The National Archives Welcomes Its First Researcher on October 21, 1936:
Nelson Vance Russell Issues First Researcher Card to Thomas M. Spaulding*, October 21, 1936
Established 80 years ago on June 19, 1934, the National Archives opened to researchers (then known as “investigators”) in 1936. The first researcher, Thomas Spaulding visited on October 21, when he was presented with the coveted Researcher Card No. 1 by Chief of the Division of Reference, Nelson Vance Russell, and signed the official Register of Investigators. The building officially opened to researchers on November 2, 1936 but it’s unknown why Spaulding rated a special early preview.
Today’s post comes via Alan Walker, an archivist in Research Services at the National Archives in College Park, Maryland.
(*Thomas Spaulding is incorrectly identified as Oliver Spaulding in the original photo caption, the name of his well-known father and brother.)