About NARAtions

We began this blog because we are hoping to talk with you about online public access to the records held by the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). We care about improving your researcher experience.

NARA has custody of more than 9 billion pages of records.  How do we provide online access to it all? It’s a big challenge. Everyone would love to see all of the records available online as high-resolution scans with full-text searchability and a variety of ways to tag, search, browse, and discover the documents, photographs, maps, and films. And how about we get this completed by yesterday?

We think numerous strategies will have to come together as a multifaceted solution to providing better online access to NARA’s treasures and the vast array of federal records. NARA already has started to implement some approaches (like making descriptions and digital copies available in our online catalog, forming digitization partnerships, and developing an Electronic Records Archives), but we are still looking to the future and would like your input on how things are now and how you would love for them to be.

If you have suggestions for questions we should ask our researchers and the public, please send them to us at socialmedia@nara.gov.

Let the discussion begin!

51 thoughts on “About NARAtions

  1. If there is a way to subscribe to the blog, I don’t see it. How about an RSS feed or email subscription mechanism?

    1. Robert,

      There is a way to subscribe. RSS feed options are at the bottom of the blog’s home page. The links are labeled “Entries (RSS)” and “Comments (RSS).” Let us know if you have any other questions about the RSS feeds!

      – Jill (Admin)

  2. Carol,

    Feel free to include any of the info in your newsletter. Thanks!

    – Jill (Admin)

  3. For research purposes I would place the items in simple to understand catergories.
    The word tag to me covers to wide of a range of items including graphics some people in the internet world use the word tag to descibe catergories which to me is very misleading with to many results when seaching for an item. Good luck.

    1. Jenna,

      We’re going to check with our tech staff about the RSS feed and will post more info soon.

      Jill (Admin)

  4. Our RSS feed seems to be working fine.

    Our tech staff let us know about this tutorial (Video: RSS in Plain English) on YouTube that you might want to check out. It’s 3:44 minutes long.

  5. If anyone would like to see NARA’s 9/11 Commission records, I’ve been scanning the 35% that was released Jan 09; close to 50,000 pages uploaded here:

    “Everyone would love to see all of the records available online as high-resolution scans with full-text searchability and a variety of ways to tag, search, browse, and discover the documents, photographs, maps, and films. And how about we get this completed by yesterday?”

    You said it!

    Thanks for launching this blog, bookmarking it.

  6. I dislike rss feed subscriptions for many reasons I won’t get into. Can you provide a way to subscribe so I can get your posts delivered to my email? Thank you…

  7. I’m with Trish Lewis. Please let us subscribe by email…AND please provide the option for subscribing in digest mode. It’s the only way I participate in blogs. Ditto for the “Open Government Idea Forum”–please make subscriptions available in digest form.
    Thank you!

  8. For genealogy purposes, i would like to know what to do to enable me to access my deceased fathers war record. Enlisted 1944-to 1945. I do not have his social security # and was told I would need that to access records.

    1. Hi Bonnie,

      There are two options you can pursue to locate your father’s World War II service record. Online, you can go to NARA’s web site at http://www.archives.gov and check the Access to Archival Databases (AAD). There you will find an electronic data file for “World War II Army Enlistment records, 1938-1946.” If you find him there, you can then use the information to write to the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis, Missouri to locate further information (you will need to fill out Standard Form (SF) 180 to request records from St. Louis; the form is also available to download on the NARA web site). If you don’t find your father in AAD, you will still need to contact St. Louis, because they will have personnel files for the other branches of service as well. One thing to keep in mind, though, is that a fire at St. Louis in 1973 destroyed 80% of the Army personnel files for veterans discharged between 1912 and 1960, so that includes the World War II servicemen. If that happens to affect your father’s service, you should still contact St. Louis because they may be able to recreate some service information from other existing records. Good luck!

      – John

  9. Hi. I’ve tried to subscribe via e-mail, and have gotten the message:
    “Subscribe to Email Updates
    A confirmation message is on its way!
    You can also subscribe to the RSS feed.”
    However, the confirmation email never arrives. Is this service functional?
    Sam Bishop

  10. Hi Sam,

    The email updates should be working. Did you ever receive a confirmation email? I checked the subscribers list and it looks like your subscription has been confirmed. Let me know if you’re not getting updates.


  11. I would like to know the unit or squadron number OCD James M. Landis ,Director to the Civil Air Patrol Cadets in NYC,1Oct 1942. Manhattan H.S.of
    Aviation Trades @220 E.63rd St.

  12. I would like to know the unit or squadron number OCD James M. Landis ,Director, gave to the Civil Air Patrol Cadets in NYC,1Oct 1942. Manhattan H.S.of
    Aviation Trades @220 E.63rd St.

    1. Hi Barbara,

      The best way to find the information you’re looking for would be to send your question, including everything you know about the soldier, to our general reference email: inquire@nara.gov. That way, your question can be directed to the appropriate reference staff. Good luck with your research!


  13. I have my NARA Research Card (041815) with Expiration date: 8/21/2004. Could I have it renewed ON LINE?
    I suppose that I could send my expired card with ID photo as attachment. I would appreciate your reply asap. Thank you. NDN

  14. I ‘ve just sent my request for research card’s renewal. As I was going to terminate my email, I found the “Thank you for your comment!” I suppose that the acknowledgement had been automatically set up! “Bravo!” and Thanks.

