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year 1972 was a particularly busy and important one for the National Archives and Records Service. A major new responsibility was added, programs looking to future events were begun or expanded, and older programs and activities continued to develop and grow.
The major new responsibility was supplied by President Nixon when he signed Executive Order 11652. The National Archives and Records Service has been given a primary role in declassification. Elsewhere in this issue are detailed descriptions of the attempt to curb excessive classification and to declassify the large backlog of security classified documents. In addition, staff members of the Office of Records Management have worked closely with the staff of the new Interagency Classification Review Committee to develop a government-wide reporting system for classified documents and declassification.
pressure hoses on the statuary outside the National Archives Building, cleaning the granite figures and pedestals. It was an outward manifestation of the extensive renovation in progress inside the classical structure built in the early 1930s. Other workers modernized the air-conditioning system, installed up-to-date lighting and smoke detectors and water sprinklers in the stack areas, improved laboratory facilities and equipment to meet growing demands for microfilm and other reproductions of historical materials, cleaned and painted public corridors, and replaced exhibit cases. At the year's end, the exhibition hall was temporarily closed to visitors so that the seventy-five-foot-high ceiling and the walls, marble, and other stonework could be thoroughly cleaned.
Other bicentennial preparations were being made. The International Council on Archives at its seventh quadrennial congress in Moscow in 1972 accepted an invitation to hold its 1976 congress in Washington when the United States will celebrate its twohundredth anniversary. The National Archives and Records Service and the Society of American Archivists are making the arrangements.
The Center for the Documentary Study of the American Revolution in the National Archives proceeded with projects to
The Bicentennial: A Time for Renewal
While the archival staff concentrated on declassification, workmen turned high
THE NATIONAL ARCHIVES
AND RECORDS SERVICE IN 1972
JAMES B. RHOADS Archivist of the United States
assist researchers whose themes involve the formation of the Union. An indexed bibli. ography of published works on the American Revolution was compiled, a singlevolume guide to prefederal and related records in the National Archives was under way with publication due in 1974, and computer-assisted indexes to the papers of the Continental Congress were being prepared for publication in 1976. A special bicentennial research room was being readied for scholars and other researchers interested in the 1774-89 period.
An Americana project was begun. The National Archives will accept for display gifts and loans of fine furniture and other examples of craftsmanship from the nation's early years.
ment, is roughly equivalent to twenty-five hundred pages; a reference service is the furnishing of one item of information or one reproduction in answer to a request.)
The National Archives and Records Service also sponsored scholarly conferences on subjects of mutual interest to archivists and users of archives. Conferences on historical geography in the fall of 1971 and on the history of Indian-white relations in the spring of 1972 were held in the National Archives Building; a conference on the use of audiovisual archives as source materials was held at the University of Delaware in the fall of 1972. Scholarly and educational use of the audiovisual holdings of the National Archives was promoted by film festivals and two thirteen-week film series, one on American social history, the other a survey of award-winning government films.
Ties between the National Archives and the academic community were strengthened by two exchange projects which stemmed from recommendations of the Archives Advisory Council. Staff archivist Robert Wolfe taught a short course in “The Nuremberg War Crimes Trials” at Wesleyan University in Connecticut during the 1972 spring semester and then brought some of the students to the National Archives for further research in the trial records. Professor
One basic purpose of, the National Archives and Records Service is to preserve records and make them available for use. At the end of the 1972 fiscal year,the period for which statistics are kept--the agency had custody of nearly thirteen million cubic feet of records in various depositories. The staff performed eleven million reference services during the year. (A cubic foot, a common form of archival measure
David Pletcher of Indiana University was appointed a senior fellow of the National Archives for the 1972 fall semester to survey holdings dealing with economic relations between the United States and Latin America during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, thereby suggesting means for further utilization of those records by scholars.
Members of the National Archives staff also developed for fifth-grade students of District of Columbia schools a teaching unit introducing them to interesting documents as an aid to understanding American history. The success of the program led to preparation of a teaching unit on the revolutionary war period to use in secondary schools in the District.
