2018 Genealogy Fair Session 1 – Getting the Most out of the National Archives Catalog

good morning my name is Brittany
Crawford and I’m the manager for the virtual genealogy fair you just heard
from the United States archivist David Ferriero and I also like to welcome you
to our 2018 virtual genealogy fair before we begin offer our six sessions I
have three helpful tips on how to participate with the chat and access the
captioning handouts because we are broadcasting live you can log in to the
YouTube chat with other family historians and then type in comments and
questions speakers will answer chat questions at the end of their session
during question-and-answer periods for live captioning find the link provided
on this page and open in a separate browser window for handouts find the
link provided all fair video presentations and handouts will remain
available on the fairs web page I will now turn it over to our – Andrea Matney
the coordinator of the virtual genealogy fair Thank You Brittany and welcome everybody
I love seeing everybody online I’m the one who’s been chatting with you so far
and Brittany and I will both be on chat so my name is Andrea Matney and we’ll
also be the persons who are doing the questions so you’ll hear these
disembodied voices at the end of each session when you’re asking your
questions so let’s get right started this is session number one of the
genealogy fair this lecture is for all skill levels and entitled calling all
citizen archivists getting the most out of the National Archives catalog our
speakers are meredith dovey AK and suzanne Isaacs they will discuss how to
use the National Archives catalog for genealogy research and how to
participate in our citizen archivist projects good morning thank you for joining us
today my name is Meredith dovey ack along with my colleague Suzanne Isaacs
we are the community managers for the National Archives catalog our catalog is
our online portal to the records held at the National Archives and our job is to
introduce you to our catalog help you learn more about it how to research
within it and also learn about the ways you can contribute to it as community
managers we encourage communication and participation with our records we work
to get information out to users but we’re also taking information in we look
to learn about what people are researching online records that are
popular for research and to find ways to let people know what is available at the
National Archives many of you might already be familiar with our catalog and
have used it for your research today we will introduce you to the catalog but
we’re also going to focus a bit more on methodology we’ll talk about the
hierarchical arrangement of records at the National Archives and how the
catalog reflects that hierarchy will also share tips and tricks for searching
the catalog as well as show you around some records that might be helpful for
you and your research and we’ll finish up by talking about our citizen
archivist program and ways you can get involved to increase access to
historical records the National Archives catalog is our online portal to the
records held at the National Archives and information about those records it’s
our main way of describing our holdings so you can find out about what we have
the catalog is also how we provide access to electronic records and
digitized versions of holdings so it’s a fabulous resource even if you’re unable
to visit a facility in person now the important thing to understand is that
only a percentage of our holdings are actually available online
not every page of records we have the National Archives is in our catalog the
National Archives holds about fourteen billion pages of records and our catalog
has about 58 million digital objects in it digital objects our scans of
individual pages or photographs individuals sound recordings or motion
picture films so 58 million digital objects is quite a lot but it’s really a
drop in the bucket compared to what we have as a whole
our catalog also searches across multiple National Archives resources at
once so performing a search will often retrieve digital files of Records record
descriptions but also webpages blog posts and presidential library websites
the other exciting feature of our catalog is that it allows you to
participate in enhancing historical records through tagging transcription
and commenting so first I want to explain how records are organized or
arranged at the National Archives we call this record hierarchy understanding
the hierarchy of the types of descriptions we’re talking about will
help you get a feel for how records are organized and will also help you search
for and identify them when you see them in the catalog and when you find a
document of interest it can help you find more like it when I first started
working at the National Archives someone told me that we are the nation’s filing
cabinet I’ve always liked that description and that that comparison I
think it’s helpful to visualize how we organize records at the very top of our
hierarchy we have record groups each record group comprises the records of a
major government entity usually a bureau or an independent agency that created or
maintained these records for example record group 255 is the records of the
National Aeronautics or space and Space Administration or NASA it might be
helpful to think of a record group as an entire file cabinet it has many
different drawers and folders and items within those drawers but the records are
united by the federal agency that created or maintained those records