  15. I have been searching the hertiage of my ancestors for 5 years now an i’m getting to old now, i found these numbers under NARA on each of there names yet I cannot find what it means are where i can locate the information please help! NARA publication T626- roll 2334, film number 2342068, digital number 4547957, image number 00046, this all i have and it shows up on all my great grandparents and their sister, brothers to.

  16. I am attempting get info on Col Warren Colville, MSG Kerwin Stackpoole and MSG Jack Shea.

  17. looking for 1940 census for
    Harry Deiter (spouse Beatrice)
    Harry Berger (spouse Rebecca)
    Joel Deiter (spouse Fannie (y?)
    all resided in Brooklyn New York
    Thank you Madeline Vernon

  18. I am trying to locate a birth record for my grandmother who was a orphan train rider that originated in NYC. Her name was Marie Perrine and she was in a catholic orphanage and at age 10 was adopted by the gilmore family in whiting Indinan, she was born in the 1880-1890’s. Any direction to where I might inquire will be greatly appreciated. Do you have the 1860 census?

  19. I am trying to locate my mother’s family in Germany. She came to the US in 1960’s. I have her passport number and want to know if I will be able to use that number to find her family in Germany.

  20. I am trying to obtain a copy of my Grandmothers Birth Certificate. She was born ” Elizabeth Martin about 1840, in Birkenhead, Englandand and died June 17, 1925 in Brooklyn, N.Y. Her father his James Martin, born in Ireland. Her mother is Ann Callahan, born about 1833 in Wales, England.FATHER WAS jAMES mARTIN

  21. i was a combat photographer with 69th sig. btln., detachment “b” in cam rahn bay, vietnam in 1967. i had photos in the stars and stripes newspaper. i would also like to see some of my other phots i took wile i was in the army over there. thank you very much, BILL

  22. Could someone address the problem of locating original records when one has found images on the M598 images that NARA sent to Ancestry? Ancestry bucketed the entire 145 rolls on one loooonnnnngggggg series of 54,896 images. The problem is that one cannot tell, for an individual record, on which of the 145 reels the image appears. This renders the M598 finding aid, which is done by individual reel, useless. I am glad to come to NARA to find the original ledger for microfilm image 43,068 (as Ancestry has numbered it), but when I arrive at NARA, then what? I have been asking this same question of NARA for two years and there’s never any answer except come there.

    1. Hi Laura – We checked the images from M598 on Ancestry. For each name, a roll number is provided in the descriptive information for each person. For the page you mention, the names are all found on roll 7. If you wish to look at the microfilm, instead of the online images, the microfilm is available at our Washington, DC, building and may be available at some of our regional archives as well.

  23. I’m looking for an E&E report for Lt. Carl Gooch the pilot of a B-17 that crashed on 26 September 1944 in South Holland. I tried searching using “Carl Gooch” and Lt. Carl Gooch with no luck. Any suggestions on a better search term?

  24. I served as Captain in the U S Army Medical Corps from 1 July 1953 to 30 June 1955, mostly stationed at U S Army Hospital at Fort Knox, Kentuky.
    I have lost the copy of my discharged summary.
    Could I get a duplicate copy.
    James Darragh

  25. I meant to write ‘discharge summary” or discharge paper, not discharged summary.
    James Darragh

    1. Hi James,

      You can obtain copies of your military discharge papers by filling out a Standard Form 180 (SF 180). Information about starting your request can be found on our website: http://www.archives.gov/veterans/military-service-records/index.html

      Also, you can find more information about military records at the National Archives here: http://www.archives.gov/veterans/military-service-records/about-service-records.html

      Best of luck with your research,

  26. I need some assistance in finding links to the After Action Reports for the 173rd Abn Bde for 1968. I have those for 1967, but need 1968 for info in a book I am writing.

  27. John
    I forgot to include my company in the 1/8/4ID. I was in 1st platoon of Delta Company. Platoon leader was Lt Tim Baker and the company CO was Capt Charles F. Burke.

  28. You’ve answered a query from Terry Hopkins regarding his question. My question is regarding information on Delta Company 1bn 8Inf 4ID in Viet Nam 8/67-8/68. I was a squad leader in the 1st platoon whose Platoon Leader was Lt Tim Baker. Our CO was Capt. Charles Burke. Thank you!

  29. Meredith D.- My name is Joe Edwards but you keep sending me a message that is meant for Terry Holmes and his query. I am looking for info on D Company 1st Bn 8th Inf 4th Inf Div. Trying to find company rosters from 9 Aug 67 through 8 Aug 68 in Pleiku, South Viet Nam.

  30. I need detailed reports on the ships log only
    SPECOPS and NGFS operatations from 1967
    to 1968 on the U.S.S.PROVIDENCE(CLG-6).
    your reserch is much apprecheated.

    1. Hi John,
      Navy Deck logs post-1940 are located at the National Archives in College Park, MD. You can request files for the USS Providence from the Archives II Reference Section by emailing them at Archives2reference@nara.gov. In your request, please be sure to include the name of the ship and the dates (months and years) you would like to request.

      Good luck with your research,

  31. The collaboration with your digital partner Fold3 has produced an impressive collection of U.S. Navy records from WW II that are now available to researchers.

    But for those us researching U.S. Army units in the war, there is a paucity of online documents.

    The best thing NARA II and Fold3 could do for us is to scan the General Orders issued by the Headquarters of each Infantry, Airborne and Armored Division that participated in WW II. These records contain the Medal citations, for
    instance, that document Purple Hearts, Bronze Stars, and Silvers Stars awarded to
    individual soldiers. This would be a boon
    to the families as well as for us armchair historians.

    May I suggest the 45th Infantry Division as a test.



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