Press/Journalists

Media Alert
August 7, 2008

National Archives to Open Official Personnel Files of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS)

More Information

What:  The National Archives will open more than 35,000 official personnel files of men and women who served in the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) which was the U.S. wartime intelligence agency during World War II. The files cover civilian and military personnel who served and were later transferred, discharged, reassigned, or died while in service prior to 1947. These records are available for research in the textual research room at the National Archives facility in College Park.

On the day of the opening, the press office will distribute CDs that include selected files of some of the notable people who served in the OSS, including former CIA directors Allen Dulles and William Casey, famed chef Julia Child, Supreme Court Justice Arthur Goldberg, Arab/Israeli peace negotiator and civil rights advocate Ralph Bunche, and Hollywood actor Sterling Hayden.

A one-time only opportunity to tour the stack areas where these records are stored will be conducted for the media.

Photo Op:  Tour of the stack area and textual research room.

Who:  Steven Tilley, Director of the National Archives Textual Archives Services Division, will be available to answer questions about the opening and will conduct a behind-the-scenes tour of the stack areas where the OSS records are stored.

Archives specialists will also be available to answer reference questions regarding OSS materials.

When:  Thursday, August 14, 2008.
CD distribution and textual research room open at 9 A.M.
Tour begins promptly at 9:30 A.M.

Where:  The National Archives Press Office, National Archives at College Park,
8601 Adelphi Road, College Park, MD, 20740.

Background:  The 750,000 pages include initial applications to join the OSS; preliminary training and subsequent work assignments; pay, leave and travel documents; evaluations, basic medical information; and awards, decorations and discharge papers. Occasionally, photographs are included in the application file. Senior officials, officers and men engaged in special combat actions, such as Detachment 101, Jedburghs, X-2, espionage, and major intelligence missions may have citations summarizing those efforts in the files.

Name searches for individuals who served in the OSS can be found online in the Archival Research Catalog (ARC) listing for the OSS Personnel Files, ARC ID: 1593270.

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For media information, contact the National Archives Public Affairs staff at (202) 357-5300.

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