it’s the largest bucket and a very high-level grouping of records most
record groups include records of any predecessors of the organization a few
combined the records of several small or short-lived agencies having an
administrative or functional relationship with each other an example
of this is record group seventy-six records of boundary and claims
commissions and arbitrations every record group has a number and a title
the number assigned reflects the order in which it was established by the
National Archives we also may shorten it to RG so record group 566 records of the
US Citizenship and Immigration Services be referred to as RG 566 another thing
to note is that records within one record group are not always found in the
same location the National Archives is not just in Washington DC we have
various regional archives and presidential libraries across the
country and records within a record group may be
held at one or more of these locations a collection is similar to a record group
however it is not a product of a federal agency you’ll find collections of the
presidential libraries or donors may give their accumulations of documents
that were not created as part of their work for the federal government the next
level in our hierarchy is series which further organizes records of a
government agency you can think of a series as a drawer within a file cabinet
records that have the same function or were created by the same activity or in
a series together an example of a series is mission photographs taken during the
space shuttle program 1981 to 2011 which is part of record group 255 records of
NASA a series can be one box and it can be thousands of boxes we’ll show you how
to figure this out when looking at a description in the catalog 95% of our
records are described at the series level this means you can find out basic
information about the records including how big it is from a few linear inches
or thousands of linear feet from its description in the catalog you can also
find out where records are located I mentioned earlier that we have 58
million digital objects in our catalog and that number is growing every week
since we have an estimated 14 billion pages of records of the National
Archives which is also growing all the time you won’t find everything digitized
and it’s important to know where to find those records and how to contact the
reference unit for more information a file unit is our next smaller level in
our hierarchy you can think of filing units as folders within a drawer they’re
not always just one folder sometimes the records may need to be housed in
multiple folders or a file unit could even be a bound volume more and more
records are being digitized at the file unit level this means the entire folder
is digitized and that can be rather large
an example of a file unit is STS 47 which was the 50th space shuttle mission
of the program an item is the lowest level of description we have it
represents an individual archival record and all the pages that make it up items
can be letters memos reports or photographs or they could be sound
recordings or films for example on this slide this photograph of astronaut mae
Jemison is one item within the file unit STS 47 from the series mission
photographs taken during the space shuttle program which is part of record
group 255 records of NASA you can always see this record hierarchy here in our
catalog when you’re looking at a description you’ll notice the hierarchy
in the upper left hand corner this shows you where the item lives within the
hierarchy that I just discussed each level is a link so clicking on each of
these links will allow you to back up to the record group or series or file unit
where you can find more information for instance if you want to find more
records like the one you’re looking at back up to the file unit or series and
you could find similar records so let’s talk about what’s in our catalog for
genealogists our catalog is not a genealogy database so for the most part
you’re not going to be able to type in a name and find records for your ancestor
that’s not how our records are described although we know that many genealogists
would find that helpful when we describe our records we’re ensuring that our
holdings fit into an archival hierarchy our records are described with a title
and a summary called a scope and a content note which would not necessarily
include all the names within a record there are names within records but we
need to read them to discover them so you can think of our online catalog as a
place to supplement your research you have to think about how your ancestor
interacted with a federal government did they serve in the military what they’ve
appeared in a court case do they apply for a pension or receive a bounty land
warrant our records are records made for or by the US federal government so we’re
not going to have state County Municipal or church records this means we won’t
have driver’s licenses or marriage licenses those are issued by the state
but we will have naturalization records military records
federal personnel records letters written to presidents from citizens most
of our records are at least 20 to 30 years old since 95% of our records are
described at the serious level as we continue to accession new records our
goal is to maintain that level of 95 percent described this doesn’t mean that
everything is digitized and available in our catalog but it does mean that you’ll
have insight into what records are available where records are located and
which reference unit you can contact for more information
