The National Archives at San Francisco

Guide to Archival Holdings (RG 30-49)

Records of the Bureau of Public Roads (RG 30)

Administrative History

The Bureau of Public Roads had its origins in an act of March 3, 1893, which authorized the creation of an Office of Road Inquiry in the Department of Agriculture. After a number of changes in title, the Office became the Bureau of Public Roads in 1918 and retained that designation until 1939 when it became the Public Roads Administration as part of the Federal Works Agency. On July 1, 1949, it was transferred to the General Services Administration and renamed the Bureau of Public Roads, which was then transferred to the Department of Commerce by Reorganization Plan No. 7 of 1949. An act of October 15, 1966, transferred the Bureau to the Department of Transportation where its functions were assigned to the Federal Highway Administration (RG 406).

Under the Federal Aid Road Act of 1916, the Bureau has supervised Federal-State cooperative programs for road construction, reconstruction, and improvement. It also administers the highway beautification program and is responsible for developing and administering highway safety programs, constructing defense highways and roads in national parks and forests, expanding the interstate highway system, and providing assistance to foreign governments.

Records Description

Dates: 1916-68
Volume: 303 cubic feet

Records of Federal aid projects in:

  • Arizona, 1926-58;
  • California, 1916-68;
  • Hawaii, 1925-68;
  • Nevada, 1923-68.
The records concern project planning, funding, and completion. They are primarily case files, including specifications, project agreements, contracts, inspection reports, labor and materials statements, final construction reports, vouchers and invoices, and related correspondence. Nontextual records include engineering drawings, maps, and photographs included in the project case files, and a separate series of blueprints for projects in Hawaii, 1953-57. See RG 406 for related records.

Finding Aids

Descriptions for some series.

Records of the U.S. Shipping Board (RG 30)

Administrative History

The U.S. Shipping Board, established by the Shipping Act of 1916, was formally organized on January 30, 1917, to regulate carriers by water and develop a naval auxiliary and merchant marine. On April 16, 1917, the Board established the U.S. Shipping Board Emergency Fleet Corporation (known after 1927 as the U.S. Shipping Board Merchant Fleet Corporation) to procure, construct, charter, equip, man, operate, and dispose of merchant vessels for the Board. Under the Merchant Marine Act of 1920 and subsequent legislation the Board was given additional responsibilities. The Board was abolished by Executive Order 6166 of June 10, 1933, and its functions were administered through the U.S. Shipping Board Bureau in the Department of Commerce until that Bureau was abolished by the Merchant Marine Act of 1936.

Records Description

Dates: 1917-28
Volume: 42 cubic feet

Records of the Pacific Coast District Office, San Francisco, 1917-28. The records relate to vessel operations; port and harbor facilities on the Pacific coast, in the Philippine and Hawaiian Islands, and throughout the world; personnel working on vessels and in offices; the commandeering of German vessels on the Pacific coast; and administrative matters. Included are correspondence, crew lists, pamphlets, and reports. Nontextual records consist of some maps of port facilities interfiled with textual records.

Records of the General Agency, Honolulu, 1921-23. The records relate to the fuel oil station, Honolulu, and cover fuel storage, vessel traffic, and administrative matters. Included are correspondence, receipts, and telegrams.

Finding Aids

Entries 541-544 and 579 in Forrest R. Holdcamper,Preliminary Inventory of the Records of the United States Shipping Board, PI 97 (1956).

Records of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (RG 34)

Administrative History

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) was established in 1933 as an independent agency by the Federal ReserveAct (48 Stat. 162). It insures deposits in national banks, state banks that are members of the Federal Reserve System, state banks that apply for Federal deposit insurance, and savings and loan associations that are members of the Savings Association Insurance Fund. In the event of a bank failure, it pays depositors of insolvent banks. The FDIC acts as receiver for all national banks and some state banks placed in receivership. It also regulates the banking industry through a variety of mechanisms. The FDIC is headquartered in Washington, DC. In 1996 it maintained five regional offices and a number of field offices.

Records Description

Dates: 1981-87
Volume: 33 cubic feet

Records of the Legal Division, Western States Area, San Francisco.The Western States Area serves Alaska, Arizona, California, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington,and Wyoming. The records, which concern the liquidation of closed banks, document actions filed in state courts by the FDIC against individual borrowers in debt to closed banks. They relate to collecting assets and collateral, foreclosing on mortgages, etc. The records are legal case files, including correspondence, legal papers, and memorandums.

Finding Aids

Draft inventory.

Restrictions
Access to some files or portions of documents may be restricted due to privacy and/or banking concerns.

