Guide to Federal Records

Records of the Office of the Secretary of the Interior


(Record Group 48)
1826-1985

OVERVIEW OF RECORDS LOCATIONS

Table of Contents

  • 48.1 ADMINISTRATIVE HISTORY
  • 48.2 GENERAL RECORDS OF THE OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR 1907-77
  • 48.3 RECORDS OF STAFF OFFICES 1877-1981
  • 48.3.1 Records of the Executive Assistant to the Secretary
  • 48.3.2 Records of the Office of the Assistant Attorney General for the Department of the Interior
  • 48.3.3 Records of the Office of the Solicitor
  • 48.3.4 Records of the Purchasing Office
  • 48.3.5 Records of the Board of Contract Appeals
  • 48.3.6 Records of the Office of Program Analysis
  • 48.3.7 Records of the Office of the Science Advisor
  • 48.4 RECORDS OF THE PATENTS AND MISCELLANEOUS DIVISION 1826-1943
  • 48.4.1 General records
  • 48.4.2 Records relating to pensions
  • 48.4.3 Records relating to the Patent Office
  • 48.4.4 Records relating to the census
  • 48.4.5 Records relating to the U.S. Capitol Building and Grounds
  • 48.4.6 Records relating to hospitals, schools, and charitable institutions
  • 48.4.7 Records relating to territories and insular possessions
  • 48.4.8 Records relating to attorneys and agents
  • 48.4.9 Records relating to the suppression of the African slave trade
  • 48.4.10 Records relating to expositions
  • 48.4.11 Records of the Returns Office
  • 48.4.12 Records relating to the U.S. Penitentiary for the District of Columbia
  • 48.4.13 Records of the Office of the Supervising Engineer and Architect of the Pension Office
  • 48.5 RECORDS OF OTHER OPERATING DIVISIONS 1828-1968, 1973-74
  • 48.5.1 Records of the Appointments Division
  • 48.5.2 Records of the Finance Division
  • 48.5.3 Records of the Lands and Railroads Division
  • 48.5.4 Records of the Indian Division
  • 48.5.5 Records of the Indian Territory Division
  • 48.5.6 Records of the Inspection Division
  • 48.5.7 Records of the Division of Information
  • 48.5.8 Records of the Division of Management Research
  • 48.5.9 Records of the Division of Land Utilization
  • 48.5.10 Records of the Division of Water and Power
  • 48.5.11 Records of the Minerals and Fuels Division
  • 48.5.12 Records of the Division of International Activities
  • 48.5.13 Records of the Resources Program Staff, Technical Review Division
  • 48.5.14 Records of the Investigative Division
  • 48.5.15 Records of the Budget Division
  • 48.6 RECORDS OF THE OFFICE OF EXPLORATIONS AND SURVEYS 1849-65
  • 48.7 RECORDS OF DEPARTMENTAL COMMITTEES AND STAFFS 1910-13, 1946-82
  • 48.8 RECORDS OF INTERDEPARTMENTAL COMMISSIONS AND COMMITTEES 1908-56
  • 48.9 RECORDS OF THE NATIONAL MINERALS ADVISORY COUNCIL 1947-51
  • 48.10 RECORDS OF THE DEFENSE SOLID FUELS ADMINISTRATION 1950-54
  • 48.11 RECORDS OF THE DEFENSE MATERIALS PROCUREMENT AGENCY (DMPA) IN THE CUSTODY OF THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR 1951-53
  • 48.12 FIELD RECORDS 1902-85
  • 48.12.1 Records of the Oil Enforcement Branch, Division of Investigation
  • 48.12.2 Records of regional offices of the Office of the Solicitor
  • 48.12.3 Records of the Office of the Director, Northeast Field Staff
  • 48.12.4 Records of the Alaska Field Staff
  • 48.13 CARTOGRAPHIC RECORDS (GENERAL) 1870-1944
  • 48.14 MOTION PICTURES (GENERAL) 1916-76
  • 48.15 SOUND RECORDINGS (GENERAL) 1939-52
  • 48.16 STILL PICTURES (GENERAL) 1862-1978

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48.1 ADMINISTRATIVE HISTORY

Established: In the Department of the Interior by the Department of the Interior Act (9 Stat. 395), March 3, 1849.

Predecessor Agencies:

Administration of general land laws:

  • Office of the Secretary of the Treasury (direct administration, 1789-1812)
  • General Land Office, Department of the Treasury (1812-49)

Supervision of Indian affairs:

  • Office of the Secretary of War (direct supervision, 1789-1824)
  • Bureau of Indian Affairs, War Department (1824-32)
  • Office of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, War Department (1832-49)

Administration of organized territories:

  • Office of the Secretary of State (1789-1873)

Administration of patent laws:

  • Patent Board (1790-93)
  • Office of the Secretary of State (issuance of patents, 1793-1802)
  • Superintendent of Patents, Department of State (1802-36)
  • Patent Office, Department of State (1836-49)

Administration of the census:

  • President of the United States (1st-6th Censuses, 1790-1840)
  • Office of the Secretary of State (7th-9th Censuses, 1850-70)

Supervision of public facilities and areas (Washington, DC):

  • Commissioners for the District of Columbia (1790-1802)
  • Superintendent of the City of Washington (1802-16)
  • Commissioners Appointed to Supervise the Repair or Rebuilding of the Public Buildings in Washington (1815-16)
  • Commissioner of Public Buildings (1816-49)

Administration of military pension laws:

  • Military Bounty Lands and Pension Branch, War Department (ca. 1810-15)
  • Pension Bureau, War Department (1815-33)
  • Office of the Commissioner of Pensions, War Department (1833-49)
Functions: Supervises all operations and activities of the Department of the Interior and its constituent units, including the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Park Service, U.S. Geological Survey, Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Minerals Management Service, Bureau of Land Management, and Bureau of Reclamation; and, through the Office for Territorial and International Affairs, exercises departmental jurisdiction over U.S. dependencies. Supervised the U.S. Bureau of Mines and its predecessor, the Bureau of Mines, 1910-25 and 1934-96. Supervised the National Biological Service (NBS) and its predecessor, the National Biological Survey, November 11, 1993-September 30, 1996, when NBS was transferred to U.S. Geological Survey and redesignated Biological Resources Division, effective October 1, 1996, by Secretary's Order 3202, September 30, 1996.

