Contains records of the Pacific Railroad Survey.


NC-148, a revision, by Forrest R. Holdcamper, of PI #56 compiled by Stephen Helton and others (Mar., 1967).


Under authority of an Executive order of June 13, 1942, the Office of War Information was created. The functions of the Office of War Information were as follows: to coordinate the dissemination of war information by all Federal agencies; to formulate and carry out by means of press, radio, and motion pictures, programs designed to facilitate an understanding, at home and abroad, of the progress of the war effort and of the policies, activities, and aims of the Government; to review and approve all proposed radio and motion picture programs sponsored by Federal offices; to act as a liaison office between the Federal Government and the radio and motion picture industries; and to maintain liaison with information offices of the United nations. An Executive order of August 31, 1945, provided for the gradual termination of the Office, to be effective on December 31, 1945. The records amount to 2,295 cubic feet.

198. REPORTS ON PHASES OF THE WAR EFFORT. Mar. 1943-Aug. 1945. 3 ft. Reports on railroads, rationing, airlines, the doctor shortage, and other topics affecting the war effort. The reports were prepared by the Bureau and released to editors, commentators, broadcasters, photographers, and others concerned with presenting the news. Arranged in part by subject of report and in part by name of writer who prepared the report. Relevant subjects include:

NC-65 Photographs Depicting "Life in the United States: 1942-1946," compiled by Norwood N. Biggs (June 1964).

The LU series, "Life in the United States," portrays an extensive segment of life in the United States during World War II. More than 300 different subjects are included in the 22 cubic feet of records in this series. The prints are arranged alphabetically by subject and thereunder alphabetically by the sub-subjects. Headings related to weather include:

Chamber Testing
Observation --Cooperative Observers
Observation Post

Other records of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Research Council, and their committees have been retained by the Academy (see additional entries). The records of the Paris branch of the Research Information Committee, supposedly duplicating those of the headquarters office, are in the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution, and Peace at Stanford University, Calif. Related record groups include RG-52, RG-62, RG-88, RG-136, and RG-227.

Records of the Division of Earth Sciences

9. MAPS PREPARED FOR THE NATIONAL ATLAS OF THE UNITED STATES. 1958-61. 1 in. 100 items. Maps of the United States and parts thereof that were printed by various Government agencies for inclusion in the National Atlas, a project sponsored by the National Research Council. Included are maps compiled by the Weather Bureau showing monthly standard deviations of temperature, maximum and minimum temperatures and precipitation, first and last frosts and number of freeze-free days, relative humidity, percentage of sunshine, and percentage of evaporation.


NC-138 compiled by Forrest R. Holdecamper (Dec., 1965).


The Office of Scientific Research and Development (OSRD) was created within the Office for Emergency Management by Executive Order 8807 of June 28, 1941, to assure adequate provision for research on scientific and medical problems relating to the national defense. The Office was terminated on December 31, 1947, and its remaining functions were transferred for purposes of liquidation to the National Military Establishment by Executive order 9913 of December 26, 1947. During the war period the Office served as a center for the mobilization of the scientific personnel and resources of the Nation and it cooperated in planning, aiding, and supplementing, where necessary, the experimental and other research activities carried on by the armed services and other Federal agencies. It was given responsibility for contracts entered into, before its establishment, by the National Defense Research Committee (NDRC) and the Health and Medical Committee, which were created by order of the Council of National Defense on June 27 and September 19, 1940, respectively. The records amount to 2,953 cubic feet.

James Phinney Baxter III, President of Williams College, was appointed as Historian of the OSRD on a part-time basis in 1943. He published the short history of the OSRD, Scientists Against time, in 1946. The records include a draft of the short history; histories--in mimeographed form--of various divisions of the NDRC; and a file of office memoranda and circulars of the NDRC and the OSRD (15ft)

13. GENERAL RECORDS OF THE OSRD. 1940-47. 83 ft.
Deal with the general policy of the OSRD and its major and minor subdivisions on all matters of concern to the agency. The records consist of correspondence, general and informal memoranda and reports, (chiefly Great Britain), administrative circulars, releases and orders, minutes, and some interfiled photographs and drawings. The main outlines of the work of all the divisions, panels and committees of the NDRC and the CMR are among these records. The jobs of all ad hoc and other committees are listed, and there are records relating to the interchange of scientific information at home and abroad, the Field Service missions and branches abroad, the work of individual Field Service men and administrative policy concerning the operations of the various Washington offices. Records relating to atomic energy, except those discussed in the first meeting of the NDRC and referred to in the Smyth report, have been sent to the Atomic Energy commission. To the OSRD, the NDRC, and the CMR. Arranged according to a subject numeric system.

