Our new permanent exhibit, “Records of Rights” opens to the public on December 10! But you don’t have to wait until Tuesday to see the records on display—you can visit our new website http://recordsofrights.org/ to explore the documents that show how Americans continue to define, attain, and protect their rights.
The strange story of the Iraqi Jewish Archives starts with a phone call and then includes a very long flight to Baghdad, drowning documents in a secret basement, a trip to Texas for freeze drying, several years of conservation treatment, and digitization.
Hear the whole story on Thursday at 7 p.m. at the National Archives building in Washington, DC.
(You can watch live—or later—on our Ustream channel: http://www.ustream.tv/usnationalarchives)
Doris Hamburg and Mary Lynn Ritzenthaler of the National Archives discuss the story behind our exhibit of historical materials—discovered in 2003 in Saddam Hussein’s flooded intelligence headquarters—relating to the Jewish community in Iraq.
Joining them are Maurice Shohet, analyst at the Middle East Media Research Institute, and William D. Cavness, Jr., retired Foreign Service officer. Greg Myre, journalist and NPR’s digital editor for international news, will moderate.
Here’s three men who love history! From left to right: Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero, director Steven Spielberg, and filmmaker Ken Burns.
Last night, the Foundation for the National Archives presented director Steven Spielberg with the Records of Achievement Award for bringing our nation’s story to life on the big screen. Ken Burns spoke with Steven Spielberg onstage about history, storytelling, and the National Archives.
The best part of this photo? Look closely at Mr. Spielberg and you’ll see that he’s wearing the little orange National Archives visitor tag clipped to his tux!
The National Archives Assembly presents “An interview with Meyer Fishbein” at noon on Wednesday, November 20, in the auditorium at Archives II.
Meyer Fishbein began work at the National Archives in Washington, DC, in 1940 and retired in 1980.
Rod Ross, an archivist in the Center for Legislative Records, will ask Meyer questions about persons and practices in the National Archives during his 40-year tenure there.
In 1962 Meyer created the first-ever NARA disposition schedule for machine-readable records and helped guide the National Archives into the electronic era for records accessions. As head of the appraisal unit, Meyer played a key role in convincing the Census Bureau to open the 1900 census.
If you can’t come to Archives II to hear Meyer Fishbein in person, you can watch live on Ustream or watch the recording later: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/national-archives-assembly
Image: Archives Association party for new employees, June 1963. George Allen receives bowling trophy from Dr. Wayne C. Grover as Meyer Fishbein (Center) looks on. U.S. National Archives Local Identifier: 64-NA-2381
We want YOU to fill this empty display case!
Today is the last day to vote for the first document to be displayed in this case when our new ‘Records of Rights” exhibit opens on December 10.
Which document would you like to see on display first?
- Equal Protection of the Laws: Joint Resolution for the 14th Amendment, 1868
- Lowering the Voting Age: Certification for the 26th Amendment, 1971
- Protecting Americans with Disabilities: Americans with Disabilities Act, 1990
- Ending Segregation in the Armed Forces: Executive Order 9981, 1948
- Immigration Reform: Immigration Reform Act, 1965
Tell us what document you want to see: cast your vote now!
Archives staff teach a 90-minute, hands-on workshop on how to navigate archives.gov for your research. Join us on Wednesday, November 13, at 9:30 a.m.
If you don’t know where to start or have gotten lost in your research, this workshop will help you understand how to use archives.gov to further your research goals.
Registration required; classes are limited to seven seats. Email Nancy.Wing@nara.gov.
On Tuesday, November 12, at 7 p.m, join us for a screening of rarely seen films, preserved by the Academy Film Archive, that were designed to emphasize American unity for the war effort on the home front.
In 1942, the Academy Film Archive began acquiring a catalog of films for their War Film Collection. The 231 titles that survive cover many topics, all with the same goal of promoting and aiding victory by the United States and its World War II allies.
This still is from Prices Unlimited (1944): “In one of the quirkiest films within the Academy War Film Collection, two working women enter an alternate world where food rationing prices are lifted. In a dream sequence, a butcher leads the ladies to the ration board, where they meet the “evil” chairman who explains why ceiling prices are necessary.”
Thomas Doherty, Professor of Film Studies at Brandeis University and author of Projections of War: Hollywood, American Culture, and World War II, will introduce and discuss the films.
- The Last Will and Testament of Tom Smith (1943), starring George Reeves and Lionel Barrymore;
- Food and Magic (1943), starring Jack Carson;
- The Fighting Generation (1944), a Public Service Announcement directed by Alfred Hitchcock;
- and five more!
The program is free. Enter through the Special Events entrance on Constitution Avenue.
This program is presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences in partnership with the Charles Guggenheim Center for Documentary Film and the Foundation for the National Archives.
Image: Still from Prices Unlimited, courtesy of AMPAS.
Archives technician Stacey Chandler spent an entire day thinking about rum for her job at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum.
"I got to help researchers who were working on developing a Hemingway-inspired rum, which involved showing original Hemingway materials (including his war medals, flasks, compasses, bullfighting ticket stubs, etc) that represented his adventurous personality,” said Chandler. “I haven’t sampled the end result, but looking through Hemingway’s personal souvenirs made for a great day on the job.”
To read more Chandler’s job at the Library, go to: http://go.usa.gov/WDr5
To learn about the Hemingway collection at the JFK Library, go here: http://www.jfklibrary.org/Research/The-Ernest-Hemingway-Collection.aspx
An archivist’s job isn’t all glamor (see this post about pulling out pounds of fasteners), but sometimes best-selling authors are inspired by archivists!
Brad Meltzer (right) based the main character in his novel The Inner Circle on archivist Trevor Plante (left). And when Meltzer came to talk to staff at the National Archives in 2011, he was presented with a stack coat just like the ones archivists wear.
Meltzer enjoyed his experience doing research at the National Archives so much that he came back for more in his latest book Decoded. The newly published book has a thank you to our staff—and encourages everyone to visit the National Archives!
But you don’t need to be a published author to do research at the National Archives. Anyone interested in history can come to a research room at our facilities across the country and get help from an archivist. (And maybe you will be inspired to write a book!)