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LEGISLATION CONCERNING THE NATIONAL ARCHIVES AND THE
NATIONAL ARCHIVES BUILDING, 1913–35
EXTRACT FROM THE PUBLIC BUILDINGS OMNIBUS ACT, APPROVED MARCH 4,
[37 Stat. L. 884] Sec. 21. That the Secretary of the Treasury be, and he is hereby, authorized and directed to prepare designs and estimates for a fireproof national archives building of modern library-stack type of architecture, containing not less than three million cubic feet of space, suitable for the orderly storage of records, documents, and other papers which have accumulated in the various departments, independent establishments, and executive offices and in the files of the Senate and House of Representatives and are not needed for current use.
That the said designs and estimates shall be prepared with a view to the erection of the said building in the city of Washington, District of Columbia, upon a lot of land large enough to contain ultimately a building embracing eight million nine hundred thousand cubic feet of space.
That the said designs and estimates shall make provision for a building capable of subsequent extension, without impairing its architectural appearance, from a capacity of three million cubic feet to a capacity of eight million nine hundred thousand cubic feet.
That before the said designs and estimates are completed inspection shall be made under the direction of the Secretary of the Treasury of the best modern national archive buildings in Europe, and consultation shall be had with the best authorities in Europe on the construction and arrangement of archive buildings.
That the said designs and estimates shall provide for the construction of a building the total cost of which, including heating and ventilating apparatus, elevators, and approaches, complete, shall not exceed the sum of $1,500,000.
That whenever the said designs and estimates have been approved by a commission consisting of the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the Secretary of the Treasury, the Secretary of War, and the Secretary of the Interior, then the Secretary of the Treasury shall be, and he is hereby, authorized and directed, in his discretion, to purchase, or cause to be taken for public use, by condemnation or otherwise, as a site for said building, any piece of land of the size defined in this section the purchase of which shall be approved by the said commission.
That for the preparation of said designs and estimates the sum of $5,000, or so much thereof as may be necessary, is hereby authorized to be expended for employment of technical and engineering services in the office of the Supervising Architect,
ACT AUTHORIZING CONSTRUCTION WITHOUT INSPECTION OF EUROPEAN BUILD
INGS, APPROVED JUNE 28, 1916
[39 Stat. L. 241] An Act To repeal paragraph four of section twenty-one of the public build
ings Act, approved March fourth, nineteen hundred and thirteen, providing for the construction of a national archives building. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That paragraph four of section twenty-one of the public buildings Act, approved March fourth, nineteen hundred and thirteen, which reads as follows: "That before the said designs and estimates are completed inspection shall be made under the direction of the Secretary of the Treasury of the best modern national archive buildings in Europe, and consultations shall be had with the best authorities in Europe on the construction and arrangement of archive buildings,” be, and the ame is hereby, repealed; and the acquisition of a site for a national archives building, and the construction of the said building according to the terms of said Act of March fourth, nineteen hundred and thirteen, is hereby authorized without such inspection and consultation in Europe.
Approved, June 28, 1916. EXTRACT FROM THE SECOND DEFICIENCY ACT, FISCAL YEAR 1926, APPROVED
JULY 3, 1926
[44 Stat, L, 874] [Appropriated to the Treasury Department:] Washington, District of Columbia, Archives Building: Toward the construction of an extensible archíves building and the acquisition of a site by purchase, condemnation, or otherwise, $1,000,000; and the Secretary of the Treasury is authorized to enter into contracts for the entire estimated cost of such building, including stacks, and site, for not to exceed $6,900,000. EXTRACT FROM THE ACT MAKING APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE TREASURY AND POST OFFICE DEPARTMENTS FOR THE FISCAL YEAR ENDING JUNE 30, 1930, APPROVED DECEMBER 20, 1928
[45 Stat. L. 1044] [Appropriated to the Treasury Department:] Washington, District of Columbia, Archives Building: Toward the construction of building and acquisition of site, [indeterminate amount of general appropriation for public buildings;] and the Secretary of the Treasury is authorized to enter into contracts for the entire estimated cost of such building and site, including stacks, for not to exceed $8,750,000, in lieu of $6,900,000 fixed in Act of July 3, 1926. EXTRACT FROM THE SECOND DEFICIENCY ACT, FISCAL YEAR 1930, APPROVED
JULY 3, 1930
(46 Stat. L. 906] Archives Building: The Act of December 20, 1928 (45 Stat., p. 1044), is hereby amended so as to authorize the Secretary of the Treasury, in his discretion, to construct a building on the site bounded by B Street, Ninth Street, Seventh Street, and Pennsylvania Avenue, already owned by the Government, at a 'limit of cost not to exceed $8,750,000, and should the Secretary of the Treasury elect to carry out the above project in lieu of the present authorization for a site and building, any amounts already expended toward the purchase of a site shall be charged against the appropriations made under the Act of January 13, 1928 (45 Stat., pp. 51, 52), for the acquisition of certain lands within the District of Columbia, in lieu of the appropriations for the Archives Building.
THE NATIONAL ARCHIVES ACT, APPROVED JUNE 19, 1934
[48 Stat. L. 1122–1124] AN ACT To establish a National Archives of the United States Government,
and for other purposes.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That there is hereby created the Office of Archivist of the United States, the Archivist to be appointed by the President of the United States, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate.
Sec. 2. The salary of the Archivist shall be $10,000 annually. All persons to be employed in the National Archives Éstablishment shall be appointed by the Archivist solely with reference to their fitness for their particular duties and without regard to civil-service law; and the Archivist shall make rules and regulations for the government of the National Archives; but any official or employee with salary of $5,000 or over shall be appointed by the President by and with the advice and consent of the Senate.
