Guide to Federal Records

Records of the International Trade Administration


(Record Group 489)
1910-84

Table of Contents

  • 489.1 Administrative History
  • 489.2 Records of the Bureau of Foreign Commerce (BFC) 1910-61 (bulk 1946-61)
    • 489.2.1 General records
    • 489.2.2 Records of the Office of Export Supply
    • 489.2.3 Records of other subordinate organizations
    • 489.2.4 Records of advisory and coordinating organizations
  • 489.3 Records of the Office of International Trade Fairs 1954-60
  • 489.4 Records of the Business and Defense Services Administration (BDSA)1929-71
    • 489.4.1 General records
    • 489.4.2 Records of the Office of Construction and Materials Industries
    • 489.4.3 Records of the Office of Chemicals and Consumer Products
    • 489.4.4 Records of the Office of Area Development
    • 489.4.5 Records of other offices
    • 489.4.6 Other records
  • 489.5 Records of the Bureau of International Programs 1925-63
    • 489.5.1 Records of the Office of Regional Economics
    • 489.5.2 Records of the Export Control Investigations Staff
  • 489.6 Records of the Bureau of International Commerce 1939-71
    • 489.6.1 Records of the Office of the Director
    • 489.6.2 Records of the Office of International Regional Economics
    • 489.6.3 Records of the Office of Trade Promotion
    • 489.6.4 Records of other offices
    • 489.6.5 Records of advisory and coordinating organizations
  • 489.7 Records of the Bureau of Domestic Commerce (BDC) 1950-73
  • 489.8 Records of the Domestic and International Business Administration 1937-78
    • 489.8.1 Records of the U.S. Expositions Staff, Bureau of International Commerce
  • 489.9 Records of the Industry and Trade Administration 1976-77
    • 489.9.1 Records of the Office of Public Affairs
  • 489.10 Records of the International Trade Administration 1983-84
    • 489.10.1 Records of the Trade and Development Division
  • 489.11 Records of the U.S. National Commission of the Pan American Railway Congress Association 1949-58
  • 489.12 Records of the National Export Expansion Council 1954-73 (bulk 1960-73)
  • 489.13 Cartographic Records (General)
  • 489.14 Motion Pictures (General)
  • 489.15 Sound Recordings (General)
  • 489.16 Still Pictures (General)

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489.1 Administrative History

Established: In the Department of Commerce, January 2, 1980, pursuant to Reorganization Plan No. 3 of 1979, effective same date.

Acquired responsibility for domestic industrial sector analysis functions of abolished Bureau of Industrial Economics by Secretarial order, effective January 22, 1984.

Predecessor Agencies:

In the Department of the Treasury:

Compilation and distribution of trade statistics:

  • Division of Commerce and Navigation, Office of the Register (foreign commerce only, 1820-44; domestic and foreign commerce, 1844-66)
  • Bureau of Statistics (domestic and foreign commerce, 1866-1903, to Bureau of Statistics, Department of Commerce and Labor, 1903)

In the Department of State:

Compilation and distribution of trade statistics:

  • Statistical Office (1856-74)
  • Bureau of Statistics (1874-97)
  • Bureau of Foreign Commerce (1897-1903, to Bureau of Statistics, Department of Commerce and Labor, 1903)
In the Department of Commerce and Labor:

Compilation and distribution of trade statistics:

  • Bureau of Statistics (1903-12, to Bureau of Foreign and Domestic Commerce, 1912)
Promotion of domestic trade and industry:
  • Bureau of Manufactures (1903-12, to Bureau of Foreign and Domestic Commerce, 1912)
  • Promotion of domestic trade and industry and promotion of foreign trade:
  • Bureau of Foreign and Domestic Commerce (1912-13)
In the Department of Commerce:

Promotion of domestic trade and industry and promotion of foreign trade:

  • Bureau of Foreign and Domestic Commerce (1913-53)

Promotion of domestic trade and industry:

  • Business and Defense Services Administration (1953-70)
  • Bureau of Domestic Commerce (1970-72, to Domestic and International Business Administration, 1972)

Promotion of foreign trade:

  • Bureau of Foreign Commerce (1953-61; responsibility for trade fair participation to Office of International Trade Fairs, 1955)
  • Office of International Trade Fairs (1955-61)
  • Bureau of International Programs (1961-63)
  • Bureau of International Business Operations (1961-63)
  • Bureau of International Commerce (1963-72, to Domestic and International Business Administration, 1972)
  • Promotion of domestic trade and industry and promotion of foreign trade:
  • Domestic and International Business Administration (1972-77)
  • Industry and Trade Administration (1977-80)

Functions: Promotes world trade and strengthens the international trade and investment position of the United States. Formulates and implements international economic policy. Develops and implements policies and programs relating to import and export administration. Manages an integrated trade development program throughout U.S. industry. Collects, analyzes, and disseminates information on U.S. industrial sectors.