Departmental responsibility for the Census Bureau transferred to the Department of Commerce and Labor, 1903; for superintending the U.S. Capitol Building and Grounds, to the Architect of the Capitol, 1921; for the Patent Office, to the Department of Commerce, 1925; for military pensions, to the Veterans Administration, 1930; for the Office of Education, to the Federal Security Agency, 1939; and for St. Elizabeths Hospital, Freedmen's Hospital, Howard University, and Columbia Institution for the Deaf (Gallaudet University), to the Federal Security Agency, 1940.

Finding Aids: Edward E. Hill and Renee Jaussaud, comps., Inventory of the Records of the Department of the Interior, Inv. 13 (1987).

Security-Classified Records: This record group may include material that is security-classified.

Related Records:
Record copies of publications of the Department of the Interior in RG 287
Publications of the U.S. Government. Records of the Office of Education, RG 12.
Records of the Veterans Administration, RG 15.
Records of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, RG 22.
Records of the Bureau of the Census, RG 29.
Records of the Office of Public Buildings and Public Parks of the National Capital, RG 42.
Records of the Bureau of Land Management, RG 49.
Records of the U.S. Geological Survey, RG 57.
Records of the U.S. Bureau of Mines, RG 70.
Records of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, RG 75.
Records of the National Park Service, RG 79.
Records of the Forest Service, RG 95.
Records of the Bureau of Reclamation, RG 115.
Records of the Office of Territories, RG 126.
Records of the National Bituminous Coal Commission, 1935-1936, RG 150.
Records of the Commissioner of Railroads, RG 193.
Records of the War Minerals Relief Commission, RG 194.
Records of the Public Housing Administration, RG 196.
Records of the War Relocation Authority, RG 210.
Records of the Bituminous Coal Division, RG 222.
Records of the Office of the Bituminous Coal Consumers' Counsel, RG 223.
Records of the Petroleum Administrative Board, RG 232.
Records of the Patent and Trademark Office, RG 241.
Records of the Solid Fuels Administration for War, RG 245.
Records of the Petroleum Administration for War, RG 253.
Records of the Office of Civil and Defense Mobilization, RG 304.
Records of the Puerto Rico Reconstruction Administration, RG 323.
Records of the Board on Geographic Names, RG 324.
Records of the Defense Electric Power Administration, RG 327.
Records of the Bureau of Insular Affairs, RG 350.
Records of St. Elizabeths Hospital, RG 418.

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48.2 GENERAL RECORDS OF THE OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR
1907-77

History: Department of the Interior established by the Department of the Interior Act (9 Stat. 395), March 3, 1849, consolidating in one department the General Land Office, Department of the Treasury; Office of the Commissioner of Pensions, War Department; Office of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, War Department; Patent Office, Department of State; Commissioner of Public Buildings; and State Department responsibility for administration of the decennial census. (For administrative histories of these predecessor components, SEE RG 49, Records of the Bureau of Land Management; RG 15, Records of the Veterans Administration; RG 75, Records of the Bureau of Indian Affairs; RG 241, Records of the Patent and Trademark Office; RG 42, Records of the Office of Public Buildings and Public Parks of the National Capital; and RG 29, Records of the Bureau of the Census.) By an act of March 1, 1873 (17 Stat. 484), State Department responsibility for supervision of territorial affairs transferred to the Department of the Interior. (For an administrative history of this function, SEE RG 126, Records of the Office of Territories.)

Textual Records: Unclassified central subject files, 1907-72 (2,420 ft.), with index (584 ft.); and security-classified central subject files, 1945-63 (10 ft.). Personnel records, 1907-53, with index. Records relating to legislation, 1907-58. Records of Secretaries of the Interior Hubert Work, 1923-28; Harold L. Ickes, 1933-42; Oscar L. Chapman, 1933-53; and Douglas McKay, 1952-56. Records of the Office of the Under Secretary, 1953-61. Records of Under Secretaries Abe Fortas, 1942-46; and Richard D. Searles, 1951-52. Records of First Assistant Secretary Theodore A. Walters, 1933-37. Records of Assistant Secretaries Michael W. Straus, 1943-45; C. Girard Davidson, 1946-50; Robert R. Rose, 1951-52; Felix E. Wormser, 1953-57; Fred G. Aandahl, 1953-61; Elmer F. Bennett, 1957-58; and Ross Leffler, 1957-61. John M. Kelly, including office files, 1960-65, and subject files, 1960-65; Frank P. Briggs, 1961-64; John A. Carver, Jr., 1961-64; and Kenneth Holum, including subject files, 1961-65, and office files, 1962-65. Records of Assistant to the Secretary and Legislative Counsel Theodore F. Stevens, 1956-60. Records of Special Assistants Herbert Kaufman, 1918-19; Norman Harvey Collisson, 1947-48; and Evelyn N. Cooper, 1945-52; C. Petrus Peterson, 1955-58; Henry Romney, 1961; Wallace E. Stegner, 1961; Donald B. Moser, 1961-62; Harold Gilliam, 1962-63; and Alvin M. Josephy, Jr., 1963. Records of other officials, 1929-56. Unnumbered Secretary's Orders, 1909- 25. Numbered Secretary's Orders, 1925-67. Numbered Secretary?s Orders case files ("Cancelled Secretary Orders"), 1968-77, supplemented by Departmental Manual releases, 1956-72, Federal Personnel Manual releases, 1963-73, and Job Corps Administrative Manual releases, 1966-69. Records of the War Agency Liquidation Unit, 1942-50. Records relating to the Committee on Fair Employment Practices, 1948-55.

