A Catalog for the Records, 1936

Today’s post is written by Alan Walker, an Archivist in the Textual Records Division at the National Archives at College Park. Today, if you can’t make it in to a National Archives facility or presidential library, you will be diving into our online catalog to find what you’re looking for. But in the early days of the agency, … Continue reading A Catalog for the Records, 1936

Drafting a Guide: American Jewish History Resources

Today’s post is written by Alan Walker, Archivist at the National Archives at College Park. In 1957, archivist Nathan Reingold distributed a memo to each custodial unit at the National Archives asking for their staffs' help in tracking down records relating to American Jewish history. Now, such a request isn't made (or granted) lightly in … Continue reading Drafting a Guide: American Jewish History Resources

Aiding the Jews of Europe, 1946

Today’s post is written by Alan Walker, Archivist at the National Archives at College Park. Although the war was over, the agony of its survivors continued unabated. The United Jewish Appeal, established in 1939, now in the aftermath called upon the federal government to solicit support for its efforts overseas to help Jewish victims of … Continue reading Aiding the Jews of Europe, 1946

picture of a woman with a pneumatic tube in her hand taking out a pull slip

50 Years of the Pull Slip

Today's post was written by Alan Walker, Archivist at the National Archives at College Park. Can you believe it? April of 1966 saw the introduction of NAR Form 1, the "Reference Service Slip." This paper (commonly referred to as a "pull slip") is used to request records and is just as important to researchers and … Continue reading 50 Years of the Pull Slip

Setting up the Federal Register, 1935

Today's post was written by Alan Walker, Archivist at the National Archives in College Park. Today we celebrate the 80th anniversary of the Federal Register. On that day long ago, the press ballyhooed its arrival. Official Washington had long lamented the lack of any kind of up-to-date guide to the mind-boggling mass of rules, regulations, … Continue reading Setting up the Federal Register, 1935

Walk the Line

Today's post was written by Alan Walker, Archivist at the National Archives at College Park. It’s all well and good to have defined boundaries between countries, but somebody has to go out and make sure that they are accurate. And that’s what survey teams from the Coast and Geodetic Survey did for many years, especially … Continue reading Walk the Line

Articles Placed in the Cornerstone of the National Archives Building

Ask an Archivist? I’m all a-Twitter!

Today’s post is written by Alan Walker, a processing archivist at Archives II in College Park. I’m never on Twitter. Sure, I know of it; it’s a pervasive presence in our culture. One of the best greeting cards I’ve seen makes a hilarious play on it: Jesus on Twitter. “12 new followers: cool!”, “Whoops, crowd … Continue reading Ask an Archivist? I’m all a-Twitter!

black and white photo showing Lt. General DeWitt with a stenographer in the background

A Slap’s a Slap: General John L. DeWitt and Four Little Words

Today's post is written by Alan Walker, a processing archivist at Archives II in College Park. Lt. General John L. DeWitt was in charge of the U.S. Army’s Western Defense Command in 1942 and was instrumental in the development of Executive Order 9066, which directed the internment of all Japanese Americans living on the West … Continue reading A Slap’s a Slap: General John L. DeWitt and Four Little Words

On the Waterfront, or, The Smell of Discovery

Today's post is by College Park processing archivist Alan Walker. True story: Thursday, March 28 was shaping up to be a typical day. I had before me a cart’s worth of boxes full of case files from the Department of Justice that needed to be listed for a spreadsheet of “temporary” files to be disposed. These … Continue reading On the Waterfront, or, The Smell of Discovery

Browsing, Serendipity, and a Titanic Discovery

Today's post is by Alan Walker, a processing archivist at Archives II. As a kid I was captivated by the sinking of the RMS Titanic. The drama of such a man-made behemoth falling victim to an iceberg and the scope of the human tragedy conspired to trigger the imaginations of this impressionable youth. I read … Continue reading Browsing, Serendipity, and a Titanic Discovery