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

Related Records:
Records of the Office of the Special Adviser to the President on Foreign Trade, RG 20.
General Records of the Department of Commerce, RG 40.
Records of the U.S. International Trade Commission, RG 81.
Records of the Bureau of Foreign and Domestic Commerce, RG 151.
Records of the National Production Authority, RG 277.
Records of the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, RG 364.
Records of the Bureau of Economic Analysis, RG 375.

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489.2 Records of the Bureau of Foreign Commerce (BFC)
1910-61 (bulk 1946-61)

History: Office of International Trade designated one of the five autonomous units of the Bureau of Foreign and Domestic Commerce (BFDC) by Departmental Order 10, December 18, 1945. Abolished, effective October 12, 1953, by Departmental Order 153, October 9, 1953, with functions transferred to Bureau of Foreign Commerce, established by same order. BFC responsible for promoting foreign trade and investment by U.S. businesses. Responsibility for U.S. participation in international trade fairs transferred, January 1955, from BFC to Office of International Trade Fairs (see 489.3), newly established under general supervision of Office of the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for International Affairs. BFC abolished by Departmental Order, August 7, 1961, with functions transferred to Bureau of International Programs (BIP, see 489.5) and Bureau of International Business Operations (BIBO), established by Departmental Orders 173 and 174, August 8, 1961. BIP and BIBO consolidated to form Bureau of International Commerce (see 489.6), 1963.

Related Records: Record copies of publications of the Bureau of Foreign Commerce in RG 287, Publications of the U.S. Government.

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489.2.1 General records

Textual Records: Subject files, 1953-58.

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489.2.2 Records of the Office of Export Supply

Textual Records: Security-classified correspondence of the director, 1949-59. Subject file of the Operations Division, 1947- 61. Security-classified correspondence and other records of the Producers' Equipment Division relating to licenses for the export of certain strategic products to Soviet bloc countries ("Strategic Export Documents File"), 1949-60. Security-classified records of the Strategic Controls Division relating to licensing policies on exports to the Near East, 1955-59.

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489.2.3 Records of other subordinate organizations

Textual Records: Records of the European Division of the Office of Economic Affairs, consisting of security-classified and formerly security-classified records relating to Soviet bloc activities, 1910-59; and a compilation of published statistical information on the French economy, 1946-59. Security-classified general file of the Commercial Intelligence Division of the Office of Trade Promotion ("CID Consolidated File"), 1950-59. Security-classified records of the Investigation Staff, consisting of closed case files, 1947-59 (154 ft.); and Federal Bureau of Investigation reports, 1952-59. Subject files of the Foreign Economic Development Staff, 1952-56.

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489.2.4 Records of advisory and coordinating organizations

Textual Records: Correspondence, minutes, and other records of the Import Advisory Committee, 1946-56; the Export Advisory Committee, 1946-56; the World Trade Advisory Committee (successor to both the Import and the Export Advisory Committees), 1957-61; the West Coast Foreign Trade Group, 1947-59; and the Southeastern Foreign Trade Group, 1959. Records of the Coordinating Committee ("COCOM") Subcommittee on Export Control, 1949-61.

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489.3 Records of the Office of International Trade Fairs
1954-60

History: Established January 1955, its functions having been assumed from the Bureau of Foreign Commerce (see 489.2). Operated under general supervision of Office of the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for International Affairs. Transferred to newly established Bureau of International Business Operations (BIBO), by Departmental Order 174, August 8, 1961. BIBO consolidated with Bureau of International Programs (see 489.5) to form Bureau of International Commerce (see 489.6).

Textual Records: Correspondence, reports, and other records concerning U.S. participation in international trade fairs, 1954-60.

Related Records: Record copies of publications of the Office of International Trade Fairs in RG 287, Publications of the U.S. Government.

