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Old 8th May 2019, 02:05
ArtieBob ArtieBob is offline
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Re: Air Technical Index documents

Captured German Documents in the USA

Hope that this may be of some help with the ATI documents, although it is not just about those. My visits to the USAF
Museum began in 1953 and continued for about the next 50 years. When going through the files, the index to
the captured document microfilms was one of the items encountered. The index was about 5000 pages, IIRC 10 or 12
entries per page, printed from IBM punch cards. Each entry consisted of the name of the document in German and English,
author. date, no. of pages, a brief synopsis, descriptors for searching the files and the microfilm reel and frame no.
The documents were mostly German, but also some Japanese and Italian. The microfilms were not at the museum, having
already been transferred to the Smithsonian. Most, BUT NOT ALL of the original documents had also been returned to Germany
and appear to be at BAMA. The residue was at one time mostly at either: the USAFM archives or Smithsonian (now USA NASM).
The Smithsonian also received a 3x5 card index based on the microfim index.

During the first 20 years or so the USAFM archive operated as a lending library, and would loan original documents,
photos, etc. This was really a boon for researchers, especially in the days before copying machines. The down side
was some material had appreciable value and was stolen, eventually ending the loan system. I was fortunate to have
borrowed and copied the entire microfilm index as soon as low cost copying was available. Since I am not working
actively in that area, I gave the index away a few years ago, it is probably one of very few copies available.

So, my guess is about 50,000 of the captured 110,000 documents were microfilmed and indexed before return to Germany.
Working in the files it was pretty obvious there were a lot of documents that had not been microfilmed or indexed. Now
to the films; the numbering is complex, the sequence random, there are documents not where they are supposed to be
and documents on film, not indexed. My technique was to scan each reel completely and if there was significant content,
to make a crude reel index. In the 30 or so years of researching the films, probably went through about 1500 reels,
or about a million document pages. My primary interest was in Junkers, but if I saw something that seemed interest-
ing, I printed it. These items will hopefully get future posting on my Ju 88 website, which is several years behind

Understand, when people make noise about using European sources that the provenance of a considerable amount of Luft-
waffe material includes its time in the USA and in addition, some material that has come here and never left.

This post has gotten pretty long so will stop here for tonight. If there is any interest in the USNavy film, US National
Archives holdings, AHRA, Paris, etc., I will continue this thread later.

Best Regards,

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