The National Coalition for History (NCH) reports the following:  “This week, the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) announced that it has made available for the first time online more than 5.2 million records of some passengers who arrived during the last half of the 19th century at the ports of Baltimore, Boston, New Orleans, New York, and Philadelphia. The records can be accessed through NARA’s online Access to Archival Databases (AAD).The records were transcribed from original ship manifests into electronic databases by Temple University’s Center for Immigration Research at The Balch Institute. The Center donated the digital records to the National Archives. The records are known as Data Files Relating to the Immigration of Germans to the United States, 1850-1897; Data Files Relating to the Immigration of Italians to the United States, 1855-1900; and Data Files Relating to the Immigration of Russians to the United States, 1834-1897.”

 Besides the passenger lists, the NARA website also includes a “What’s New?” section. There are Central Policy files that consist of telegrams, and indexes to air grams, memoranda, correspondence, reports, diplomatic notes and related material of historical significance.                                              

The “AAD Highlights” section includes the records of the use of ammunition by the 527th Military Police Company in the defense of the U.S. embassy in Saigon during the Tet offensive, Jan 31, 1968.

Some of the more popular documents are WWII Army Enlistment Records, Records for passengers who arrived at the Port of New York during the Irish famine, and records with unit information on military personnel who died during the Vietnam War.