Federal Register Editathon

Today’s post comes from Ben Jordi, Technical Writer/Editor in the Office of the Federal Register.


The National Archives’ Office of Innovation and Office of the Federal Register teamed up with Wikimedia D.C. to host OFR’s first Wikipedia Editathon on Friday, May 23, 2014 in our Innovation Hub.  As part of our mission to inform the American public, OFR worked with NARA’s Wikipedian in Residence, Dominic McDevitt-Parks, to begin collaborating with the Wikipedia community.  Like NARA, our goal is to go where our customers are, rather than building our technology and social media footprint around our business structure and hoping our customers can find us through the noise.

Federal Register Editathon event
Office of the Federal Register staff collaborate with Wikipedians in NARA’s Innovation Hub, 5/23/14

At OFR we are responsible for several publications, including the Federal Register, Code of Federal Regulations, U.S. Statutes at Large, U.S. Government Manual, List of CFR Sections Affected (LSA), and the Public Papers of the Presidents, to name a few.  Each of these publications is aimed at informing the public about the business of their government and how to best find the information they seek.  In our work with Wikipedia, we hope to better connect the dots for our customers and how they find what they are looking for.  Two years ago we made a big step in that direction with our launch of www.federalregister.gov.  We sought to display the contents of the Federal Register in such a way that would make it more readable, pertinent, and understandable to our audience.

We hope our efforts with Wikipedia will teach us how the public expects to consume OFR content and hopefully, in the process, the public gets a better understanding of what we do. Some specific accomplishments from the event include a new article for the List of CFR Sections Affected, a new model for future articles about CFR parts (e.g. Title 49 CFR Part 600 – 699), and updating several more articles related to our work, including Title 35 of the CFR, Administrative Procedure Act, Executive order, and Electoral College. For this event, our goal was to make connections to the Wikipedia community and to build on those connections moving forward.  Introductions by David Ferriero, Archivist of the United States, and Charley Barth, Director of the Federal Register, demonstrated NARA leadership’s commitment to improving the quality of information about the Federal Register on Wikipedia. Of the ten members of the public who attended, there were representatives from Wikimedia, Wikisource, Wikidata, as well as members of NARA’s research community.  They were all very engaged and each brought a unique and fresh approach to presenting OFR content to our customers.  Our efforts moving forward will be to include Wikipedians in our weekly Wikipedia staff meetings and hopefully to determine other ways to engage the public.

Posted in Events, Research, Social Media (Web 2.0), Wikipedian in Residence | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Digitization of Alaska Records

Your participation and feedback is essential to the operations of the National Archives. As part of ongoing budget adjustments, the National Archives at Anchorage will close in the coming months, and archival records will be moved to the National Archives at Seattle.

In order to make the Alaska records more broadly available to the public, we are planning to digitize records from the Alaska field office. As valued stakeholders in the National Archives, we are seeking your participation to help select the Alaska records that should be prioritized for digitization.

To help identify which records should be digitized first, please see the list of accessioned holdings relating to Alaska**, as well as the 24 series of records from the Alaska facility that have historically received the most reference requests. You may also write-in your choice of records if it does not appear on the list.

Color post card. "Cape Prince of Wales Reindeer Herd--largest in Alaska."
Color post card. “Cape Prince of Wales Reindeer Herd–largest in Alaska.” National Archives Identifier 297780

After we receive your feedback, NARA will also take into consideration access and use restrictions, preservation issues, series size, and ease of digitization when determining the final prioritization. Your participation will also help NARA better understand the interests and needs of researchers and stakeholders, as well as further participation and transparency in an open government.

We welcome your feedback as comments on this blog post. Alternatively, you can send feedback in an email to digitization@nara.gov. We would like your input by June 30th.

Thank you for your continued interest and participation.

**The list of accessioned holdings relating to Alaska was updated on 5/27/14 to include Creating Organization.

Posted in Digitization, NARA Coast to Coast, Open Government, Research | Tagged , , , | 14 Comments

Calling Citizen Archivists to Crowdsource Video Captions!

