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The Vietnam-Era Prisoner-of-War/Missing-in-Action Database

This database contains 160,853 records.
Last Update: November 2012

This database is designed to assist researchers in accessing U.S. Government documents pertaining to U.S. unaccounted-for military personnel from the Vietnam conflict as of December 1991. The title of this collection is “Correlated and Uncorrelated Information Relating to Missing Americans in Southeast Asia.” The U.S. Department of Defense, Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) declassifies these documents and releases them to the Federal Research Division to make them available to the public.

In November 1992, FRD analysts began creating index records to facilitate searching of the original POW/MIA documents provided by DPMO. The documents were microfilmed and placed in the Library of Congress collections. At that time, researchers searched the database at a dedicated workstation in the Library of Congress and then viewed the microfilmed documents. In October 1994, the Library migrated the documents index database to the Library’s Web site, making it accessible worldwide.

DPMO digitized the microfilmed documents and supplied the scanned images to FRD analysts, who began linking these digital image files to the online index records. The result of this effort is that researchers may now view most original documents, as well as the index record, online. FRD no longer microfilms the documents, but posts the electronic copies online with their index record. The linking process is not complete; not all index records are linked to their source documents. Researchers may view the linked original documents by clicking on the “PDF image file” button below the index record. Until the Federal Research Division is able to upload digital copies of all these documents, the remaining unlinked documents only will be available from the microfilm.

Researchers may obtain microfilmed documents in three ways:

1. Those researchers wishing to use this microfilm collection may come to the Library of Congress Microform and Machine Readables Collection Reading Room, located in the Thomas Jefferson Building, First Floor, Room LJ-139B.

2. Microfilmed copies of the material may be sent to the researcher's local library on interlibrary loan for viewing. This service is free, but materials must be used at the local library and returned to the Library of Congress. 

3. For a fee, researchers may order photocopies or microfilmed copies of desired documents from the Library of Congress' Duplication Services.

When ordering photocopies or microfilm, researchers/libraries must provide the name of the collection (see above), reel number, and casualty REFNO, Source Number, or Subject of the document folder (the SUBJECT will be in upper case in the Subject/Title field). For ordering information, contact the Library of Congress, Photoduplication Service, Washington, D.C. 20540.

The Federal Research Division also maintains the documents from US-Russia Joint Commission on POW/MIAs, which attempted to locate Americans thought to have been held in the former Soviet Union. 


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  November 29, 2012
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