The Federalist

Newsletter of the Society for History in the Federal Government The Federalist newsletter prints news of recent activities of the Society, its membership, and of important issues affecting federal history programs. Issues one-year-old and older are available online in PDF format at

Second Series, Issue 34, Summer 2012

Guatemala STD Studies, 1946-48

• Paul A. Lombard (Georgia State University) discusses the unethical study by the Public Health Service, how it came to light in 2010, and the work of the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues to investigate and report on the study under the President’s deadline.
• Robert Richards (National Archives at Atlanta) discusses the National Archives’ special efforts to accession and process records with highly sensitive content, and decisions on how to digitize and make available the records under short deadlines. It provides a valuable insight into archival decision-making and processing.

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• Combat Studies Institute: A profile of how this office produces contemporary military history, particularly its histories of army activities in Afghanistan. The Institute develops methodologies for absorbing, analyzing, and writing on current testimonies, reports, and other battleground documentation. Institute historians discuss the challenges of field oral histories and digital records.

• Brian F. Neumann (Army Center of Military History) analyzes the reasons why we can and must teach contemporary history. He reviews the objections that have been raised and argues that we can teach current history by guarding against bias and without taking a journalistic approach.

• FOIA MATTERS is a new column that introduces the Office of Government Information Services (OGIS) and how they assist researchers and government agencies in Freedom of Information issues.  Their work ranges from mediation to facilitation to ombuds services.

• From the Archives: Charles Downs (SHFG Archivist) looks at SHFG records relating to the Ethics Reform Act of 1989 and the Society’s involvement in refining that act. Especially controversial was the ban on honoraria for government employees.

• NDC Volume on Berlin Wall Documents introduces the Center’s new volume on their work to release documents related to the building of the wall.

• Book Review. Benjamin Guterman reviews Oral History and Public Memories (2008), eds., Paula Hamilton and Linda Shopes

• Making History. A regular roundup of news from federal history offices, nationwide.

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Second Series, Number 33, Spring 2012

  1. SHFG Conference Coverage. Summaries of the sessions at the March conference.
  2. Raymond W. Smock Receives Trask Award. A look at Dr. Smock’s talk on “The Value of History.”
  3. Conference Awards: A listing and images of the award winners.
  4. History Office Profile: Naval History and Heritage Command
  5. Atomic Bomb Casualty Commission, Daniel Barbiero
  6. From the Archives: Charles Downs (SHFG Archivist) looks at the story of the SHFG’s efforts to secure nonprofit status
  7. Making History: A regular roundup of news from federal history offices, nationwide.
  8. Federalist Calendar



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Second Series, Issue 32, Winter 2011-2012

32 Winter2012Federalist p1-cropped

1.  Extracting Science from History, by David F. Winkler
2.  President’s Message, by Matt Wasniewski
3.  From the Archives: The Archives II Users Group, by Charles Downs
4.  FRUS Sesquicentennial Research: Discovering Our Past, by William McAllister
5.  Army Establishes a New Career Program, by Richard Stewart
6.  The Arlington Cemetery Project, by Roderick Gainer
7.  History Office Profile: The Department of State’s Office of the Historian: A Time for Celebration, Reflection, and Innovation, by Ambassador Edward Brynn
8.  Making History

Second Series, Issue 31, Fall 2011

  1. Historian as Editor: The Correspondence of James K. Polk, by Michael David Cohen
  2. President’s Message, by Matt Wasniewski
  3. The Future of Preserving the Past: Perspectives from the National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program, by Trevor Owens
  4. National Cemetery Administration History Program: 10th Anniversary, by Sara Amy Leach
  5. New Perspectives on the U.S. House of Representatives: Oral History and Electronic Technology, by Albin J. Kowalewski
  6. Fellowships in Federal History: National Archives Announce s Peter Shulman the Recipient of the First Legislative Archives Fellowship
  7. From the Archives: Dennis Roth’s 10-Year History of the Society for History in the Federal Government, by Charles Downs
  8. Federal History Office Profile: Federal History at the Social Security Administration, by Larry DeWitt
  9. Making History

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Second Series, Issue 30, Summer 2011

  1. CIA’s Historical Review Program: Where the Past Becomes Declassified by Peter Nyren
  2. President’s Message by Matt Wasniewski
  3. Executive Council News
  4. C&O Canal Quarters: Unlocking the Doors to One of America’s Treasured Places by Angela R. Sirna and Sam Tamburro
  5. Sharing America’s History: National Park Service Collections On-Line at by Joan Bacharach
  6. A Militia, a Medical College, and a Judge: Winchester, Virginia’s, Connections to John Brown’s Raid by Ann Denkler and Daniel J. Radomski
  7. Federal History Office Profile: Update on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration History Office by Suzanne Junod
  8. Proceedings of the 1933 Special Industrial Recovery Board Now on the Department of Labor’s Historical Office Web Site
  9. From the Archives: The SHFG Archives by Charles Downs
  10. The Tully Archive by Benjamin Guterman
  11. Making History

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