One of the chief goals of the National Archives is making our records- regardless of format- more accessible.  Sometimes this means digitizing records and adding them to our catalog, but it also means creating ways for all US citizens to experience our collections.  Accessibility of videos for the hearing impaired is very important to us, which is why we are pleased to tell you that the National Archives can now be found on Amara!

The US National Archives on Amara

Amara is an online resource that gives individuals, communities, and larger organizations the power to overcome accessibility and language barriers for online videos.  This unique tool is simple to use, collaborative, and fun to use! Join the National Archives team on Amara and help us caption our videos. It’s easy to join; just find a video that interests you, and start captioning!

Posted in Social Media (Web 2.0) | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

Have Your Say: Open more data!

This post comes from Doug Ward in Information Services and Meredith Stewart in the Office of Innovation.


The Open Data Policy states what we already know really well here at NARA —  information is a valuable national resource and a strategic asset to the Federal Government, its partners, and the public. We see this in how you discover, use, and rely on the records of the National Archives every single day.

Checking the Humidity with an ipad

 Mrs. Adelaide Minogue checks the status of open data at NARA

The Open Data Policy seeks to expand the number of government data assets that are open and available to the public. Those data assets that are public (or could be public) are called out in a Public Data Listing and made available on Data.gov.

We’ve launched Archives.gov/data to serve as a portal for our open data efforts and we’ve begun the creation of our Public Data Listing. In order to expand our public data listing, we need your suggestions for NARA data assets that you would like to see included.

What do we mean by “data assets”?

Data assets can be as large as a system or as small as a single dataset or online resource.  We have nearly 60 data assets, including large systems like Online Public Access (OPA) and and individual datasets like the Federal Register in XML and Executive Orders in CSV.  We have included Archives.gov, but we’ve also called out individual resources on Archives.gov like the online collection of ISCAP decisions.

Suggest data assets!

Take a look at what we’ve included so far in our Public Data Listing and let us know your suggestions for additional data assets in the comments below, email opengov@nara.gov, or you can open an issue on our Github repository.

Posted in Digital Government Strategy, Open Government | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ski jumping into our Olympic Archives

Guest blogger Elizabeth Lieutenant, a Master’s student in Library and Information Science at The Catholic University of America, is a virtual intern in the Office of Innovation.


Here at the National Archives, we’ve been busy watching the Olympics and rooting for Team U.S.A. All the excitement of watching snowboarders fly through the air and figure skaters dance on ice has us reminiscing about Winter Olympics of the past. Now that the 2014 Winter Olympics are officially over, take a trip down memory lane (or a Giant Schalom down to our archives) and check out some of our records! While you’re there, be sure to tag your favorite Olympic-related photos.

Curious about what tagging means and how you can get involved? Check out our previous blog post, where we discuss tagging the Online Public Access catalog. Tagging helps index the National Archives’ collections and allows you, our public users, to discover records. Have suggestions for Tag It Tuesday? Let us know here on NARAtions or by emailing us at search@nara.gov.

One of our favorite parts of the opening ceremonies is the lighting of the Olympic flame. Even 12 years later, the 2002 Olympic flame helps warm our chills.

Members of the 1980 US Gold Medal Olympic hockey team stand below the Olympic flame after lighting it, at Rice-Eccles Olympic Stadium, during the opening ceremonies of the 2002 WINTER OLYMPICS in Salt Lake City, 02/08/2002. NARA ID: 6527810

Members of the 1980 US Gold Medal Olympic hockey team stand below the Olympic flame after lighting it, at Rice-Eccles Olympic Stadium, during the opening ceremonies of the 2002 WINTER OLYMPICS in Salt Lake City, 02/08/2002. NARA ID: 6527810

One of our favorite events of the Winter Olympics is the biathlon. Here we have two members of our National Guard competing for glory at the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary, Canada. While they may not have won the gold, we’ll always be proud of our service members.

