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Government Documents - Independent Agencies, Boards, and Commissions: Alien Property Custodian

Overview of the publications of federal boards, commissions, and other bodies in the Government Documents Collection.

The Office of Alien Property Custodian was established by Executive Order 2729-A in 1917, under authority of the Trading with the Enemy Act in 1917 to "assume control and dispose of enemy-owned property in the United States and its possessions." It was abolished in 1934 and its functions were transferred to the Alien Property Bureau (APB) in the Justice Department. The APB was superseded on December 9, 1941 by the Alien Property Division (APD), which was established in the Justice Department to administer enemy property seized upon U.S. entry into World War II. The APD was abolished in 1942 and its functions were transferred to the Office of Alien Property Custodian (APC) within the Office of Emergency Management. APC was abolished in 1966 and its functions related to foreign funds control were transferred to the Office of Foreign Assets Control, Treasury Department. Other alien property functions were transferred to the Assistant Attorney General, Civil Division, Department of Justice.

Annual reports of the Office of Alien Property can also be found in the U.S. Congressional Serial Set database (UHM login required). We also have Congressional hearings and reports about the Office of Alien Property and its successors as well as general publications of both agencies. Please ask a librarian for assistance.

Federal register notices related to the seizure and disposal of alien property may be found using the resources described in the Office of the Federal Register guide.

Photograph of an auction notice published in an art magazine

Notice of an auction held by the Alien Property Custodian in 1944

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Gwen Sinclair
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