National Archives


Enjoy these registered patent labels for products created for and marketed to women! From the shoe-damaging perils of driving a car to keeping your hands clean while cooking patty-shaped foods, inventors know what ladies need.

All of the labels are from Record Group 241, Records of the Patent and Trademark Office. These patent labels have been digitized and will soon be available in the National Archives Catalog (

29 Days of February - 29 Photos of African Americans throughout Naval History. ‪#‎BlackHistoryMonth‬

Original Caption:
US Navy African-American Navy Cross-awarded gun crew: Jonell Copeland, Que Gant, Harold Clark Jr., James Eddie Dockery, Alonzo Alexander Swann, Eli Benjamin; circa 1945. (National Archives Photo # 80-G-334029)

Join us for a Tumblr #AnswerTime on the Electoral College!

On Thursday, January 5, at 11 am ET / 8 am PT Oliver Potts and Amy Bunk from the Office of the Federal Register will be answering your questions about the Electoral College here on @usnatarchives​:

  • Who selects the Electors?
  • How is it possible for the electoral vote to produce a different result than the nationwide popular vote?
  • What is the difference between the winner-takes-all rule and proportional voting, and which states follow which rule?
  • Can electoral votes be contested when Congress counts the votes in January?

The Electoral College:

The Electoral College is a process, not a place. The Founding Fathers established it in the Constitution as a compromise between election of the President by a vote in Congress and election of the President by a popular vote of qualified citizens. This process consists of the selection of the electors, the meeting of the electors where they vote for President and Vice President, and the counting of the electoral votes by Congress.

The Federal Register:

The Office of the Federal Register (OFR) is a part of the National Archives. The OFR coordinates the functions of the Electoral College on behalf of the Archivist of the United States, the States, the Congress, and the American People. The OFR operates as an intermediary between the governors and secretaries of state of the States and the Congress. It also acts as a trusted agent of the Congress in the sense that it is responsible for reviewing the legal sufficiency of the certificates before the House and Senate accept them as evidence of official State action.

About Oliver & Amy:

Oliver Potts became the Director of the Office of the Federal Register (OFR) in 2015. His 15-year career in federal government included serving as Deputy Executive Secretary at the Department of Health and Human Services. Potts holds a BA in Government and Politics from George Mason University and a JD from the University of Connecticut School of Law.

Amy Bunk is the Director of Legal Affairs and Policy for the Office of the Federal Register, where she provides legal support to staff who review documents submitted for publication in the Federal Register and Code of Federal Regulations. She received her JD cum laude from Syracuse University College of Law.

Ask Oliver and Amy about the Electoral College!

This aerial photograph of Pearl Harbor was taken three days after the attack. The black streaks are oil leaking out of the sunken ships. The USS Arizona is on the bottom right.

(Official U.S. Navy Photograph, National Archives)


Thursday 10th September

Today the transcript of the trial of George and Anne Boleyn not only made me very emotional but also proved to be the most beautiful thing I have ever seen. It also made me wish I could read Latin, but luckily I’ve read so much about it that I know a lot of it anyway.


Oswald’s Radio

When Lee Harvey Oswald was arrested for the assassination of President Kennedy, the contents of his house were removed by law enforcement. This radio, known as FBI Exhibit A2, was one of the items seized. It was recently in the conservation lab for a new custom box that will permanently house it and associated items. The inner compartments are lined with Ethafoam for cushioning, and the radio and its case can be safely removed using the included tabs and supports.RG 272, FBI Exhibit A2

Join me, Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero, for a Tumblr #AnswerTime!

On Friday, July 1, at 11 am ET / 8 am PT, I’ll be answering your questions here on @aotus:

Ask me a question!

About David S. Ferriero

David S. Ferriero was confirmed as 10th Archivist of the United States in November 2009. The National Archives and Records Administration is responsible for preserving and providing access to the records of the U.S. Government. NARA has 43 facilities across the country, including 13 Presidential Libraries, containing approximately 13 billion pages of textual records; 43 million photographs; miles and miles of film and video, and an ever increasing number of electronic records. Previously, Mr. Ferriero served as the Andrew W. Mellon Director of the New York Public Libraries and held top library positions at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Duke University. And he loves to make pancakes for the Archives Sleepover.


Today marks the 225th anniversary of Alexander Hamilton’s Report on Manufactures to the House of Representatives.  

This special exhibit of Alexander Hamilton’s Report on the Subject of Manufactures is on display until January 31, 2017.

