There’s no question- the National Archives holds a LOT of stuff. That breadth can be a challenge to explain to new researchers and casual website visitors, whose understanding of NARA collections may be as broad as “all the records made in the U.S.” or as dismissive as “boxes and boxes of boring government paperwork.”
One of our strategies for combating these misconceptions is the creation of topical subject galleries on ARC. By highlighting some of NARA’s lesser-known records, as well as classic research staples, we’re able to introduce users to a much richer spectrum of American history than they may have expected. Would you guess, for instance, that the National Archives at Denver’s collections include records from Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show? Or that the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library has a photo of the first couple with Michael Jackson (sequins, white glove and all!)
As the pages continue to evolve, we’d love to hear your input on what new topics should be included, as well as which of the current ones you’d like to see get some more attention. What do you think?
4 thoughts on “Question: We are planning to revamp our topical subject pages. What topics are missing or need more attention?”
U.S. Civil War, 1861-1865. A lot of descriptions of records of captured Confederate records have been entered into ARC, so maybe we could use that as a strating point.
I am searching for online views of presidential inaugural ball programs. I need a list of the dances, music, and composers from Washington to Obama balls.
Our Presidential gallery pages at http://www.archives.gov/research/arc/topics/presidents/index.html are currently undergoing some renovations, so be sure to check back periodically for new highlights. To give you the highest chance of locating the records you need for your research, I think your best bet is to contact the experts at NARA’s Presidential Libraries. There are currently thirteen libraries, each of which collects and maintains the papers of a specific president from Herbert Hoover through George W. Bush. For general orientation and contact info, check out http://www.archives.gov/presidential-libraries/. To get started with your research, visit http://www.archives.gov/presidential-libraries/research/. You can also search NARA’s online catalog, ARC, for keyword strings such as this one: (inaugural OR inauguration OR inaugurat*) AND president* AND ball*. http://www.archives.gov/research/arc/
Good luck with your research!
Berlin Airlift – is it included anywhere?