National Archives Publishes New Guide to WWII Records

The National Archives announces publication of World War II: Guide to Records Relating to U.S. Military Participation compiled by retired staff archivist and subject specialist Timothy P. Mulligan. Dr. Mulligan has prepared eight previous guides and other finding aids to captured German and related records and is the author of three books, as well as more than 15 articles on World War II subjects.

Published in two volumes, this important new guide represents the most comprehensive and detailed finding aid to World War II source materials in the custody of the National Archives of the United States. These include records of:

* Combined Allied staffs and organizations

* U.S. Army and Navy administrative and operational headquarters, logistical and technical services, and field commands (including Army Air Forces headquarters and commands)

* Some civilian agencies involved in war production, scientific research and development, and intelligence collection and evaluation

Descriptions of records extend to the series level, with examples given of specific documents. Although these materials emphasize the period December 1941 through September 1945, extensive documentation of the interwar and pre–Pearl Harbor period is also included. The guide also identifies, where such information is available, pertinent Federal records still in agency custody, and locations of other closely related materials—for example, personal papers of key figures.

Information is organized by subject in chapters reflecting aspects of the U.S. wartime effort. Topics include planning and strategy; administering the defense establishment; mobilization and training; armaments production and procurement; guarding the home base; support and services; contributions of science and technology; intelligence; the wars at sea and in the air; military operations in the European, Mediterranean, and Pacific/Asiatic Theaters; and prosecution of war crimes.

The book supplements the two-volume guide published by the National Archives in 1950, Federal Records of World War II, in particular volume II, Military Agencies, which is out of print. Where Federal Records of World War II emphasized the functions and activities of specific agencies and subordinate offices to describe records created during the war, the new guide focuses on the permanently valuable records that have been transferred to the National Archives.

The 1,088-page two-volume set is available in hardcover for $75 (plus shipping and handling) from the National Archives Trust Fund, eStore.

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