Records of the U.S. Customs Service (RG 36)

Administrative History

The Customs Service, created by an act of July 31, 1789, became part of the Department of the Treasury when that Department was established in September 1789. The Service has been responsible for the enforcement of numerous laws and regulations pertaining to the import and export of merchandise, collection of tonnage taxes, control of the entrance and clearance of vessels and aircraft, regulation of vessels involved in the coastwise and fishing trades, and protection of passengers. A Bureau of Customs was established on March 3, 1927, to supervise these activities, and in 1942, it assumed the responsibilities of the Bureau of Marine Inspection and Navigation relating to the registering, enrolling, licensing, and admeasurement of merchant vessels. This responsibility was assigned to the Coast Guard in 1967 (see RG 26).

The act that established the Customs Service in 1789 also provided for the creation of collection districts in various coastal, river, Great Lakes, and inland ports. A collector of customs in each district was responsible for the enforcement of all rules and regulations, including the protection of American seamen and passengers and the forwarding of basic data on immigration, imports, and exports. Occasionally the collector acted as the depository for Federal funds and collected taxes for the Bureau of Internal Revenue. A naval officer in each district, coordinate in rank with the collector, was required to keep separate accounts and copies of all manifests and entries and to countersign certain of the collector's accounts.

A surveyor, under the collector's supervision, kept a daily record of all vessel arrivals and clearances and was assisted by inspectors, weighers, and gaugers in the collection and payment of bounty allowances and fees and the admeasurement of foreign vessels for tonnage duties.

Records Description

Dates: 1849-1991
Volume: 1,336 cubic feet

Records of the San Francisco District, 1849-1991. They relate to foreign trade and collection of duties; merchant vessel documentation and movements; seamen employed; shipwrecks; Chinese immigration after the Exclusion Act of 1882; smuggling; and the fur seal industry. Included are microfilm I4 Summary of Revenue Laws, and microfilm I23, Case File No. 87S, Report in Regard to the Administration of the Chinese Bureau at the Port of San Francisco, 1897. The records consist of abstracts, affidavits, certificates and other vessel documents, correspondence, indexes, registers, and reports. Nontextual records include a separate series of ship plans.

Records of the port of Benicia, California, 1863-1865. The records relate to vessel documentation and movement. They consist of abstracts of licenses and abstracts of arrivals and departures.

Records of the port of Monterey, California, 1942-67. The records relate to documentation of fishing vessels under 20 tons, and consist of masters' oaths for vessel licenses.

Records of the port of Eureka, California, 1878-1968. The records relate to merchant vessels and their ownership, and shipwrecks. The records include certificates and other vessel documents, indexes, registers, and reports.

Records of the Honolulu District, 1900-67. They relate to merchant vessels and their ownership and movement. Included are certificates and other vessel documents, indexes, and registers.

Finding Aids

  • Richard P. Boyden, comp., Draft Inventory of the Records of the United States Customs Service, Customs House Records for Ports of San Francisco, Monterey, Eureka, and Honolulu (ca. 1991).
  • Series descriptions.
  • Guide to the coded administrative files, 1913-47.
  • Many series of indexes and registers in the records serve as finding aids to other series.

Related Microfilm Publications

M177, Letters and Reports Received by the Secretary of the Treasury from Special Agents, 1854-1861;
M237, Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at New York, New York, 1820-1897 (selected rolls);
M259, Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at New Orleans, Louisiana, 1820-1902 (selected rolls);
M261,Index to Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at New York, New York, 1820-1846 (selected rolls);
M265, Index to Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Boston, Massachusetts, 1848-1891 (selected rolls);
M360, Index to Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1800-1906;
M1066,Registers of Vessels Arriving at the Port of New York, New York, From Foreign Ports, 1789-1919 (selected rolls).

Restrictions
Access to some files or portions of documents may be restricted due to law enforcement and/or privacy concerns.

Records of the Bureau of Marine Inspection and Navigation (RG 41)

Administrative History

Navigation laws were passed by the First Congress in 1789 and were enforced by customs officers under the supervision of the Department of the Treasury. In 1884, a Bureau of Navigation under the control of the Commissioner of Navigation was established within the Department of the Treasury to administer the navigation laws. In 1903, it was transferred to the Department of Commerce and Labor along with the Steamboat Inspection Service, which had been established in the Department of the Treasury in 1852 to formulate rules and regulations for steamboat inspections. The two bureaus were merged in 1932 to form the Bureau of Navigation and Steamboat Inspection, which was renamed the Bureau of Marine Inspection and Navigation (BMIN) in 1936. In 1942, its functions relating to merchant vessel documentation were transferred to the Bureau of Customs (see RG 36) while those pertaining to merchant vessel inspection, safety of life at sea, and merchant vessel personnel were transferred to the U.S. Coast Guard (see RG 26). The Bureau was abolished in 1946.

