AOTUS: Collector in Chief

David S. Ferriero
10th Archivist of the United States

Additional Guidance on Managing Email Released

I am pleased to announce that the Office of Management and Budget and the National Archives released a memo yesterday afternoon to the heads of executive departments and independent agencies on managing email. Over the past few weeks, this issue has been brought into focus through testimony that I delivered to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. In addition, we have received questions from agencies as they are reviewing our Capstone Bulletin to determine if this approach is feasible for them. This is also important in light of the requirement in the Managing Government Records Directive (OMB M-12-18) for all email to be managed electronically by December 31, 2016.

The memo reinforces the importance for each agency to manage their email properly and includes a new NARA Bulletin to assist agencies. NARA Bulletin 2014-06 reminds agency heads of existing NARA guidance and resources to assist in managing email.  The memo also reminds agencies of the upcoming deadline in the Directive to develop suitable training for all agency personnel.

Read the full post on the AOTUS blog.

Happy Labor Day!
"A truly American sentiment recognizes the dignity of labor and the fact that honor lies in honest toil." -Grover Cleveland
Image: Public Law 53-95: An Act Making Labor Day a Legal Holiday, June 28, 1894. General Records of the U.S. Government, National Archives and Records Administration
Read the full post on the AOTUS blog.

Happy Labor Day!

"A truly American sentiment recognizes the dignity of labor and the fact that honor lies in honest toil." -Grover Cleveland

Image: Public Law 53-95: An Act Making Labor Day a Legal Holiday, June 28, 1894. General Records of the U.S. Government, National Archives and Records Administration

Read the full post on the AOTUS blog.

Happy Birthday, Annie Oakley!
Letter to William McKinley offering to raise a troop of 50 lady sharpshooters to fight the Spanish American War.  They would provide their own rifles and ammunition.  Unfortunately, women were not allowed to serve at that point in our history. 
Image: Letter to President William McKinley from Annie Oakley. April 5, 1898. National Archives Identifier 300369

Happy Birthday, Annie Oakley!

Letter to William McKinley offering to raise a troop of 50 lady sharpshooters to fight the Spanish American War.  They would provide their own rifles and ammunition.  Unfortunately, women were not allowed to serve at that point in our history. 

Image: Letter to President William McKinley from Annie Oakley. April 5, 1898. National Archives Identifier 300369

Special Visitors
Tracy Bray contacted us recently and wondered if she could bring her father and family for a special visit to the National Archives in Washington.  It was a surprise for her father, Harry Edward Neal Jr.  The documents have special meaning to all of us and especially to the Neal family.  Mr. Neal’s father, Harry Edward Neal, was the Secret Service Agent in charge of getting those precious parchments into protective custody at Fort Knox during World War II.
The Charters had not yet been transferred to the National Archives and were housed at the Library of Congress.  Other documents slated for this secret mission included The Gutenberg Bible, Lincoln’s Second Inaugural and Gettysburg Addresses, and the Lincoln Cathedral copy of the Magna Carta which had been on display at the 1939 World’s Fair in New York City.
Agent Neal’s detailed report to Frank J. Wilson, Chief of the Secret Service, is fascinating.  An armored truck “under suitable guard” moved the material from the Library of Congress Annex to Union Station where a drawing room and adjoining compartments on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad train leaving at 6:30 p.m. on the 26th of December 1941.
Read the full post on the AOTUS blog.
Image: Photo of Harry Edward Neal, Secret Service Agentn in charge of getting Charters of Freedom into protective custody at Ford Knox during WWII.

Special Visitors

Tracy Bray contacted us recently and wondered if she could bring her father and family for a special visit to the National Archives in Washington.  It was a surprise for her father, Harry Edward Neal Jr.  The documents have special meaning to all of us and especially to the Neal family.  Mr. Neal’s father, Harry Edward Neal, was the Secret Service Agent in charge of getting those precious parchments into protective custody at Fort Knox during World War II.

The Charters had not yet been transferred to the National Archives and were housed at the Library of Congress.  Other documents slated for this secret mission included The Gutenberg Bible, Lincoln’s Second Inaugural and Gettysburg Addresses, and the Lincoln Cathedral copy of the Magna Carta which had been on display at the 1939 World’s Fair in New York City.

Agent Neal’s detailed report to Frank J. Wilson, Chief of the Secret Service, is fascinating.  An armored truck “under suitable guard” moved the material from the Library of Congress Annex to Union Station where a drawing room and adjoining compartments on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad train leaving at 6:30 p.m. on the 26th of December 1941.

Read the full post on the AOTUS blog.

Image: Photo of Harry Edward Neal, Secret Service Agentn in charge of getting Charters of Freedom into protective custody at Ford Knox during WWII.

My Afternoon with Bacall

As the Director of the New York Public Libraries I once had the opportunity to spend an afternoon with Lauren Bacall to pitch the NYPL Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center as the repository for her papers.  Accompanying Bob Taylor, then Chief of the Theatre Collection at LPA, we visited her at her home in The Dakota.  To this day, I am torn about which was more exciting—meeting Bacall or being in The Dakota!
Overlooking Central Park, we sat in her bookcase lined living room, discussing her career and family and her collection.  The bookcases were filled with leather bound volumes—one each for every play, movie, or performance of her life!  Each volume contained an annotated script, newspaper reviews, Playbill, etc.  Her collection was so well organized that it was an archivist/librarian’s dream!  
Read the full post on the AOTUS blog.
Image: Actress Lauren Bacall sits atop a piano while Vice President Harry S. Truman plays the piano at the National Press Club Canteen. They are at the canteen to entertain the servicemen. February 10, 1945.
Series: Photographs Relating to the Administration, Family, and Personal Life of Harry S. Truman, 1957-2004, NARA ID 198606.