This was his last of his foundational reports on the economy, national debt, and financial condition of the early republic. The report called for “special and positive encouragement” from the government to help American manufacturers compete with more fully developed foreign industries. 

Hamilton believed government aid to industry would help farmers by increasing demand for products of the soil and providing cheaper manufactured goods.  
Congress passed a modestly protective tariff in 1792 to encourage some lines of economic activity, but members opposed Hamilton’s request to provide direct government aid to manufactures as an unconstitutional assertion of power. 

Hamilton’s vision foretold the future role of industry in America and laid the foundation for the American economic system.

Document: Report of the Secretary of the Treasury on the Subject of Manufactures, December 5, 1791, Records of the U.S. House of Representatives

Happy Birthday to Mickey Mouse!

Soon after his debut in Steamboat Willie on November 18, 1928, Mickey Mouse and his creator, Walt Disney, were in court.  This exhibit can be found in the infringement of trademark case, Walt Disney v. Pathe Exchange, etal, filed by Disney’s lawyers on March 30, 1931.  The Walt Disney company won this case (and many others).  

We love this document because Mickey and Minnie can stay so positive, even as their fate is being litigated!  

From the holdings of the National Archives at Riverside, Records of District Courts of the United States (RG 21).


Ratified Indian Treaty #8, more commonly referred to at the Treaty of Fort Pitt was recently treated in the Conservation Laboratory.  Signed in what is present-day Pittsburgh in 1778, it is the first treaty negotiated between a Native American tribe and the United States after its independence. This fragile record had been laminated between sheets of thin tissue and cellulose acetate film, probably in the mid-20th century.  The red resin seals at the bottom right had been cut from the record before lamination and reattached afterwards. Prior to lamination a number of pieces of pressure-sensitive tape had been used to repair tears.  Conservation treatment included reducing the lamination through immersion in a series of acetone baths to dissolve the cellulose acetate and release the tissue layers.  The pressure sensitive tapes were removed after delamination.  Next, the record was immersed in a series of deionized water baths to reduce discoloration and acidity.   Remaining treatment steps included realigning the record which was in a number of pieces after delamination; lining the document with Japanese mulberry paper adhered with wheat starch paste, infilling losses with cotton and linen paper pulp, toning the infills with watercolors, and reattaching the resin seals.
[RG 11, Ratifed Indian Treaty #8]

The Archivist of the United States posted this today after people freaked out that Michelle Obama reminded everyone that the White House was built by slaves. They then had the audacity to try downplay just how bad slavery was as a whole. 

Here you go. Primary source documentation. 


In case you wanted more, here is a receipt for the purchase of a slave who worked on the White House.


Articles of Confederation, 03/01/1781.

Item From: Records of the Continental and Confederation Congresses and the Constitutional Convention. (03/02/1781-03/04/1789).

The Articles of Confederation, often called this Nation’s first constitution, defined the former colonies as a confederation of 13 sovereign states bound loosely in a “league of friendship.” This document consists of six sheets of parchment stitched together. The last sheet bears the signatures of delegates from all 13 states.


In celebration of American Archives Month, the National Archives is teaming up with the The Academy of American Poets. Throughout the month we’ll be publishing original poems inspired by the holdings of the National Archives. To view the poets performing their original work, visit the National Archives YouTube Channel.

Today’s poem, “Much Tattooed Sailor Aboard USS New Jersey” by Jehanne Dubrow, was inspired by a photograph of sailors during World War II.

Lt. Comdr. Charles Fenno Jacobs took this photograph of two sailors in December 1944. Jacobs was part of the Naval Aviation Photographic Unit—a group of military photographers, under the command of Edward Steichen, who documented activities of the United States Navy during World War II.

For the full story, including Jehanne Dubrow’s poem and video, go to today’s Piece of History post:

Image: Much tattooed sailor aboard the USS New Jersey. 12/1944. (National Archives Identifier 520883).

Cocktail Construction Chart, 1974

Item From: Record Group 95: Records of the Forest Service, 1870 - 2008

An instruction sheet for creating cocktails.  Follow the drawings from the US Department of Agriculture Forest Service to learn how to make various alcoholic beverages from around 1974.


can we please flashback to the time I went to go see the Declaration of Independence and I got stopped by a security guard who then told me all about how he met Nic on the set of National Treasure and everywhere I went in the National Archives people were pointing me out to their moms and stuff (I’d like to believe they were worried I was going to steal the Declaration but who knows) and then I bought my own little Dec just like Ben Gates in the movie

aka the best and happiest moment of my life