3 Replies Latest reply on Mar 27, 2017 7:47 AM by Judith Haran

    Rumored index to Guide series, RG 242?


      I keep seeing references in journal articles and books (from years ago)  about the "plan" to create a "computerized index" to the series of 99 Guides to German Records; here is a quote from the 1974 book edited by the famed Robert Wolfe:  "Our goal should be to prepare a computer-assisted subject, major-name, and provenance index to the finding aids -- not to the microfilm itself -- of the Alexandria collections. . .eventually we should extend this to our BDC, Tambach and Nürnberg microfilm and records with cross-references to finding aids of the Foreign Ministry and Reich Chancellery records and to related reference holdings of other domestic and foreign institutions."


      I've just done a thorough literature search on this topic (for a grad school class) and am unable to determine that such an index was ever created. Am I missing something? Can someone who works at NARA clarify this? I don't think the general online catalog is the same thing.  Perhaps this guide exists and one has to visit NARA in person to use it? Or perhaps one needs a security clearance to use this guide? (I haven't found a single reference to it actually existing.) If anyone knows the answer to this, please clarify - thanks!!

        • Re: Rumored index to Guide series, RG 242?

          I just performed a cursory look on the shelf in the finding aides room (inside room 2000 at A2 College Park).  There appear to be five binders of printed finding aides material; perhaps more in boxes and other binders.  I asked about an online or computerized index and the archival specialists on duty this afternoon had not heard of it.

          If there was never an attempt to compile an index, it sounds like a good project for a university to undertake, because I know NARA doesn't have the staff and with the current state of budgetary fllux, it isn't likely to get special funding for such a thing.  Perhaps a group of researchers could come up with a plan to make a index or wiki style guide. 


          As there doesn't appear to be an all-name or all-subject index, the preliminary giudes, or descriptive pamphlets which have been digitized may serve as a place to start.  Here is an example of No 36 -



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          • Re: Rumored index to Guide series, RG 242?
            Rachael Salyer Ranger

            Dear Judith,


            The index that Robert Wolfe described does not exist. It seems that he was describing the sort of guide that he would have liked to create (or would like to have seen created), but that plan never came to fruition.


            There are individual indexes and guides for many of the microfilm publications that are part of the Captured German Records. And although not all of them are available online, some of them can be found through the hyperlinks here: Collection of Foreign Records Seized | National Archives


            You can also search our microfilm catalog for the specific publication number you're interested in. On this page--Request and Order Reproductions--you can enter the microfilm publication number. For example, T70A is Guide #22 Records of the Reich Ministry for Public Enlightenment and Propaganda. Select the "View Important Publication Details" link from the T70A page in the microfilm catalog to view this guide.


            For access to the individual guides and indexes that have not been digitized and are not available online, you would need to visit the Microfilm Reading Room at the National Archives in College Park, Maryland.


            Finally, just a general note regarding your question about needing a security clearance to access a guide or index: finding aids, indexes, guides, etc. created at the National Archives would not be classified documents. They might not currently be available online, but they would be readily available to anyone who visits our research rooms.


            I hope this helps clarify things a bit. Good luck with your continued research!

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              • Re: Rumored index to Guide series, RG 242?

                Thanks. For the benefit of future readers, I'll just mention that PDF versions of all 99 Guides to Records Microfilmed at Alexandria ARE ONLINE but only at this person's research site (I have downloaded several of them) - his site is a goldmine of information: (Don't be put off by the name, it's only about military history!)

                Sturmpanzer.com - Sturmpanzer and WW2 German Army Research


                The list of 99 Guides occupies the bottom 2/3 of this page. Other pages have  additional useful info.  Clicking on the "Research" tab brings up a page with another 15 NARA guides, all downloadable, to other parts of the record.

                Anyone with any interest in the German Army, German WW2 ministries, etc etc, would be well served by spending some time on this site. I haven't found anything elsewhere that has so much info in such an accessible format. I believe all of this is an individual effort. I've been in touch with the person behind it and he is extremely nice and helpful. (Plus, if you're into tanks, he has pages and pages of tank photos. Not my thing, but clearly of interest to many.)

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