Some thirty-six hundred researchers visited the presidential libraries; nearly half of them worked at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library at Hyde Park, New York, where there was strong interest in newly opened holdings-the Roosevelt-Churchill correspondence and the White House papers
of Eleanor Roosevelt. The five Roosevelt children and Secretary General of the United Nations Kurt Waldheim participated in the dedication of the new Eleanor Roosevelt wings of the library May 3, 1972. In October, Mrs. Roosevelt's papers for the post-White House years were opened.
At the Herbert Hoover Library in West Branch, Iowa, the privately organized Herbert Hoover Oral History Project is supplying transcripts of 405 interviews with friends and associates of the late president. A new research room will be built at the library; congressional committees have approved a 3,570-square-foot addition to cost $436,000.
Former President Harry S. Truman was buried on December 28 in the courtyard of the Truman Library in Independence, Missouri. In his will filed for probate, Truman
left to the United States, to be held in the Truman Library, papers from his long public career not previously donated to the nation; papers dealing with business and personal affairs were excluded. Earlier in the year, twenty volumes about the Truman era had been submitted for the biennial David D. Lloyd book award. The Harry S. Truman Library Institute awarded the $1,000 prize to Susan M. Hartmann for Truman and the 80th Congress.
Construction at the Dwight D. Eisenhower Library in Abilene, Kansas, doubled the size of the museum. Mrs. Eisenhower attended the dedication October 14, 1971, as did former President and Mrs. Lyndon Johnson. Robert Finch represented President Nixon. Meanwhile, John S. D. Eisenhower headed a committee which established guidelines for reviewing and opening President Eisenhower's papers at the library.
Despite the lack of a permanent building, the Kennedy Library expanded its activities in its temporary headquarters at Waltham, Massachusetts. The library director met with historians and archivists in the area to hear their suggestions for the future library building and programs. To commemorate the fifty-fifth anniversary of President Kennedy's birth, the library opened an exhibit of documents and photographs in the Federal Building in Boston on May 19, 1972.
On January 23, 1973, the late President Lyndon B. Johnson lay in state in the Johnson Library. The first segment of the holdings of the library,250,000 papers about education-were opened January 25, 1972. A symposium on civil rights was held at the library December 11-12 to mark the opening of six hundred linear feet of civil rights papers.
At the White House a small unit was engaged in identifying and assembling papers and other historical materials for the future Richard Nixon Library. An oral history project related to the early life of President Nixon was sponsored by the
Paperwork management specialists who provide technical assistance at the request of other federal agencies on such things as mechanizing and automating paperworkhandling systems, establishing information retrieval systems, and improving reporting and information management systems handled 170 such requests during the year. The agencies served estimated costs of records operations were reduced by some $25 million through this professional records management aid.
With a new format and less cumbersome prose the daily Federal Register has been attracting more and more subscribers. Paid circulation climbed from eleven thousand to more than twenty-three thousand in fifteen months. Other publications of the Office of the Federal Register include the Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents, Public Papers of the Presidents, U.S. Government Organization Manual, Guide to Record Retention Requirements, and slip laws.
Meanwhile, records managers who run the regional network of federal archives and records centers saved more than $13 million by moving records from high-cost to low-cost space. Transfers of records to the centers during the year cleared 968,200 square feet of office space, 246,900 square feet of storage space, 98,800 filing cabinets, 3,600 transfer cases, and 815,800 feet of shelving
Records centers disposed of 997,000 cubic feet of unneeded records, a new high. A center was opened at Dayton, Ohio, raising the total to fifteen. And the San Francisco center moved to a newly constructed facility at San Bruno, California.
The administrator of general services, on recommendations of the National Historical Publications Commission of which the archivist is chairman, granted $526,000 during the year to stimulate the publication of source materials of American history. The grants to twenty-eight universities, historical societies, and other nonprofit organizations support thirty-one letterpress and microfilm projects. Additionally, grants totaling $256,000 were made from the Ford Foundation fund given to the National Archives to support publication of the papers of Benjamin Franklin, Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and the Adams family. Interest realized from the Ford Foundation fund provided five fellowships in advanced historical editing