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489.4 Records of the Business and Defense Services Administration
(BDSA)
1929-71

History: Office of Domestic Commerce (ODC) and Office of Small Business designated two of the five autonomous units of the Bureau of Foreign and Domestic Commerce by Departmental Order 10, December 18, 1945. Office of Small Business incorporated into Office of Domestic Commerce as a division, effective June 30, 1948, by Departmental Order 18 (Amendment 2), July 1, 1948. ODC abolished, with functions transferred to Office of Industry and Commerce, effective June 1, 1950, by Departmental Order 18 (Amended), June 2, 1950. Small Business Division transferred to National Production Authority by Departmental Order 123, September 11, 1950, and redesignated Office of Small Business. Upon abolishment of National Production Authority, Office of Small Business and Office of Industry and Commerce consolidated as Business and Defense Services Administration, by Departmental Order 152, October 1, 1953. BDSA responsible for executing Commerce Department functions under the Defense Production Act of 1950, developing industrial mobilization plans, and expanding domestic business markets. Abolished, with functions transferred to Bureau of Domestic Commerce (BDC, see 489.7), by Departmental Organization Order 40-1A, September 15, 1970. BDC consolidated with Bureau of International Commerce (see 489.6) to form Domestic and International Business Administration (see 489.7), 1972.

Related Records: Record copies of publications of the Business and Defense Services Administration in RG 287, Publications of the U.S. Government.

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489.4.1 General records

Textual Records: Subject files, 1950-66 (116 cu.ft.).

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489.4.2 Records of the Office of Construction and Materials
Industries

Textual Records: Records of the Forest Products Division, consisting of reports, studies, and surveys concerning hardwood products, 1951-57; and records relating to the softwood log export problem, 1964-70. Records of the Printing and Publishing Industries Division, consisting of industry comments on the division's economic summary and statistics, 1957; surveys of printing equipment and facilities, 1958, 1960; and a reference set of American Newspaper Publishers Association bulletins, 1929-60.

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489.4.3 Records of the Office of Chemicals and Consumer Products

Textual Records: Records of the Rubber, Leather, and Allied Products Division including committee files, 1944-69; records relating to the protection of the domestic shoe industry, 1956-71; and records relating to the international cattle hides industry, 1965-67.

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489.4.4 Records of the Office of Area Development

Textual Records: Records of Deputy Director Gustav E. Larson, 1957-61. Records relating to the Association of State Planning and Development Agencies (ASPDA), 1947-60. Records relating to inter-agency area development committees, including the Federal Inter-Agency River Basin Committee, New England-New York Inter-Agency Committee, and Arkansas-White-Red River Basin Inter-Agency Committee, 1948-59. Records relating to state and private industry outreach, 1953-55.

Related Records: Publications, reports, papers, and other records relating to economic development, including publications of the Office of Area Development, Business and Defense Services Administration, and Area Redevelopment Administration, 1953-67, in RG 389, Records of the Economic Development Administration.

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489.4.5 Records of other offices

Textual Records: Subject file of the Textiles and Clothing Division (predecessor of the Office of Textiles), 1950-57. Subject files of the Office of Textiles, including records relating to General Agreement on Tariff and Trade committees, 1961-67. Watch industry history file maintained by the Scientific, Photographic, and Business Equipment Division, Office of Scientific and Technical Equipment, 1941-70. Press releases issued by the Office of Publications and Information, 1953-57, 1960-71. Records of the Office of Administration relating to the organization and functions of the BDSA, 1952-64. Records of the Metric System Study, conducted by the Statistical Operations Analysis Staff, Office of Industrial Analysis and Business Programs, 1969-71. Commerce Business Daily, publication of the Office of Field Services, 1950-68 (in Chicago).

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489.4.6 Other records

Textual Records: Reports and studies accumulated by the Industry Evaluation Board, 1942-56. Records relating to the National Production Authority and to the Industry Advisory Committee, 1951-54. Official records of Erwin Vogelsang, adviser to the International Tin Study Group, 1941-55.

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489.5 Records of the Bureau of International Programs
1925-63

History: Established by Departmental Order 173, August 8, 1961, as one of two successors to Bureau of Foreign Commerce (see 489.2). Responsible for providing information and advice to U.S. businesses in the conduct of their foreign trade and investment operations. Consolidated with Bureau of International Business Operations to form Bureau of International Commerce (see 489.6), 1963.

Related Records: Record copies of publications of the Bureau of International Programs in RG 287, Publications of the U.S. Government.

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489.5.1 Records of the Office of Regional Economics

Textual Records: Records of the Sino-Soviet Division, consisting of security-classified and formerly security-classified Soviet bloc economic files, 1925-63. European Economic Community files of the European Division, 1948-62. Special trade and economic program files of the Canadian Section of the British Commonwealth Division, 1945-62.

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489.5.2 Records of the Export Control Investigations Staff

Textual Records (in New York): Security-classified closed case files, 1948-62.