SEC. 3. All archives or records belonging to the Government of the United States (legislative, executive, judicial, and other) shall be under the charge and superintendence of the Archivist to this extent: He shall have full power to inspect personally or by deputy the records of any agency of the United States Government whatsoever and wheresoever located, and shall have the full cooperation of any and all persons in charge of such records in such inspections, and to requisition for transfer to the National Archives Establishment such archives, or records as the National Archives Council, hereafter provided shall approve for such transfer, and he shall have authority to make regulations for the arrangement, custody, use, and withdrawal of material deposited in the National Archives Building: Provided, That any head of an executive department, independent office, or other agency of the Government may, for limited periods, not exceeding in duration his tenure of that office, exempt from examination and consultation by officials, private individuals, or any other persons such confidential matter transferred from his department or office, as he may deem wise.
Sec. 4. The immediate custody and control of the National Archives Building and such other buildings, grounds, and equipment as may from time to time become a part of the National Archives Establishment (except as the same is vested by law in the Director of National Buildings, Parks, and Reservations) and their contents shall be vested in the Archivist of the United States.
Sec. 5. That there is hereby created also a National Historical Publications Commission which shall make plans, estimates, and recommendations for such historical works and collections of sources as seem appropriate for publication and/or otherwise recording at the public expense, said Commission to consist of the Archivist of the United States, who shall be its chairman; the historical adviser of the Department of State; the chief of the historical section of the War Department, General Staff; the superintendent of naval records in the Navy Department; the Chief of the Division of Manuscripts in the Library of Congress; and two members of the American Historical Association appointed by the president thereof from among those persons who are or have been members of the executive council of the said association: Provided, That the preparation and publication of annual and special reports on the archives and records of the Government, guides, inventory lists, catalogs, and other instruments facilitating the use of the collections shall have precedence over detailed calendars and textual reproductions. This Commission shall meet at least once a year, and the members shall serve without compensation except repayment of expenses actually incurred in attending meetings of the Commission.
Sec. 6. That there is hereby further created a National Archives Council composed of the Secretaries of each of the executive departments of the Government (or an alternate from each department to be named by the Secretary thereof), the Chairman of the Senate Committee on the Library, the Chairman of the House Committee on the Library, the Librarian of Congress, the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, and the Archivist of the United States. The said Council shall define the classes of material which shall be transferred to the National Archives Building and establish regulations governing such transfer; and shall have power to advise the Archivist in respect to regulations governing the disposition and use of the archives and records transferred to his custody.
Sec. 7. The National Archives may also accept, store, and preserve motion-picture films and sound recordings pertaining to and illustrative of historical activities of the United States, and in connection therewith maintain a projecting room for showing such films and reproducing such sound recordings for historical purposes and study.
SEC. 8. That the National Archives shall have an official seal which will be judicially noticed.
Sec. 9. That the Archivist shall make to Congress, at the beginning of each regular session, a report for the preceding fiscal year as to the National Archives, the said report including a detailed statement of all accessions and of all receipts and expenditures on account of the said establishment. He shall also transmit to Congress the recommendations of the Commission on National Historical Publications, and, on January 1 of each year, with the approval of the Council, a list or description of the papers, documents, and so forth (among the archives and records of the Government), which appear to have no permanent value or historical interest, and which, with the concurrence of the Government agency concerned, and subject to the approval of Congress, shall be destroyed or otherwise effectively disposed of.
SEC. 10. That there are hereby authorized such appropriations as may be necessary for the maintenance of the National Archives Building and the administration of the collections, the expenses, and work of the Commission on National Historical Publications, the supply of necessary equipment and expenses incidental to the operations aforesaid, including transfer of records to the Archives Building; printing and binding; personal services in the District of Columbia and elsewhere; travel and subsistence and per diem in lieu of subsistence, notwithstanding the provisions of any other Acts; stenographic services by contract or otherwise as may be deemed necessary; purchases and exchange of books and maps; purchase, exchange, and operation of motor vehicles; and all absolutely necessary contingent expenses, all to be expended under the direction of the Archivist, who shall annually submit to Congress estimates therefor in the manner prescribed by law.
Sec. 11. All Acts or parts of Acts relating to the charge and superintendency, custody, preservation, and disposition of official papers and documents of executive departments and other governmental agencies inconsistent with the provisions of this Act are hereby repealed.
Approved, June 19, 1934.
EXTRACT FROM THE EMERGENCY APPROPRIATION ACT, FISCAL YEAR 1935,
APPROVED JUNE 19, 1934
[48 Stat. L. 1026]
For carrying out the provisions of the Act entitled “An Act to establish a National Archives of the United States Government, and for other purposes”, approved June , 1934, fiscal year 1935, $50,000.
EXTRACT FROM THE FIRST DEFICIENCY APPROPRIATION ACT, FISCAL YEAR
1935, APPROVED MARCH 21, 1935
National Archives Salaries and expenses: For the Archivist and for all other authorized expenditures of the National Archives in performing the duties imposed by law, including personal services; supplies and equipment; purchase and exchange of books and maps; contract stenographic reporting services; purchase of newspapers, periodicals, and press clippings; travel expenses, including not to exceed $500 for the expenses of attendance at meetings concerned with the work of the National Archives; purchase, exchange, maintenance, and operation of motor vehicles, including not more than one passenger-carrying automobile for the official use of the National Archives; and all other necessary expenses, fiscal year 1936, $458,000, of which not to exceed $73,000 shall be immediately available: Provided, That subsistence expenses payable under this appropriation shall be on a per diem allowance basis in lieu of actual expenses and shall not exceed $5 per day for any person: Provided further, That section 3709 of the Revised Statutes (U. S. C., title 41, sec. 5) shall not be construed