20. PUBLISHED HISTORIES AND MONOGRAPHS OF THE OSRD AND THE NDRC. 1945-47. 40 vols. Record copies, maintained by the Project Control Section, of the short history of the OSRD, Scientists Against Time, by James Phinney Baxter III; of the long history in 7 volumes, Science in World War II; of the 27-volume series of monographs by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Radiation Laboratory on radar; of the 2-volume series, Very High Frequency Techniques, by the Radio Research Laboratory at Harvard University; of the monographs, Sampling Inspection and Techniques of Statistical Analysis, by the Statistical Research Group of Columbia University under the Applied Mathematics Panel.

23. SUMMARY TECHNICAL REPORTS OF THE NDRC. 1946-47. 3 ft. These reports, published in 1946-47, summarized the work of the NDRC in a useful and permanent form. They comprise some 70 volumes, which are divided into groups corresponding to NDRC divisions, panels, which are divided into groups corresponding to NDRC and committees. The first volume of each group's report contains a summary of the problems involved, the methods of solving them, and the results of the research, development, and training activities undertaken. Some of the volumes are state of the art treatises covering subjects to which various research groups had contributed in the laboratories. Manuscripts and illustrations for the reports were prepared for publication by the Summary Reports Group of Columbia University under Contract OEM-sr-1131. The record copy of the report was maintained by the Project Control Section in its reports and documents collection as a final report of the contractor. A master index to the reports is in a separate volume, which also includes the index to microfilm copies of the technical reports and pertinent laboratory reports. Arranged numerically by division number of the NDRC and thereunder alphabetically by name of panel or committee. Available on 487 rolls of microfilm #T1012.

36. CORRESPONDENCE REGARDING THE GOVERNMENT RADAR PATENT PROGRAM. 1942-44. 7 ft. Relates chiefly to the patent work conducted by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University laboratories and the radar patents submitted by their various subcontractors. Arranged alphabetically by name of inventor.


On June 27, 1940, the Council of National Defense issued an order, with the approval of the President, creating the National Defense Research Committee (NDRC). When the Office of Scientific Research and Development (OSRD) was established on June 28, 1941, the NDRC became one of its main divisions.

Of Particular interest are:

Records of Division 10

Sections B-5 and B-6, established in Division B in late 1940 for studying problems of aerosols and gas-mask absorbents, became Division 10 in December 1942. The work of the Division was broadened to include the study and development of gas-mask filters, screening smokes, and chemical warfare munitions. The development of smoke generators for screening strategic targets was one of the most notable of the Division's achievements. W.A. Noyes, Jr., was Chief of the Division in the 1942-45 period, and he was Chief of Section B-6 in 1940-42. In the 1940-42 period W.H. Rodebush was Chief of Section B-5.

Office files of W.A. Noyes, H.F. Johnstone, W.M. Latimer, W.L. McCabe, W.C. Pierce, W.H. Rodebush, and D.M. Yost. The records consist of correspondence, memoranda, and reports concerning activities such as the development of aerosols, methods of screening smoke, and gas-mask absorbents. Arranged alphabetically by name of chief or subchief and thereunder chronologically, with the files of Mr. Noyes at the beginning of the series.

96. GENERAL RECORDS. 1942-45. 12 ft.
Correspondence, memoranda, and reports regarding the organization, program, and activities of the Division. Arranged alphabetically by subject and thereunder chronologically, with reports of conferences and material relating to the budget at the beginning of the series.

