NARA’s Strategy for Digitizing Archival Materials for Public Access, 2007-2016.

Stay tuned over the next few months as we share the discoveries we make during the course of processing! When the processing is completed, we will also make you aware of all the records that become available for public use.

4 thoughts on “Processing Records of the American Red Cross

  1. Exciting news about an exciting collections. Processing staff can rely on NARA’s authority sources via ARC to cover a variety of subjects treated in ANRC records. Let the NARA Authority Team know how they can help with this effort!

  2. What happened to the Red Cross records of the CBI theater during WWI? They used to be RG 20 in the D.C. archives as I recall.

  3. Do the American Red Cross records in NARA’s custody include any records concerning Miss Hendrie of the Red Cross in 1893-1894 working with the Washington Citizens’ Relief Committee aiding victims of the collapse of floors in Ford’s Theatre in 1893?

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