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Valuable help and information were received from each visit, however, and by piecing this information together storage specifications were worked out and submitted in a memorandum of May 13. In brief, these specifications included insulated fireproof cabinets within the concrete vaults of the main motion-picture storage-vault system. In these cabinets each thousand feet of film is to be isolated in a separate compartment, vented to a stack flue that leads to the exterior of the building. The compartments are to have gravity trap doors that will permit quick and easy egress of combustion flames or gases to the exterior and prevent ingress of these same gases to other compartments. The flues leading to the exterior are to be provided with proper insulation and devices to prevent heat conduction and air convection from the outside. In brief, the preservation plans comprise, in addition to editing and conditioning, control of temperature, humidity, air content, heat conduction, and air connection.
The Chief of the Division has been made a member of the National Research Council's advisory committee to the Bureau of Standards on the preservation of motion-picture film, and also chairman of the film-preservation committee of the Society of Motion Picture Engineers. These committees will furnish additional and valuable help in the study of the problem of film preservation.
The work of the Division may be materially handicapped unless preservation of motion-picture films is interpreted to mean preservation of motion-picture records. The present language of section 7 of the National Archives Act limits the work largely to that of curatorship. The preservation of a motion-picture film has a definite time limitation, but, if the concept were enlarged to include the preservation of motion-picture records by all necessary means, including duplication, The National Archives could look forward to a more successful effort in preserving this material as permanent archives of the Government.
In approaching the problem of servicing, the only completed work is that of writing specifications for storage and for motion-picture and sound-recording equipment. In this, help was given by various Federal agencies interested in motion pictures and by several nonFederal institutions. These specifications were submitted on May 13 and June 26, respectively.
As a consequence of his travels and studies, the Chief of the Division made contacts that should prove of inestimable value in the future development of this Division. He was also called upon from time to time to counsel with various Federal and non-Federal institutions with similar functions in working out their problems. Among these may be mentioned the motion picture production section of the Bureau of Mines, on problems of storage; the American Society of Photogrammetry, also on storage problems; the Smithsonian Institution, on sound recording; and the Rockefeller Laboratory of Archaeology, on recording.
OFFICE OF THE EXECUTIVE OFFICER
(From the report of the Acting Executive Officer, Mr. HARRIS)
Collas G. Harris was appointed senior administrative officer on December 3, 1934, and served as Acting Executive Officer from that date to June 30, 1935. He has had general supervision over the business affairs of The National Archives, the preparation of the budget for 1936, the building and equipment, and the work of the administrative divisions.
TEMPORARY ADMINISTRATIVE MACHINERY
The first major administrative problem was that of setting up temporary machinery whereby the necessary business details could be carried on until the divisions devoted to this work could be organized. This was accomplished after several conferences with the various agencies of the Government concerned with the administrative activities of a Government agency, namely, the General Accounting Office, the Bureau of the Budget, the disbursing officer at the Treasury, the Procurement Division, the Government Printing Office, and the Personnel Classification Board of the Civil Service Commission.
THE BUDGET FOR 1936
An immediately pressing problem was the formulation of budget estimates for the fiscal year 1936 and supplementary estimates for the balance of the fiscal year 1935. The Emergency Appropriation Act, fiscal year 1935, approved June 19, 1934, carried an item of $50,000 for salaries and other expenses of The National Archives during the fiscal year 1935. This appropriation was to enable a small staff to be assembled before the exact amount of the appropriation needed to carry out the purposes of the National Archives Act could be determined. Had The National Archives been in operation during the summer of 1934, the budget estimates for the fiscal year 1936 would have appeared in the regular Independent Offices Appropriation Act for the fiscal year 1936. After several conferences at the Bureau of the Budget and numerous and lengthy conferences with the Archivist and the Acting Director of Archival Service, an organization chart was prepared. From this organization chart a break-down of required personnel by divisions was made. This was then incorporated in the budget justification along with the amounts that would be required for other obligations. Since this was the first budget estimate to be submitted by The National Archives it was necessary during its preparation to have numerous conferences with the Bureau of the Budget and with the Personnel Classification Board of the Civil Service Commission. The estimate when completed was presented to the Bureau of the Budget on January 28, 1935, and it was submitted to Congress by the President on February 27, 1935. In the First Deficiency Appropriation Act, fiscal year 1935, approved March 21, 1935, there was appropriated for salaries and other expenses of The National Archives for the fiscal year 1936, $458,000, and for printing and binding, $17,000. Of these sums, $75,000 was made immediately available for use during the fiscal year 1935, $2,000 of which was for printing and binding.
BUILDING AND EQUIPMENT
A third problem concerned the necessary “tenant changes” in the National Archives Building, which was nearing completion. The act providing for the erection of the building was approved May 25, 1926; on June 19, 1934, an act was passed and approved by the President establishing The National Archives; and on October 10, 1934, the Archivist of the United States was appointed. During the interval from May 25, 1926, to October 10, 1934, the architect, Mr. John Russell Pope, and the Supervising Architect of the Treasury, Mr. L. A. Simon, had proceeded with the work of designing and erecting the National Archives Building, but they had been handicapped somewhat by not being able to consult with the officials who were to occupy the building. They knew that many tenant changes would have to be made in order that the building, when completed, should be adequate and suitable for its purposes.
The first conference between the Archivist, the Acting Director of Archival Service, and the Acting Executive Officer to consider these problems was held on December 3, 1934. The National Archives Building was then approaching the final stages of completion. The exterior was practically complete except for the pediments over the entrances and the four statues. The inside of the building was ready for the finishing touches. Scaffolding was still in the Exhibition Hall, but most of the work therein had been completed except for the large bronze gates at the entrance. The stack areas and the offices of the division chiefs in the stack areas were practically complete, but the installation of stack equipment had not begun. The administration offices on the Pennsylvania Avenue side of the building were nearing completion. The walls were plastered but the floors had not been laid and in most cases the doors had not been hung.