since the holdings of the National Archives are growing all the time and
we’re adding more digital objects to our catalog every week you’re likely to find
something new every time you search so now I’ll turn it over to Suzanne who
will walk you through some searches in our catalog hello you can reach the
catalog via archives gov under research our records section the link is on the
top left or you can go just go to catalog archives gov this takes you
directly to the landing page of the catalog here’s an example of the landing
page each time you go there the page on the page you’ll see a different
background an image from our catalog sometimes they’re zoomed in and they
look a little artistic if you want to explore the image click on the link at
the bottom right corner for this webinar I’m going to use screenshots of our
catalog so that we have illustrations of each page in the webinar slides so let’s
start with a search of George Washington and you can type George Washington into
the search box in the middle of the page the search results gives you so much
information I want to make it less overwhelming the default setting shows
you everything including on the middle of the page information that can be
found on our website archives gov these are not catalog
records but blogs articles and pages about the subject you can click on the
underlined heading to learn more by default 20 results are displayed on the
results page to change the number of results go to the results per page and
drop down arrow so across the top of the page
there are some simple filters for your results available online if you’re only
interested in records that you can look at online webpages if you only want
those webpages from archives gov and not catalog descriptions documents if you
only want textual records images if you only want photographs and graphic
records and videos if you only want motion picture records but let’s look at
the filters on the left there’ll be your friends when you’re
doing your searches in the catalog use one or more of the filters if you know
what kinds of records or the date range of or a location where you want the
records to be found as you might expect different combinations of the filters
will give you different results I want to caution you that the date range
filter might be a bit misleading and we’ll talk a little bit about that later
in an example another thing to look for in these results is the National
Archives identifier we also call it an eight you’ll hear a lot of people
talking about nades this is a unique number given to every description in the
catalog keep a list of the needs of descriptions that you’re interested in
when you research then you can type the number in the search box and retrieve
the description again so we’re gonna do another example for genealogists in the
top in the top left search box you can type in a new search and let’s look say
you know your ancestor fought with the Wisconsin volunteers regiment in the
Civil War so you go ahead and put that in the top box and you want to click on
the magnifying glass or hit enter and now we’re looking at the search results
the top few descriptions are probably the best hits I can use the filters on
the left to refine my searches to maybe I know I want textual records or maybe a
location of where where I want to go see these records so if I only want to see
records that are found in our College Park Maryland location I would focus on
that and see if there are any records available so let’s dive into the first
description on this list and see what it looks like
so we can see there’s lots of information in this description and then
we can find out what to expect from these records how are they how are the
how are the records arranged in the box are they arranged alphabetically
chronologically are these records restricted this means can I physically
see these records if I came in person to research and dates the dates that they
cover the scope and content note like Meredith recommended it mentioned
earlier gives description of these records and we can go further down and
the extent is really important on this list you want to know how big it is is
it one-inch or is it five thousand linear feet this is only half a linear
inch and it makes a big difference to know how long it’s going to take to
research them and finally where are these located this one isn’t found
online but in our regional location in Chicago you can visit in person or
contuse the contact information in the bottom of the page to contact the
reference staff to ask a question and order copies so another thing that’s
great for for genealogists or they’re called alien files they’re also known as
a files and these records of aliens registered in the United States between
1940 and 1944 they contain all records in any active of any active case of an
alien that’s not yet registered as they pass through the United States
immigration and inspection process they might be haven’t even been created
without any action taken by the alien for example if the Immigration and
Naturalization Service I NS initiated a law enforcement action against the
involving the alien there are two sets of a files the National Archives at
Kansas City and the National Archives at San Francisco they’re found in record
group 566 records of the u.s. and Immigration Services Citizenship and
Immigration Services Kansas City has seven hundred and ninety two thousand of
them in the catalog and San Francisco has over two hundred and fifty-one
thousand and more and we’re looking we’re looking at the second series here
