The National Archives at Boston

Guide to Archival Holdings at NARA's Northeast Region, Waltham (Boston)


Record Group 202
Records of the National War Labor Board (World War II)

Administrative History
The National War Labor Board (NWLB) was established in the Office for Emergency Management (OEM) by an Executive order of January 12, 1942. It was to act as final arbiter of wartime labor disputes and to pass on adjustments in certain wages and salaries. An Executive order of September 19, 1945, transferred the NWLB to the Department of Labor. The NWLB was terminated by the Executive order of December 31, 1945, that established the National Wage Stabilization Board (NWSB) with all powers, functions, and responsibilities of the NWLB relating to stabilization of wages and salaries as well as limited functions relating to the settlement of disputes. The NWSB was terminated by an Executive order of December 12, 1946.

While the initial functioning of the NWLB was solely in Washington, DC, on October 29, 1942, the NWLB announced establishment of 10 regional advisory offices. The authority of these first regional offices was quite limited, but on January 21, 1943, the NWLB created two new regions, and converted the (now 12) regional advisory offices to regional war labor boards, with considerable independent authority in resolving disputes. The NWLB also created several special tripartite industry commissions and panels to deal with particular industries nationally. See RG 25, RG 155, and RG 211 for related records.

Records Description
Dates: 1942-47
Volume: 278 cubic feet

Records of Region 1: Office of the Regional Board and the Administrative, Management, Wage Stabilization, Legal, and Public Information divisions. The records relate to disputes, enforcement activities, wage controls, and wage rate surveys, and include board minutes, correspondence, dispute and enforcement case files, press releases, sample voluntary wage and salary adjustment case files, wage-rate survey schedules and related data.

Finding Aids
Entries 165-167, 173-174, 177-178, 380-383, and 462-463 in Estelle Rebec, comp., Preliminary Inventory of the Records of the National War Labor Board (World War II), PI 78 (1955).

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Record Group 211
Records of the War Manpower Commission

Administrative History
The War Manpower Commission (WMC) was established within the Office for Emergency Management by an Executive order of April 18, 1942. Operating through regional and State WMC offices and local offices of the U.S. Employment Service, it recruited labor for the war effort and essential civilian industries, trained labor for essential jobs, analyzed manpower utilization practices to increase labor efficiency, and accumulated national labor market information. It was terminated by an Executive order of September 19, 1945, and its functions were transferred to the U.S. Employment Service. See RG 119, RG 202, and RG 228 for related records.

Records Description
Dates: 1942-45
Volume: 51 cubic feet

Records of the New England regional office documenting the economic condition of the area and its response to wartime programs and controls, the commissioner's employment stabilization program, the operations of local offices of the U.S. Employment Service, successful manpower utilization programs, and the work of regional and area directors, regional office staffs, and interagency conferences. Included are the central files containing correspondence, issuances, memorandums, organizational charts, and press releases. There are also appeal case files, case histories, minutes of meetings, monthly progress and activity reports, and surveys.

Finding Aids
  • Draft inventory.
  • Entries 269-275, 277-279, 281, and 283-285 in Charles Zaid, comp., Inventory of the Records of the War Manpower Commission, NARS Inventory 6 (1973).

Restrictions
Access to some files or portions of documents may be restricted because of personal privacy concerns.

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Record Group 227
Records of the Office of Scientific Research and Development

Administrative History
The Office of Scientific Research and Development (OSRD) was created June 28, 1941, within the Office for Emergency Management to support research in scientific and medical problems relating to national defense. A center for the mobilization of scientific personnel and resources, the office coordinated, aided, and supplemented research activities of the War and Navy Departments and other Federal agencies. It entered into contracts and agreements with individuals, educational and scientific institutions (including the National Academy of Sciences and the National Research Council), industrial organizations, and other agencies for studies, experimental investigations, and reports. It was also given responsibility for similar contracts entered into by the National Defense Research Committee and the Health and Medical Committee, prior to June 1941, and by the Federal Security Administrator in his capacity as coordinator of health, medical, and related activities as authorized by the Council of National Defense. The OSRD was terminated December 31, 1947, and its business was transferred for completion to the National Military Establishment.

Records Description
Dates: 1940-46
Volume: 1,705 cubic feet

Records of laboratories at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, which were under contract with the OSRD during World War II. Included are the Radiation Laboratory at MIT and the following laboratories at Harvard: Chemical Laboratory; Electro-Acoustic, Psycho-Acoustic and Systems Research Laboratories; Optical Research Laboratory; Radio Research Laboratory; Thermistor Studies and Infra-Red Research Laboratories; and the Underwater Sound Laboratory.

