2 Replies Latest reply on Sep 26, 2020 2:16 PM by Edward Lanfranco

    Seeking records of USIS & activities in China


      I have five USIS documents in Chinese that I acquired at a Beijing flea market: #165 has a picture of Douglas MacArthur and summarizes a speech he gave; #166 has pictures of Chinese delegates and machinery at an engineering conference; #167 shows Chinese and other women at a UN event; and the last two #169 &170 are about US grain shipments to China 1945-1946. My questions are: (1) what information is available concerning the formation and history of the USIS, not the USIA?; and (2) are there any resources about the USIS's activities in China?

        • Re: Seeking records of USIS & activities in China
          Thomas Richardson Navigator

          Dear Mr. Lanfranco,


          Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!


          The United States Information Service (USIS) was established in the Office of Government Reports. In 1942, USIS became the Division of Public Inquiries of the Bureau of Special Services, Domestic Operations Branch, Office of War Information (OWI). USIS was reestablished in the reconstituted Office of Government Reports following the termination of OWI, and it took over the records of the OWI's Bureau of Special Services.


          We searched the National Archives Catalog and located 1 series, 4 file units & 5 items in the Records of the Foreign Service Posts of the Department of State (Record Group 84) that include USIS & China during the 1940s. The items are digitized. We also checked the Records of the Office of Government Reports (Record Group 44) and located 37 results for the Bureau of Special Services. For access to the non-digitized records, please contact the National Archives at College Park - Textual Reference (RDT2) via email at archives2reference@nara.gov.


          In addition, we located the Photographs Depicting "Life in the United States", 1942 - 1946 in the Records of the Office of War Information (Record Group 208) that includes the file unit STATE DEPARTMENT - USIS - China. For access to these photographs, please contact the National Archives at College Park - Still Pictures (RDSS) via email at stillpix@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 and RDSS. We apologize for this inconvenience and appreciate your understanding and patience.


          We hope this is helpful. Best of luck with your research!