from Kansas City so I’m going to click on that one in the middle of the page we
can see that it include you can see where it says includes this
tells you how many files are attached to the series you can click on the blue
text to see the list of file units or you can click on the blue box to search
for a particular name within this series I recommend searching within the series
for a series this size records may not have been added to the catalog
chronologically or in alphabetical order so scanning page by page might not be
helpful for this example I’m just going to click on the blue text to begin just
looking at the records for this for this discussion from list from this list we
can see thumbnails that have thumbnails and the boxes that say file unit this
means that the descriptions do not have images of records so let’s go to the
first file and see what we can we can find as I mentioned these particular
file units do not include images of the records but you can see that there are
some nice details in here if you’d like a copy of the record that does not have
images attached look at the contact section at the bottom of the description
and reach out to that reference unit be sure to share the need of the records
you were interested in another great resource is the civil is carted records
showing military service of soldiers who fought in the volunteer organizations
during the American Civil War sometimes our series are very long they
have very long titles and the dates are 1890 to 1912 there are more than 900 and
88,000 file units and here’s an example of where the date note is important the
date listed for this series are 1890 to 1912 and that’s not the Civil War period
but the date note tells us that although the series were created during 1890 to
1912 it documents the service of volunteers during the Civil War so
that’s why if you did a date search and just filtered for the dates these Civil
War records may not come up because the dates that are listed are 1898 to 1912
so keep that in mind so let’s do a search within this series by clicking on
that blue box the upper left search box there are some wildcard symbols you want
to take those out and type in the name Taylor and hit enter there are nearly
four thousand file units for us to look
through so it’s a lot so if you happen to know a first name you might want to
do your search it’s not just Taylor but Taylor and George you’ll bring back a
much more reasonable number of hits do you see the thumbnails of the images
this indicates that the records are scanned in that description so you’ll be
able to actually look at each page another series of records that might be
of interest or carted records showing military service of soldiers who fought
in Confederate organizations 1903 to 1927 again there’s a date note on here
and that’ll tell you that there’s Civil War records if you’re looking for
information about people who someone who served in the navy deck logs or logbooks
are a good resource these are chronological entries
documenting the daily activities of a ship some individual names are included
usually if they did something of worthy of making it into this log but it’s a
great way to add a detail about your family member chronicling where the ship
was and what they were engaged in during a tour each file unit represents a month
on each ship and there are about 36 more than 36,000 entries online and we’re
digitizing more every single month but even better than just this entry here is
they’ve we’ve created a website that lists all the ships that have been
digitized so you click on a ship’s name and it’ll bring you directly to the
catalog and show you everything that has been digitized please note that they’re
not in date order on this list so you should look through everything if you’re
trying to find a specific date primarily the ships that have been digitized at
this point are from the Vietnam era if your ship is not on the list go back to
the main landing page I just showed you and it has a contact email where you can
request your specific ship I’m going to turn it back over to Meredith okay as you saw from Suzanne’s searches
in the catalog you can enter one or more keywords in the basic search box the
system will retrieve results from the catalog records from archives gov and
the presidential libraries and present them together in a results list here’s a
quick reference for the most common types of search expressions and
operators that you can use to help you with your searches this information is
available on our website and the link here is shown on the slide you can use
boolean operators and or or not for example Harry and Truman will return
results with both the term Harry and Truman Truman not Harry will return the
results containing Truman but not containing Harry we find the most
important search and the one we use most often is exact phrase searching using
quotation marks so this looks for the exact phrase you enter inside quotation
marks there’s also an advanced search feature that gives you additional
options to narrow your search at the top of any screen and the catalog there’s an
advanced search link directly to the right of the search box in the advanced
search you can search by record group location tags type of archival material
etc we’ve recently updated our catalog guide for genealogists web page here
you’ll find more information about catalog records that are of interest to
genealogists and family historians it contains tips for searching by names or
by topic it also contains links to additional helpful resources and some