The records document research and development work on radar and other weapons systems by Allied scientists and engineers during World War II. Included are correspondence, indexes, interview and observation notes, invention reports, laboratory notebooks, manuals, memorandums, minutes of meetings, and reports.
Nontextual records include blueprints, charts, drawings, filmstrips, graphs, motion pictures, and photographs.

Records of Division 15, Cambridge, 1943-46. The records document jamming and other electronic countermeasures against radar, radio communications, and guided missiles. They are project files.

Records of the Division of War Research, Columbia University, 1942-45. The records document sonar and underwater acoustics research performed by laboratories at Fort Trumbull and New London, Connecticut, and Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. They are manuals, memorandums, and reports.

Finding Aids
  • Partial draft inventory.
  • Entries 122 and 123 in Forrest R. Holdcamper, comp., Preliminary Inventory of the Records of the Office of Scientific Research and Development, NC 138 (1965).
  • Annotated Bibliography of Underwater Acoustic Research, 1942-1945, Naval Underwater Systems Center Technical  Document 6893 (1983).

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Record Group 228
Records of the Committee on Fair Employment Practice

Administrative History
The first Committee on Fair Employment Practice was established in the Office of Production Management (OPM) by Executive Order 8802 of June 25, 1941, and then assigned to the War Manpower Commission in 1942. That committee was abolished by Executive Order 9346 of May 27, 1943, which created a new Committee on Fair Employment Practice in the Office for Emergency Management. Both committees formulated and interpreted policies to combat racial and religious discrimination in employment; received, investigated, and adjusted complaints of such discrimination; and assisted Government agencies, employers, and labor unions with problems of discrimination. The Committee terminated its activities on June 28, 1946.

The first CFEP utilized six field investigators and a few field clerical employees, and held public hearings in several major cities across the country. The second CFEP initially established nine regional offices and two suboffices, continuing and expanding the network of the first CFEP's field investigators; additional offices and suboffices were added later. See RG 211 for related records.

Records Description
Dates: 1941-46
Volume: 2 cubic feet

Records of Region I. The records are case files which document actions taken on discrimination complaints and usually include complaints, correspondence, and reports.

Finding Aids
Entries 68-70 in Charles Zaid, comp., Preliminary Inventory of the Records of the Committee on Fair Employment Practice, PI 147 (1962).

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Record Group 234
Records of the Reconstruction Finance Corporation

Administrative History
The Reconstruction Finance Corporation (RFC) was established by an act of January 22, 1932. It was authorized to extend financial aid to agriculture, commerce and industry by means of direct loans to banks and other credit agencies and, upon approval by the Interstate Commerce Commission, to railroads. Later legislation authorized the RFC to purchase certain capital stock and make loans, to assist in financing construction of public works and various self-liquidating projects, and to accept drafts and bills of exchange drawn upon the RFC by purchasers abroad of American products.

The RFC was organized as a Government business corporation, with a considerable degree of independence, but (unlike most Federal agencies) directly accountable to Congress. Under the law that created it, the RFC would have expired after 10 years (in 1942), but amendments extended its life several times. It eventually was abolished on June 30, 1957, after a rundown that had begun in 1953. Loan agencies were established in the field, usually in cities that had Federal Reserve banks.

Records Description
Dates: 1944-53
Volume: less than 1 cubic foot

Records of the Central Advisory Committee of the Boston Loan Agency. The records document actions taken on loan applications, and include memorandums and minutes of meetings.
 
Finding Aids
Entry 33 in Charles Zaid, comp., Preliminary Inventory of the Records of the Reconstruction Finance Corporation, 1932-1964, PI 173 (1973).

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Record Group 237
Records of the Federal Aviation Administration

Administrative History
The Civil Aeronautics Act of June 23, 1938, established an  independent Civil Aeronautics Authority "to promote the development and safety and to provide for the regulation of civil aeronautics." In 1940, the authority was divided into a Civil Aeronautics Board with safety regulatory authority and a Civil Aeronautics Administration to enforce civil air regulations; aid in the development of a national airport system; and plan, construct, and operate the Federal Airways System. Both organizations were part of the Department of Commerce until the establishment in 1958 of the Federal Aviation Agency (FAA) which assumed all of their functions. The FAA became a part of the Department of Transportation by an act of October 15, 1966, and was redesignated the Federal Aviation Administration.

Records Description
Dates: 1980-82
Volume: 21 cubic feet

Records of the Human Resource Management Division. The records are labor relation arbitration case files, relating to the 1980 strike by the Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization (PATCO), one of the first major labor problems of the Reagan presidency. The files include copies of individual grievances; notes and memorandums relating to their processing or investigation; correspondence; briefs, findings, and decisions; and arbitrators' reports.