Major (MAJ) Lyle Nelson, Vermont Army National Guard, skis during the biathlon competition, part of the 1988 Winter Olympics, 02/20/1988. NARA ID: 6437920

Major (MAJ) Lyle Nelson, Vermont Army National Guard, skis during the biathlon competition, part of the 1988 Winter Olympics, 02/20/1988. NARA ID: 6437920

SPECIALIST Fourth Class (SPC) Curtis Schreiner, New York Army National Guard, skis toward the finish line as a competitior sights a target from standing position during the biathlon, part of the 1988 Winter Olympics, 02/13/1988. NARA ID: 6437944

SPECIALIST Fourth Class (SPC) Curtis Schreiner, New York Army National Guard, skis toward the finish line as a competitior sights a target from standing position during the biathlon, part of the 1988 Winter Olympics, 02/13/1988. NARA ID: 6437944

Do you prefer watching four man or two man bobsleigh racing? It doesn’t matter to us. As long as Team U.S.A. is competing, we’ll be watching!

(Right to left) Pilot Brian Shimer, World Class Athletes SPECIALIST Mike Kohn, USA, and SPECIALIST Doug Sharp, USA, with brakeman Dan Steele speed down the track at Utah Olympic Park in Park City, Utah, during the second heat of the men's four-man bobsled in the 2002 WINTER OLYMPIC GAMES, 02/22/2002. NARA ID: 6527766

(Right to left) Pilot Brian Shimer, World Class Athletes SPECIALIST Mike Kohn, USA, and SPECIALIST Doug Sharp, USA, with brakeman Dan Steele speed down the track at Utah Olympic Park in Park City, Utah, during the second heat of the men’s four-man bobsled in the 2002 WINTER OLYMPIC GAMES, 02/22/2002. NARA ID: 6527766

Bobsled Driver Todd Hays and brakeman Army reservist First Lieutenant Garret Hines, USA, of USA-1 hurl their way down the track at the Utah Olympic Park during the Men's two-man bobsled at the 2002 OLYMPIC WINTER GAMES, 02/16/2002. NARA ID: 6527735

Bobsled Driver Todd Hays and brakeman Army reservist First Lieutenant Garret Hines, USA, of USA-1 hurl their way down the track at the Utah Olympic Park during the Men’s two-man bobsled at the 2002 OLYMPIC WINTER GAMES, 02/16/2002. NARA ID: 6527735

Sure, photos of Olympic winners are great, but they don’t compare to watching Olympic athletes in action. Check out this video of highlights from the 1964 Winter Olympics in Innsbruck, Austria:

You can find out more about the Universal Newsreel collection and the 1964 Olympics on Media Matters, the blog of the National Archives’ Special Media Archives Services Division.

Be sure to head over to our Online Public Access Catalog and start tagging! Tag your favorite Winter Olympic records so you can find them again for the next Winter Olympics in 2018!

Posted in Electronic Records, NARA Staff Favorites, Photographs, Tag It Tuesday | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

President's Day at the National Archives

Guest blogger Elizabeth Lieutenant, a Master’s student in Library and Information Science at The Catholic University of America, is a virtual intern in the Office of Innovation.


This week we celebrated President’s Day, a U.S. federal holiday that officially honors George Washington’s birthday. While the holiday may be for George, we at the National Archives love all our presidents equally. We’ve been celebrating by diving into our catalog and tagging photos of all of our nation’s presidents.

Curious about what tagging means and how you can get involved? Check out our previous blog post, where we discuss tagging the Online Public Access catalog. Tagging helps index the National Archives’ collections and allows you, our public users, to discover records. Have some ideas on improving your tagging experience? Let us know here on NARAtions or by emailing us at search@nara.gov.

Turn up “Hail to the Chief” and let’s get started!

We may not have any pictures of George, but we have the next best thing, a record of his portrait! This iconic portrait, painted by Gilbert Charles Stuart, can be found on the U.S. one-dollar bill. You’ll need a few of those if you plan on hitting some President’s Day sales at the mall.