frequently asked questions one of the questions we receive often is that we’re
searching for an individual’s name I mentioned earlier that in most cases you
won’t be able to type the name of your ancestor into the search box and find
records related related to them but there are some tips for searching for an
individual’s name you can search in the person’s full name in first-name
lastname order you can search in the surname only you can search on variant
spellings of the surname or on variant spellings of the first name including
any Americanized versions while most descriptions in the catalog do not
include the names of individuals in that record our Holdings might still have
records about your ancestor if you know an individual participated
in a particular event search for that event and look within the records for
your ancestor as many of you know we have several partnerships with
organizations who digitize our records and make them available with their along
with our proprietary transcriptions for a fee on their websites then after an
embargo period typically five years we’re able to upload them into our
catalog some things about these partnerships that are important to know
most partner images are digitized from microfilm and are the best copies
available while we received some keyed metadata with the images from our
partners we do not receive the transcriptions there are hundreds of
millions of images that have been digitized by our partners and we’re
working to add those images to our catalog we currently have more than 42
million partner images in our catalog we do have a long-term strategy for
digitizing records and the best way to find out about what records are being
digitized is to consult our webpage which is located at archives gov slash
digitization there you can find a list of Records available in our catalog or
through our partners as well as our digitization strategy and current
partnerships typically records are prioritized for digitization based on
the level of interest from researchers the age of Records or those with the
most straightforward metadata we’re also working to meet yearly goals this
digitized by partners webpage contains a list of all microfilm publications and
original records that have either been partially or wholly digitized by the
partners and it’s updated when new materials are available here is a
close-up of that page you’ll notice that some of the hyperlinks have a little box
with an arrow following the title this indicates that the link is taking you to
the website of one of our partners to access these records when they no longer
have the box with the arrow following the title this indicates that the
records are now available in our catalog and that link will take you directly to
those records we’ve added a few red arrows on the slide pointing to records
that are now available in our catalog and now I’ll turn it back to Suzanne who
will introduce our citizen archivist I as a bit of background in April 2010
the archivist of the United States David Ferriero introduced the concept of
citizen archivist as a way to create an online experience that connects the
public to the mission of the National Archives we recognize that what you as
researchers learn from our records is valuable and we want to create ways to
capture and harness that knowledge and information adding value to the records
while also making it easy intriguing and fun this is our citizen archivist
dashboard located on our website archive stuff from here you can find we’ll find
out more about our crowdsourcing activities and opportunities you can
learn how to get started tagging and transcribing and you can do all of this
from the comfort of your own home regardless of your physical location
join us by signing up for a National Archives catalog account you can
register from links on this page or by clicking on register at the top of the
National Archives catalog i’ve navigate as US here over to the missions page
unlike other transcription programs ours is directly within and fully integrated
in our catalog so our catalog was developed first and then we added the
ability to tag transcribe and comment on those records the great thing about
developing our program this way was we already had millions of digitized
objects scanned and ready to go we need your help because scans of handwritten
and typed words within those records are often not picked up by an OCR search of
the file when you transcribe you type exactly what you see in a document which
makes the content searchable by the catalog search engine in our tagging
missions we’re asking you to add keywords that describe the record when
you look at a photograph add keywords about what you see in the image beyond
what is found in the title missions featured here on this page are groups of
records that we’ve gathered together on a particular subject you can pick a
topic that interests you it’ll bring you to write to those records in our catalog
where once you are logged in you can you can start transcribing we also have a
don’t leave us hanging this this is an important part of our
dashboard it contains records that are almost but not quite finished being
transcribed we want to encourage you to check out these records and complete
unfinished work further down on this page we have special featured missions
currently we’re highlighting world the world war one centennial below that we
have individual records we call featured records one offs that are not part of a
mission but might be of interest to you we monitor these missions during the
