Guide to Federal Records

Records of the Selective Service System (World War I)


(Record Group 163)
1917-39

OVERVIEW OF RECORDS LOCATIONS

Table of Contents

  • 163.1 ADMINISTRATIVE HISTORY
  • 163.2 RECORDS OF THE OFFICE OF THE PROVOST MARSHAL GENERAL 1917-19
  • 163.2.l General records
  • 163.2.2 Personnel records
  • 163.2.3 Legal precedent and opinion records
  • 163.2.4 Records relating to citizenship status
  • 163.2.5 Records relating to appeals to the President
  • 163.2.6 Records relating to delinquents and deserters
  • 163.3 RECORDS OF DISTRICT BOARDS 1917-18
  • 163.4 RECORDS OF LOCAL BOARDS 1917-19
  • 163.4.1 Records relating to registrants
  • 163.4.2 Records relating to delinquents and deserters
  • 163.5 RECORDS OF THE SELECTIVE SERVICE DIVISION 1919-39

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163.1 ADMINISTRATIVE HISTORY

Established: By the Selective Service Act (40 Stat. 76), May 18, 1917. Functions: Administered, by means of local civilian boards responsible to state headquarters under the general supervision of the Office of the Provost Marshal General (OPMG), War Department, a selective draft based upon liability to military service of all male citizens, and all males not alien enemies who had declared their intention to become citizens, between the ages of 21 and 30 (expanded in 1918 to males between 18 and 45).

Abolished: Army and navy mobilization calls canceled by Secretary of War, November 11 and 13, 1918, respectively. District boards ordered closed by Secretary of War, November 13, 1918. Local boards ordered by Secretary of War, November 19, 1918, to close not later than December 10, 1918. State headquarters ordered by Secretary of War, November 28, 1918, to begin closing. All state headquarters closed by May 21, 1919. OPMG terminated July 15, 1919.

Successor Agencies: Selective Service System (administration of the 1940 Selective Training and Service Act, 1940-47); Selective Service System (administration of the 1948 Military Selective Service Act, 1948- ).

Administrative responsibility for World War I selective service records prior to accessioning into National Archives: Adjutant General's Office, War Department, through Selective Service Division (1919-27); Selective Service Section, World War Division (1927-41); Archives Division (1941-42); Demobilized Personnel Branch (1942); Demobilized Records Branch (1942-44); and Demobilized Personnel Records Branch (1944).

Finding Aids: Lucy E. Weidman, comp., "Preliminary Checklist of the Records of the Selective Service System, 1917-1919," PC 26 (1945); supplement in National Archives microfiche edition of preliminary inventories.

Related Records: Records of the Provost Marshal General's Bureau (Civil War), RG 110. Records of the Selective Service System, 1940- , RG 147.

Subject Access Terms: World War I agency.

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163.2 RECORDS OF THE OFFICE OF THE PROVOST MARSHAL GENERAL
1917-19

History: Established May 22, 1917, pursuant to detail of Brig. Gen. Enoch H. Crowder, Judge Advocate General, as Provost Marshal General by General Order 65, War Department, May 22, 1917; confirmed by memorandum of the Secretary of War, July 5, 1917. Terminated pursuant to relief of Crowder as Provost Marshal General, July 15, 1919.

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163.2.l General records

Textual Records: Subject-numeric general correspondence, 1917-19, with index. Correspondence with state officials; correspondence with Members of Congress and other individuals; and administrative correspondence, 1917-19. Issuances, consisting of orders, circulars, and regulations ("Historical File"), 1917-19; and orders to state governors and adjutants general, 1917-19. Newspaper clippings, 1917-19.

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163.2.2 Personnel records

Textual Records: Lists containing names of, and pertinent information on, medical examiners on state draft boards, district board members, agricultural and labor advisers to district boards, local board members, medical advisory board members, legal advisory board members, and members of boards of instruction, 1917-19.

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163.2.3 Legal precedent and opinion records

Textual Records: Name and subject card files containing summaries of court decisions affecting the Selective Service System, 1917- 18. Returned questionnaires containing opinions of local boards on various aspects of the Selective Service System, 1917-19.

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163.2.4 Records relating to citizenship status

Textual Records: Lists and card files, compiled by U.S. consulates, containing information on U.S. citizens, and persons having declared an intent to become naturalized, residing in Canada, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, France, Panama, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom, 1917-18. Correspondence relating to draft registrants' requests for passports, 1917-18. Correspondence with foreign representatives relating to the draft status of aliens residing in the United States, 1917-18, with accompanying name index. Card files containing information on members of the British and the Canadian Expeditionary Forces residing in the United States, 1917-18.

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163.2.5 Records relating to appeals to the President

Textual Records: Decisions rendered by the President, 1917-18, on recommendation of the OPMG Appeals Division, on cases appealed from district boards in the following states and territories: CT, ME, MA, NH, RI, and VT (in Boston); NJ, NY, and PR (in New York); DE, MD, PA, VA, and WV (in Philadelphia); AL, FL, GA, KY, MS, NC, SC, and TN (in Atlanta); IL, IN, MI, MN, OH, and WI (in Chicago); IA, KS, MO, and NE (in Kansas City); AR, LA, OK, and TX (in Fort Worth); CO, MT, NM, ND, SD, UT, and WY (in Denver); AZ and southern counties of CA (in Los Angeles); CA, except southern counties, and NV (in San Francisco); ID, OR, and WA (in Seattle); and AK (in Anchorage).