George Washington, President of U.S, ca. 1860 - ca. 1865. NARA ID: 528597

George Washington, President of U.S, ca. 1860 – ca. 1865. NARA ID: 528597

FDR was born on January 30th, but we completely forgot to get him a present! Let’s hope this gigantic cake will make up for our absentmindedness.

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt Receives a Birthday Cake in the Oval Office, White House from William Green of the American Federation of Labor, 01/30/1942. NARA ID: 6037481

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt Receives a Birthday Cake in the Oval Office, White House from William Green of the American Federation of Labor, 01/30/1942. NARA ID: 6037481

Uh-oh. Lookings like Franklin’s fifth cousin and fellow President Theodore wants a slice! Don’t worry, there’s plenty of cake for all our Presidents.

Photograph of Colonel Theodore Roosevelt. NARA ID: 594109

Photograph of Colonel Theodore Roosevelt. NARA ID: 594109

One of Ronald Reagan’s favorite things about being President was flying on Air Force One. You can visit his flying White House in person at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum.

President Ronald Reagan waves as he prepares to board Air Force One for departure, 04/05/1984 NARA ID: 6387444

President Ronald Reagan waves as he prepares to board Air Force One for departure, 04/05/1984 NARA ID: 6387444

We don’t have too many records of current President Barack Obama in our Online Public Access Catalog, but we will when his term is over on January 20, 2017. Until then, you can browse the 317 records we do have, including this one.

Office of the Administrator (Lisa P. Jackson) - U.S. President Barack Obama in New Orleans, Louisiana [412-APD-608-2010-08-29_NOLAPOTUS_037.jpg], 08/29/2010. NARA ID: 6899821

Office of the Administrator (Lisa P. Jackson) – U.S. President Barack Obama in New Orleans, Louisiana [412-APD-608-2010-08-29_NOLAPOTUS_037.jpg], 08/29/2010. NARA ID: 6899821

Be sure to head over to our Online Public Access Catalog and start tagging! Show your appreciation for the work our Presidents do by tagging your favorite Presidential records.

To get started tagging, you’ll need to:

Tagging is a fun and easy way to make our records more accessible to the public. By tagging content in our catalog, you’re helping to connect other people to our records. This gives a whole new meaning to our records and helps make them “come alive” to a completely new audience.

We hope that you’ll share any tagging suggestions you may have in the comments below or emailing us at search@nara.gov. We’re always looking for new tips and tricks to help make your search easier, If you would like to see us cover a particular topic or theme, let us know! We’d love to hear from you.

Posted in Open Government, Photographs, Social Media (Web 2.0) | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

For Valentine’s Day, Ten Records About Love

Guest blogger Elizabeth Lieutenant, a Master’s student in Library and Information Science at The Catholic University of America, is a virtual intern in the Office of Innovation.


February is upon us, and while it may be cold outside, we’re keeping warm with thoughts of the upcoming Valentine’s Day holiday. Valentine’s Day, also known as the Feast of Saint Valentine, has been celebrated for centuries. While Valentines is sometimes exclusively thought of as a time for lovers, our top 10 Valentines Day records from the National Archives show there are plenty of different ways to celebrate the holiday.

Do you love your President? Why not send them a Valentine’s Day card to show how much you care:

F-88 12-A1-091 Berryman

St. Valentine’s Day, 02/14/1917. This illustration by cartoonist Clifford Berryman appeared in the Washington Evening Star on February 14, 1917, and depicts Woodrow Wilson’s confirmed re-election coming in the form of a Valentine’s Day card. National Archives Identifier: 6011195

Whoops! Bet these political figures weren’t expecting these “Valentine Surprises”:

6010696

Some Valentine Surprises, 02/14/1907. This illustration by cartoonist Clifford Berryman appeared in the Washington Evening Star on February 14, 1907, and depicts some Valentine’s Day surprises based on current political issues. National Archives Identifier: 6010696

