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chases from other sources; to classify, catalog, and arrange all maps and charts transferred to or otherwise acquired by The National Archives; and to furnish service and give scientific aid and advice to Government departments and officials and to others who desire to use the collection.
Division of Motion Pictures and Sound Recordings.—This Division is set up under section 7 of the National Archives Act, which authorizes The National Archives to "accept, store, and preserve motionpicture films and sound recordings pertaining to and illustrative of historical activities of the United States” and to "maintain a projecting room for showing such films and reproducing such sound recordings for historical purposes and study.”. Although the motionpicture industry has reached enormous size, it has made little progress in the solution of the many problems relating to the preservation, storage, and safety of motion-picture films. The Division will conduct scientific researches on methods of reproducing, processing, storing, and preserving motion-picture films, with special reference to the elimination of fire risks and other hazards. It will classify, arrange, and catalog the collection of films and sound recordings; make duplicate copies of each original film for purposes of preservation and projection; recondition films in order to remove harmful chemical impurities; maintain and operate the projecting room; cooperate with Government and other research agencies in scientific research; and furnish reference and information service to the other professional divisions of The National Archives and to searchers.
Division of the Library.-The work of this Division is based on section 10 of the National Archives Act, which authorizes appropriations for the purchase and exchange of books; and on an amendment (Public, No. 151, 74th Cong.) to the Printing Act, which provides for the distribution of Government publications to The National Archives. Its purpose is to have at hand for the service of the staff of The National Archives and of searchers using its collections, a small library of such reference books as they may need from time to time in their work. The Division will, therefore, accession and catalog printed guides, inventories, calendars, reference works, and public documents referring to the archives of the Federal Government, to the archives of the 48 States of the American Union, and to the archives of foreign countries; purchase and catalog such other reference works as are essential in connection with the use of the materials in The National Archives; supply a general book reference service to all divisions of The National Archives and to accredited searchers; compile special bibliographies required by the professional divisions and by the National Historical Publications Commission; establish and maintain a union catalog of all pertinent but unobtainable books in other American and foreign libraries and in public and semipublic agencies; and perform such other operations as are customary and required in maintaining an efficient reference library service.
Divisions of Department Archives. It is the intention of The National Archives, in organizing the material transferred to its custody, to respect the integrity of the archives of each department or other agency of the Government in which these archives originated. The archives of each executive department, of each major independent establishment, and of the legislative and the judicial branches of the Government that are transferred to The National Archives will be maintained and administered by a distinct and separate division. This plan of organization is set up under authority of sections 3 and 6 of the National Archives Act. Each of these divisions will have final custody of the archives transferred to it and will arrange such archives in the stacks; make a detailed descriptive inventory of them for the use of the other professional divisions and of searchers; supply materials to the search rooms for the use of searchers upon requisition of the Chief of the Division of Reference; constantly examine the documents in its care to discover those that require repair or binding; and operate the stack-protective system to assure the security of the archives against theft, fire, and other hazards.
ADMINISTRATIVE DIVISIONS These divisions are under the general supervision of the Executive Officer.
Division of Personnel and Pay Roll.—This Division is charged with preliminary selection of personnel; conducting necessary investigations regarding appointees, both before and subsequent to employment; supervising and directing the preparation of appointment notices, pay rolls, transfers, reinstatements, certifications, time and leave records, service records, retirement matters, promotions, demotions, efficiency ratings, separations, and related personnel work; and conducting work pertaining to the classification sheets and the submission of
them to the Personnel Classification Board of the Civil Service Commission for allocation as required by the Personnel Classification Act of 1923.
Division of Purchase and Supply.The duties and functions of this Division are to procure all supplies through requisition or local purchase on bids; purchase all equipment required by The National Archives; handle all purchase negotiations, prepare contracts, and make recommendations as to the awards; supervise the receipt, storage, distribution, and inventorying of all supplies and equipment procured; conserve, repair, and maintain all supplies, materials, and equipment of The National Archives; and conduct all correspondence relative to these activities.