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48.3 RECORDS OF STAFF OFFICES
1877-1981

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48.3.1 Records of the Executive Assistant to the Secretary

Textual Records: Public relations correspondence, 1923-32. Press releases, 1923-32. Speeches, statements, and articles delivered or issued by the Secretary of the Interior, 1922-32.

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48.3.2 Records of the Office of the Assistant Attorney General
for the Department of the Interior

Textual Records: Letters sent relating to alleged irregularities ("Confidential Correspondence"), 1877-81. Letters sent, 1890- 1907. Letters received, 1895-1903. Register of letters received, 1878-82. Register of land cases, 1893-95. Court case files, 1893- 1909, and docket book, 1901-7.

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48.3.3 Records of the Office of the Solicitor

Textual Records: Correspondence and memorandums, 1930-38. General subject files, 1939-58. Selected lawsuits filed against the Secretary of the Interior, 1965-81. Subject files of the Associate Solicitor, 1928-48. Records of the Assistant Solicitor for Land Matters, 1933-40. Reports of Chief Counsels of Interior Department bureaus and of other legal officers, 1946-54. Decision files, 1935-42. Records relating to water resources, 1944-55; court cases, 1915- 41; Indian court cases, 1934-58; Alaska native claims, 1942-48; land cases, 1950-59; and reclamation cases, 1953-59. Oklahoma Indian Court files, 1942-50, with registers and indexes, 1942-47. Records relating to the Santa Barbara, CA, oil spill, 1969-75. Records relating to squatters along the lower Colorado River, 1957-67. Litigation files on trespass cases: lower Colorado River, 1957-77. Records of the Legislative Division, 1934-52; Property Acquisition Division, 1934-47; and Conservation Division, 1934- 46. Records of the Legislative Section, 1927-54.

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48.3.4 Records of the Purchasing Office

Textual Records: Orders, 1932-46. Circulars, 1932-47.

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48.3.5 Records of the Board of Contract Appeals

Textual Records: Contract appeal files, 1964-70.

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48.3.6 Records of the Office of Program Analysis

Textual Records: Planning, programming, and budgeting records, 1965-71, with projections, 1971, for fiscal years 1972 and 1973.

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48.3.7 Records of the Office of the Science Advisor

Textual Records: Office files of John C. Calhoun, Jr., 1963-66.

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48.3.8 Records of the Office of Information

Textual Records: Press releases, 1962-74. Speeches, 1963-73.

Related Records: Additional program records UNDER Records of the Division of Information, 48.5.7.

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48.4 RECORDS OF THE PATENTS AND MISCELLANEOUS DIVISION
1826-1943

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48.4.1 General records

Textual Records: Letters sent, 1849-1907. Miscellaneous letters sent, 1849-1907, with indexes, 1849-1902. Letters received, 1849- 81, with registers. Miscellaneous letters received, 1849-1907, with registers. Reports of the Geological Survey, 1883-87. Records relating to the District of Columbia, 1849-1926; penal institutions, 1849-80; administrative matters, 1850-83; forest reserves, 1891-1902; agricultural college funding, 1890-1907; departmental organization and methods, 1893-1922; and miscellaneous subjects, 1849-1920.

Maps (96 items): Government reservations, including those at Hot Springs, AR, 1886-93 (19 items); Yellowstone National Park, WY, 1871 (1 item); Glacier National Park, MT, 1911 (3 items); Devil's Lake Indian Reservation, ND, 1904 (2 items); Navajo Indian Reservation, AZ, NM, and UT, 1891-92 (1 item); and Menominee Indian Reservation, WI, n.d. (1 item). Cities, including Washington, DC, and vicinity, 1887-1919 (28 items); those split between Congressional districts, 1892-1903 (23 items); Lawton, OK, 1909-14 (16 items); and Wabasha and Minneiska, MN, 1907-10 (2 items). SEE ALSO 48.13.

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48.4.2 Records relating to pensions

Textual Records: Letters sent, 1849-83, 1896-1908, with indexes, 1849-69, 1896-1907. Registers of letters sent concerning navy pensions and hospitals, 1832-33. Letters received, 1849-83, 1896- 1907, with registers, 1855-86, 1896-1907, and indexes, 1881-83, 1896-1907. Miscellaneous letters received, 1849-80. Miscellaneous letters received, reports, and other records concerning bounty land claims, 1842-79. Pension appeal docket books, 1867-1920, with indexes, 1881-1911. Registers of pension appeals, 1849-83. Digest of decisions of the Secretary of the Interior in pension appeal cases, 1852-75. Reports of the Commissioner of Pensions concerning appeals, 1849-81.

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48.4.3 Records relating to the Patent Office

Textual Records: Letters sent, 1849-84. Letters received, 1849- 80, with register. Records relating to Patent Office contracts, 1851-87; patent cases and attorneys, 1875-89; and the fire of 1877 and reconstruction of the Patent Office Building, 1877-81.

