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A New Option for Prioritization

by on September 4, 2014


Today’s post comes from NDC Director Sheryl Shenberger and discusses a new option to help the NDC prioritize final processing of records.

In the recently posted NDC Status Report on the NDC Declassification Website I noted that in completing quality assurance for the 352 million pages of backlog records (a good thing), we still faced additional important NARA processes, including segregation of records exempted from automatic declassification, screening for privacy concerns, and archival processing (description, holdings maintenance). I reported that we have been considering several prioritization strategies that will have the greatest success for making access happen as quickly as possible given our currently available staff resources. The first option we want to offer is a list of larger series’ identification information. We invite you to request any of the following 10 entries for placement at the head of our queue, either via our ndc@nara.gov email box or by replying to this blog post.

  • REID108618, RG 255 (NASA), Entry A1 93-D, “Classified Numerical Files of Documents [NACA: Numerical File of Documents from the NACA Library, 1916-1962]” – 2,510 boxes (2.1M pages)
  • REID 163442, RG 72 (Bureau of Aeronautics), Entry UD 1047, “Technical Information Library Collection” – 8,038 boxes (6.7M pages)
  • REID 374812, RG 338, (U.S. Army Operational, Tactical, and Support Org. (WW II and Thereafter), Entry UD-UP 77, “Classified Records of U.S. Army Commands Transferred from the National Personnel Records Center, St. Louis, MO” – 479 boxes (1.2M pages)
  • REID 341575, RG 402 (Bureau of Naval Weapons), Entry UD-UP 19, “Confidential and Unclassified Subject Files, 1960” – 231 boxes (577K pages)
  • REID 337873, RG 319 (Army Staff), Entry UD-WX 92, “Department Of The Army CMH Boxes Re Vietnam” – 190 boxes (450K pages)
  • REID 319134, RG 343 (Naval Air Systems Command), Entry UD-WW 211, “Correspondence Relating to the Message Section [Air 60324 PRIM PROGM Records 67-69; Acc. # 70-A-1635]” – 111 boxes (278K pages)
  • REID 157274, RG 19 (Bureau of Ships), Entry UD 1017-AR, “Secret General Correspondence, 1962” – 270 boxes (224K pages)
  • REID 384848, RG 38 (Office of the Chief of Naval Operations), Entry UD-UP 14, “Archives Branch Hist Record, 1971” – 150 boxes (375K pages)
  • REID 149085, RG 72 (Bureau of Aeronautics), Entry UD 1005-E, “Enclosures to Secret Correspondence Files” – 286 boxes (237K pages)
  • REID 157340, RG 19 (Bureau of Ships), Entry UD 1017-AU, “Secret General Correspondence, 1965” – 288 boxes (238K pages)

In the near future we will blog about an expanded ‘on demand’ option we will be establishing by way of the College Park Research Room, where you can request specific series.



The NDC has released a listing of 286 entriesExcel document that have completed declassification processing between March 7 and June 2, 2014 and are now available for researcher request. This release consists of records from both military and civilian agencies.

Highlights include:

  • Department of State, Records Of Nicholas Katzenbach,
  • Department of State, Bureau Of Refugee Programs Office Of Refugee And Migration Affairs Central and Subject Files,
  • United States Marine Corps, Historical Branch; Records Of Or Relating To General Officers, 1944-1975,
  • Joint Staff, Department Of Defense Representative at Panama Canal Treaty Negotiations Records,
  • Army Inspector General,  Investigative Files,
  • Inter-service Agencies, Military Advisory Assistance Groups (MAAG) files: France, Turkey, Belllux, Greece, United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, and Pakistan,
  • United States Agency for International Development, Country, Subject and Project Files, and
  • Atomic Energy Commission, Oak Ridge Operations Office, Classified Portions — Various Collections

Requests to access the newly released records or to order copies should be directed to Archives 2 Reference at 301-837-3510 or archives2reference@nara.gov.

(When making a request, please cite the HMS Entry and Series Title.)



Many thanks to all who provided comment on our draft plan.  I am happy to report that the plan is now available here: http://www.archives.gov/open/open-government-plan-3.0.pdf

or as a Word document http://www.archives.gov/open/open-government-plan-3.0.docx

Please continue to provide us with comments as we work to reach the goals set out in the plan.

Plan #3 Image

The NDC and Open Government

by on April 2, 2014


In Section 5.4 of its 2012 – 2014 Open Government Plan http://www.archives.gov/open/open-government-plan-2.0.pdf, NARA discussed how it would assume a leadership role in the inter-agency process of reviewing historically valuable records for declassification and develop common processes among agencies to ensure a more efficient and effective review.  As a result of these efforts, the National Declassification Center (NDC) was able to meet the President’s quality assurance goal.  

 It’s time to update the Plan for 2014 – 2016.  The NDC is committed to processing the referrals properly identified during the quality assurance review that was completed in 2013.  To accomplish this, the NDC will implement a referral tracking system that will automatically notify appropriate representatives of other departments and agencies when their referrals in archival and presidential records are queued up and available for their review.

 We also will continue to solicit input from the public as to those collections of un-reviewed historical records should be prioritized for inter-agency review and processing.

 We are currently asking the public to submit their Open Government ideas for consideration.  Ideas may be submitted as a reply to this blog post or to ndc@nara.gov

You may also want to check out the kick off post on NARAtions, The Blog of the United States National Archives here: http://blogs.archives.gov/online-public-access/?p=9226

NARA-Open-Gov-Plan

What on Earth Is It?

by on March 28, 2014


Today’s find comes from Dr. Amanda Weimer, an Archives Specialist in the NDC.

The National Declassification Center recently responded to a Freedom of Information Act request for documents created and collected by the Department of the Air Force on the topic of “flying discs,” popularly known as “unidentified flying objects” (UFOs).  The Air Force studied sightings of UFOs under Project Sign, Project Grudge, and Project Blue Book between 1948 and 1970.

 Today’s document was collected under Project Grudge, and is a classic example of the skeptical tone taken by the study.  Mr. Albert Ehrke, who submitted this letter and the attached photograph to the Air Force, believed firmly that there was an earthly explanation at work: that the image of the “flying saucer” was “fake,” and that the Air Force might explain the photo as a “special, research balloon.”  The balloon suggestion is typical of the explanations offered to the public by Project Grudge, which also include clouds, refracted halos around the sun (sun dogs), and conventional aircraft.

 The NDC invites the public to share what they see in the photograph below.

 This document is available to the public in the reading rooms at Archives II, in College Park, MD.  To request the use of this original document, please use the following citation: Records of the Headquarters U.S. Air Force (Air Staff), (Record Group 341), Office of the Director of Intelligence; Mail and Records Section; Decimal Correspondence File, 1947-1954, box 293, folder “000.9 Flying Discs 1951”.

  The Letter                            The Image

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