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489.6 Records of the Bureau of International Commerce
1939-71

History: Established by Departmental Order 182, February 1, 1963, consolidating Bureau of International Programs (see 489.5) and Bureau of International Business Operations, the two successors to Bureau of Foreign Commerce (see 489.2). Responsible for promoting U.S. foreign trade and assisting U.S. businesses abroad. Consolidated with Bureau of Domestic Commerce to form Domestic and International Business Administration (see 489.7), 1972.

Related Records: Record copies of publications of the Bureau of International Commerce in RG 287, Publications of the U.S. Government.

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489.6.1 Records of the Office of the Director

Textual Records: Subject correspondence files of the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Domestic and International Business, 1963-71.

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489.6.2 Records of the Office of International Regional Economics

Textual Records: Security-classified country commercial programs file, maintained by the immediate office of the director, 1963- 66. Records of the Far Eastern Division, consisting of security- classified briefing books concerning the Joint U.S.-Japan Committee on Trade, 1961-65. Tariff and trade agreements subject files, 1964-71.

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489.6.3 Records of the Office of Trade Promotion

Textual Records: Records relating to White House conferences, 1963-64. Subject file of the director of the Commercial Exhibits Division (formerly the Trade Centers Division), 1962-67. Records of Deputy Director for Operations, John E. Orchard, relating to trade fairs, 1963-68.

Photographs: U.S. exhibits at overseas trade fairs, 1957-65 (4,000 images).

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489.6.4 Records of other offices

Textual Records: Records of the Trade and Commercial Policy Division of the Office of Commercial and Financial Policy, consisting of studies and recommendations concerning amendments to U.S. trade laws, 1963-64; and subject files, 1966-70. Records of the Policy Planning Division of the Office of Export Control, consisting of Coordinating Committee ("COCOM") list review files, 1959-63. Records of the Office of Market Planning relating to the Trade Promotion Coordinating Committee, 1962-71. Records of the International Finance Division, Office of International Investment, including subject files, 1961-73; and committee records, 1961-70.

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489.6.5 Records of advisory and coordinating organizations

Textual Records: Records of the Advisory Committee on Export Policy, consisting of formerly security-classified commodity files, 1955-63; country files (only countries beginning with letters A through G), 1948-63; and an export control review list file, 1958. Reports and other records of working groups of the Interagency Steering Group for the Promotion of Export Sales, 1959-60. Annual reports of the Foreign Trade Zones Board, 1939-64.

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489.7 Records of the Bureau of Domestic Commerce (BDC)
1950-73

History:Established by Departmental Organization Order 40-1A, September 15, 1970. Responsible for promoting growth of U.S. industry and commerce through government and business cooperation and to prepare and promote plans for industrial mobilization readiness. BDC consolidated with Bureau of International Commerce (see 489.6) to form Domestic and International Business Administration (see 489.8), 1972.

Textual Records:Records of the "White House Conference on the Industrial World Ahead: A Look at Business in 1990," 1971-72. Records of the National Business Council for Consumer Affairs, 1971-73. Records of the Office of Domestic Business Policy including records of the National Marketing Advisory Committee, 1966-70. Subject files of the director, Office of Business Research and Analysis, 1950-72. Records of the U.S. Expositions Staff, Office of Business Services, relating to the construction, staffing, and operation of the U.S. pavilion at HemisFair '68, San Antonio, TX, 1968.

Sound Recordings: Proceedings of the National Marketing Advisory Committee meeting, November 18-19, 1970 (4 items). Sessions, panels, and workshops from the "White House Conference on the Industrial World Ahead: A Look at Business in 1990," February 7-9, 1972 (50 items). See also 489.15.

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489.8 Records of the Domestic and International Business
Administration
1937-78

History: Established by consolidation of Bureau of Domestic Commerce (see 489.7) and Bureau of International Commerce (see 489.6), November 17, 1972. Responsible for promoting U.S. foreign and domestic commerce, stimulating exports, and planning industrial mobilization. Abolished, with functions transferred to Industry and Trade Administration (see 489.9), December 4, 1977.

Related Records: Record copies of publications of the Domestic and International Business Administration in RG 287, Publications of the U.S. Government.

