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and Enforcement have been completed, and a similar study of the Post Office collection is near completion. These studies require investigation into the history of each file, involving a determination of the functions which produced it, and the identification of groups of similar records or series to establish their relationship with one another.

During the past year there have been received from the Division of Reference 19,725 requests for service, of which the greatest number have been from the Veterans' Administration for pension records. Service on the records has necessitated in numerous cases involved searches by the members of this Division. The stack assistants have acquired not only a general understanding but also detailed knowledge of such complex collections as those of the Railroad Administration and the Railroad Labor Board, and this knowledge has made it possible to furnish to the Government agencies records necessary to them for the performance of their official functions.

The Chief of this Division is particularly responsible for matters pertaining to the transfer and custody of records from the Department of State and the Veterans' Administration, and he has been called upon from time to time to give special attention to this work. He has recommended the transfers of records from these agencies based upon an examination of the records and the facts surrounding their proposed transfer. During the past year, through the courtesy of the Department of State, reports on the volume of records in all foreign missions of the United States and a statement as to their probable disposition have been supplied to this office. These reports have been so charted in this Division as to give the desired statistical information for use in The National Archives.


(From the report of the Chief, Mr. MCALISTER)

This Division was created on May 16, 1937, with the appointment of the Chief. Its first duty was to assume control of records of the United States Senate for the years 1789 to 1934, comprising 3,591 cubic feet, which had been placed temporarily in the custody of the Division of Commerce Department Archives, and upon request to furnish records from that collection. To date 7 requisitions for records have been received, necessitating approximately 20 searches, and 37 documents have been withdrawn for exhibition purposes. The work of reorganizing these records into their proper order has been started.

Arrangements have been made for the transfer to this Division of records, already in the custody of The National Archives, of the National Commission on Law Observance and Enforcement, popularly known as the Wickersham Commission, of the Post Office Department, of the Civil Service Commission, of the Civilian Conservation Corps, of the National Emergency Council, and of the District Court of the United States for the District of Columbia. The Division will soon receive from the Department of Justice 2,714 cubic feet of records for the years 1790 to 1921, which are now in the process of being transferred to the National Archives Building.

A study has been made of the stack areas to be controlled by this Division, and space suitable to its peculiar requirements has been allotted to each of the above-mentioned collections.


(From the report of the Chief, Mr. LEAVITT) At the beginning of the fiscal year this Division (then known as the Division of Department Archives, No. 1) occupied two stack floors and had in its custody 3,181 cubic feet of records. At the end of the fiscal year this quantity had been increased by 18,784 cubic feet, making a total of 21,965 cubic feet of records stored on four stack floors. This volume of records included 38 collections transferred from 5 bureaus in the Department of Commerce, 4 bureaus or offices in the Department of the Treasury, 6 bureaus or offices in the Department of the Navy, and a considerable number of independent agencies. In addition, 22,506 cubic feet of records destined for this Division were in the building at the end of the year but, owing to lack of personnel to handle them or for other reasons, were stored temporarily in the receiving room and in unequipped stack areas. This made a total of 44,471 cubic feet of records either in the custody of the Division or about to be transferred to it.

Requests for service on the records frequently begin as soon as the collections are received and sometimes even before they reach the stacks. These requests originate chiefly in the Government offices from which the records have been transferred; a smaller number of calls are received from scholars wishing to carry on research.

As collections of records are received in the stacks, they are transferred into National Archives containers, the original order in which they were kept in the Government agency from which they came being preserved as far as possible. Frequently, however, records are received in such disorder that they must be studied immediately and be given a preliminary arrangement which will make it possible to give efficient service on them without delay. The drawers and trays in which they are placed are carefully labeled, and a desk list is kept showing the location of the various collections in the stacks.

As soon as possible after a collection is received a detailed study of it is begun to determine the origin, extent, and significance of the collection and to identify the series of which it is composed. The results of this study are written up in the form of preliminary descriptive reports, which summarize the contents of the collections as well as the history and functions of the offices that produced them, and in “identification of series” reports, which list and describe in greater detail the series that make up the collections. During the last half of the fiscal year, identification of series reports on 14 different collections and numerous other reports of a more general nature were prepared by the Division,


(From the report of the Chief, Mr. JOERG)

The Division of Maps and Charts began its activities with the appointment of the Chief on March 31, 1937. The circumstance that this Division was the last to be established among the divisions envisaged in the plan of organization of The National Archives (except for the future expansion of the group of Divisions of Department Archives) placed it in the fortunate position of being able to benefit by the experience gained during the 21/2 years since the beginning of the undertaking, a position doubly fortunate in view of the pioneering quality of the enterprise and the close relationship of the work of the Division with that of almost all the other professional divisions.


