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Searching at The National Archives

This week we sent a couple of our top agents out to The National Archives in Washington DC and Maryland on a mission to find new and interesting documents that we can digitize and put on Footnote.

Details are still spotty, but they did send back some pictures.

Krista (in black) investigating the stacks at the National Archives building on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington DC.

Krista (in black) investigating the stacks with help from the NARA staff.

Perusing some paper documents.  Shouldn't there be some gloves in this picture?

Perusing paper documents. Shouldn't there be some gloves in this pictures?

We can’t wait to hear the full report from the trip and look forward to starting work on some great new content.


  1. Files from where the government took over property from private owners would be helpful – I had relatives who were dispossessed when Camp Butner was set up in Granville County, North Carolina during the World War II era. (Those files are at the southeastern regional archive in Morrow, Georgia [metro Atlanta].)

  2. I was wondering about the gloves! Would love to see more pictures of this place. It looks so “orderly.” I wonder how it smells. Does it smell like cardboard? Or does it smell like “old stuff?”

  3. Actually, our curator recommends NOT using gloves to handle very old paper and when looking at old books, when the paper is brittle and threatens to crumble. Gloves make your fingers less nimble and you are more likely to damage the edges of the document/paper/book pages. She practices the “wash & dry your hands thoroughly” method when handling items like this, and that goes for our patrons as well. Photos, now that’s different – gloves 100%!!

  4. I was about to say the same thing about gloves! I’ve seen far too many pages ripped because of the loss of dexterity from wearing gloves. There is an excellent article in the
    December 2005, No.37, of International Preservation News written by Cathleen A. Baker and Randy Silverman that pretty well debunks using white gloves with documents.

  5. I hope they choose some more early records. I am especially interested in the war of 1812, the Blackhawk War and other Indian wars.

  6. Images needed desperately for anything in 17th 18th centuries in southern states. Repeat: the document images are vital; wills, deeds, land grants, military rosters, military applications, names of participants in Indian skirmishes, ANYTHING. The northern states are far better covered (probably had more intellectual society, higher average incomes, more education, etc.).