Architectural Plans (104 items): Floor plans, elevations, and cross-sections of the Patent Office Building, Washington, DC, 1878. SEE ALSO 48.13.

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48.4.4 Records relating to the census

Textual Records: Letters received relating to the 7th (1850) and 8th (1860) Censuses, 1850-69. Letters received, 1894-1904.

  • Records relating to the 9th (1870), 10th (1880), and 11th (1890)
    Censuses, 1870-81, 1889-93.

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48.4.5 Records relating to the U.S. Capitol Building and Grounds

Textual Records: Letters sent relating to the Capitol extension and related construction work, 1862-69; and to acquisition of land for the Library of Congress, 1886-87. Letters received and other records relating to the Capitol extension, 1851-80, with register, 1862-68. General files relating to land condemnation and building construction, 1878-1907.

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48.4.6 Records relating to hospitals, schools, and charitable
institutions

Textual Records: Letters sent and received and other records relating to the Government Hospital for the Insane (St. Elizabeths Hospital, Washington, DC), 1851-1911. Letters received, applications for admission, and other records relating to the Columbia Institution for the Deaf and Dumb (Gallaudet University, Washington, DC), 1857-1906. Letters received and other records relating to the Maryland School for the Blind, 1866-1907; and the Pennsylvania Institution for Feeble-Minded Children, 1880-85. Records relating to Freedmen's Hospital, 1872- 1910. Records relating to the Columbia Hospital for Women, 1866- 78; and to the Washington Hospital for Foundlings, 1877-85.

Architectural Plans (1,137 items): Floor plans, elevations, and cross-sections of schools, teachers' residences, and hospitals in AK, 1895-1904 (27 items); U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, MD, 1918 (13 items); a School for Colored Handicapped Children, Baltimore, MD, 1932 (2 items); and, in Washington, DC, normal schools and a manual training school, 1910-12 (17 items); DC General Hospital, 1917-18 (7 items); Freedmen's Hospital and Howard University, 1905-33 (513 items); and St. Elizabeths Hospital, 1889-1931 (558 items). SEE 48.13.

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48.4.7 Records relating to territories and insular possessions

Textual Records: Letters received relating to territorial matters, 1850-73. Letters received, transcripts of executive proceedings, and other records relating to the District of Alaska, 1869-1911; Arizona Territory, 1868-1907; Colorado Territory, 1861-76; Dakota Territory, 1863-1902; Territory of Hawaii, 1898-1907; Idaho Territory, 1864-90; Indian Territory, 1893-1907; Montana Territory, 1867-89; New Mexico Territory, 1851-1907; Oklahoma Territory, 1890-1907; Utah Territory, 1850- 1902; Washington Territory, 1854-1902; and Wyoming Territory, 1870-90. Letters received and related records relating to Cuba, 1898-1906; the Philippine Islands, 1898-1907; and Puerto Rico, 1898-1907.

Microfilm Publications: M824. For a list of microfilm publications of territorial papers, see the latest edition of the National Archives microfilm catalog.

Architectural Plans (93 items): Floor plans, elevations, and cross-sections of U.S. High Commissioner's residences in Manila and Baguio, Philippine Islands, 1933-40. SEE ALSO 48.13.

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48.4.8 Records relating to attorneys and agents

Textual Records: Letters sent, 1892-1913. Letters received, 1850- 80. Rolls of attorneys and agents, 1884-1923; and of suspended and disbarred attorneys and agents, 1869-1926. Records relating to admitted attorneys and agents, 1884-1907. Indexes to attorneys and agents, 1869-1943. Records relating to incomplete or rejected applications for admission as attorneys and agents, 1884-1907.

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48.4.9 Records relating to the suppression of the African slave
trade

Textual Records: Letters sent, 1858-72. Letters received, 1854- 72, with register, 1858-72.

Microfilm Publications: M160.

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48.4.10 Records relating to expositions

Textual Records: Letters sent and received, vouchers, and other records relating to the Centennial International Exhibition (Philadelphia, PA), 1872-77; World's Industrial and Cotton Centennial Exposition (New Orleans, LA), 1884-88; World's Columbian Exposition (Chicago, IL), 1891-94; Louisiana Purchase Exposition (St. Louis, MO), including records relating to departmental, District of Alaska, and Indian Territory exhibits, 1901-7; Lewis and Clark Centennial Exposition (Portland, OR), including records relating to departmental and District of Alaska exhibits, 1904-7; Jamestown Tercentennial Exposition (Norfolk, VA), 1906-10; Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition (Seattle, WA), including records relating to the District of Alaska exhibit, 1908-11; and the Panama-Pacific International Exposition (San Francisco, CA), 1913-15.

Architectural Plans (64 items): Building plans for the World's Columbian Exposition, 1893 (1 item); Louisiana Purchase Exposition, 1904 (33 items); Lewis and Clark Centennial Exposition, 1905 (9 items); Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition, 1909 (9 items); Panama-Pacific International Exposition, 1915 (11 items); and Panama-California Exposition (San Diego, CA), 1915-16 (1 item). SEE ALSO 48.13.

Photographs (78 images, in Washington Area): Interior Department exhibits at the Louisiana Purchase Exposition, 1904 (69 images). Indian Territory building and exhibit areas at the Louisiana Purchase Exposition, 1902 (9 images). SEE ALSO 48.16.

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48.4.11 Records of the Returns Office

Textual Records: Letters received, 1881-1910.