Finding Aids
List of grievants.

Restrictions
Access to some files or portions of documents may be restricted because of personal privacy concerns.

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Record Group 245
Records of the Solid Fuels Administration for War

Administrative History
The Bituminous Coal Conservation Act of 1935 created the first Bituminous Coal Commission. A Commission order of October 9, 1935, established 23 producer districts throughout the country. The first Commission was succeeded by the second Bituminous Coal Commission in 1937, when the 1935 act was modified to take into account constitutional objections to the initial act. Both Commissions were independent Federal agencies. On April 3, 1939, the Commission's functions were transferred to the Department of the Interior, and in July the Bituminous Coal Division was established within the Department.

Authorization of the division lapsed on August 23, 1943, and many of its functions, as well as its district offices, were transferred to the Solid Fuels Administration for War.


The two Bituminous Coal Commissions and the Bituminous Coal Division determined production costs, regulated prices and wages, and regulated marketing procedures for the bituminous coal industry. To this end, they established producer districts, gathered statistics, undertook research, and compiled the Bituminous Coal Code.

On November 4, 1941, a letter from the President to the Secretary of the Interior established the Office of Solid Fuels Coordinator for National Defense within the Department of the Interior. The name of the office was changed to the Office of Solid Fuels Coordinator for War on May 25, 1942. Under both names, the office was essentially a planning and advisory agency. Executive Order 9332 of April 1943 transformed the Office into the Solid Fuels Administration for War (SFAW). The SFAW had the legal authority, lacking in its predecessor, to implement an emergency distribution and controls program.

With the lapsing of authorization for the Bituminous Coal Division on August 23, 1943, the SFAW inherited its district office structure, staff, and records, renaming the district offices area distribution offices. As had been the case with the district offices of the Bituminous Coal Commissions and the Bituminous Coal Division, SFAW area offices were responsible for entire States or for certain counties within one or more States. The SFAW area offices were responsible for regulating distribution and sale, as well as production, of all varieties of coal.

Regional offices were closed on April 30, 1947; as a result of an Executive order of May 6, 1947, the SFAW ceased to exist on June 30, 1947. See RG 188 and RG 253 for related records.

Records Description
Dates: 1943-47
Volume: 52 cubic feet

Records of the field offices at Boston, Massachusetts; Concord, New Hampshire; New Haven, Connecticut; Portland, Maine; and Providence, Rhode Island. The records relate to regulating the distribution and sale of coal, compliance with regulations, consumer complaints, and the work of advisory councils, community committees, producers, retailers, and consumers. They consist of correspondence, reports, and surveys.

Finding Aids
Entries 63-68, 101, 157-159, 190-191, and 195 in Forrest R. Holdcamper, comp., Preliminary Inventory of the Field Records of the Solid Fuels Administration for War: A Supplement to Preliminary Inventory 34, NC 145 (1966).

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Record Group 252
Records of the Office of the Housing Expediter

Administrative History
A Housing Expediter was appointed in the Office of War Mobilization and Reconversion by the President on December 12, 1945, to plan, coordinate, and expedite postwar housing programs. The Expediter was authorized by an Executive order in January 1946 to plan and coordinate a veterans' housing program. The Office of the Housing Expediter, which had been authorized by an act of Congress of May 22, 1946, was terminated by an Executive order of July 31, 1951, and its functions were transferred to the Economic Stabilization Agency and the Housing and Home Finance Agency.

Records Description
Dates: 1942-53
Volume: 120 cubic feet

Records of the Boston regional office. The records relate primarily to housing costs and rent control activities, and the work of the regional director, rent attorney, and information officer. There is a sample of rent enforcement case files and decontrol surveys. Included are audit reports and surveys, advisory board minutes, correspondence, and narrative and statistical reports.

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Record Group 253
Records of the Petroleum Administration for War

Administrative History
An Office of Petroleum Coordinator for National Defense was established in the Department of the Interior on May 28, 1941. It was abolished by Executive Order 9276, of December 2, 1942, which created the Petroleum Administration for War (PAW) under the Secretary of the Interior. The Petroleum Coordinator and the PAW were responsible for wartime conservation, use, marketing, and development of oil and other petroleum products. The PAW was terminated on May 8, 1946, by Executive Order 9718. See RG 245 for related records.

Records Description
Dates: 1941-45
Volume: less than 1 cubic foot

Records of the Boston (Zone 1) office of the Distribution and Marketing Division (District 1) relating to office procedures, agency operations, conferences and committee meetings, and inter-office communication. The records are primarily correspondence.

Finding Aids
Entry 939 in Albert Whimpey and James R. Fuchs, comps., Preliminary Inventory of the Records of the Petroleum Administration for War, PI 31 (1951).