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163.2.6 Records relating to delinquents and deserters

Textual Records: Final lists of delinquents and deserters, 1919, for the following states and territories: CT, ME, MA, and NH (in Boston); NJ, NY, and PR (in New York); DE, MD, PA, VA, and WV (in Philadelphia); AL, FL, GA, KY, MS, NC, SC, and TN (in Atlanta); IL, IN, MI, MN, OH, and WI (in Chicago); IA, KS, MO, and NE (in Kansas City); AR, LA, OK, and TX (in Fort Worth); CO, MT, ND, NM, SD, UT, and WY (in Denver); CA, HI, and NV (in San Francisco); AZ (in Los Angeles); ID, OR, and WA (in Seattle); and AK (in Anchorage).

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163.3 RECORDS OF DISTRICT BOARDS
1917-18

Textual Records: Dockets of cases heard by district boards, 1917- 18, in the following states and territories: CT, ME, MA, NH, and RI (in Boston); NJ, NY, and PR (in New York); DE, MD, PA, VA, and WV (in Philadelphia); AL, GA, KY, MS, NC, SC, and TN (in Atlanta); IL, IN, MI, MN, and WI (in Chicago); IA, KS, MO, and NE (in Kansas City); AR and OK (in Fort Worth); CO, MT, NM, ND, SD, UT, and WY (in Denver); and AZ and CA (in Los Angeles).

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163.4 RECORDS OF LOCAL BOARDS
1917-19

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163.4.1 Records relating to registrants

Textual Records: Draft registration cards for all registrants nationwide, containing vital statistics on each registrant, 1917- 18 (25,120 ft., in Atlanta). Microfilm copies of docket books and classification lists containing summary information on registrants, 1917-18 (2,223 rolls, in Atlanta). Lists of inductees, 1917-19, for the following states and territories: CT, ME, MA, NH, RI, and VT (in Boston); NJ, NY, and PR (in New York); DE, MD, PA, VA, and WV (in Philadelphia); AL, FL, GA, KY, MS, NC, SC, and TN (in Atlanta); IL, IN, MI, MN, OH, and WI (in Chicago); IA, KS, MO, and NE (in Kansas City); AR, LA, OK, and TX (in Fort Worth); CO, MT, NM, ND, SD, UT, and WY (in Denver); AZ, southern counties of CA, and Clark County, NV (in Los Angeles); northern counties of CA, and NV, except Clark County (in San Francisco); ID, OR, and WA (in Seattle); and AK (in Anchorage). Docket book of classification lists for Draft No. 1, HI and NV, 1917-18 (in San Francisco). Microfilm copies of files on registrants with surnames beginning with "A" though "D" ("Cover Sheets"), 1917-19 (6,425 rolls). Microfilm copies of local board records in Adams, Alexander, and Aurora Counties, IL, 1917-18 (84 rolls). Report of the local exemption board, Winston-Salem, NC, 1917-18 (in Atlanta). Index to individual induction forms for men, from all states and territories, with surnames beginning with "Aa" through surnames beginning with "Alf," 1917-18 (in Atlanta).

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163.4.2 Records relating to delinquents and deserters

Textual Records: Index to delinquent and deserter forms, 1917-18, for the following states and territories: MA, RI, and VT (in Boston); NY (in New York); DE, MD, PA, VA, and WV (in Philadelphia); AL and KY (in Atlanta); IL, IN, MI, OH, and WI (in Chicago); IA, KS, and MO (in Kansas City); AR and TX (in Fort Worth); CO (in Denver); AZ, CA, and HI (in San Francisco); and AK (in Anchorage). Delinquent classification lists, 1917-18, compiled by local boards in the following states: ME, MA, RI, and VT (in Boston); NJ and NY (in New York); DE, MD, PA, VA, and WV (in Philadelphia); AL, FL, GA, KY, MS, NC, SC, and TN (in Atlanta); IL, IN, MI, MN, and OH (in Chicago); CO, MT, ND, SD, UT, and WY (in Denver); HI and NV (in San Francisco); and AZ and southern counties of CA (in Los Angeles). Personal name index, Imperial County, CA, 1917-19 (in Los Angeles).

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163.5 RECORDS OF THE SELECTIVE SERVICE DIVISION
1919-39

History: Established in the Adjutant General's Office, War Department, July 1, 1919, as successor to PMGO, with responsibility for administering all Selective Service System records accumulated during the period 1917-19. Redesignated Selective Service Section and transferred to World War Division, September 7, 1927. World War Division abolished, with functions transferred to newly established Archives Division, October 31, 1941. Archives Division abolished June 17, 1942, with functions transferred to newly established Demobilized Personnel Branch, redesignated Demobilized Records Branch, August 28, 1942, and further redesignated Demobilized Personnel Records Branch, April 17, 1944. Records accessioned into National Archives, August 30, 1944.

Textual Records: Decimal correspondence, 1919-39, with index.


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.

Ordering information

This Web version is updated from time to time to include records processed since 1995.


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