From the essential attribute of maps, that of portraying a whole or a portion of the earth's surface vertically projected on a plane, are derived their two outstanding characteristics from the stand point of library or archival custody—that they are usually “oversize” and that as a rule they are physically separate from the text or record they illustrate. Greatly though the image be reduced-in some cases as much as, or more than, one part to a million parts in nature, to paraphrase the usual designation for scales—the sheet on which it appears is ordinarily of considerable size, and hence, unless folded and bound in with the related text or records, tends to become separated, often being kept in the form of a roll.

With such considerations in mind, it was decided that the maps in The National Archives should be gathered into one central collection. To store and file these maps, several contiguous spaces were set aside with a total area of about 15,000 square feet on the ground floor, which, with its concrete base, is able to carry the exceptionally heavy loads represented by filled map cases. In these stack areas will be placed progressively the 334 steel map cases that had been acquired before the establishment of the Division. Each of these cases consists of three superimposed sections, each section containing four large shallow drawers. The overall dimensions of a case are 56 inches high, 42 inches deep, and 64 inches wide.

It is proposed to solve the other problem, that of coordinating related maps and records, by means of cataloging. Appropriate indications on the catalog cards dealing with maps will refer to the related records, and, vice versa, the cards dealing with records will refer to the corresponding maps when necessary. By the same device of the card catalog, it will be possible to maintain in the map collection the classification or grouping by departments or agencies from which the material is derived, which is the basic organizing principle used in The National Archives. In the consideration of these questions the methods evolved in the Divisions of Classification and Cataloging were drawn upon, as were recent reports submitted to the Association of American Geographers and the American Library Association.


The desirability of a unified depository for the records of the Federal Government is now universally recognized. Perhaps no group of records can demonstrate this need more eloquently than those of a geographical nature owing to their tendency to dispersion already mentioned. A number of cases that have come to light in the work of the Division illustrate this saliently. Three will be cited.

In his endeavor to obtain authentic information regarding the enormous territory acquired in the Louisiana Purchase, President Jefferson planned to send an expedition through the indefinite southern boundary belt of that territory, up the Red River to its unknown

It was scheduled for 1804, but the hostility of Spain prevented its being sent until 1806, and even then it was not able to proceed farther west than the present Texas-Arkansas boundary because of the opposition of a superior Spanish military force. Of available records of the expedition, which was led by Thomas Freeman, the original instructions over Jefferson's signature, the manuscript narrative of the expedition, and one of the rare printed copies of that narrative are in one repository; the manuscript map of the river is in another. The survey field notes have not been located.

The impossibility of carrying out the exploration of the Red River in 1804 led to concentration in that year on a nearer and politically less debatable objective, the Washita River. This river was explored and surveyed from its mouth in the Red River to near its source at Hot Springs, Ark., by William Dunbar and George Hunter. The original of President Jefferson's message to Congress of February 19, 1806, transmitting “extracts from his [Dunbar's] observations and copies of his map of the river", as well as a manuscript account of the expedition not published until 1904, are now in the custody of The National Archives, whereas the manuscript map is in another repository.

In 1856, during a lengthy sojourn in the United States, the eminent German geographer and historian of oceanography, Johann Georg Kohl, known for his series of maps relating to the discovery of America that Justin Winsor used in editing his Narrative and Critical History, prepared in English for the Coast and Geodetic Survey histories of the exploration and survey of the Atlantic, Gulf, and Pacific coasts of the United States. These accounts, although never published except in briefest abstract or in fragmentary form, constitute companion pieces to his two published works dating from his American stay—the history of the Gulf Stream and the more widely known history of the discovery and exploration of the coast of Maine that appeared in the Collections of the Maine Historical Society. Among these manuscripts, that dealing with the Gulf coast, for example, is preserved by one agency, whereas the series of tracings made from original source maps by Kohl himself, which illustrate and form an integral part of the manuscript, are kept by another agency.

The wide scattering of related materials illustrated by these examples and the resulting difficulties for the student wishing to utilize them have given point to the consideration by the Division of the question of consultation facilities. In cooperation with the Division of Reference, it has been agreed that facilities will be supplied for the simultaneous consultation of maps and records so necessary in the handling of geographical materials.


Concurrently with the consideration of the question of custody and servicing, steps were taken to ascertain the nature and whereabouts of the material that constitutes the concern of the Division. From data furnished by other divisions a general view was gained of the maps that are of interest to the Division. These resolve themselves into three categories: Those actually in the custody of The National Archives, those accompanying records authorized for transfer to The National Archives, and those forming part of the great bulk of records outside. The records in the last group constitute the potential material of The National Archives.

As to the maps actually in the custody of The National Archives and those about to be received, it is not yet possible to identify and enumerate all of them individually, since the records they accompany may for the present be listed only in general terms. The maps in certain groups of records have been examined more closely, however, and details may hence be given with regard to them. The records of the Food Administration were accompanied by maps relating mainly to the famine relief areas in Europe during the World War and the post-war period. These maps, used in the administration of

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