work week removing items from them that have been completed so you should only
have to advance through a few descriptions to find something to work
on if you’re new to the program or you’re looking for tips we’ve created a
resources section on our citizen archivist dashboard that provides how-to
guides and step-by-step videos including anatomy of a description and how to
download records this page can be found on the left side of the citizen
archivist section now let’s take a look at how you can contribute to the catalog
here’s an item in the catalog it’s an account book of George Washington do you
see the little blue tags on the thumbnails this means there’s been a
contribution by a citizen archivist to that page let’s click on the blue box
that says view add contributions and take a look for this example I’ve
navigated over to page 15 you could see that the user has added two tags names
of people found on that page tags are words short recognized phrases that can
help people identify what they find on a particular page you just type it into
the box and click enter we navigate over to the cut the word comment and you can
see that someone has added a comment and this is where we encourage volunteers to
add additional information that might enhance the understanding of a record in
this example it’s an explanation of the abbreviations used in the record and is
very helpful let me go over to the transcribe section this final section
transcribe is a free text box that we asked you to type what you see the
format isn’t important to us transcribe how you think it looks best and how it
would be easy for another researcher and a
computer doing a search to understand so for us the most important thing the part
of transcription are the words not the format once you transcribe something
those words are now picked up by a search in our catalog making this record
even more accessible you’re probably wondering how you can
transcribe something so small well we have a zoom function you can click on
the record to make it bigger you can draw drag it around with your mouse to
see more of the record this is available in the regular view of the record not
just in the transcription area and you can make it even bigger you can really
find some really fun gems in these records if you zoom in and look around
so with this illustration I want to explain how tagging of images work the
title of this photo is Alabama’s coastal connection strolling along the eastern
shore trail it’s a good title but does it really tell you everything that’s
happening in this image what if you were searching for a photo of a footbridge
would this photo come up in a search by the title alone no it wouldn’t and
that’s why we’re tagging comes in we asked volunteers to identify everything
they see in an image and add them in as tags here’s an example of what I found
in the photo and I highlighted the features for this slide in dialogue
bubbles now in the real description here I type the words on the left side and
that box that says enter new tags about an hour after I’ve added them the
catalog will have re indexed and those words will now be searchable you can
click on a link a click on one of those tags and it becomes a link and it brings
you to all the other records that have been tagged with that word so if I
clicked on grandmother here’s here’s our photo that we’ve tagged and many others
that have been tagged with grandmother back to Mary let’s talk about the
National Archives catalog to finish up I wanted to mention a few ways we’re
communicating with researchers about the catalog and our crowdsourcing projects
about two years ago we launched an email newsletter and you can sign up and
subscribe on our website we reach almost 65,000 registered users and citizen
archivists through this newsletter every two weeks we highlight something about
the catalog newly available records or our citizen archivist program this
particular newsletter shown in this screenshot was a feature we did on the
anniversary of d-day where we featured records and photographs in the catalog
related to d-day we also love to hear feedback about what we feature what
you’d like to see more of and what you’re finding useful if you have an
idea or a suggestion please contact us you can email us at catalogue at Nara
gov another resource we want to mention it’s called history hub which is a
support community managed by the National Archives for researchers to ask
questions and talk to other researchers and archivists on history hub you’ll
find both researcher to researcher and researcher to archivist communication
and collaboration where anyone can work together to share information and help
with research questions as you browse the content on history hub you might
find that someone has the same type of question as you you can browse content
by group or topic areas for example we have a group for genealogists one for
military records one for American Indian records and more so you can either read
questions and answers asked in that particular group or you can jump in and
contribute to the conversation or you can start a brand new discussion or
question the goal of history hub is not to the National Archives centric but to
be a place for history discussion referrals and help as Community Managers
Suzanne and I participate in history hub were the community managers of this
transcribers group which is a place for transcribers to virtually meet each
other share tips and strategies find new challenges and get support for your work
we answer questions and share opportunities for new missions in our