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48.4.12 Records relating to the U.S. Penitentiary for the
District of Columbia

Textual Records: Minutes of meetings of the Board of Inspectors, 1829-57, with index. Letters received, 1829-65. Commitment papers, 1831-62. Registers of convicts and punishments, 1831-62. Ledgers, account books, purchase records, bills, and other general financial records, 1829-62. Financial records of the prison shoe factory, 1833-62.

Architectural Plans (20 items): Manuscript drawings by Charles Bulfinch of penitentiary floor plans, elevations, and sections, 1826 (8 items). Rough sketches by Thomas Carberry of plans, elevations, and cross-sections for a penitentiary, 1830-31 (12 items). SEE 48.13.

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48.4.13 Records of the Office of the Supervising Engineer and
Architect of the Pension Office

Textual Records: Letters sent, 1882-87. Letters received, 1882- 89, with registers and index. Records relating to site selection, 1881-82. Daily construction progress reports, 1882-88. Miscellaneous records relating to contracts, building materials, and construction, 1882-87. Financial records, 1882-88. Personal letters of Quartermaster General Montgomery C. Meigs, supervising engineer and architect, 1887-89.

Architectural Plans (36 items): Floor plans, elevations, and cross-sections of the Old Pension Building, Washington, DC, 1882- 95, with some interfiled photographic prints. SEE ALSO 48.13.

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48.5 RECORDS OF OTHER OPERATING DIVISIONS
1828-1968, 1973-74

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48.5.1 Records of the Appointments Division

Textual Records: Letters sent, 1849-1907, with indexes, 1881-89. Miscellaneous letters received, 1849-1907, with indexes, 1879- 1907. Registers of letters received, 1849, 1863-78. Issuances, 1852-1908. Executive nominations and temporary and confirmed Executive commissions, 1849-94. Consolidated Executive nominations and commissions, 1893-1909. Registers of Presidential appointment papers, 1879-85, and superseding indexes to applications for Presidential appointment, 1885-1909. Central office and field office appointment papers, 1849-1907. Charges and protests files, 1849-1907, with indexes, 1885-1905. Departmental appointment papers, 1879-1906, with registers, 1879- 85, and indexes, 1879-1907. Lists and registers of appointees and employees, 1849-1909.

Microfilm Publications: For a list of microfilm publications of appointment papers, see the latest edition of the National Archives microfilm catalog.

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48.5.2 Records of the Finance Division

Textual Records: Letters sent, 1856-1910, 1917-26, with registers, 1878-84, and indexes, 1883-1903. Registers of letters received, 1857-1913. Appropriation ledgers, 1853-1923, with indexes, 1853-1911. Statements of accounts current, 1853-1913. Registers of requisitions, 1849-1907. Records of vouchers, 1853- 1911. Payrolls, 1836-1909.

Finding Aids: Catherine M. Rowland, comp., Index to Appropriation Ledgers in the Records of the Office of the Secretary of the Interior, Division of Finance, 1853-1923, SL 18 (1963).

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48.5.3 Records of the Lands and Railroads Division

Textual Records: Letters sent, 1849-1907, with indexes, 1881- 1905. Letters received, 1849-1907, with registers, 1849-1906, and indexes, 1881-1907. Appeal docket books, 1859-1907. Records relating to timber trespasses and fraudulent land entries, 1877- 82. Records relating to the opening and settlement of Oklahoma, 1889-1907. Letters sent and received by the Engineer Office, 1865-67. Letters sent relating to land-grant railroads, 1866-84, and Pacific railroads, 1862-72. Letters received relating to railroads ("Railroad Packages"), 1849-1901 (bulk 1862-81), with registers of letters received relating to Pacific railroads, 1865-73. Letters sent, 1857-71, and received, 1856-87, relating to wagon roads. Project files and other records relating to reclamation projects, 1889-1907. Records relating to Des Moines River land claims, 1895-1906.

Maps (80 items): Western states and territories, 1875-1914 (21 items). Southern and western parts of the United States, 1889- 1915 (5 items). Mineral lands in NM and UT, 1894-1900 (14 items). Rail systems and specific railroads in the western United States, 1865-91 and n.d. (39 items). Western Division of the Fort Kearney, South Pass, and Honey Lake wagon road, 1857 (1 item). SEE ALSO 48.13.

Microfilm Publications: M95, M620.

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48.5.4 Records of the Indian Division

Textual Records: Letters sent, 1849-1907, with indexes, 1849-67, 1886, 1897-1907. Letters received, 1849-1907, with registers, 1849-82, and indexes, 1881-1907. Registers of Indian treaties, 1859-66. Proceedings of the Indian Peace Commission, 1867-68. Special files relating to claims, 1855-92; and to negotiations with Indians, land matters, and other subjects, 1848-1907. Reports of inspections of field jurisdictions of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, 1880-1907, with record books (registers), 1878- 1907, index, 1880-93, synopses, 1881-94, and abstracts, 1903. Records relating to Indian trust funds, including letters sent, 1857-80; letters received, 1828-81, with registers, 1849-81; special files, 1883-98; and ledgers, journals, vouchers, and other financial records, 1857-98.

Microfilm Publications: M606, M825.

Related Records: Originals of treaties negotiated with Indian tribes in RG 11, General Records of the U.S. Government.

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48.5.5 Records of the Indian Territory Division

Textual Records: Letters sent, 1898-1907, with index, 1898-99. Letters received, 1898-1907, with registers and indexes. Special files, 1898-1907. Final membership rolls of the Five Civilized Tribes, 1899-1914.

Microfilm Publications: T529.