97. CONTRACT RECORDS 1940-45. 37 ft.
For each contract made under the supervision of the Division there is a folder containing a copy of the contract and related correspondence and an approval of equipment form and related correspondence. In some of the folders there are also information reports, photographs, blueprints, and drawings. Arranged in two groups, terminated contracts and unterminated contracts, and thereunder by Division contract number.

Records of Division 13

Division 13, created in the NDRC in December 1942, was an outgrowth of sections begun under Division C in early 1941 to study direction finders. It worked with navigation and communications devices and systems, among them direction finders that would operate hemispherically, speech scrambling and decoding, antennas, and radio direction finding for locating storms. C.B. Jolliffe was Chief of the Division from December 1942 to May 1945, and Haraden Pratt was Chief from May 1945 to May 1946. A direction Finding Committee, under the chairmanship of Loren F. Jones from early 1942 to September 1945, made contracts in the field of radio direction finding. J. Allison and A. F. Murray were technical aides to the Committee and to the Division.

109. PROJECT RECORDS. 1941-46. 9 ft.
Correspondence, memoranda, informal reports, drawings, and interfiled photographs concerning the various projects handled by the Division. The records relate primarily to VHF ( very high frequency) direction finders, radiosonde direction finders, and antenna research. Arranged by Division project number.

110. GENERAL RECORDS. 1942-46. 6 ft.
Correspondence, memoranda, and informal and formal reports concerning the administration of the Division, its general research program, and liaison with other sections, divisions, and committees of the NDRC and the OSRD, the armed services, and other countries. Arranged by subject and thereunder chronologically.

111. RECORDS OF TECHNICAL AIDES AND MEMBERS OF THE DIVISION. 1942-46. 12 ft. Office files of J. Allison, Technical Aide for Direction Finding, 1942-46; A.F. Murray, Aide for Patents, 1942-46; and other members and aides of the Division. The records consist of correspondence, memoranda, and reports pertaining to the particular interests of the persons concerned. The records of Messrs. Murray and Allison at the beginning of the series consist of about 5 feet each. The arrangement is alphabetical by subject and thereunder chronological.

Records of Division 14

In June 1940 Dr. K.T. Compton, Chairman of Division D, established a section to study the application of microwaves (radio waves less than 5 inches long) to military detection devices. This Section, D-1, headed by Alfred L. Loomis, was composed of a dozen university and industrial scientists and engineers. It became Division 14 in December 1942. It was responsible for the microwave radar and Loran developments within the NDRC. In organizing and coordinating research, invention, design, and manufacture to obtain the maximum number of effective applications of microwaves in the minimum of time, the Division established and administered 137 OSRD contracts concerned with almost every phase of the country's wartime radar program. The principal contract, accounting for 80 percent of the contract appropriations, was with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Radiation Laboratory (MIT-RL) under the direction of L.A. DuBridge. Division 14 acted as a board of directors for the laboratory and passed on general policy and budget policy matters concerning it. The work of the Division was terminated in 1946.

112. GENERAL ADMINISTRATIVE RECORDS. 1941-46. 4 ft. Correspondence, memoranda, and informal reports concerning the administrative work of the Division including housekeeping duties, the budget, patent policies, property, meetings, and general policy and procedure. Arranged alphabetically by subject.

113. PROJECT FILES. 1943-46. 9 ft.
Correspondence, memoranda, informal reports, drawings, and interfiled photographs concerning the various projects administered by the Division under contract. In groups as follows: general correspondence, arranged chronologically; and Army Navy projects, Navy Projects, Army projects, and miscellaneous projects all arranged by Division project number.

114. GENERAL CONTRACT RECORDS. 1941-46. 42 ft.
A typical folder contains a copy of the contract, a copy of the proposal (budget request, authorizations, and allotments) correspondence relating to the contract and proposals, and a copy of the document authorizing termination of the contract and disposal of the property thereunder. The records for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Radiation Laboratory (OEM-sr-262), amounting to about 25 feet, containing in addition to the typical material correspondence relating to organization, policy and procedures, demobilization, manpower, personnel.