Do you think President Roosevelt preferred his “Surprise” card, or this “Inappropriate” card?:

6010930

“Inappropriate Valentines”, 02/14/1912. This illustration by cartoonist Clifford Berryman appeared in the Washington Evening Star on February 14, 1912, and offers some humorous valentine cards placing major political figures at the time in some positions which are difficult to imagine. National Archives Identifier: 6010930

We hope Teddy doesn’t hold a grudge and revoke our invitation to the White House Valentine’s Day Party:

6907792

Office of the Deputy Administrator – White House Invitation in celebration of Valentine’s Day. National Archives Identifer 6907792

Many of our troops can’t make it home for Valentine’s Day, so this Master Sergeant is trying to make the day as special as possible:

030214-F-1199H-007

US Air Force (USAF) MASTER Sergeant (MSGT) Stan Pamphille, 86th Services Squadron (SVS), prepares assorted candies cups for the Valentine’s Day Customer Appreciation Luncheon, inside the Dinning Facility at Ramstein Air Base (AB), Germany, 02/14/2003. National Archives Identifier: 6633402

Being a military spouse on Valentine’s Day can be hard, so it’s important to try to make their day feel special:

040212-F-5343T-003

Left to right, US Air Force (USAF) First Lieutenant (1LT) Megan Kranenburg, with the 92nd Civil Engineer Squadron (CES), 1LT John Parrett, from the 92nd Logistics Readiness Squadron (LRS) and Second Lieutenant (2LT) Kate Houston, with the 92nd Services Squadron (SS), Company Grade Officers group, take on the role of Cupid. They perform a complimentary vocal performance for Vanessa Bosshard, wife of STAFF Sergeant (SSGT) Kenneth Bosshard, assigned to the 92nd Communications Squadron (CS), for Valentines Day’s, 02/12/2004. National Archives Identifier: 6659618

Military service members will be getting a special delivery thanks to “Operation Valentine’s Day”:

020214-F-1166S-004

US Air Force (USAF) AIRMAN First Class (AIC) Joel Rose, 305 Aerial Port Squadron, loads Valentine’s Day packages onto a 60K loader, for Operation Valentine at McGuire AFB, New Jersey (NJ). This operation provides Valentine’s Day packages to troops who are deployed to overseas locations in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM, 02/14/2002. National Archives Identifier: 6603744

While Veterans receive Valentine’s Day cards from the “Valentines for Veterans” program:

020313-F-6737G-004

Mr. Willie Huckley, a retired US Army (USA) veteran, receives a Valentine Day card from US Air Force (USAF) STAFF Sergeant (SSGT) Amie Kahler, 81st Training Group, Kessler Air Force Base (AFB) Mississippi (MS), during her Units annual Valentines for Veterans visit at the Veterans Administration (VA) Hospital in located in Biloxi, MS, 03/13/2002. National Archives Identifier: 6643686

The National Archives staff has been known to cut a rug on holidays:

3493299

St. Valentine’s Day Hop on the Mezzanine level outside Room 105, February 1975. National Archives Identifier: 3493299

And like any good Valentine’s Day party, we will have cake:

285496

Children cut Valentine party cake, ca. 1953. The children are students at Slim butte day School 1953-54. National Archives Identifier: 285496

What will you be doing to celebrate this special day? How about spending some time researching the things you love? You can search our online catalog or visit us in person at one of our many facilities. We would love to see you!

Posted in Events, Photographs, Research | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Ten Records We're Thankful to Have at the National Archives

Thanksgiving is an anticipated time of year…unless you’re a turkey!  While our traditions today may not even include the iconic bird (hello, Tofurkey!), this holiday is still cherished as a time to gather with friends and family and give thanks.  But before you start setting the table, enjoy a “harvest” of some of our favorite Thanksgiving records!

