1 Reply Latest reply on Apr 9, 2021 12:17 PM by Anna Smallwood

    Seeking my father's FBI records

    Courtney Bosworth Newbie

      I know my father was in the FBI as a special agent in the 1950s and that is about it.  Are there records I can access that tell me a little more?  He passed away when I was two and I don't know much else.

        • Re: Seeking my father's FBI records
          Anna Smallwood Wayfarer

          Dear Courtney Bosworth:

           

          Thank you for posting your inquiry on History Hub!

           

          If you have not done so already, we suggest starting with his Official Personnel File (OPF). Since you mentioned he worked in the 1950s, we included information about requesting records prior to and after 1952.

           

          Prior to 1952

           

          Official Personnel Files (OPFs) and medical information for individuals who worked for the U.S. government in a civilian capacity prior to 1952 are in the custody of the National Archives at St. Louis P.O. Box 38757, St. Louis, MO 63138. Please include full name used during Federal employment, date of birth, Social Security Number (if applicable), name and location of employing Federal agency, beginning and ending dates of Federal Service. For more information, the web site is http://www.archives.gov/st-louis/archival-programs/civilian-personnel-archival/index.html.

           

           

          Since 1952

           

          Official Personnel Files (OPFs) and medical information for individuals who worked for the U.S. government in a civilian capacity since 1952 are in the custody of NARA's National Personnel Records Center. Written requests may be mailed or faxed to National Personnel Records Center Annex, 1411 Boulder Boulevard, Valmeyer, IL 62295. The fax number is 618-935-3014. Please include full name used during Federal employment, date of birth, Social Security Number (if applicable), name and location of employing Federal agency, and beginning and ending dates of Federal service. Certain information in the OPF may not be available to the general public without the written consent of the individual. For more information, please check their web site at http://www.archives.gov/st-louis/civilian-personnel/index.html.

           

           

          Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and pursuant to guidance received from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), NARA has adjusted its normal operations to balance the need of completing its mission-critical work while also adhering to the recommended social distancing for the safety of NARA staff. As a result of this re-prioritizagtion of activities, you may experience a delay in receiving an initial acknowledgement as well as a substantive response to your reference request from RRPO (The National Archives at St. Louis). Also, NPRC will continue servicing requests ONLY associated with medical treatments, burials, and homeless veterans seeking admittance to a homeless shelter. If your request is urgent, please see Emergency Requests and Deadlines. Please refrain from submitting non-emergency requests such as replacement medals, administrative corrections, or records research until NPRC returns to pre-COVID staffing levels. Please check archives.gov/veterans for updates to the NPRC operating hours and status. We apologize for this inconvenience and appreciate your understanding and patience.

           

          FBI Records

           

          The National Archives at College Park holds nearly 70,000 cubic feet of investigatory case files of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, covering records created and maintained from roughly 1896 to 2001. While the National Archives has accessioned these Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) records, they are not easily searchable.


          Before a search can be made for records responsive to your inquiry, first you must submit a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request directly to the FBI requesting one of two items: 1) Responsive files that remain in their (FBI’s) custody, or 2)  File designations (case file numbers) for records transferred to the National Archives. It is possible that the FBI can search for case files by agent, but the first step would be to submit a FOIA to the FBI to see if such an index exists.


          You may visit https://www.fbi.gov/services/information-management/foipa for more information. Or, you can make your request at https://efoia.fbi.gov/#home.

           

          If the FBI provides you with file designations for records transferred to the National Archives, you should then submit a FOIA to NARA so that we may conduct a search. Please note that even if the records are in NARA custody, they may not be available for immediate public use. The FBI case files are arranged by case number; they are not name or subject searchable. With the case numbers, we are then able to verify if a file is in our custody and available for access. FBI case file designators typically are in the form of ##-AA-####. This is the number that NARA requires to access FBI records.


          Nearly 25% of our FBI holdings are Classified; a total of 78% of Record Group 65 series have access restrictions. Once you have the file designations provided by the FBI, please provide that information to NARA’s Special Access team so that we may review the material. You may email your request to specialaccess_foia@nara.gov.

           

          We hope this information is helpful to your family research!