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48.5.6 Records of the Inspection Division

Textual Records: General subject file, 1924-27. Bureau of Indian Affairs, General Land Office, and Bureau of Reclamation inspection reports, 1906-24. Charles R. Trowbridge investigative files, 1913-33. Miscellaneous reports and other records, 1921-29. Records of the Office of the Technical Review Staff, 1913-33.

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48.5.7 Records of the Division of Information

Textual Records: Correspondence and related records, 1933-43. Press releases, 1937-66, with index, 1934-51. Speeches, addresses, and statements, 1938-62, with index, 1933-47. Correspondence, scripts, and program files of the Radio Section, 1938-47. Correspondence and other records of the Publications Section, 1941-49. Records relating to Secretary of the Interior Stewart Udall, including press conferences, transcripts of interviews, and dedication ceremonies, 1961-67; newspaper and magazine articles, 1961-68; clippings files, 1960-67; "human interest" files, 1961-68; and program accomplishment files, 1962-68.

Photographic Prints: Black and white photographs taken during Secretary of the Interior Stewart L. Udall's term in office, 1961-66 (SU, 340 images). SEE ALSO 48.16.

Related Records: Additional program records UNDER Records of the Office of Information, 48.3.8.

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48.5.8 Records of the Division of Management Research

Textual Records: General records, 1943-52.

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48.5.9 Records of the Division of Land Utilization

Textual Records: Central subject files, 1937-56. Public lands study files of John B. Bennett, Director of Land Classification, 1950.

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48.5.10 Records of the Division of Water and Power

Textual Records: Subject files, 1941-51. Records relating to river basin and reclamation projects, 1941-50; and water resources policy, 1950-52. Subject files of the Branch of Planning and Research, 1941-42; and Branch of Economics and Statistics, 1942-47. Power contracts and related records, 1941- 51, and reference file, 1941-47, of the Branch of Marketing and Operations.

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48.5.11 Records of the Minerals and Fuels Division

Textual Records: General records, 1946-51.

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48.5.12 Records of the Division of International Activities

Textual Records: General records, 1948-53. Records of training programs, 1949-54. Financial records, 1949-53. United Nations documents, 1950-53. Files of Harry Shooshan, 1948-53; and J.C. McCaskill, 1951-58.

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48.5.13 Records of the Resources Program Staff, Technical Review
Division

Textual Records: Resource area studies, 1947-66. Technical assistance projects files, 1963-66. Area Redevelopment Administration files, 1961-66. Rural Development Committee files, 1964-66. Area unemployment studies, 1947-52. European Recovery Program files, 1947-52.

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48.5.14 Records of the Investigative Division

Textual Records: Boulder Dam case files, 1931-34.

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48.5.15 Records of the Budget Division

Textual Records: Budget estimates and justifications, 1973-74.

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48.6 RECORDS OF THE OFFICE OF EXPLORATIONS AND SURVEYS
1849-65

History: Established in the War Department as the Office of Pacific Railroad Explorations and Surveys pursuant to an act of March 3, 1853 (10 Stat. 219), to determine the best route for a transcontinental railroad. Route surveys completed by 1857, and office redesignated Office of Explorations and Surveys, with more general survey responsibilities. Survey work discontinued at onset of Civil War, 1861. By joint resolution of March 3, 1865 (13 Stat. 573), records of the office were transferred to the Department of the Interior.

Textual Records: Subject correspondence, 1852-61. Correspondence and other records relating to the survey of a northern route for the Pacific railroad, 1853-61. Reports, field notes, and related records, 1853-65.

Maps (310 items): General survey and exploration maps and related records for Pacific railroad routes, 1849-58 (105 items), including 11 lithographed, annotated, and manuscript landscape sketches. Routes explored near the 47th and 49th parallels, 1853- 54 (20 items); 41st parallel, 1854 (15 items); 38th and 39th parallels, 1853-54 (2 items); 35th parallel, 1853-54 (77 items); and 32d parallel, 1854-56 (12 items). Routes to connect with the Pacific railroad routes in southern California, 1853-56 (30 items); and in Oregon and California, 1854-55 (7 items). Published maps and profiles relating to the routes surveyed and explored for a Pacific railroad, 1853-57 (42 items). SEE ALSO 48.13.

Engravings (14 images): Terrain of areas explored by the Pacific Railway Expedition and Survey, 1858 (PR). SEE ALSO 48.16.

Microfilm Publications: M126.

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48.7 RECORDS OF DEPARTMENTAL COMMITTEES AND STAFFS
1910-13, 1946-82

Textual Records: Correspondence, reports, and related records of the Departmental Committee on Economy and Efficiency, 1910-13. General records of the Coordination Committee, 1946-47. Records of the Program Staff, including central files, 1947-53; records relating to regional field committees and interagency committees, 1947-53; and records relating to the President's Materials Policy Commission, 1951-53. Records of the Technical Review Staff, consisting of general records, 1950-60; and subject files of the Defense Production Staff, 1950-54. Records of the Interior Committee on Research and Development, 1958-67. Records of the Interior Committee on Water Resources Research, 1963-69. Records of the Potomac Planning Task Force, 1965-67. Correspondence, subject files, reports, and related records of the Commission on Fiscal Accountability of the Nation's Energy Resources, 1981-82.

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48.8 RECORDS OF INTERDEPARTMENTAL COMMISSIONS AND COMMITTEES
1908-56

Textual Records: Records of the National Conservation Commission relating to water rights, 1908-9. Records of the San Gabriel River Commission, 1925-26. Records of the National Power Policy Committee, consisting of subject files, 1934-45; records of the general counsel, 1934-41; and subject files of the National Defense Power Committee, 1938-39. Correspondence and other records of the U.S. Coronado Exposition Commission, 1939-41. Working papers and other records of the Presidential Advisory Committee on Water Resources Policy, 1954-56. Office files of Albin J. Plant, Assistant Secretary and Assistant Treasurer of the Petroleum Reserves Corporation, 1943-45.