Division of Finance and Accounts.—This Division is charged with the responsibility of keeping allotment and proprietary accounts; preparing all reimbursement vouchers; auditing all vouchers covering appropriation expenditures to ascertain whether or not they are in accordance with appropriation acts, administrative limitations, and Government fiscal regulations; compiling the necessary data to be used in the preparation of estimates of appropriations and justifications therefor to be presented to the Bureau of the Budget; receipting for and expending appropriation funds under the general supervision of the Executive Officer; assembling and preparing the necessary data pertaining to receipts and expenditures to be included in the Archivist's annual report to Congress; supervising the maintenance of requisite accounting records of funds received and disbursed; conducting the correspondence and preparing memoranda required in its work, including explanations and applications of the appropriation and other fiscal laws, regulations, decisions, and office policy and practice; preparing the various forms to be furnished to the Bureau of the Budget showing the monthly apportionment of appropriations and monthly expenditures and obligations; preparing the monthly statements of allotment accounts, schedules of balances showing the status of appropriations, and statements of balances or general ledger accounts; and making recommendations to superior administrative officers on fiscal matters. The Division is expected to be fully informed as to all decisions rendered by the Comptroller General, especially as to those applying to The National Archives.
Division of Photographic Reproduction and Research.- The major functions of this Division are to plan and carry through a series of studies of duplicating and photographic technique in relation to the preservation, restoration, and use of documents transferred to The National Archives; to duplicate materials prepared in The National Archives for its own use and for general circulation, including bulletins, pamphlets, circulars, and the like, in processed or facsimile form; to prepare photostatic or photographic copies of documents deposited in The National Archives required by any Government agency; to photograph rare or unique documents in order to reduce the frequent handling of the originals; to make for purposes of preservation reduced photographic copies of official documents of possible future value but not considered of sufficient historical interest to warrant the preservation of the originals; to establish and maintain an efficient and economical service for scholars and other accredited persons wishing photographic or photostatic copies of documents; and to initiate, develop, and carry through scientific research projects in photographic processes dealing with the preservation and storage of still pictures, the application of microcopying to the problems of The National Archives, the photographic restoration of damaged documents, and the reproduction photographically of materials for the use of the staff of The National Archives and of searchers.
Division of the Central Files.—This Division is charged with the responsibility of filing, indexing, and cross-indexing letters, telegrams, and all other outgoing and incoming communications; classifying, briefing, indexing, cross-indexing, and filing other important material; and developing a simplified subject file, based on a variety of subject headings supplied by the divisions of The National Archives.
PERSONNEL Of the offices and divisions described above, only the following were organized during the fiscal year 1935:
Office of the Director of Archival Service, Dorsey W. Hyde, Jr., acting director.
Office of the Executive Officer, Collas G. Harris, acting executive
Motion Pictures and Sound Recordings, John G. Bradley, chief, appointed January 19, 1935.
Classification, Roscoe R. Hill, chief, appointed May 7, 1935. Accessions, Thomas M. Owen, Jr., chief, appointed May 14, 1935. Research, Percy S. Flippin, chief, appointed June 17, 1935.
Personnel and Pay Roll, Allen F. Jones, chief, appointed March 16, 1935.
Finance and Accounts, Allen F. Jones, chief, appointed March 16, 1935.
Photographic Reproduction and Research, Vernon D. Tate, chief, appointed May 1, 1935.
Purchase and Supply, Frank P. Wilson, chief, appointed May 16, 1935.
The total number of persons employed in The National Archives at the close of the fiscal year was 42.
The problem of selecting the personnel of the organization, because of the highly professional and technical character of the work of the professional divisions, called for careful consideration. It meant the selection, from among some 15,000 applicants, of persons qualified by training or by experience, and, as frequently happened, when no persons qualified for particular duties could be found among the applicants, the initiation by the Archivist of steps to find such persons elsewhere. Great care and frequently prolonged investigations were necessary to carry out the mandate of Congress, as expressed in the National Archives Act, that all persons appointed by the Archivist in The National Archives shall be selected “solely with reference to their fitness for their particular duties.” Every effort has been made to adhere faithfully to this standard.
BUILDING AND EQUIPMENT
Although the construction of the building, as has been stated, had reached an advanced stage before the appointment of the Archivist, it was still possible to make alterations in the interior in the interest of administrative efficiency: Problems of "tenant changes" and of equipment called for immediate attention. Most of the equipment had to be especially designed for this particular building. These problems required careful consideration since it was necessary always to bear in mind that the solutions must be of a permanent character. Numerous conferences were held with the architect, with the Supervising Architect and other officials of the Procurement Division, Treasury Department, and with the Bureau of Standards. Detailed studies of equipment for the filing of archives and the storage of both motion-picture and still films, of the preservation and restoration of damaged documents, and of methods of protection against fire, theft, deterioration, and other hazards were made, revised, re-revised, and tested. These studies required much time and labor and have made possible one of the best-equipped archives buildings in the world.