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Asian American Comparative Collection:
The Kooskia Internment Camp Project:
Obtaining Department of Justice (DOJ) Closed Legal Case Files (CLCF) from the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA)


Priscilla Wegars, Ph.D., Volunteer Curator
Laboratory of Anthropology
University of Idaho
P. O. Box 441111
Moscow, Idaho 83844-1111 USA
208-885-7075
pwegars@uidaho.edu

Obtaining Department of Justice (DOJ) Closed Legal Case Files (CLCF) from the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA)

The DOJ/CLCF for persons interned as so-called "enemy aliens" are in Record Group 60 of the National Archives, housed at College Park, MD. They are filed by the individualís DOJ number, and these numbers always begin with "146-13-_______." NARA can look the number up if it is not on documents already in your possession. If they reply saying they cannot find it, suggest they look for the reversal of first and last names, and/or suggest alternate spellings.

It is now possible to apply for the DOJ records online, although you cannot see the actual records; thanks to Carol Inouye-Matthews and Richard Peuser for providing the link. If you do not have Internet access, below is a sample letter that can be revised to suit individual circumstances. The person to write to is:

Fred Romanski
Textual Archives Services Division
Room 2600 (Civilian Records)
National Archives at College Park
8601 Adelphi Road
College Park, MD 20740-6001

Dear Mr. Romanski:

Priscilla Wegars gave me your name as the person to contact regarding files for individuals who were so-called "enemy aliens" during World War II. I am researching my grandfather who was at the Immigration and Naturalization Service's Kooskia Internment Camp. I would be grateful if you could check the name index for the Department of Justice Closed Legal Case Files, RG60, Class 146-13, for the following person:

Name Date of Birth Alien Registration # Internee Serial #

[Note: The above presumes that you don't already have his 146-13- number. If the name is all you have, just give that. If you do have the 146-13- number, you won't need anything else besides the name.]

If you do have his Closed Legal Case File, I would be grateful if you would tell me the approximate number of pages in it so that I can order a copy, under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). I understand that your copying charges are 50 cents per page, with a $10.00 minimum mail order fee.

Thank you very much for your help, and I look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,

Note: Once Romanski receives the request, and has someone find the file, staff will "screen" it to make sure it does not contain sensitive or classified information. Then Romanski will reply (they are very busy so it might take a month or more), telling you that they have found the file, give you a price quotation, and tell you where to send your payment. They accept a check or a credit card number; each goes to a different address, but the credit card method seems to be a bit faster. They will also include an FOIA form to fill out. Once they have the form, and your money, they then copy the file and mail it to you. Some family members who have followed these instructions have said that, besides the form, they were also asked to provide a copy of the death certificate. If you have not heard anything in more than a month, Romanskiís phone number is 301-713-7230, ext. 277, or his e-mail is <fred_romanski@nara.gov>.


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January 2014/kooskia.htm/pwegars@uidaho.edu