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48.9 RECORDS OF THE NATIONAL MINERALS ADVISORY COUNCIL
1947-51

Textual Records: Reports, correspondence, and other records, 1947-51.

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48.10 RECORDS OF THE DEFENSE SOLID FUELS ADMINISTRATION
1950-54

History: Established in the Department of the Interior by Secretary's Order 2605, December 4, 1950, to execute functions delegated to the Secretary of the Interior by EO 10161, September 9, 1950, pursuant to the Defense Production Act of 1950 (64 Stat. 816), September 8, 1950. Responsible for assuring adequate supplies of coal and coal byproducts for defense, civilian, and export use. Abolished by Secretary's Order 2764, June 29, 1954.

Textual Records: Alphabetical files, 1950-54. Administrative records, 1950-54. Correspondence with defense agencies, 1950-54. Coal emergency (strike) files, 1952-54. Records relating to the Controlled Materials Plan, 1950-54. Directives, 1950-54.

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48.11 RECORDS OF THE DEFENSE MATERIALS PROCUREMENT AGENCY (DMPA)
IN THE CUSTODY OF THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR
1951-53

History: DMPA established under supervision of the Office of Defense Mobilization, Executive Office of the President, by EO 10281, August 28, 1951, assuming responsibilities, previously exercised by the Defense Minerals Administration of the Department of the Interior, for encouraging the exploration and mining of critical metals and minerals, and purchasing such materials for government use. Exploration functions redelegated by DMPA to Secretary of the Interior, 1951, who in turn assigned them to Defense Minerals Administration, redesignated Defense Minerals Exploration Administration. (For an administrative history of the Defense Minerals Administration and its successor, the Defense Minerals Exploration Administration, SEE RG 320, Records of the Office of Minerals Exploration.) DMPA abolished by EO 10480, August 14, 1953, with personnel, records, and property transferred to the General Services Administration for appropriate disposition.

Textual Records: Records of the Mining Requirements Division, DMPA, consisting of administrative files, 1951-53; mine serialization files, 1951-53, including some records of the Defense Minerals Administration, 1951; and mica producers' petitions, 1952-53.

Related Records: Records of the Office of Defense Mobilization (1950-53) in RG 304, Records of the Office of Civil and Defense Mobilization. Records of the Office of Minerals Exploration, RG 320.

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48.12 FIELD RECORDS
1902-85

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48.12.1 Records of the Oil Enforcement Branch, Division of
Investigation

Textual Records (in Atlanta): Subject and case files documenting investigations by the Atlanta, GA, field office, 1933-35.

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48.12.2 Records of regional offices of the Office of the
Solicitor

Textual Records: Litigation case files of the Office of the Field Solicitor, Phoenix, AZ, 1927-84 (in Los Angeles). Records (in Los Angeles) of the Office of the Regional Solicitor, Los Angeles, CA, consisting of general files, 1930-73; litigation files, 1934-66; litigation files of the chief irrigation counsel relating to Indian Irrigation Service projects, 1902-73; litigation case dockets of the Office of the Solicitor, Los Angeles, relating to Indian irrigation projects, 1932-51; reports relating to miscellaneous Bureau of Reclamation irrigation projects received by the Office of the Solicitor, Los Angeles, 1933-59; and miscellaneous reports and publications received by the Office of the Solicitor, Los Angeles, 1908-70. Project files, histories, reports, and other records relating to Bureau of Reclamation irrigation projects (in Los Angeles), including the All-American Canal, 1929-71; Boulder Canyon, 1924-66; Colorado River, 1902-65; Davis Dam, 1942-73; Gila, 1902-66; Parker Dam, 1934-54; Parker-Davis, 1947-66; Salt River, 1935-69; and Yuma, 1902-67. Records (in San Francisco) of the Office of the Regional Solicitor (Pacific Southwest Regional Office), Sacramento, CA, relating to the Palm Springs Task Force investigation of the Agua Caliente Indian guardian-conservator system, 1967-74, including audits of selected Indian estates by the regional auditors, Portland Regional Office, 1967-68. Alaska claims settlement history case files, Office of the Regional Solicitor, San Francisco, CA, 1973-77 (in San Francisco). Records (in Seattle) of the Regional Solicitor (Pacific Northwest Regional Office), Portland, OR, consisting of litigation records comprised of case files, 1957-85, agency files, 1960-84, Indian Law Division case files, 1975-81, records relating to Indian hunting and fishing, 1960-70, and appeals and litigations case files, 1982; Pacific Northwest Field Committee meeting minutes, 1954-70; special project files (North Cascades), 1963-67; Indian land administrative records, 1973-81; and historical background records, 1960-75. Records (in Denver) of the Field Solicitor (Pacific Northwest Regional Office), Billings, MT, consisting of litigation case files, 1967-81; environmental law case files, 1973-79; and environmental litigation case files, 1972-77. Records (in Denver) of the Regional Solicitor (Rocky Mountain Region), Denver, CO, consisting of litigation case files, 1967-77.

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48.12.3 Records of the Office of the Director, Northeast Field
Staff

Textual Records (in Boston): Correspondence relating to the New England-New York Interagency Committee, 1950-55. River basin study files, 1951-55.