Records Description

Dates: 1913-41
Volume: 20 cubic feet

Records of the Supervising Inspector, San Francisco. The records relate to investigation of marine accidents and casualties, examination and certification of vessels, and other activities conducted by marine investigation boards and local inspectors on the west coast. The records are vessel files, which include correspondence, findings and recommendations, reports, and transcripts of testimony. Nontextual records consist of photographs and vessel drawings interfiled with textual records.

Finding aid
Draft inventory.

Related Microfilm Publications

M1632, Merchant Marine License Applications, Puget Sound District, 1888-1910.

Records of the Office of the Secretary of the Interior (RG 48)

Administrative History

The Department of the Interior was created by an act of March 3, 1849. During the more than 130 years of its existence some functions have been added and others removed so that its role has changed from that of general housekeeper for the Federal Government to that of custodian of the nation's natural resources. The Secretary of the Interior, as the head of an executive department, reports directly to the President and is responsible for the direction and supervision of all activities of the Department.

Records Description

Dates: 1949-78
Volume: 22 cubic feet

Records of the Regional Solicitor, Sacramento, 1949-74. The records document significant litigation and the work of the Palm Springs Task Force. Significant litigation concerns land title, migratory bird laws, timber trespass, water rights, and other subjects. The Palm Springs Task Force investigated the guardian-conservator system established under State law for certain members of the Agua Caliente Band of Mission Indians. Under this system, guardians and conservators, supervised by the Riverside County Superior Court managed the property affairs of minors and young adults members of the band. Complaints against the guardian-conservator system included conflicts of interest, excessive fees awarded for services, and failure to prepare minors and young adults to take over their affairs. Included are case files, clippings, correspondence, legal papers, and reports.

Records of the Field Solicitor, San Francisco, 1967-78. The records relate to appeals of villages' eligibility for benefits under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act of 1971. They are case files, which typically include correspondence, legal papers, and lists.

Finding Aids

Selected folder lists.

Related Microfilm Publications

M62, Records of the Office of the Secretary of the Interior Relating to the Yellowstone National Park, 1872-1886;
M95,Records of the Office of the Secretary of the Interior Relating to Wagon Roads, 1857-1887;
M189, Interior Department Territorial Papers: Washington, 1854-1902;
M191, Interior Department Territorial Papers: Idaho, 1864-1890;
M192,Interior Department Territorial Papers: Montana, 1867-1889;
M204, Interior Department Territorial Papers: Wyoming, 1870-1890;
M310, Interior Department Territorial Papers: Dakota, 1863-1889;
M364, Interior Department Territorial Papers: New Mexico, 1851-1914;
M428, Interior Department Territorial Papers: Utah, 1850-1902;
M429, Interior Department Territorial Papers: Arizona, 1868-1913;
M430, Interior Department Territorial Papers: Alaska, 1869-1911;
M431,Interior Department Territorial Papers: Colorado, 1861-1888;
M606, Letters Sent by the Indian Division of the Office of the Secretary of the Interior, 1849-1903;
M732, Interior Department Appointments Papers: California, 1849-1907;
M827, Interior DepartmentTerritorial Papers: Hawaii, 1898-1907;
M828, Interior Department Territorial Papers: Oklahoma, 1889-1912.

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

Records of the Bureau of Land Management (RG 49)

Administrative History

The General Land Office (GLO) was established within the Department of the Treasury by an act of April 25, 1812, to administer all public land transactions except surveying and map work (which came under the supervision of the GLO in 1836). In 1849, the GLO was transferred to the Department of the Interior where it was merged with the Grazing Service in 1946 to form the Bureau of Land Management. The Bureau classifies, manages, and disposes of public lands and their resources and administers Federally-owned mineral resources on non-Federal land and on the Outer Continental Shelf.

Records Description

Dates: 1853-1995
Volume: 3,519 cubic feet

Records of the Land Office, Carson City, Nevada (including land offices at Aurora, Austin/Eureka, Belmont/Pioche, and Elko, which were absorbed by the Carson City Land Office), 1862-1934, and the following land offices in California:

  • Eureka (formerly Humboldt), 1858-1924;
  • Independence (formerly Aurora, Nevada, and Bodie, California), 1871-1924;
  • Marysville, 1867-1925;
  • Redding (formerly Shasta), 1860-1924;
  • Sacramento, 1859-1945;
  • San Francisco (formerly Benicia and Oakland), 1908-27;
  • Stockton, 1861-1908;
  • Susanville, 1871-1926;
  • Visalia, 1861-1928.
The records concern land and mining claims. They document transactions relating to the disposal or use of public domain lands and their resources, including some Indian reservations and national forests. The records consist of case files; letters; registers of applications, entries, patents, and receipts; selection lists; and township and mineral tract books. (Many records of land offices abolished prior to 1955 may be found among the records of the California and Nevada State Offices, which absorbed their jurisdictions and continued their recordkeeping.) Nontextual records include separate series of township, mineral, Indian allotment, and other survey plats.

