A President Complies with Federal Regulations: Franklin D. Roosevelt and Form TFR-500

Today's post is written by Dr. Greg Bradsher and Dr. Sylvia Naylor, archivists at the National Archives in College Park, MD. Midway through World War II it became apparent that the United States Government had increasing need for comprehensive financial information on American property interests in foreign countries, particularly enemy and enemy-dominated nations. This need … Continue reading A President Complies with Federal Regulations: Franklin D. Roosevelt and Form TFR-500

HOLIDAY HUMOR IN WARTIME: 1942

It might surprise some to learn that government bureaucrats have a sense of humor and that it occasionally appears among the records preserved in the National Archives.  One such instance was recently located in the files of the World War II-era Office of War Information (OWI).  That agency was responsible for formulating and implementing information … Continue reading HOLIDAY HUMOR IN WARTIME: 1942

A Polite Request for a Bicycle

Today's post is written by Megan Dwyre, Archivist at the National Archives at College Park “Hans Smit Duyzenkunst lent his bicycle for the evaders transport, but never got it back. He request you politely for an other bicycle.” While working on a reference request, I came across this claim from the file for Hans Smit Duyzenkunst … Continue reading A Polite Request for a Bicycle

Monuments Men Records at the National Archives at College Park, Maryland

Today's blog is written by Dr. Greg Bradsher and Dr. Sylvia Naylor, Archivists at the National Archives in College Park. The recent movie, The Monuments Men, and the continuing interest in art provenance research, prompted us to share some information about the primary records for research documenting the work of the Monuments Men (actually Monuments, Fine … Continue reading Monuments Men Records at the National Archives at College Park, Maryland

A personal prologue at the National Archives

The motto of the National Archives is "What is Past Is Prologue." Recently, while assisting a researcher at Archives II, I ran into my Dad, even though he died several years ago.  A bit of background will help you understand.  My father's first Government service, like most in his generation, came in the military during … Continue reading A personal prologue at the National Archives

Yugoslavia 1970: The Writing on the Wall

From time to time while working in the records, NARA staff find documents that provide new perspectives on events through which they lived.  I recently had that experience. I remember well the terrible humanitarian disaster that befell local populations as Yugoslavia ripped itself apart during the 1990s.  I remember, too, how many commentators expressed surprise … Continue reading Yugoslavia 1970: The Writing on the Wall

The Travels of two 16th Century Books from Germany to California, to Washington, D.C., and Back to Germany, 1945-2009

Today’s post is written by Dr. Greg Bradsher. Three years ago, on October 9, 2009, a former member of General Patton’s Third Army, in Room 105 of the National Archives Building in Washington, D.C. returned to the German Ambassador two 16th Century books he had taken from a German mine during April 1945. The story how … Continue reading The Travels of two 16th Century Books from Germany to California, to Washington, D.C., and Back to Germany, 1945-2009

Cartoonist Clifford Berryman on Thanksgiving

Political cartoonist Clifford Berryman made use of Thanksgiving throughout his career to highlight timely political issues near the holiday. Below are two examples of his Thanksgiving-themed cartoons: These and other cartoons by Clifford Berryman can be found in Record Group 46 in the series "Berryman Political Cartoon Collection, 1896-1949" (ARC Identifier 306080) as part of the Center … Continue reading Cartoonist Clifford Berryman on Thanksgiving

Seventy Years Ago: The Makin Island Raid, August 1942

Today’s post is written by Dr. Greg Bradsher. Some seventy years ago, this past August, the first major collection of captured Japanese documents in the Pacific Theater to arrive at Pearl Harbor were those captured in August 1942 when the 2nd Marine Raider Battalion, under Lt. Col. Evans F. Carlson, made a harassing raid on Makin … Continue reading Seventy Years Ago: The Makin Island Raid, August 1942

An American Archivist at Ascona, Switzerland, October 1997

Today’s post is written by Dr. Greg Bradsher. One clear, chilly evening this week fifteen years I was alone in the foothills above the town of Ascona, Switzerland, wondering “how in the world did I end up here?” The answer begins in December 1996, in the wake of revelations about Switzerland having dormant bank accounts of … Continue reading An American Archivist at Ascona, Switzerland, October 1997