Records of the Applied Mathematics Panel

154. RECORDS OF CERTAIN CONSULTANTS AND AIDES OF THE DIVISION. 1942-46. 4 ft. Office files of T.C. Evans, T.C. Fry, H.H. Cermond, L.M. Graves, F.D. Murnaghan, and E.W. Paxson aides and consultants for various mathematical problems. These record consist of correspondence and informal memoranda regarding mathematical tables and analyses of problems relating to air warfare. Arranged by name as listed thereunder chronologically.

Records of the Committee on Propagation

The NDRC Committee on Propagation was organized in August 1943 under the chairmanship of Dr. C.R. Burrows, and it functioned until June 30, 1946. Its purpose was to conduct American scientific investigation of the propagation of electromagnetic waves through the lower atmosphere under varying conditions. The committee was to function as a part of Division 14, but its broader aspects led to its being given the status of a division in October 1943. In addition to assuming certain contracts of Divisions 13, 14, and 15 involving radio wave propagation, it let five of its own contracts relating to new equipment and measuring devices.

158. GENERAL RECORDS. 1943-46. 7 ft.

Correspondence, informal memoranda and reports, minutes of meetings and conferences, and copies of contracts relating the administration of the Committee, coordination with similar fields of activity both in the United States and in Great Britain, and liaison with other divisions of the NDRC and the OSRD. Arranged in groups as follows: administration, contract, and report data; liaison and coordination with Government agencies; liaison with the OSRD; reports of equipment and experiments; and reports of the British Mission. Records in each group are arranged chronologically.

Records of the Office of Field Service

177. MANUSCRIPT HISTORIES AND PROJECT SUMMARIES OF THE OFS. 1943-46. 2 ft. Drafts and worksheets for the short history of the OFS, Scientists Against Time (see entry 7), and for the long history, Combat Scientists; and summaries and worksheets relating to various offices, projects, and subjects of OFS activity including manpower utilization, intelligence missions, jungle warfare, bomb-damage assessment, amphibious operations, medical missions, biological missions, and radar and other devices. Arranged by subject or activity.


Contains petitions to Congress, maps, and information on railroad surveys of the American West, 1849-1861.


PI, compiled by Cleveland E. Collier, Ignaz Ernst, Steven Pinter, Julius Wildstosser, and Donald E. Spencer (1965).


During and after World War II and the Korean War, many seized enemy records were sent to the United States. The records described in this inventory consist of such records that have been separately maintained in the Office of Military Archives.

With the exception of the Japanese records and the records seized in Korea, the so-called "Non-German Records" comprise documentary materials that were by and large originally captured by the German military forces and then in turn fell into the hands of British or American troops. The period covered by the records is basically 1920-1945, but numerous documents are dated earlier. The volume of records is about 6700 cubic feet.



NM-86 (National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics), compiled by Sarah Powell (June 1967).


The National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) was created by an act of Congress approved March 3, 1915. The principal functions of the Committee were "to supervise and direct the scientific study of the problems of flight with a view to their practical solution," and "to direct and conduct research and experiments in aeronautics." Committee membership included the Chairman of the Research and Development Board of the Department of Defense and representatives from the Departments of the Air Force and Navy, Civil Aeronautics Authority, Smithsonian Institution, U.S. Weather Bureau, and the National Bureau of Standards. The Committee was terminated by the act of July 29, 1958, that created the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and transferred to it Committee functions and records. There are 133 cubic feet of records dated between 1914 and 1965 in this record group.


The records described in this inventory are the textual records of the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics that were in the National Archives on June 15, 1967. They are part of the records in Record Group 255, Records of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. They amount to about 60 cubic feet and are for the period 1914-58. They consist of a collection of historical records assembled mainly by John F. Victory, Executive Secretary of the Committee. Most of the record created by the Committee and its field installations are in the Washington National Records Center.

3. CORRESPONDENCE, REPORTS, AND OTHER RECORDS RELATING TO THE CAREERS OF COMMITTEE MEMBERS ("BIOGRAPHY FILE"). 1915-58. 18ft. Arranged alphabetically by name of person. The series also contains many newspaper clippings and some photographs. Contains a file on Francis W. Reichelderfer, Chief of the Weather Bureau. Related materials are in the Library of Congress.

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