 

Thanksgiving turkeys have been granted a presidential pardon as early as President Lincoln, and it is a White House tradition that is still enjoyed in the modern day:

The President Receives Thanksgiving Turkey from Poultry and Egg National Board, Accompanied by Senator Everett M. Dirkson , 11/19/1963

The President Receives Thanksgiving Turkey from Poultry and Egg National Board, Accompanied by Senator Everett M. Dirkson , 11/19/1963. NARA ID 6817149

 

Though some turkeys granted an audience with the President had seen better days:

12-0755a

Photograph of Sen. Olin Johnston of South Carolina presenting President Truman with a turkey from Wilton E. Hall of Anderson, South Carolina, as Colonel Lewis Jackson looks on., 11/25/1946. NARA ID 199536

 

And some turkeys, feeling the heat of the kitchen, attempted to escape!:

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President Reagan Attending Ceremonies to Receive the Annual Thanksgiving Turkey from Representatives of the National Turkey Federation on the South Lawn, ca. 1985. NARA IDs 6728685, 6919294, and 6919300

In the mood for more fowl hijinks?  Check out the Thanksgiving set on Flickr.

Outside of the White House, Thanksgiving is a tradition observed by Americans everywhere:

29-0059a

Photograph of President George H. W. Bush Enjoying Thanksgiving Dinner with Troops, 11/22/1990. NARA ID 186423

 

How many people do you have coming over for dinner?  I bet you’re not making a vat of sweet potatoes like this “pilgrim:”

DN-SC-85-12223

A mess management specialist helps prepare Thanksgiving dinner aboard the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS CARL VINSON (CVN 70), 11/24/1984. NARA ID 6393176

 

The Thanksgiving menu is often deeply rooted in tradition and certain merits can be hotly debated.  But do you have room on your table for Consomme and Braised Celery?

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White House Menu, 11/25/1948. NARA ID 6882375

Do you have a hankering for more presidential noms?  Don’t forget to follow OurPresidents on Tumblr and see what the White House has cooked up for the holidays!

 

This video clip certainly brings new meaning to “dressing the turkey:”

And this is certainly not your typical Thanksgiving Day Parade:

Working up an appetite for Thursday? Check out this playlist of other Thanksgiving-themed films recently digitized by our Motion Picture Preservation Lab.

Wild turkeys can fly, and we often see them feeding on the ground, but sometimes they even find themselves out to sea:

DN-ST-88-01758

Arabian Sea. A mess management specialist slices a turkey for Thanksgiving dinner aboard the amphibious assault ship USS OKINAWA (LPH 3), 11/26/1987. NARA ID 6432428

 

Sometimes we have a hard time squeezing in watching football and eating dinner, but this airman has holiday multitasking down to a science:

DN-SN-88-03255

An air controlman airman eats his Thanksgiving dinner while keeping an eye on the radar scope in the helicopter direction center aboard the amphibious assault ship USS OKINAWA (LPH 3), 11/26/1987. NARA ID 6430796

 

But no matter where you are, Thanksgiving is a time to spend time with those you love, and enjoy a good meal:

28-0852a (1)

Thanksgiving cheer distributed for men in service. New York City turned host to the boys in service today and cared for every man in uniform. Underwood and Underwood., ca. 1918. NARA ID 533729

What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving?  Let us know in the comments!

 

Posted in NARA Staff Favorites, Photographs, Social Media (Web 2.0), Veterans / Military | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments

Weird Records from the Depths of the Archives

Halloween is right around the corner, and at the National Archives we are well versed in the creepiest, weirdest records of the Federal government. Here’s our list of favorites that are sure to make you shudder with fear!

