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Refine Your Search by Record Group or Collection

If you’ve ever searched in the Catalog, you’re probably familiar with the refinements available with your search results in the left margin, e.g. Refine by Level of Description, Refine by Type of Materials, or Refine by Date. Well, now you can refine by record group or collection too. Previously, users were only able to limit their search by record group or collection in the advanced search, and the number or identifier had to be known and entered manually.

What is a Record Group?
A Record Group comprises the records of a major government entity, usually a bureau or an independent agency that created or maintained these records.  For example, National Archives Record Group 4 is Records of the U.S. Food Administration.

What is a Collection?
A Collection is an artificial accumulation of documents brought together on the basis of some characteristic (such as means of acquisition, creator, subject, language, media, form, name of collector) without regard to the source of the documents. 

For example, the collection "Franklin D. Roosevelt Political Papers" (Collection Identifier FDR-FDRPOL) is a collection donated by Roosevelt of his papers that relate to his pre-presidency political activities in the Democratic Party from December 1920  to January 1928.
Under this new refinement option, you will see a list of the records group numbers and/or collection identifiers that have results responsive to their search terms. These record groups and collections are sorted in descending order based on which have the most relevant results - you will see the number of relevant results next to each record group or collection listed.
Screenshot, Refine By: Record Group/Collection
An example of Refine by Record Group/Collection in a search result

For users who don’t know what a particular record group number of collection identifier means, they can hover over the number/identifier and see the full title of the record group or collection.

Screenshot, Refine By: Record Group/Collection
An example of the hover over option to see the full Record Group or Collection title.

This new refinement feature will help users narrow their results to the record groups or collections that are of interest to them. If you try the feature out, let us know how it works! We’d love to hear your feedback.

Your mission: NASA space flight program 

Continuing the 50th anniversary celebration of the Apollo 11 mission and moon landing, join us for a special citizen archivist mission featuring NASA film footage!

Within the NASA film holdings at the National Archives, you will find films relating to NASA space flight programs, including Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, Skylab, and the joint United States-Soviet Union program Apollo-Soyuz.

This incredible series of films includes footage of rigorous training exercises, mock run-throughs, launches, parachute and spacecraft recovery, and other astronaut activities, all detailing the meticulous steps involved in mission preparation and space exploration. 

Manned Spaceflight Center - Curriculum for Space Flight Astros Physical Fitness in Ellington Gym, 5/28/1964, National Archives Identifier: 70175124

We invite you to watch this fascinating series of NASA films, tagging descriptive details found within the films as you watch. You can tag names of astronauts, locations, launches, and even machinery and equipment; all of these details will help make these films more discoverable in our Catalog.

Read more about these films on the Unwritten Record blog: 

Get started tagging now! It’s still a challenge but easier than getting a man to the moon

Get started tagging!

Rightfully Hers

Our newest exhibition, Rightfully Hers: American Women and the Vote, is now open at the National Archives Building in Washington, DC.

Can’t attend in person? View our curator-led tour of the "Rightfully Hers" exhibit, with remarks from the Archivist of the United States and the Deputy Archivist of the United States.

Rightfully Hers Exhibit Tour at the National Archives
"Rightfully Hers" Exhibit Tour at the National Archives
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