Jefferson National Expansion Memorial Research Reports
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The Secretary of the Interior, through the National Park Service, was instructed by Executive Order of the President on December 21, 1935, to acquire 38 city blocks within the City of St. Louis at and near the site of Old St. Louis and to develop and preserve it as Jefferson National Expansion Memorial under the terms of the Historic Buildings and Sites Act of August 21, 1935.Under the terms of this Act, the Secretary of the Interior, through the National Park Service, was given the power to, and instructed to, secure and preserve drawings, photographs, and other data of historic and archeological sites and buildings.He was further instructed to make a survey of the historic and archaeological sites and buildings and to make necessary investigations relating to particular sites and buildings to obtain accurate information concerning them.
This collection began as a series of reports generated about those sites and buildings.It now consists of more than 250 reports that deal with a wide variety of subjects ranging from information about specific buildings to biographies of historical personalities; from the study of architecture in St. Louis to methods used to construct sod houses; from projections of cost estimates for the entire JNEM to the role of Native Americans in westward expansion; from weather data to a study of plant life to be considered for inclusion in the Memorial area.The subjects are as diverse as a project of the magnitude of building the memorial would indicate.
These reports were written by dozens of people and range in length from one or two pages to hundreds of pages.The reports were written during the 1930's through the 1990's.Over 350 photographs, mostly in the form of photostatic copies, are sprinkled throughout the collection.Several reports include maps, scale drawings, or other visual materials pertinent to the report's subject matter.Numbered reports were assigned numbers arbitrarily and are arranged numerically. Unnumbered reports are arranged alphabetically. Capitalization is inconsistent throughout the various reports and the inconsistencies in this finding aid reflect the usage in the original documents.
Series 1. Numbered Research Reports
This series contains research reports written by authors, mostly park employees, on various topics relating to westward expansion, the city of St. Louis, and Jefferson National Expansion Memorial.These reports are arranged numerically by report number.
Series 2. Unnumbered Research Reports
These reports deal with a variety of subjects concerning St. Louis and the West including: Civil War battles, American art, means of transport, and many others.The staff of Jefferson National Expansion Memorial wrote most of the reports; but some came from writers outside the park.The reports are dated from 1935 to 1961.These reports never received a number and are arranged alphabetically.
Series 3. Historian's Reports
This series consists of reports on various topics of historical interest concerning St. Louis and the West.Michael Capps, park historian from 1988-1989, wrote all of the reports except for the Background Paper on the Old Rock House, which was the work of former park archivist Harry Heiss.Some of the Museum Gazettes produced by Jefferson National Expansion Memorial were based on these reports.