I have now been able to ascertain that the relevant area of the NA is Record Group 200.
- How do I go about accessing an specific Record Group?
- Is supporting documentation required before I can access the records for an individual who is now deceased? (I am not a US resident.)
Again, any help/direction would be much appreciated.
Dear Mr. Franks,
Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!
American Red Cross personnel records are in the custody of the American Red Cross Historical Programs and Collections. To inquire about their holdings, please email them at Redcrosshistory@redcross.org. You also may email Archivist Susan Robbins Watson at Susan.Watson@redcross.org. Ms. Watson is the manager of the Historical Programs and Collections. When you contact them, please provide the full name of the person you are researching and any details you have about her service. Please note that personnel records are in off-site storage. Since the Red Cross archivists are currently working remotely because of the COVID-19 public health crises, their response may be delayed.
Because what was then designated the American National Red Cross (ANRC) is not a federal agency, its records normally would not be in the custody of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). However, NARA has accepted donations of some of the records from the ANRC that are incorporated into the Records of the American National Red Cross (Collection ANRC). Record Group 200 used to be the record group for donated materials. That designation is no longer used and donated materials are now identified by alphabetical designations of specific collections.
Even though the ANRC records in NARA custody do not include personnel files, there are record series that may provide some documentation of a specific category of service by Red Cross personnel who served during World War II. We searched the National Archives Catalog and located three series titled Historical Nurse Files, ca. 1916 - ca. 1959; Rosters of World War II Overseas Personnel; and Canteen Corps Roll Books, 1933 - 1945 in the ANRC Collection. The first two series have file unit listings. There are no access restrictions on these records. For access to these series and file units, please contact the National Archives at College Park - Textual Reference (RDT2) via email at Archives2reference@nara.gov.
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-prioritization of activities, you may experience a delay in receiving an initial acknowledgement as well as a substantive response to your reference request from RDT2. We apologize for this inconvenience and appreciate your understanding and patience.
There also are some Red Cross related records in the custody of the Library of Congress. For example, we located American Red Cross activities during World War II; from the archives of the American Red Cross that includes photographs.
We hope this is helpful. Best of luck with your family research!
Many thanks for this comprehensive reply.
I am learning the hard way that the first lesson of research is how to research. I am sure that the information you have provided will be a sure jumping off point to progress.
I appreciate your time and effort to put me on the right path.