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Tag: Waltham

Archives Spotlight: National Archives in Boston

The National Archives holds millions of cubic feet of permanently valuable records relating to the Federal Government. Laid end to end, the papers in our holdings would circle the Earth more than 57 times.

But they are not kept in one place. Instead, we have archives in different regions of the United States. The records held there are related to the geographic area. Each of these archival facilities has a research room, where you are welcome to get a researcher card and do some work in our records.

The National Archives at Boston holds about 30,000 cubic feet of records dating from 1789 to the 1970s. These documents were created or received by the Federal courts and over 90 Federal agencies in New England.

If you are interested in maritime history, this is the place for you. There are records from the Boston Navy Yard and Portsmouth Navy Yard as well records on lighthouses, life saving stations, and other coastal facilities. Researchers can find information on private vessels by looking into the U.S Customs Service records; descriptions and measurements, names of owners and masters, and mortgage information may be in these documents.

Researchers interested in World War II can delve into records on arms manufacturing and research at the Watertown Arsenal and the Springfield Armory, or look at research projects from Harvard University (Harvard Radio Labs) and … [ Read all ]

Thursday Photo Caption Contest–February 2

We had a hard time choosing a caption for last week’s photograph. How can you choose between captions that poke gentle fun at fortune cookies, “rags to riches” stories, and the IRS?

We turned to a guest judge who knows paper records really, really well. Paul Palermo is the Director of Records Center Operations at the National Archives at Boston, MA, which provides storage for thousands of temporary Federal records.

Not all of the records created by the Federal Government are kept forever in the  National Archives. The majority of Federal records—about 95%—are considered “temporary” and are kept for set periods of time.  Paul and his team manage the lifecycle of these records. They store them, track them, pull them and  send them back to the creating agency if they are needed, and put returned records back on the shelf.  They also destroy nonpermanant records at the end of their lifecycle or make sure that other records go to the National Archives as permanent records. (You can read more about temporary records here).

Congratulations to Deirdre! Paul tore himself away from a busy job (see the paragraph above!) to choose your caption as the winner of last’s contest.  Check your email for a code to use for a 15% discount at our eStore.

Like our guest judge, the ladies above worked in Massachusetts. Unfortunately, if they time traveled to the present day, most likely … [ Read all ]

Thursday Photo Caption Contest

Congratulations to John W, who has won 15% off at our eStore! It was a tough choice between Stepford babies, “a head” puns, Hamlet, and Oprah references.  But our guest judge Diane LeBlanc, Regional Adminstrator for NARA’s Northeast Region, thought that your caption captured a curious moment between man and and doll.

Our guest judge is based at our facility in Massachusetts and so is this photograph, taken around 1936–37 at the Paragon Rubber Co. and American Character Doll in Mount Holyoke, MA. A factory worker is setting eyes in “sleeping” dolls. (Two decades later, the company was manufacturing the famous ”Tiny Tears” dolls, which could drink, wet their doll diapers, and cry.)

Today’s photograph shouldn’t bring a tear to your eye, unless you are afraid of heights. Or trees. Give us your best caption in the comments below!… [ Read all ]