(Kansas City, Missouri) - The federal government has been keeping tabs on arriving immigrants for decades, issuing each an Alien Registration Number since 1940. Four years later, in the midst of World War II, it began using those records in the creation and maintenance of individual case files called Alien Files - or simply A-Files.
Archivist Elizabeth Burnes of the National Archives at Kansas City shows how genealogists, biographers, and historians can access those files - a trove of visas, photographs, applications, affidavits, and official correspondence - on Sunday, June 7, 2015, at the Central Library, 14 W. 10th St. Her illustrated lecture, Alien Files: Researching Immigrant Ancestors at the National Archives, begins at 2 p.m.
The presentation is part of the Missouri Valley Sundays series, a program of the Library's Missouri Valley Special Collections made possible in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.
The event also is part of the Library's observance of Immigrant Heritage Month.
The National Archives preserves and makes available to researchers more than 450,000 A-Files, a number of them on individuals with direct connections to the Kansas City area. Though creation of the files began in 1944, documents and other information may be much older than that, in some cases dating to the subject's birth.
Many records were compiled up to the time of any final action - deportation, permanent resident status, or citizenship - related to the individual.
Burnes serves as the lead archivist for A-files reference at the National Archives at Kansas City. She worked previously at the Harry S Truman National Historic Site, Missouri History Museum, Herman T. Pott National Inland Waterways Library, and Harry S. Truman Presidential Library and Museum.
She earned a bachelor's degree in history at Truman State University and a master's in history and museum studies at the University of Missouri-St. Louis.
Admission to the event is free. RSVP at kclibrary.org or call 816.701.3407. Free parking is available in the Library District parking garage at 10th and Baltimore.