On June 30, 1935, the Exhibition Hall was completed except for the two murals. The pediments and statues on both the Pennsylvania Avenue and the Constitution Avenue sides were completed. The stack areas and the offices of the division chiefs in the stack areas were completed, but no stack equipment had been installed. The completion of the offices on the Pennsylvania Avenue side of the building had been held up for the necessary tenant and other changes.
On November 28, 1934, the Supervising Architect submitted copies of the proposed inscriptions for the building and the sculptural groups to the Archivist for his approval. They were discussed, revised, and approved in conferences of the Archivist, the Acting Director of Archival Service, and the Acting Executive Officer.
The next problem presented was that of space allocations in the building. This necessitated a study of the plans and numerous inspections of the building itself. The problem was to fit the proposed staff required to carry out the purposes of the National Archives Act into the National Archives Building. It was immediately seen that, in order to have adequate and sufficient working areas, it would be necessary to transform all lunch rooms and locker rooms into offices and to divide large rooms with two or more windows into two or more separate offices.
Various floor changes, involving the substitution of cork and linoleum for tile and cement, had to be made in the proposed lunchrooms.
The room to be used by the stenographic pool and the projecting room on the fifth floor had to be acoustically treated.
It was recommended that, in order to have the best possible working conditions, the walls and ceilings of all working areas and offices be painted.
The film vaults on the fifth floor did not appear to provide adequate protection for films, and recommendations were made for special cabinets to assure the utmost safety for the films to be stored in them and for the building and its contents.
A close study of the building disclosed that sufficient office space had not been provided, and a recommendation was made for the construction of nine additional offices with outside windows on the north side of the thirteenth tier of stacks.
The problem of protection for the building and its contents was carefully studied, and recommendation was made that an adequate system be installed for protection against fire and burglary.
The problem of housing the card catalog was taken care of by eliminating bookshelves around the walls in the main portion of the search room on the second floor and substituting for them specially designed and constructed card-catalog drawers.
Plans and designs for the furniture in the search room on the second floor and in the executive offices and the conference room on the main floor were submitted to the Archivist and after careful study were adopted.
The architects of the Treasury Department had been working for some years on designs for suitable stack equipment for the storage of documents, but they reached no definite decision until after many lengthy conferences had been held with the Archivist, the Acting Director of Archival Service, and the Acting Executive Officer, and a sample section of the stack equipment proposed had been tested and approved at the Bureau of Standards.
In December the problem of the construction of the extension was discussed. As a result of careful and detailed study, it was decided to recommend to the Procurement Division that the construction of the extension and the installation therein of suitable stack equipment be begun as soon as possible.
On June 30, 1935, all the tenant changes above mentioned were either completed or in process of completion except the acoustical treatment of the projecting room, the construction of the cardcatalog drawers, the floor changes on the ground and fifth floors, and the painting of certain offices.
ORGANIZATION OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE DIVISIONS As set forth in the organization charts and in the budget justifications for the fiscal years 1935 and 1936, the Executive Officer has complete charge of the general business administration of The National Archives and is responsible only to the Archivist of the United States for the proper performance of his duties. He is charged with the responsibility of carrying out a variety of functions, all of which are essential in order to assure the successful administration of the activities of the several divisions and sections of The National Archives. The number of employees to be assigned to the Office of the Executive Officer depends upon the number of employees assigned to and the amount of work performed by the technical, professional, and other divisions. As the staff and work of the technical and professional divisions increase the staff of the Executive Officer must be increased.
For the efficient operation of the functions of the Executive Officer the following administrative divisions and sections were planned: (1) Division of Purchase and Supply, (2) Division of Personnel and Pay Roll, (3) Division of Finance and Accounts, (4) Division of Photographic Reproduction and Research, (5) Division of the Central Files, (6) building and grounds, (7) printing and binding, (8) stenographic pool, (9) mail room, (10) messenger service, and (11) telephone switchboard. At the end of the fiscal year 1935, five of these divisions had been organized and were in operationthe Divisions of Personnel and Pay Roll, Finance and Accounts, Purchase and Supply, Photographic Reproduction and Research, and the Central Files. At the end of the fiscal year 1935, 25 persons were employed in the administrative divisions and 17 in the professional divisions.
DIVISION OF PURCHASE AND SUPPLY
(From the report of the Chief, Mr. WILSON) This Division was organized on May 16, 1935, with Frank P. Wilson as Chief.
The principal activities of the Division were directed to the setting up of an efficient system of records covering purchase orders, requisitions for supplies and equipment, perpetual inventory of stock items, break-down by divisions of supplies issued, and permanent identification and location by division and room of all equipment.
The Division also took over the preparation and certification of all orders and vouchers and the preparation of specifications for bids on equipment; assisted in moving and setting up the several offices of The National Archives staff; prepared necessary requisition and record forms to be supplied by the Division of Photographic Reproduction and Research; and arranged for stenographic and messenger service.
DIVISION OF PERSONNEL AND PAY ROLL
(From the report of the Chief, Mr. JONES) This Division was organized on February 1, 1935, with the senior administrative officer in charge until March 16, 1935, when Allen F. Jones was appointed Chief.
In the performance of its functions, the Division furnished, upon request, 35,000 application forms to prospective applicants, 15,000 of whom had returned their forms properly filled out by June 30. In an effort to give every applicant fair consideration and to supply