My Afternoon with Bacall

As the Director of the New York Public Libraries I once had the opportunity to spend an afternoon with Lauren Bacall to pitch the NYPL Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center as the repository for her papers.  Accompanying Bob Taylor, then Chief of the Theatre Collection at LPA, we visited her at her home in The Dakota.  To this day, I am torn about which was more exciting—meeting Bacall or being in The Dakota!

Overlooking Central Park, we sat in her bookcase lined living room, discussing her career and family and her collection.  The bookcases were filled with leather bound volumes—one each for every play, movie, or performance of her life!  Each volume contained an annotated script, newspaper reviews, Playbill, etc.  Her collection was so well organized that it was an archivist/librarian’s dream!  

Read the full post on the AOTUS blog.

Image: Actress Lauren Bacall sits atop a piano while Vice President Harry S. Truman plays the piano at the National Press Club Canteen. They are at the canteen to entertain the servicemen. February 10, 1945.

Series: Photographs Relating to the Administration, Family, and Personal Life of Harry S. Truman, 1957-2004, NARA ID 198606.

The Hill Staff
Last night the Young Founder’s Society (YFS) hosted a reception in the Gold Room of the Rayburn House Office Building. The YFS is a membership group for young professionals in the Washington, DC, area who are committed to the work of the Foundation for the National Archives to increase awareness of the cultural and historical value of the National Archives.
While the event was part of the YSF’s membership drive, it was an opportunity for me to thank the attendees for their service to the nation and to single out the members of our oversight appropriations committees for special thanks.  In my 14 hearing appearances to date (but, who’s counting?!) I have been impressed with the knowledge, expertise, and passion which these people bring to their job.
Read the full post on the AOTUS blog.

The Hill Staff

Last night the Young Founder’s Society (YFS) hosted a reception in the Gold Room of the Rayburn House Office Building. The YFS is a membership group for young professionals in the Washington, DC, area who are committed to the work of the Foundation for the National Archives to increase awareness of the cultural and historical value of the National Archives.

While the event was part of the YSF’s membership drive, it was an opportunity for me to thank the attendees for their service to the nation and to single out the members of our oversight appropriations committees for special thanks.  In my 14 hearing appearances to date (but, who’s counting?!) I have been impressed with the knowledge, expertise, and passion which these people bring to their job.

Read the full post on the AOTUS blog.

ISOO Report to the President
The Information Security Oversight Office (ISOO), established in 1978, is responsible to the President for overseeing the Government-wide security classification program, and receives policy and program guidance from the National Security Council.  ISOO has been part of the National Archives and Records Administration since 1995.  You can learn more about ISOO at www.archives.gov/isoo
The 34th Annual Report to the President covering 2013 was released earlier this month.
Read the full post on the AOTUS blog.

ISOO Report to the President

The Information Security Oversight Office (ISOO), established in 1978, is responsible to the President for overseeing the Government-wide security classification program, and receives policy and program guidance from the National Security Council.  ISOO has been part of the National Archives and Records Administration since 1995.  You can learn more about ISOO at www.archives.gov/isoo

The 34th Annual Report to the President covering 2013 was released earlier this month.

Read the full post on the AOTUS blog.

Stay cool out there this summer!

Image: Apparatus for Treating Air – Willis H. Carrier, 09/1904 – 01/02/1906.  National Archives Identifier 7268013

Read the full post on the AOTUS blog.

I’m loving Joseph McCormack’s new book, Brief: Make a Bigger Impact by Saying Less. The focus is on lean communication.  McCormack terms it Six Sigma for your mouth!  “In our attention deficit economy, being brief is what’s desperately needed and rarely delivered.”
People speak at about 150 words per minute, but we have the mental capacity to deal with 750 words per minute.  That leaves a space of 600 words where we drift—think other thoughts, take a mini-vacation, lose focus, etc.
McCormack’s tips for clear, concise, and compelling oral presentations are simple:  map it, tell it, talk it, and show it. 
Read the full post on the AOTUS blog.
Image: Military Photographer of the Year Winner 1997. Title: Thoughts Elsewhere. Major Kurt Tek daydreams while coming home from a deployment, 01/01/1997. National Archives Identifier 6498091

I’m loving Joseph McCormack’s new book, Brief: Make a Bigger Impact by Saying Less. The focus is on lean communication.  McCormack terms it Six Sigma for your mouth!  “In our attention deficit economy, being brief is what’s desperately needed and rarely delivered.”

People speak at about 150 words per minute, but we have the mental capacity to deal with 750 words per minute.  That leaves a space of 600 words where we drift—think other thoughts, take a mini-vacation, lose focus, etc.

McCormack’s tips for clear, concise, and compelling oral presentations are simple:  map it, tell it, talk it, and show it. 

Read the full post on the AOTUS blog.

Image: Military Photographer of the Year Winner 1997. Title: Thoughts Elsewhere. Major Kurt Tek daydreams while coming home from a deployment, 01/01/1997. National Archives Identifier 6498091

Happy Fourth of July!

238 years ago, the Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence. And John Adams envisioned future celebrations of the event.  In a letter to his wife, he wrote:  “It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by solemn acts of Devotion to God Almighty.  It out to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward for ever more.”

Read the full post on the AOTUS blog.