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Dear Mr. Micozzi,
Thank you for contacting the History Hub!
“Entries” are subsections of record groups. I will quote this answer from a NARA staffer: “[w]ithin each record group, records are divided into numbered series or “entries,” which are grouped based on the creating office and type of record. Some record groups have thousands of entries, so it can be daunting to try to figure out the best place to start.”
I was able to run your question by one of our reference archivists, Rose Buchanan, who works with civil records including Record Group 75. Here are the relevant parts of her response. You can see that she uses the terms “entry” and “series” interchangeably.
“First of all, I do not think that the series referenced by the researcher is PI-163 Entry 129, which is the only Entry 129 in RG 75 that we have here in DC. Our Entry 129 consists of departmental orders from 1916 to 1928. The NAID is 2123825.
I strongly suspect that the series that the researcher wants is at NARA at Fort Worth, along with other field office records of the Five Civilized Tribes Agency. (If the researcher did not know that records of the FCTA were at Fort Worth, he could find this information by checking our online Guide to Record Group 75, specifically under the tab for Oklahoma tribes.)
There are several ways that the researcher could search the catalog for this series, given the information that he has about the records. Each strategy involves using one or more of the catalog's Advanced Search options, refining the results by one of the categories on the left-hand side of the results page, and then sorting/browsing the results.
For example, the researcher could perform an initial Advanced Search for one or more of the following:
- "75" in the Record Group Number/Collection ID field
- "National Archives at Fort Worth" in the "Location of Archival Materials" field
- "Five Civilized Tribes Agency" in the Creator field
- "129" in the "Description Identifier" field
Depending on which options the researcher chose, he would then likely want to refine his results by "Date" (specifically by "1900-1909," which would capture any records that were inclusive of this time frame), and potentially by "Level of Description" (e.g. "Series"). Once he has those results, he could sort them by "Local Identifier" (an option underneath the "Sort" menu along the top right-hand side of the results page), and browse for records with "129" in their identifier.
That said, I performed various searches using these limiters and did not find a series that matched all of the information that the researcher has about the series (that it comes from RG 75, that its entry number/local identifier includes 129, that it is related to allotments at the Five Civilized Tribes Agency, and that it includes 27 volumes). I can think of several reasons why my search did not come up with anything definitive.
First, the entry number of the series may have changed, and only the new entry number is reflected in the catalog. Here in DC, most of our series that have been renumbered usually have both the old and new entry numbers listed on the catalog (under the "HMS/MLR Entry Number" and "Former HMS/MLR Entry Number" fields). This might not be the case for records at Fort Worth. I am not familiar enough with their records or their catalog entries to know for sure.
Second, the records might have been rehoused, and so the "Count" field (visible when looking at the catalog page for a particular series) might not list 27 volumes. For several of our series in RG 75 here in DC, we have rehoused two or more volumes from a series in a single box. Our old (print) finding aids and preliminary inventories still reflect the number of volumes that these series include, but the catalog only reflects the new number of boxes. This can be confusing when looking for a particular series based on a citation that used the old finding aids.
Finally, the researcher's original citation might have been incorrect to begin with, or we might have assumed incorrect things about this series. For example, there are records related to allotments for the Five Civilized Tribes in RG 48 (Records of the Office of the Secretary of the Interior), so we cannot automatically assume that the series is in RG 75 if the original citation did not specify the record group.
However, after looking through an old preliminary inventory for Fort Worth's records (available online through RootsWeb), I think that the original citation might have been describing Entry 163, "Letters Relating to Choctaws Sent by the Chairman to the Land Office, 1903-1908" (NAID 2430818). This series at one point contained 27 volumes about Choctaw allotments, although it looks like the series has been rehoused (based on the "Count" field in the catalog record). If this is the correct series, then the person who wrote the original citation might simply have mistyped the entry number.
All of this is to say, I recommend that the researcher contact the staff at NARA at Fort Worth directly about this series. Their staff would be much more knowledgable than I am about their preliminary inventories, series/entry numbers, etc. He can email their staff at: firstname.lastname@example.org.”
We hope this is helpful with your research and wish you all the best.
Thank you Katherine for your response. I failed to mentioned that the data is housed at the Fort Worth location under RG 75 and will try your updated search techniques to find out some more details. I will also look into RG 48 as well. There are entries 129-134A that deal with appraisal classifications that are listed by the Public Land Survey System after contacting the researchers at the Fort Worth location. There may be a total of 27 volumes among these entries (129-134A) since entry 132 has 13 volumes (per phone conversation). Thank you again for the advanced search techniques since I was lost on how to fill in those boxes.