Textual Records: Central files, 1971. European community trade policy files, 1960-76. Records of the Office of Export Administration (formerly Office of Export Control) of the Bureau of East-West Trade, consisting of security-classified records relating to the exchange program with Soviet bloc countries, 1953-78. Records of the Industrialized Nations Division of the Office of International Trade Policy of the Bureau of International Economic Policy and Research, consisting of correspondence, minutes, and reports relating to the Joint U.S.-Canadian Committee on Trade and Economic Affairs, 1953-74; East-West Trade country files, 1937-74; and briefing books, 1972-75. Copies of reorganization agreements relating to foreign trade functions, concluded between the Departments of State and Commerce, 1939-66. Historical information file, 1944-61. Director's subject files of the Foreign Export Promotion Division, Office of International Trade Promotion, Bureau of International Commerce, relating to export expansion, 1973. Records relating to cooperative efforts with international finance and trade organizations, 1967-73. Records of the Construction and Forest Products Division, Office of Business Research and Analysis, relating to softwood logs, lumber, and plywood, 1972-73.

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489.8.1 Records of the U.S. Expositions Staff, Bureau of International Commerce

Textual Records: Records of the Office of the U.S. Commissioner General for the International Exposition on the Environment, Expo '74, Spokane, WA, 1969-74. Program files, 1962-74. Administrative files, 1971-74. Reading files, 1973-74.

Motion Pictures: Expo '74: Pass the Buck, 1974 (1 reel).

Photographs: Views of the Seattle World's Fair (1962), 1962 (SF, 50 images). Press kit describing the U.S. pavilion at Expo '74, Spokane, WA, 1974 (SK, 7 images). See also 489.16.

Related Records: Records relating to the Seattle World's Fair (1962), including photographs (in Seattle), in RG 43, Records of International Conferences, Commissions, and Expositions.

Slides: The U.S. pavilion at Expo '74, Spokane, WA, 1974 (SH, 68 images). See also 489.16.

Posters: The U.S. pavilion and a thematic image prepared for Expo '74, Spokane, WA, 1974 (SP, 2 images). See also 489.16.

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489.9 Records of the Industry and Trade Administration
1976-77

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489.9.1 Records of the Office of Public Affairs

Sound Recordings: Public service announcements "World Trade Week" and "Made in the USA," 1976-77 (2 items). See also 489.15.

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489.10 Records of the International Trade Administration
1976-84

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489.10.1 Records of the Trade and Development Division

Textual Records: Records relating to the design, development, and use of the U.S. pavilions at the 1982 World's Fair, Knoxville, TN, and New Orleans World Exposition (1984), 1976-84.

Architectural Plans : In the custody of the Trade and Development Division, showing U.S. pavilion at the New Orleans World Exposition (1984), 1983-84 (696 items).

Photographs: Activities and personalities at the 1982 World's Fair, Knoxville, TN, 1982 (KF, KFM, 1,388 images). Color slides of the U.S. pavilion at the 1982 World's Fair, Knoxville, TN, 1982 (KFS, 117 images). See also 489.16.

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489.11 Records of the U.S. National Commission of the Pan American
Railway Congress Association
1949-58

History: Established by a joint resolution (62 Stat. 1060), June 28, 1948, as the U.S. member organization of the Pan American Railway Association, an inter-American organization established, 1907, to promote railway development in the Western Hemisphere. Became operational, June 21, 1949, with Office of the Executive Secretary serving as the headquarters office. Has consisted of representatives of Departments of State and Commerce, other appropriate government agencies, and private citizens with expertise in advanced railway transportation techniques and facilities.

Textual Records: General file, 1949-58, maintained (1949-53) by Executive Secretary Walter S. Abernathy, on staff of the Transportation and Communications Division of the Office of International Trade, BFDC; and (1953-58) by Executive Secretary Herbert Ashton, director of the Transportation and Utilities (formerly Transportation and Communications) Division, BFC. Records relating to the 7th (Mexico City, 1950) and 8th (Washington, DC, and Atlantic City, NJ, 1953) Pan American Railway Congresses, 1950-56.

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489.12 Records of the National Export Expansion Council
1954-73 (bulk 1960-73)

History: National Export Expansion Committee (also known as Export Expansion Committee) established by announcement of the Secretary of Commerce, March 31, 1960. Redesignated National Export Expansion Council, April 1962. Terminated, December 13, 1973, with functions assumed by the President's Export Council, established by EO 11753, December 20, 1973.

Textual Records: General records, 1954-73 (bulk 1960-73), consisting of correspondence, minutes, reports, and copies of publications, and including records relating to Regional Export Expansion Councils.

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489.13 Cartographic Records (General)

See Architectural Plans under 489.8.

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489.14 Motion Pictures (General)

See under 489.8.1.

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489.15 Sound Recordings (General)

See under 489.7 and 489.9.1.

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489.16 Still Pictures (General)

See Photographs under 489.8.1 and 489.10.1.
See Slides under 489.8.1.
See Posters under 489.8.1.


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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