Records of the California State Office, 1853-1989, and the Nevada State Office, 1864-1995. The records concern environmental studies and plans, forest rehabilitation, grazing and range management, land tenure management, management of wild horses, mineral and lands casework, survey work, and administrative matters. Included are microfilm I24, Copies of [Nevada] Indian Reservation Survey Plats, 1861-1935, and microfilm T910,California Private Land Claims Dockets. The records consist of township tract books consolidated by State offices from former General Land Office districts, case files, circulars, correspondence, patented land entry case files, 1963-74, selection lists, and Spanish land grant registers, 1827-1845. Nontextual records include separate series of the following: plats for township, Indian allotment, mineral, national forest homestead, Spanish land grant, and other surveys; maps of California power projects and oil and gas fields; farm unit diagrams of the Newlands (Truckee-Carson) Reclamation Project; and photographs of the Palisades Fires in Nevada. Other maps are interfiled with textual records.

Records of the regional office, San Francisco, 1866-1951. The records relate to investigations of claims and land holdings, land contest cases, and administrative matters. Some records relate to the disposal of the Manzanar and Tule Lake Relocation Centers. The records consist of administrative files, case files, correspondence, field notes, registers, and other materials. Nontextual records include maps interfiled with textual records.

Records of the California District, Cadastral Engineering Service, 1870-1945. The records document survey matters and administrative operations and include circulars, correspondence, and survey case files. Nontextual records include maps interfiled with textual records.

Records of the Surveyor General of California, 1873-1921, and of Nevada, 1861-1920. The records concern survey work, including mineral and national forest surveys, and administrative matters. They include Spanish private land claim papers and surveys and plats made by the U.S. Surveyor General, (microfilm I17), as well as field notes, instructions, and letters. Nontextual records include maps interfiled with textual records.

Records of the field division, San Francisco, 1898-1930. The records relate to a court case involving oil lands and the Southern Pacific Railroad, land selections by the State of California, and administrative and operational matters. They consist of circulars, instructions, reports, testimony, and other records.

Records of the Nevada Land and Survey Office, 1912-54. The records concern land entry serial numbers, mineral surveys, and patents. They are registers.

Records of the following district offices:

  • Battle Mountain, Nevada, 1951-81;
  • Carson City, Nevada, 1929-75;
  • Elko, Nevada, 1913-79;
  • Ely, Nevada, 1935-80;
  • Folsom, California, 1962-74;
  • Redding, California, 1941-70;
  • Sacramento, California, 1908-66;
  • Susanville, California, 1935-83;
  • Ukiah, California, 1941-76;
  • Winnemucca, Nevada, 1935-80.
The records relate to environmental assessment, grazing and range management, range surveys, grazing appeals, forest resources, and watershed, wilderness, and wildlife inventories. Included are correspondence, field notes, and reports. Nontextual records include maps interfiled with textual records.

Records of the following Grazing Service field offices:

  • Elko, Nevada, 1938-41;
  • Reno, Nevada, 1932-46.
The records concern grazing district boundaries and range and economic studies. They include correspondence, reports, and tables. Nontextual records include maps interfiled with textual records.

Finding Aids

  • Box contents lists for many series.
  • Draft inventory of BLM-Nevada records (1996.)
  • Jo Ann Williamson, comp., Preliminary Inventory of the Records of the Bureau of Land Management, California (1978).
  • Microfilm Publications Concerning Spanish Private Land Grant Claims (nd, The National Archives at San Francisco.

Related Microfilm Publications

M8, Journal and Report of James L. Cathcart and James Hutton, Agents Appointed by the Secretary of the Navy to Survey Timber Resources Between the Mermentau and Mobile Rivers, 1818-1819;
M25, Miscellaneous Letters Sent by the General Land Office, 1796-1889;
M27, Letters Sent by the General Land Office to the Surveyor General, 1796-1901;
M68, List of North Carolina Land Grants in Tennessee, 1778-1791;
M145, Abstracts of Oregon Donation Land Claims, 1852-1903;
M848, War of 1812 Military Bounty Land Warrants, 1815-1858;
M1385, Unbound Records of the General Land Office Relating to Private Land Claims in Louisiana, 1805-1896;
M1621, Federal Land Recordsfor Oregon;
M1622, Federal Land Records for Washington, 1860-1910;
M1627, Records of the Bureau of Land Management, Surveyor General of Arizona, 1891-1950;
M1628, Recordsof the Bureau of Land Management, Phoenix General Land Office, 1873-1942;
M1629, Records of the Bureau of Land Management, Prescott General Land Office,1871-1908;
M1630, Records of the Bureau of Land Management, Los Angeles District Land Office, 1859-1936.

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