AOTUS: Collector in Chief

David S. Ferriero
10th Archivist of the United States
Happy American Archives Month
Beverly (MA) High School is a happening place!  Last week BHS graduate Angie Miller, an American Idol finalist visited.  And the day after, AOTUS spent the day—the first time since June of 1963!
As I said many times during the day, it was not the same Beverly High School that I left.  I was tremendously impressed with the seamless integration of technology throughout, the active participation of the students in the learning experience, and the excitement of the students hosting a visitor from Washington.
Read the full post on the AOTUS blog.
Photo courtesy of The Salem News.

Happy American Archives Month

Beverly (MA) High School is a happening place!  Last week BHS graduate Angie Miller, an American Idol finalist visited.  And the day after, AOTUS spent the day—the first time since June of 1963!

As I said many times during the day, it was not the same Beverly High School that I left.  I was tremendously impressed with the seamless integration of technology throughout, the active participation of the students in the learning experience, and the excitement of the students hosting a visitor from Washington.

Read the full post on the AOTUS blog.

Photo courtesy of The Salem News.

The Scan Plan: Our Strategy to Digitize the Vast Holdings of the National Archives
The National Archives’ Strategic Plan includes a simple, but audacious initiative: to digitize our analog records and make them available for online public access. We have over 12 billion pages of records, so yes, this is our moon shot.  


To achieve this goal, we know we need to think in radically new ways about our processes, and we have started by creating a new digitization strategy.  From the time we published our 2008 digitization strategy through today, we have scanned over 230 million objects.  This is a huge number, but we have a long road ahead.  Our new strategy pushes us further.
We will set measures and track progress for each of these approaches, because we believe we can make digital access happen and we will hold ourselves accountable for doing so. Take a look at the full strategy and tell us what else we need to know: digitization@nara.gov. 
Read the full post on the AOTUS blog.
Image: Scanning technique demonstrated by Mattie Woodford, Powell Group film scanner, taken April 1961. National Archives Identifier 7665735

The Scan Plan: Our Strategy to Digitize the Vast Holdings of the National Archives

The National Archives’ Strategic Plan includes a simple, but audacious initiative: to digitize our analog records and make them available for online public access. We have over 12 billion pages of records, so yes, this is our moon shot.  

To achieve this goal, we know we need to think in radically new ways about our processes, and we have started by creating a new digitization strategy.  From the time we published our 2008 digitization strategy through today, we have scanned over 230 million objects.  This is a huge number, but we have a long road ahead.  Our new strategy pushes us further.

We will set measures and track progress for each of these approaches, because we believe we can make digital access happen and we will hold ourselves accountable for doing so. Take a look at the full strategy and tell us what else we need to know: digitization@nara.gov. 

Read the full post on the AOTUS blog.

Image: Scanning technique demonstrated by Mattie Woodford, Powell Group film scanner, taken April 1961. National Archives Identifier 7665735

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.