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48.12.4 Records of the Alaska Field Staff

Textual Records (in Anchorage): Director's subject files, 1948- 51.

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48.12.5 Records of the Field Representative, Southeast Region

Textual Records (in Atlanta): Special projects correspondence files, 1954-70.

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48.13 CARTOGRAPHIC RECORDS (GENERAL)
1870-1944

Maps and Charts (158 items): Lower Colorado River Project, 1906- 12 (91 items). Lemhi Land and Irrigation Project, ID, 1910 (1 item). Industrial survey of Columbia River basin by Bonneville Power Administration, 1942 (16 items). Maps separated from correspondence files relating to the territories of WY, WA, and OK, 1886-1901 (4 items); territorial prisons in WA and CO, 1870- 74 (2 items); a park in Bismarck, Dakota Territory, 1883 (1 item); railroad lands in OK and OR, 1902-14 (2 items); and Lake Eleanor Reservoir site in Yosemite National Park, CA, 1915 (1 item). Maps and profiles relating to the Tanana Mines Railroad and Tanana Valley Railroad, near Fairbanks, AK, 1906-7 (18 items). Nautical chart of Clarence Strait, AK, 1886 (1 item). Map of southeastern AK, showing fishing grounds and canneries, 1944 (1 item). Maps of AK, annotated with printer's notes, 1914-23 (10 items). Organizational charts, 1918-23 (10 items).

Architectural and Engineering Plans (314 items): Building plans of penitentiaries in Boise, ID, 1889-90 (13 items); Grafton, ND, 1891-92 (25 items); Salt Lake City, UT, 1890 (32 items); Walla Walla, WA, 1896-1900 (30 items); and Laramie, WY, 1888 (19 items). Federal buildings in Washington, DC, including Bureau of Engraving and Printing, 1910-11 (60 items); National Bureau of Standards, n.d. (28 items); Civil Service Commission, 1911 (15 items); Geological Survey Library, 1905-30 (7 items); Interior Department, 1905 (5 items); Jail, 1872-73 (23 items); State, War, and Navy Building "D," 1922 (3 items); and U.S. Fuel Administration, 1918 (1 item). Other buildings and structures in Washington, DC, 1911-27 (21 items); AZ, 1903 (8 items); CA, 1901 (3 items); and NJ, 1923 (4 items). Engineering plans relating to diesel and electric engines, and miscellaneous items, 1901-31 (17 items).

SEE Maps UNDER 48.4.1, 48.5.3, and 48.6. SEE Architectural Plans UNDER 48.4.3, 48.4.6, 48.4.7, 48.4.10, 48.4.12, and 48.4.13.

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48.14 MOTION PICTURES (GENERAL)
1916-76

Miscellaneous films 1916-76 (179 reels), relating to Interior Department activities and interests, including recreation, forestry, reclamation, conservation, wildlife, national waterways, dams, and the Tennessee Valley Authority; power and road construction projects; national and state parks; and Indian groups.

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48.15 SOUND RECORDINGS (GENERAL)
1939-52

Miscellaneous subjects, including speeches by Interior Department officials and radio broadcasts relating to departmental activities, 1939-52 (497 items). Meeting of the Committee on Revision of the Organic Act of Puerto Rico (a Presidential committee), 1943 (6 items). Interview with William H. Jackson, photographer and explorer of the American West, on the occasion of his 98th birthday, 1941 (1 item).

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48.16 STILL PICTURES (GENERAL)
1862-1978

Photographic Prints (920 images): Columbia Institution for the Deaf and Dumb (Gallaudet University, Washington, DC), 1878 (RSD, 27 images). Government Hospital for the Insane (St. Elizabeths Hospital, Washington, DC), 1891 (RSI, 3 images). Construction of U.S. House of Representatives office building, n.d. (RSH, 71 images). Construction of Freedmen's Hospital, Washington, DC, 1906 (RSF, 35 images). Howard University construction project, Washington, DC, 1924 (RSP, 3 images). Damage to the U.S. Capitol, accompanying report of the Architect of the Capitol, 1899 (RSC, 44 images). Miscellaneous subjects, including Indians, Yosemite Park, U.S.S. Maine, Los Angeles oil wells and refineries, District of Alaska exhibit building at the Louisiana Purchase Exposition (St. Louis, MO), DC facilities, and department personnel, 1892-1954 (M, 100 images). Interior Department officials, 1862-1953 (PO, PLS; 39 images). Interior Department exhibits at the International Exposition, Seville, Spain, 1928-29 (EXS, 81 images). Scenes of national parks, industries, agriculture, and towns in AZ, OK, and HI, submitted in reports from territorial governors; scenes in Imperial Valley, CA; Wind and Crystal Caves, SD; Indians and their education; OK land rush; logging in TN; views of Hot Springs, AR; and exhibits at the Milwaukee Public Museum, Milwaukee, WI, 1880-1907, 1930 (RST, 517 images). Photographs of the "Resurrection City" encampment during the Poor People's March on Washington, 1968 (RC, 120 images).

Color Slides (80 images): Earthquake and flood damage to The Alaska Railroad, 1964 (ARR).

Color Slides and Transparencies (125 images): Art commissioned by the Visual Arts Program, Office of the Secretary of the Interior, for the department's Bicentennial Arts Program exhibit, "America '76," 1974-78 (BA).

SEE Photographs UNDER 48.4.10. SEE Engravings UNDER 48.6.


Bibliographic note: Web version based on Guide to Federal Records in the National Archives of the United States. Compiled by Robert B. Matchette et al. Washington, DC: National Archives and Records Administration, 1995.
3 volumes, 2428 pages.

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