Today’s post is written by Amber Thiele, a processing archivst with civilian textual records in College Park.
Sometimes while processing textual records you find something that makes you think, “hmmm…this would get more use if it was in another part of the National Archives and Records Administration.” Usually in the Textual Archives Services Division, this happens when you find sound recordings, audiovisual materials, or electronic records as we do not have the equipment to preserve, access, or serve these records. Also, users are not going to search textual records when they are looking for a copy of the film, “U.S. Secret Service Agent,” but will go directly to the Motion Picture, Sound and Video Records Section. Consequently, specific types of records are transferred to provide the best access to the records.
Other times you find records, due to their content, that would get more use at a Presidential Library, a Regional Archive, or the National Personnel Records Center. This type of records transfer requires greater justification as each of those parts of the agency maintain textual records.
While processing Record Group (RG) 87, Records of the U.S. Secret Service, I came across logbooks for President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s Farm in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania (1955-1961); and for the after-hours arrivals and departures of employees to the White House (1955-1960). Both sets of log books include documentation for the comings and goings of the President and his staff. It seemed like the Eisenhower Presidential Library could use these records a lot.
Further, the other RG 87 series in College Park do not contain presidential protective service logbooks and the accessioning dossiers indicate that these types of records have all been transferred to the appropriate Presidential Libraries, even though they were not created by the presidential administration.
So I contacted the Eisenhower Presidential Library and found that they have an ongoing processing project for RG 87 that contains similar logbooks, a partial finding aid online, and they enthusiastically wanted the records. The rest of the transfer required various staff approvals, paperwork, updating systems to note the transfer, and finally, shipping the records to the Eisenhower Presidential Library, where they now live today.
Why are there no images of the content of the records here? The U.S. Secret Service requested during the accessioning process that all the records pertaining to the protective and investigative techniques or the citing of an Agent’s name not be released in accordance with 26 C.F.R. 1250.70. As each page lists a Secret Service Agent’s name, the pages cannot be shown without these names being redacted. Researchers can submit Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests to obtain redacted copies of the records. To submit such a request or for further information about these records, please contact the Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum.