FW: [APG Public List] Need some help in Italy

eshown at comcast.net eshown at comcast.net
Sat Feb 27 21:32:47 MST 2010

Craig K wrote
>Elizabeth, I don't think we have checked the US Embassy records. In fact,
had never thought of it, or even knew to think of it. How would one go about
doing that?
>Please tell me how to dig deeper into the State Department records.


For NARA's Records of the Department of State (RG 59), the starting place
would be those that are already filmed. There is a special microfilm catalog
that deals with some of them. It is now online at www.archives.gov.  NARA's
web page on which it describes all the microfilm catalogs
(http://www.archives.gov/publications/microfilm-catalogs.html) carries a
description of this catalog and instructions for accessing the online
version. I'm pasting in those description and instructions:

_Diplomatic Records: A Select Catalog of National Archives Microfilm
8 1/2" x 11", 245 pages
National Archives and Records Administration, 1986
#200029 Softcover $3.50
ISBN 0-911333-10-X 
This publication is available through our online Microfilm Catalog: 
1.From the main Microfilm Catalog page, click Advanced Search (next to the
Search button)
2.In the righthand column, under Subject Catalog, select "Diplomatic
3.Enter any related Subject Terms in the line above, such as a country name
4.Hit "Search"

Using this route, you can identify the available despatches from Italy.
Click on the title and it will take you to a page with a paragraph-or-so
description of that film. Then look to the right for the Adobe PDF icon
under "Publication Details" and click for the PDF'd version of the
Descriptive Pamphlet (DP) that goes with that series of film. Some of the
DPs have narrative discussions providing background on the record set; some
will simply give you the timeframe/whatever on each roll of film. Then
you'll need to access the identified film for actual research. 

Beyond that, bear in mind that much (most?) of what NARA possesses has not
been filmed. To burrow into the unfilmed textual records for the State
Department (which, as Honey said, is at NARA II, College Park), you should
start with this publication:

_Inventory of the General Records of the Department of State, 1789-1949_,
Inventory no. 15, microfiche edition (Washington: NARS, 1992).

Or check with Craig Scott at Heritage Books for a CD with the original print
edition. This inventory of the holdings will inform you about all kinds of
records that you never knew existed.

While you're at the website, you should also read the RG 59 section of
NARA's major guide, _Guide to Federal Records in the National Archives of
the United States._  The coverage is far less than what you'll find in
Inventory 15 (the printed version of the guide is 3 hefty volumes, 8.5" x
11", of which only 6 pages deal with RG 59), but it still provides a dense
and valuable overview.


Elizabeth Shown Mills, CG, CGL, FASG

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