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Deciphering the NARA code

NARA Archival material is categorized by record groups and series. Take a glance at the table below and you will see that knowing some basic “identifiers” can accelerate your research. Here is a partial list containing the most popular record groups. We hope this helps you see the depth of our “library.”

Here’s a quick example of the sequence which goes from broad to specific.

208 UN 1
208 = Record Group
UN = Series
1 = the unique identifier number within this Record Group and Series

Record GroupDescription
16 PUS Dept. of Agriculture Public Information and Training
18 ATCAir Transport Command of the Army Air Forces
18 CCombat Film Report - US Army Air Forces
18 CSUS War Department Army Air Forces
18 CWDCombat Weekly digest (Army Air Forces)
18 SFPCombat Subjects
26Moving Images Relating to Coast Guard Activities
28Post Office Department
33Department of Agriculture
46Records of the US Senate
47Records of the Social Security Administration
48Department of Interior/National Park Service, etc
56US Department of the Treasury
57US Department of the Interior: Geological Survey
59General Record
65Records of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
70US Bureau of Mines Public Information
77Army Corps of Engineers
80 MCUS Dept of Navy - Commercial Works
80 MNUS Navy Motion Picture Film Productions
85Records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service
87Records of the US Secret Service
90US Public Health Service
95Forest Service Public Announcements
96US Department of Agriculture - Farm Security Administration
102Department of Labor. Children's Bureau
107Secretary of War Records
111 ADCUS Army World War II training & combat films
111 CBCombat Bulletin, US Army
111 CRCampaign Report, US Army
111 EFEducational Films of US Army
111 FBFilm Bulletins, US Army
111 HDepartment of Army Historical Films
111 LCUS Army Library Copy Collection
111 MUS Army World War II Miscellaneous
111 OFUS Army Orientation Films
111 SFPStaff Film Reports, US Army
111 SMWorld War II Army-Navy Screen Magazine
111 TFTraining Films, US Army
111 TVBig Picture Television Program, US Army
111 WFWar Film, US Army
115Department of the Interior; Bureau of Reclamation
127Records of US Marine Corps - Additional
127 RUS Marine Corps Records
171Office of Emergency Management: Civilian Defense
174Department of Labor
175US Military Chemical and Biological Warfare Program
200.Gift Record Group
200 CBS-WWICBS Collection, rights conferred to US Govt in 1986
200 FCFord Motor Company
200 HFHarmon Foundation Collection
200 LWLongines Wittnauer 1950s Television Interview Series
200 MTTMarch of Times Outtakes
200 PN Paramount News-fully restricted. No reproduction without prior permission
200 UN Universal Newsreels
207US Department of Housing and Urban Development
208Office of War Info: Propaganda
208 UNUnited News
226Office of Strategic Services
238World War II War Crimes Records
242Seized Foreign Property - Emergency Management
242 GPNGerman Portuguese News
242 MIDMilitary Intelligence Div. Seized Foreign Records
255 HQNASA Headquarters Series- Aeronautics
255 SNational Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
263Intelligence and International Relations
266Securities and Exchange Commission Records
286US Office of International Development
306US Information Agency (USIA) Records
330 DVICMilitary Activities Around the World; Office of the Secretary of Defense
342 APCArmy Pictorial Center Motion Picture Films
342 FCUS Air Force Film Clips
342 NRUS Air Force News Releases
342 SFPUS Air Force Special Film Projects
342 TFUS Air Force Training Film Series
342 USAFRecords of United States Air Force Commands
428 MN US Dept of Navy - General Edited Works
428 NPCDepartment of the Navy
434Department of Energy