citizen archivist program we see what topics
people are interested in and it helped to shape ideas for new missions or
newsletter topics so we hope this has been a helpful introduction for to our
catalog in our citizen archivist program and we welcome hearing from you you can
email us anytime at catalogue at nara gov or he’ll we’re here to help you
navigate the catalog and help answer any questions you have and we’re happy to
take questions right now thank you so much that was a great introduction to
the catalog so this is andrea and i’ve got a few questions queued up that were
asked as you were speaking so think back about your slides not all of these are
how to use the catalog so be ready the first question I got was had a lot we
aren’t the catalogs we might not have every answer right you can always email
back yes some of these are records related for instance would these Civil
War records have death records of those who died during the war I don’t know
that answer but the reference staff would so you want to look at those
records and slide down to the contacts and that’s that would probably be
archived one reference staff and there’s an email to be able to email them and
ask your question directly perfect so they should use the catalog and
reference the information there when asking their questions and if they don’t
know where to look in the catalog you can always email us at catalog at Nara
deca thank you for that I point you in the right direction
wonderful so there our next question when using the catalog to prepare for a
visit to Nara in Washington DC what should we make note of in order to pull
the physical records once at the archives for records not digitized you
could always use the National Archives identifier number that’s the Nate that
we were referring to so if you find a description in the catalog that has that
nade you can make note of that there’s also an HMS number or any sort of
numbers that you see in the catalog description the more information you
have the better you can always print out a copy of the record description or copy
those things down and bring it future the reference staff know that
will help you yeah the thing to remember too is look to see if they’re accessible
that they’re not restricted some might be very fragile and can’t be shown to
the public there might be you want to check the size of it to to make sure so
you know what to expect if you’re coming for two hours and it is 10,000 boxes you
need to know what to expect um also look at the in the contact section see
contacts see where it’s located because we even if you just think Washington DC
we have College Park Maryland in Washington DC there they’re about a
40-minute shuttle ride apart so you want to know where they are to plan your day
it’s always helpful to contact the reference staff ahead of your visit when
you want to visit this they know you’re coming and what you want to see to make
sure those records are available to you yeah you don’t need to make an
appointment but what you need to do is it if you have specific questions you
might want to talk to them plan ahead it could take up to more than three weeks
to get a response back if you have a very detailed question fair enough thank
you and I know that we have several pages
online on how to prepare if you didn’t capture everything what they just said
you can always go to our web page at archives.gov under research and learn
how to get prepared for your visit physical visit to a national archives
facility our next question how do I find out if records corresponding to this
this index still exist subject index to correspondence and Case Files of the
Immigration and Naturalization Service they give a date series but generally
how do you know if index still exists well we don’t know just from that to
tell you you can search our catalog you can also send a general email to us at
catalogue at Nara gov and we can point you to the right the right direction
and the reference staff would be able to tell you sometimes it’s the reference
staff that has to answer that question okay I’m looking to see if there’s any
more questions from our online audience yes everything they need to know
everything you did such a I’m looking back to make sure that we
were fairly responding to everybody I would get another question can you give
me some guidance about searching people who worked on military bases but were
not in the military and before you answer I referred that person back to
our 2015 genealogy fair where we had a really good presentation by Brian McGraw
on personnel records so that might answer the question but searching for
people who worked in on military bases but were not military personnel yeah
well we have not only do we keep military records but we keep federal
personnel records and those are housed in st. Louis and you can find those on
our website you have to request those and you can get their their file it
depends on how old they are because there are privacy concerns so it’s about
prior to 1955 that’s about the date that those are open to the public and
anything more recent would be for the the federal employee or next of kin all
that information is on the website and that would be a great presentation to
look at – yes thank you so it looks like that will conclude our questions I don’t
see any more online but if I missed you I apologize please send your questions
to catalogue at Nara gov thank you very much ladies that was very informative we
look everything wonderful

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