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Record Group 269
General Records of the General Services Administration

Administrative History
The General Services Administration (GSA) was established as an independent agency by the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act of June 30, 1949. The act consolidated and transferred to GSA certain real and personal property and related functions formerly assigned to various agencies. Its purpose is to provide an economical and efficient system for managing Government property and services, such as activities as constructing and operating buildings, procuring and distributing supplies, disposing of surplus property, managing traffic and communications, and stockpiling strategic and critical materials. See RG 121, RG 181, RG 270, and RG 291 for related records.
 
Records Description
Dates: 1940-72
Volume: 36 cubic feet

Records of the Real Property Division and the Office of Regional Counsel. The records are real property case files, which document the disposal by sale or donation of Federal property such as former military installations, lighthouses, housing projects, post offices, and hospitals in New England. They include cost estimates, appraisal reports, bids, correspondence, deeds, memorandums, newspaper clippings, and reports of survey and title searches.
Nontextual records include maps, photographs, and plot plans.

Finding Aids
Draft inventory including list of sites.

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Record Group 270
Records of the War Assets Administration

Administrative History
The War Assets Administration (WAA) was established in the Office for Emergency Management by Executive order on March 25, 1946. The chief WAA function was the disposal of surplus consumer, capital, and producer goods; industrial and maritime real property; and airports and aircraft located in the United States and its Territories. The WAA was abolished by an act of June 30, 1949, and its functions were transferred to the newly created General Services Administration. See RG 121, RG 181, RG 269, and RG 291 for related records.
 
Records Description
Dates: 1946-49
Volume: 30 cubic feet

Records of the Office of Real Property. The records document disposal of real property, such as industrial and airport properties, including the reporting of property as excess, notification of availability, inspection and appraisal, and approval of disposition. They consist primarily of case files.
Nontextual records include maps, photographs, and plot plans.

Finding Aids
List of sites.

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Record Group 276
Records of the U.S. Courts of Appeals

Administrative History
The courts of appeals are intermediate courts created by an act of March 3, 1891, to relieve the Supreme Court of considering appeals in cases originally decided by Federal courts. They are empowered to review final and certain interlocutory decisions of district courts (see RG 21) except where the law provides for direct review by the Supreme Court. They also review orders of Federal administrative bodies such as the Securities and Exchange Commission and the National Labor Relations Board. See RG 21 and RG 118 for related records.

Records Description
Dates: 1891-1978
Volume: 645 cubic feet

Records of the U.S. Court of Appeals, First Circuit, Boston. The records document appeals of cases heard by lower Federal courts in Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Puerto Rico, and Rhode Island. There are case files, 1891-1972, containing briefs, opinions, transcripts of records, mandates, and other papers, along with related docket books and indexes. A separate series of miscellaneous cases, 1952-72, with related docket books and indexes, pertains mostly to various petitions and motions for which no filing fee was paid.

Finding Aids
Draft inventory.

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Record Group 291
Records of the Federal Property Resources Service

Administrative History
The Property Management and Disposal Service (PMDS), established July 29, 1966, by the Administrator of General Services, assumed functions formerly assigned to the Defense Materials Service and the Utilization and Disposal Service. PMDS acquired, stored, and managed inventories of strategic and critical materials and promoted maximum utilization of Federal personal and real property through donations, sales, and other authorized methods. Its real property disposal functions were transferred to the Public Buildings Service in 1973, and subsequently to the Federal Property Resources Service in 1978. See RG 121, RG 181, RG 269, and RG 270 for related records.
 
Records Description
Dates: 1945-89
Volume: 65 cubic feet

Records of the Utilization and Disposal Service. The records relate to disposal of Federal property such as hospitals, housing projects, lighthouses, former military installations, and post offices in New England. Included are appraisal reports, bids, correspondence, cost estimates, declarations of excess and certifications of surplus, deeds, instruments of conveyance, newspaper clippings, and reports of survey and title searches. Nontextual records include maps, photographs, and plot plans.

Finding Aids
Draft inventory including lists of sites.

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Record Group 293
Records of the Wage and Salary Stabilization Boards of the Economic Stabilization Agency

Administrative History
The Wage Stabilization Board was established by Executive Order 10161 of September 9, 1950, to control wages and salaries during the Korean War. In May 1951, a Salary Stabilization Board was created with authority over administrative, executive, and professional salaries. Wage controls were suspended February 6, 1953, and the boards were terminated April 30, 1953.
 
Records Description
Dates: 1951-53
Volume: less than 1 cubic foot

Records of the Boston Regional Wage Stabilization Board. The records document activities and decisions of the Board and are minutes of meetings.

Finding Aids
Draft inventory.

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