 

What’s more dangerous- a poison bottle equipped with spikes or the poison itself?:

Patent Drawing for T. Newman's Poison Warning Bottle, 06/02/1908

Patent Drawing for T. Newman’s Poison Warning Bottle, 06/02/1908, NARA ID 7369165

 

 

In doubtful cases of actual death:

Drawing for a Life - Preserving Coffin, 11/15/1843 - 11/15/1843

Drawing for a Life – Preserving Coffin, 11/15/1843 – 11/15/1843, NARA ID 595517

 

But if you are buried alive, you’ll want someone to find you, right?:

Patent Drawing for J. G. Krichbaum's Device for Indicating Life in Buried Persons, 12/05/1882

Patent Drawing for J. G. Krichbaum’s Device for Indicating Life in Buried Persons, 12/05/1882, NARA ID 6277693

 

 

A fire mask that looks like it will do more harm than help:

Patent Drawing for C. McIntosh's Fire Mask, 05/01/1883

Patent Drawing for C. McIntosh’s Fire Mask, 05/01/1883, NARA ID 6277700

 

 

A rascal officer in front of a creepy house:

Photograph of John F. Kennedy as a "Keystone Kop", ca. 1925

Photograph of John F. Kennedy as a “Keystone Kop”, ca. 1925, NARA ID 595979

 

 

Some spooky visitors in the Oval Office:

Halloween Visitors to the Oval Office. Caroline Kennedy, President Kennedy, John F. Kennedy, Jr. White House, Oval Office., 10/31/1963  http://research.archives.gov/description/194260

Halloween Visitors to the Oval Office. Caroline Kennedy, President Kennedy, John F. Kennedy, Jr. White House, Oval Office., 10/31/1963, NARA ID194260

 

 

Food safety is a big concern on Halloween.  Let’s hope this doesn’t show up in a trick or treat bag:

Early ketchup was made from fermented skins and cores. These fermenting tomato leftovers could explode and burst their containers, so benzoate of soda was added a preservative. However, the Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906, signed by President Theodore Roosevelt, meant that ketchup—and its rotting, explosive tomato ingredients—was now regulated. In the image above 1909, the company making “Squire Tomato Catsup” was prosecuted and fined $50 for making ketchup from “Decomposed Material.”

Early ketchup was made from fermented skins and cores. These fermenting tomato leftovers could explode and burst their containers, so benzoate of soda was added a preservative.
However, the Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906, signed by President Theodore Roosevelt, meant that ketchup—and its rotting, explosive tomato ingredients—was now regulated. In the image above 1909, the company making “Squire Tomato Catsup” was prosecuted and fined $50 for making ketchup from “Decomposed Material.”  See the Prologue Blog for the full story.

 

 

This kind of mystery meat is more trick than treat:

Postcards Regarding the Chicago Meatpacking Industry, 10/09/1907

Postcards Regarding the Chicago Meatpacking Industry, 10/09/1907, NARA ID 2657925

 

 

This creeping doll is just creepy:

Drawing of Creeping Baby Doll, 03/14/1871 - 03/14/1871

Drawing of Creeping Baby Doll, 03/14/1871 – 03/14/1871, NARA ID 595011

 

 

But not as creepy as this wall of “heads”:

Holyoke, Massachusetts - Paragon Rubber Co. and American Character Doll. Spraying face, hands, and arms (Jewish) A plus., 1936 - 1937

Holyoke, Massachusetts – Paragon Rubber Co. and American Character Doll. Spraying face, hands, and arms (Jewish) A plus., 1936 – 1937, NARA ID 518351

 

 

A very scary rodent trap:

Drawing of an Animal Trap by J. A. Williams, 12/26/1882

Drawing of an Animal Trap by J. A. Williams, 12/26/1882, NARA ID 6037260

 

 

Animals in the Archives make us squeamish, especially when they are a part of the record:

Letter from Charity Snider, with accompanying mole skin, from her Civil War Widow's Pension Application File. The paper bears the discoloration from the unusual enclosure. (WC843258, Record Group 15)

Letter from Charity Snider, with accompanying mole skin, from her Civil War Widow’s Pension Application File. The paper bears the discoloration from the unusual enclosure. See Prologue blog for the full story.

 

Many thanks to Today’s Document and the Prologue blog for their spooky contributions.  What is the creepiest, most skin crawling record you’ve found at the National Archives?  Let us know, and have a very spooky Halloween!

Posted in Miscellaneous, Questions, Research, Social Media (Web 2.0) | Tagged | 10 Comments